Making an Antique Coffee Grinder in Blender, Substance & MT4

Can You Grind Coffee With A Blender?

Yes, you can grind coffee with a blender. There are some really strong blenders that could probably do it just fine, but there’s no guarantee that the blender will stay intact and so there is a risk involved for ruining your blender and/or injuring yourself if something goes awry with the equipment.

If you don’t believe me, try grinding up rocks in your blender and see how it holds up!

Typically, the only blenders that can handle this are Vitamix or Blendtec. I have a Vitamix and with heavy use for making nut butter, ice cream, soups, and sauces I’ve never had any problems.

Magic Bullet and Ninja blender also have glass blender jars that are made to withstand the pressure of grinding coffee beans.

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Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Ninja Blender?

Yes, you can grind coffee beans in a Ninja blender. The ninja blender does a good job of grinding your roasted coffee beans to suit your style. You can pulse grind the beans between 8 to 12 times to get the desired results.

Let’s discuss the same in more detail.

The first thing you should know is that any Ninja blender will work when it comes to grinding coffee beans. If someone says you need a specific model to get the best grind, they are lying to you.

You need to ensure that the blender is clean and dry. If your blender is not clean, you are not going to like the coffee grind. At the same time, if your grinder is not dry, you will end with a coffee paste as opposed to a coffee grind.

Here are the steps to get the best out of a ninja blender.

  1. Take your coffee beans of choice and a clean, dry ninja blender. Keep a grind in your mind that will give you the coffee you desire.
  2. Put the coffee beans into the cup. When adding coffee beans, don’t add a lot. Just add small quantities (1/4 cup will do).
  3. Now, it is time to grind the beans. Pulse the beans from 8 to 12 times to get a nice coarse ground. Once you’re happy with the grind, you can take it out and start brewing your coffee.

Using a Ninja Blender to grind coffee has some pros and cons. Let’s go through them.

Pros:

  • They are faster
  • Easy to store and won’t take a lot of space
  • Inexpensive when compared to grinders
  • Cleaning is easy though you have to be careful not to miss parts

Cons:

  • If you’re not careful, you can turn the coffee ground a bit… bitter. 
  • You may not get the same grind every time. So if you’re looking for consistency, then you might be a bit disappointed. 

Is a Coffee Grinder Better?

The fact is that for this particular application, these two alternative appliances are good in a pinch, but aren’t the ideal way to grind coffee beans.

Coffee and espresso grinders are designed specifically for dosing the correct amount of coffee beans and grinding to the correct consistency.

While some rudimentary grinders are nothing more than glorified food processors, consider this…

A burr grinder has two burrs, basically two wheel-shaped rough edges, which turn in different directions to create the most uniform particle sizes possible. This results in even extraction and a delicious cup of coffee or espresso.

This is something that simply cannot be achieved with blades.

But hey, unless you’re a true coffee lover you may never notice the difference. Personally, I sometimes enjoy a home-brewed cup of Folgers just as much as what I can get from my local high-end cafes. So different strokes for different folks. You might also wanna check out other products that are multipurpose like the ones we listed on our guide on best blender food processor combo.

Is it Okay To Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to grind coffee beans in a blender. 

If your blender comes with a grinding setting, then it becomes a lot easier to use it for your coffee bean. If not, you’ll just have to use your intuition to use a high-speed setting to get the desired grind.

When we use a blender to grind coffee beans, we usually go for a medium-coarse grind that is perfect for a french press or a drip coffee maker. The blender output is also perfect for making a nice cold brew coffee.

While it is okay to grind your coffee beans in a blender, the output you get will be no match to what you’ll get from a burr grinder. A burr is superior to a blade when it comes to coffee bean grinding, and nothing is going to change that.

Also Read: Can You Freeze Coffee Beans?

A final About Grind Consistency (and a cool hack)

According to Scott Rao, one of the most influential voices in the coffee industry, grind consistency and uniformity are critical to producing the best cup of coffee. A consistent grind not only helps evenly extract the desirable flavours from your coffee, but it also helps ensure that each cup you brew is as delicious as the last one. An inconsistent grind has a tendency to over-extract some grounds, under-extract others, and can leave the coffee with a “chalky” aftertaste.

The whole purpose of grinding our coffee beans is to increase the surface area coming into contact with water. And the finer or coarser the grind, the more or less quickly water can pass through it – affecting brew time as well as extraction efficiency.

If you do not have a grinder, the best way to reach a consistent grind in your coffee beans is to grind or crush only a few beans at a time. This gives you a much greater measure of control over how fine you make your grounds, as well as a visual cue for the texture and fineness you’re aiming for. For a truly uniform grind, go slowly and take care to repeat the same movements, whether you’re using a knife or a blender.

If you are not able to achieve a uniformly fine texture in your grounds, consider brewing your coffee using the French Press, which is known to perform better with a coarser grind and is more tolerant of inconsistencies. And as with so many things, repetition is the key to improvement.

THE HACK: watch this cool video by James Hoffman. He shows you how you can achieve a decent, consistent grind using any of the above methods:

How Does Grind Size Affect Coffee Taste?

When it comes to choosing the right grind size, it depends on the method you are using to brew your coffee.

Brewing Method Grind Size
Cold Brew/Toddy Extra Coarse
French Press Coarse
Standard Coffee Maker Medium – Coarse
Pour-over/Chemex Medium
AeroPress Medium – Fine
Espresso Machine Fine
Turkish Coffee Extra Fine

We can see from the chart that you can make coffee from any grind size on this spectrum. The method will determine the size of the grind. There are also other factors such as water temperature and extraction times. But our focus is the grind size. How does it affect taste? Coarser coffee tends to be more acidic and can taste weak and sour. Finer coffee can taste too bitter. Again, this all depends on the brewing method. Just because you land on the spectrum does not mean you aren’t going to have these problems. This is why knowing the average particle size is important. This isn’t so you can measure it perfectly (we’re talking about fractions of millimeters), but that with time you’ll be able to train your eye to what looks like the right grind size for your preferred method.

Image Credit: danramirez, Pixabay
Image Credit: danramirez, Pixabay

Is Pre-ground Coffee That Bad?

“I’ll just get pre-ground,” you say. If all this talk of different grinders has got you grinding your teeth or it’s just too overwhelming, you can always buy pre-ground coffee. But fair warning. It is not a replacement for grinding it fresh. We know that grandpa always loved his pre-ground Folgers. It worked for him. But from the taste of it, you’d think he missed the can and scooped from his ashtray instead. With all of the quality coffee out there these days, it’s safe to say that “the best part of waking up is not having Folgers in your cup.” Grandpa didn’t run across near as many independent roasteries that we have today.

Contrary to the belief of some, coffee is not a nonperishable item. You are likely not going to get sick from drinking expired coffee grounds, but it will taste stale. Some people drink stale coffee for years without realizing that coffee beans have a shelf life, whether whole bean or ground. Though once they are ground, that time on the shelf accelerates. What you stand to lose with pre-ground coffee is the ability to savor more flavors from the freshly roasted bean. Once coffee is ground it starts to release oils and gases that give the coffee its flavor and aroma. It’s like leaving a piece of bread on the counter.

But grinding the beans too fresh will result in ‘gassy’ coffee. The beans release a lot of carbon dioxide and other gases within the first few days after roasting. The beans need time to ‘settle’ before they are beverage ready.

Image Credit: Martin Hetto, Pixabay
Image Credit: Martin Hetto, Pixabay

2. A Blender

A blender is an adequate coffee grinder replacement in a pinch. The blender’s blade chops the coffee in a manner much like a blade grinder. It will never be as consistent as a burr grinder (2). But it’s a hack!

Some blenders, in fact, include a “grinder” setting that is meant for use on coffee. However, when using a blender, make sure only to grind in short, quick bursts rather than running the blender continuously. Because the blades move at high speeds and can heat the beans, this risks overheating the beans’ natural oils, which can deliver a harsh and bitter-tasting cup of coffee.

This on-and-off grinding technique produces the best results for a relatively coarse grind. Make sure you properly clean the blender so that it doesn’t take on the taste and smell of stale coffee. (Nobody wants a margarita that tastes like an unwashed percolator.)

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How To Grind Coffee Beans With A Blender

  1. If your blender has a “grinder” setting, select it. If not, select a medium-high speed.
  2. Pour a small amount of coffee into the grinder and place lid firmly on top.
  3. Grind your beans to your preferred consistency, using a “pulse” technique, grinding in short, quick bursts.
  4. For best results, tilt the blender slightly from side to side while grinding; this causes the larger portions of the beans to move into the blade path, ensuring a more even grind.
  5. Empty the blender, add new beans, and repeat until you reach the desired amount of ground coffee.

PRO TIP: Make sure you keep the lid on the blender during grinding as the beans will have a tendency to fly out when the blender is running.

The Medium-Fine Grind

If you are looking for more of a medium-fine grind, you can certainly achieve this when using both a food processor and a blender. By merely pouring your coffee beans into the blender, and leaving them to blend for a few minutes, you will receive a grind which is perfect for espresso-style coffee.

A medium-fine grind is excellent for pour methods, however a little too fine for a standard drip brewer. Using this grind in a drip brewer is likely to give your coffee a strong flavor, so if you like your coffees strong, then this should be no problem.

Can You Grind Coffee In A Blender Without Affecting Taste Quality?

There are of course coffee connoisseurs who are vehemently against grinding coffee in anything but a grinder, with blender being no exception.

These people do have a legitimate reason, though – grinding your coffee in a blender may ruin your coffee beans and leave you with a batch that results in undrinkable bitter-tasting coffee.

Coffee beans contain natural oils.

You can somewhat extract them by grinding the coffee – so how consistent the coffee grind is (and how it’s roasted) determines in the end how smooth and flavorful the brew is.

This is why pre-ground coffee never tastes as good as freshly ground one, and most coffee experts recommend grinding the coffee right before brewing it – so that full flavor and aroma can be enjoyed.

But blade grinders (and blenders, which use the same technique) can overheat the coffee while grinding it, and overheating the beans, and over-extracting oils, which results in bitter coffee.

This is exactly why it’s so important to be patient and measured when grounding coffee in a blender: if your coffee grind is too coarse, it will be under-extracted and less flavorful, if you try to grind too fine – you’ll over-extract it.

Be measured, go slow, and learn when to stop – and your blender-ground coffee will taste just fine.

Related Post: Grind Oats In Blender

Which Method for the Best Coffee?

Each method has its pros and cons. Using a blender gives you a coarse to medium grind which works well in a drip coffee maker or the French Press. There’s always the danger of overheating the beans using the blender so remember, be patient and use pulsing motions to avoid this from happening.

The mortar and pestle, hammer, and rolling pin methods take a bit of elbow grease. This could be heavy going first thing in the morning! You’ll also battle to get a fine grind unless you go at it for a long time which again is not ideal when you’ve just woken up. But, these offer a simple solution to grinding coffee beans. Most of us will have one or all of these tools in our homes. And it’s cheaper than buying another coffee grinder.

The bullet blender is quick and easy. Depending on how long you grind, you can choose whether to have coarse, medium, or fine grind. If espresso is your brew, the fine grind works well and you can do it with a bullet blender. However, you could end up going too far and ending up with very fine coffee sticking together.

Conclusion

So can you grind coffee beans with a blender? The answer is yes, you can. The results will be slightly different than when using a coffee grinder; however, it is possible to improve your grinding as you gain experience. As well as this, using a blender will save you from having to purchase a grinder, and save you some money.

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