Grinding whole-bean coffee right before brewing ensures freshness, decreases exposure to flavor-destroying oxygen and helps preserve coffee’s natural flavors from being bland and stale. But what if there’s no grinder? How do you grind fresh beans for that all-essential cup to start your day?
A blender is a fast substitute for a coffee grinder. The blade of the blender cuts the coffee like a blade grinder. It’ll never be as reliable as a burr grinder.
Know you can get an almost espresso-worthy grind with a food processor? Use the medium-fine grind of the processor to work on your coffee beans until you hit the grind consistency of your choosing.
Food processor or coffee grinder
If you don’t have a burr grinder, use a food processor, blender, or hammer! But if you want to copy the consistency and texture that atop burr grinder offers, and if you have time, use a mortar and pestle.
But if you’re tired, just buy a grinder. You can quickly roast yourself some coffee beans. But if you don’t have a big workspace and save on kitchen equipment, a food processor can do it. Just don’t forget to start your coffee with a few beans for better consistency and uniformity in the grounds.
The difference between coffee grinders and food processors
The biggest difference between coffee grinders and blenders or electric food processors is the form of metal rotating inside.
Coffee grinders are fitted with burrs, physically abrasive enough to cut and break coffee beans. Compare these with a food processor’s sharp blades, and you’ll get a good idea why both are drastically different, but can still yield excellent results when grinding coffee beans.
Coffee grinders, particularly older models, have either conical burrs or flatter burrs. When you change the setting or orientation of the blades (i.e. their distance to each other), you also change the grind‘s primary setting, producing different types of coffee.
The coffee grinders’ key benefit is uniformity. Since coffee-mills are specifically designed to grind coffee beans, the technology has reached the point that coffee bits are consistent in size. In return, you’ll get the perfect coffee extract from your beans.
What type of coffee is good when grinding from a food processor?
You don’t need an electric or manual burr grinder for the ‘almost fine’ brew. Pulverize coffee beans in a food processor.
If you drip French press coffee, you might even be ok with a blade-style coffee grinder, like a very tiny blender. This would suit the food processor. Reason for this? You don’t need grinding to be consistent or too good.
If you want to use a very simple espresso-like appliance, it could also work, since it has flow restrictors so very fine and consistent grinding isn’t necessary.
What ground should you expect?
This motor-driven, spinning blade will help you make two coffee types:
A medium-fine grinding with a processor is fast. Only let it work a few minutes on your coffee beans and you’ll get an almost excellent grind leading to a great cup of coffee. The resulting coffee grounds would be perfect for most pour-over brew methods.
Simply “pulse” the processor. Turn it to coarsely grind the beans in quick bursts, shake it between grinds and avoid some time before medium-fine grinding. This approach is a little complicated, and you can not get a burr grinder’s same coarse grind quality.
It won’t be too coarse or extracted; otherwise, they’ll be low and less flavourful. Note, grinding consistency helps you remove the positive flavors uniformly from your favorite coffee beans. An under-extracted aftertaste of coffee.
Another useful method is to grind a few beans to a smooth grind. It will help you monitor the texture as you start to add coffee beans to the unit, allowing you to test the griind shape.
How to grind coffee with a processor
Most likely, you will be satisfied with the results and ease of cleaning with a mini-processor rather than a full-size blender/processor, unless you have a large volume of beans to grind. Warning: Review your processor’s manual before starting, as some are not equipped to grind coffee.
What brewing method works the best with a food processor?
What’s the best brewing method using a food processor? It’s safer to use a food processor to grind beans for a French press. Similar to a coffee grinder, the results would be coarse. This works to your advantage, as the French press works best with coarse grinding.
Amount and Timing
Measure 2 tablespoons of beans into the processor’s work bowl for every 6 to 8-ounce cups of coffee you plan to make. Grind the beans just before brewing, so they are as fresh as possible.
Step by step process to grind your coffee with a food processor
- Look for the on/off buttons on your food processor, or the roughly equivalent “Low” and “High” speed buttons. Press the button five times, for 2 seconds each time. Start at a low speed so you can see how to find the coffee grinds.
- Rock the processor gently so that the particles at the top of the bowl fall down near the blades, or tap the feet of the appliance gently on your work surface.
- Press the “High” button for about 30 to 45 seconds, and keep a close eye on the texture of the beans and any whole beans that were pushed to the side of the processor.
- If the grinds are about 1/8 inch across, with some finer particles, you don’t want it quite powdery.
- Time to remove the coffee ground
- Tap the processor cover to dislodge and lift off the cover and set it aside.
- Twist and lift the worktop bowl off the motor base.
- Shake the bulk of the ground beans and into your French press carafe.
- For any residue left in the processor, use a pastry brush or a paintbrush to sweep out the remaining coffee grounds.
- That’s it, just wash the food processor and remove all the oily residue from your food processor