Whether your coffee grinder just broke, you have a massive amount of coffee to prepare, or you simply feel like experimenting on a Saturday morning, you may need a new appliance to grind coffee. Can you grind coffee beans in a blender?
By the looks of it, it seems like a definite yes, but there are certain things to keep in mind if you are using a blender to grind coffee beans. You also may want to clear up some other questions before pressing the power button.
Will the coffee taste the same as a Keurig-ground cup of coffee? Can hand blenders be used to make coffee? Why go for freshly ground coffee when you can get pre-ground coffee at the store?
Here’s a comprehensive guide answering all your questions and more.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender?
The short answer is yes. You can grind coffee beans in a blender, but it’s complicated.
A blender may grind coffee beans, but it is not a substitute for an actual coffee grinder. You should only use a blender to pulse the beans enough to make your coffee stronger since the finer the ground, the stronger the coffee will be.
However, grinding coffee beans in a blender is also a good way to make a large batch of coffee or whip up creamy coffee in only a minute or two. So it all depends on what you need it to do.
What to Keep in Mind When Using a Blender to Grind Coffee Beans?
Although grinding coffee beans in a blender seems like a simple one-minute procedure, if you are a pinky coffee enthusiast, you will need to keep the following tips in mind for a smooth, ground coffee.
- Always pulse the coffee beans and do not blend, especially if the blender does not come with a grinder setting.
- Blend in small batches (about ¼ cup) so every coffee bean grounds up nicely and timely, without raising the temperature of the blender.
- After every 5 seconds, turn the blender off and lightly shake it to stir the coffee beans. This way your coffee will be ground as consistently as possible.
- Turn the blender off immediately after 20 to 30 seconds to avoid melting or burning the ground coffee beans.
Remember to clean out the blender thoroughly after pulsing coffee beans, as the powder can get stuck on the insides or clog up under the blade, breaking your blender.
Knowing these tips will ensure you get a perfect grind on the coffee beans every time. Again, this does not make the blender a substitute for a coffee grinder but will help you get your caffeine fix until you get an actual grinder.
Does Coffee Ground in a Blender Taste Different?
Yes, coffee ground in a blender may taste different than coffee processed in a grinder. This is primarily due to the inconsistent grind size of coffee beans ground up in a blender.
For reference, there are four types of coffee grounds, and they are:
- Coarse grind – can be produced in any manual or automatic grinder and looks like kosher salt.
- Medium grind – most commonly preferred by coffee enthusiasts and has a sandy texture.
- Fine grind – makes the strongest cup of coffee and resembles the texture of salt.
- Pulverized grind – can be processed manually in a mortar and pestle and has a flour-like texture.
Since a blender does not grind up coffee beans evenly, your coffee might taste bitter, mild, or even gritty. The key to a perfect blend is to keep the coffee beans churning in the blender and do it in small batches.
You can make coffee with any type of grind, but consistency is essential for a smooth cup. Besides the type of grind, the brewing method can also affect how the coffee tastes.
If you have coarse ground coffee beans, the coffee may turn out weak if not brewed for a longer period of time. With fine ground coffee beans, the coffee can taste too bitter when left brewing for too long.
Is it Okay to Use a Hand Blender to Grind Coffee Beans?
It is possible to grind coffee beans using a hand blender or an immersion blender. The more powerful they are, the better they will work to grind up coffee beans.
Like a standard blender, an immersion blender may not give you a consistent grind size, which may affect the overall taste of coffee, but it will extract the oils from the beans and draw out the flavor.
Here’s how to use a hand blender to grind up coffee beans:
- Once you’ve set up the bowl and chopper that comes with the hand blender, add in 1/4 cup or 2 tbsp of coffee beans.
- Turn the blender on and pulse for 5 to 6 seconds, pausing to shake it slightly which will allow a better grind on the coffee beans.
- Do not pulse for more than 30 seconds unless you need a flour-like texture to make Turkish coffee.
- This will generally result in a coarse grind, and the coffee will require a longer brew time.
What Are Other Ways to Grind Coffee Beans When a Grinder Isn’t Available?
Besides a blender, there are many alternatives methods to grind coffee beans and they can be divided into two categories:
Manually grinding your coffee beans requires a lot of elbow grease, but the biggest advantage it has over mechanical labor is the consistency in grind size. Here are some of our favorite methods of manual grinding:
- Place a handful of coffee beans in a ziplock bag, take out a rolling pin, crush the beans, apply pressure, and roll it over the beans for a finer grind.
- You could also use a hammer instead of a rolling pin and repeat the same process as above.
- If you have a mortar and pestle, fill it 1/3 of the way and crush the beans using the pestle, keeping the mortar still by holding it down with the other hand.
Since we have already covered how to use a blender to grind coffee beans, here are other ways to mechanically grind your coffee beans:
- Take around 1 cup of coffee beans and pulse them to your desired grind size, pausing every 6 seconds to gently move the beans around so they can break down evenly.
- You could also use an immersion blender the same way – just cut down on the quantity of the beans used.
Why is Freshly Ground Coffee Better Than Pre-Ground Coffee?
For coffee enthusiasts, freshly ground coffee is a measure of quality. While pre-ground coffee is convenient, it does not make as good of a cup.
Believe it or not, pre-ground coffee is almost always stale since beans stay fresh for one to two weeks after extraction, roast, and packaging. Grinding beans fresh ensures your coffee stays fresh longer and does not leave a bitter aftertaste.
Having whole coffee beans to grind also allows you to alternate between the type of brewing you’d like that day. For example, you can grind them to a fine powder to enjoy a mocha at home or pulverize them to make a traditional Turkish coffee.
In a similar sense, having fresh coffee beans allows you more control over the taste of your coffee, whereas in pre-ground coffee, it remains the same. Freshly-ground coffee gives you room to improve and make your coffee how you want it to be.
Grinding fresh coffee beans can be a little time-consuming but with all things in mind, it is ultimately better than drinking pre-ground coffee – especially if you’re a coffee enthusiast.
Burr Grinder vs. Blade Grinder: Which is a Better Method to Grind Coffee Beans?
Blade grinders are quickly becoming a thing of the past, with burr grinders taking over the spotlight and being all the rage amongst coffee enthusiasts.
But what is a burr grinder, and what is so special about it? A burr grinder is a mechanical device made up of two abrasive surfaces that revolve and grind coffee in between them. Their primary advantage is the uniformity in the grind size, which produces a better-tasting cup of coffee.
There are two types of burr grinders:
- Wheel or flat burrs – cost-effective, grinds fast, but it is messier and causes a lot of noise.
- Conical burrs – recommended by coffee experts, produces the most consistent grind size but takes more time.
Unlike burr grinders, blade grinders do not result in an even grind, which can turn coffee bitter or sour. It also takes time to perfect your method of grinding coffee beans in a blade grinder. If it comes down between the two, having pre-ground coffee is better than using a blade grinder for freshly ground coffee.
Burr grinders are a recent innovation but they tick all the boxes needed to make a good cup of coffee and blade grinders are far from it. In short, burr grinders are worth every penny.
What Makes Freshly Ground Coffee Worth the Effort?
When compared to pre-ground coffee, freshly ground coffee comes in first because of the fresh and higher quality taste it provides to the coffee. But if you aren’t a picky coffee enthusiast, why would you make the effort of grinding up fresh coffee beans? Here are some reasons why you could.
Whole coffee beans generally cost the same as pre-ground coffee beans and last longer, saving you money in the long run. Yes, you’ll need a coffee grinder, but it is a one-time purchase that will last for years if maintained properly. It also can help keep your health in check.
Longer Shelf Life
As coffee beans only remain fresh a week after being roasted, one can assume pre-ground coffee is almost always stale. Coffee doesn’t go bad, but stale coffee turns acidic sooner, which can be bad for your health in the long run. Having freshly ground coffee tastes better and digests better.
The best advantage of having freshly ground coffee is that you can keep it in the freezer in an airtight container for a week. That takes most of the work out of the process and saves you time during the week. Make sure to also keep it in a dark spot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does grinding coffee beans in a blender dull its blades?
Yes, grinding coffee beans in a blender for too long can wear out the blades or dull them, which is why it is recommended to only use it as an emergency substitute for a short time period and work in small batches. This ensures your blender works efficiently in the long run.
Can I make dalgona coffee in a blender?
Yes, whipped coffee or dalgona coffee can be made using a blender or a hand blender. Make sure to add in a good amount of sugar with the coffee and milk or water, as that is what makes the fluffy peaks. Surprisingly, this type of coffee is best made by using pre-ground coffee.
How much ground coffee to use for one cup of coffee?
According to experts, one cup of coffee requires 8 oz of water and two tbsp of ground coffee. It’s also important to mention that the amount of coffee used also depends on the type of coffee you’re making – whether it is milder in taste like a latte or concentrated like a shot of espresso.
The biggest disadvantage of having machines is that they can break down any time and when that machine plays a role in making your morning coffee, it can be hard to power through. Here’s the comprehensive answer to whether or not you can grind coffee beans in a blender and get your caffeine fix in time.