How to Grind Whole Coffee Beans in your Blender

by classicalgeek

You don't need expensive equipment to have a great cup of coffee!

Grinding your own coffee beans at home with a blender is easy and you do not need to buy a special grinder—a blender is really the only equipment you will need! Whole beans will keep their flavour longer than grounds, so you will want to grind your beans just before you make your coffee. You can always save a few whole beans back for dipping in chocolate, or for sugaring to make candy, or infusing into vodka or ice cream, or just for snacking on. So get out your trusty blender, and learn how to use your blender to grind your own beans at home!

A blender with a glass jar is best--coffee smells will tend to stick to plastic. Or you can buy a spare plastic blender jar and use it only for coffee.

Procedure

  1. Decide how many cups you will need to make, and measure out the amount of whole beans you will need.
  2. Decide how finely you want the beans to be ground. Different kinds of coffee makers take different grinds. For the best results, look at the list of the major types of coffee makers below, and select your type from the list to figure out the desired fineness of the grounds. To understand how to determine the fineness of ground beans, squeeze the ground beans in your hand, then use this list to determine the fineness of the grind:
    • French Press - you will want a coarse grind for the best results (the coffee grounds should not stick together);
    • Drip maker - you will want a medium grind for the best results (some coffee grounds should stick together but most should fall away);
    • Steam-driven Espresso machine - you will want a medium-fine grind for the best results (most of the coffee grounds should stick together, but you should still be able to see individual particles of coffee beans easily);
    • Pump-driven Espresso machine - you will want a fine grind for the best results (most of the coffee grounds should stick together, possibly falling away in clumps, but they shouldn't be so fine they appear to completely melt together).
  3. Put the whole beans in the blender. Turn on the "pulse" button of the blender and grind the beans on low to prevent their being burnt. Don't grind the beans more than a few seconds at a time to prevent them from heating and becoming too bitter, and check the fineness of the grind when you stop. If your blender doesn't have a pulse button, just turn your blender on and off every few seconds to let the coffee beans cool.
  4. Test the grounds to determine if they are the correct fineness. If the grounds are not quite fine enough, put the grounds back in the blender and blend for a few more seconds.
  5. Empty the grounds out of the blender into your filter, and enjoy! (Bleached filters are made to look white with dioxin, a dangerous chemical. Try unbleached filters and taste the difference (and see the difference in your health, too)!)
A Cup of Coffee on a Jute Sack Full of Coffee Beans
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Tips

  • If you buy more than a week's worth of whole beans at a time, divide the whole beans up into portions of about a week's worth, and store the whole beans in your freezer in a glass jar with a tight-sealing lid (I use old canning jars). Take out only what whole beans you need for that day and return to the freezer as quickly as possible. The reason for the glass jar is that coffee will absorb odors from your freezer (and other foods will absorb odors from the coffee).
  • If you like flavoured coffees, consider adding a little cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, chocolate or other spices into your blender as you grind your beans. It's much better for you than the syrups and artificial flavourings and you will save money, too! I absolutely love experimenting with coffee and different herbs and spices!
  • If you're like me and need coffee to get you going in the morning, grind one portion of coffee beans in your blender the night before, put the fresh grounds in a filter, place the coffee filter with the ground coffee in a plastic zipper bag, and stick the plastic zipper bag in the freezer for the morning. You can keep reusing the bag.
Updated: 05/22/2015, classicalgeek
 
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classicalgeek on 05/30/2015

I get it from Penzeys (they have a store not far from me). If you're not near one, you can order from their website. Otherwise try an Asian grocery.

Mira on 05/30/2015

It sounds like a great combo. I see galangal is related to ginger. Where do you get it?

classicalgeek on 05/29/2015

You can buy pumpkin pie spice at the store, or blend it yourself. I use a mixture of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, galangal, and star anise. You can use more or fewer, depending on your taste. The last three spices are typically not included in grocery store mixes.

Mira on 05/28/2015

I didn't realize you could grind coffee beans in a blender. Like candy, I have and use a spice grinder. Good point about flavoring coffee yourself, although how do you do pumpkin spice (which is one of the flavorings you mention)?

classicalgeek on 05/23/2015

You're welcome. Just make sure you're grinding to the correct fineness for your particular coffeemaking device and you should be all set!

candy47 on 05/23/2015

I grind coffee beans in my spice grinder but I can only do small amounts at a time. I'm going to try grinding in the blender. Thanks!

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