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Can I Grind Coffee Beans Using a Food Processor?

Making coffee from bean to cup is the way to go if you want to enjoy the best taste and aroma in your caffeine fix. To do so, you do not only need the right beans, but also good equipment. One of the must-haves is a grinder. But if you do not have a grinder, consider several alternatives.

Can you grind coffee beans in a food processor instead? Read on as we answer this question. We’ll also share tips on other methods that are worth considering.

Can I Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor? 

grinding coffee with food processor

Yes, you can grind coffee beans in a food processor!

Most coffee aficionados will have a grinder. Nonetheless, if you do not have one, you can be creative in exploring other methods. Among others, one of the best to use is a food processor.

Mechanically, food processors and grinders work in the same principle. The food processor has blades, which are responsible for milling the beans and turning them into powdered form. However, you might not easily achieve a uniform grind size, so you should know the proper way of using such.

How to Do It Right 

coffee grounds using food processor

While a food processor makes an excellent alternative when a burr grinder is unavailable, do not expect the results to be the same. 

To do it like a pro, follow the steps below.

  1. Start by inspecting the food processor, making sure that it is clean and dry. Dirty and moist or wet blades can affect the overall quality of the beans.
  2. Fill the food processor with your choice of coffee beans. Match this to the amount of coffee you wish to make. If you want to make a six- to eight-ounce coffee, then you will need at least two tablespoons of beans.
  3. Turn the food processor on. Depending on the brand and model, most will have buttons for Pulse or Chop. Some will have Low or High buttons. Press low up to five times a least two seconds every time.
  4. Shake the processor. This will let the bigger grounds go to the bottom so that they can be reached by the blade. Press the High or Chop button for up to 45 seconds. If the coffee is still not on the grind size you prefer, repeat.
  5. Another thing that you can do is to sift the ground. After the initial grinding, empty the grounds in a sieve with a container or cup underneath. The coarser grounds will stay on the top of the sieve. Put them in the food processor and repeat the earlier step.

What Makes It Different From a Coffee Grinder? 

coffee beans in a grinder

Here is a quick rundown of some of the differences between a coffee grinder and a food processor:

  • Capacity: While the different models from various manufacturers may vary, a food processor often has a larger capacity. It has a bigger container, which will let you grind a big batch at a time.
  • Consistency: If you want consistent grinds, then you can never go wrong with a grinder. They are made specifically for grinding beans, so you can expect that the coffee particles are more uniform compared to grinding in a food processor.
  • Customizability: To an extent, both a coffee grinder and food processor offer options for customization. With a food processor, you can often choose the speed or movement of blades, such as whether chop or pulse. Meanwhile, with a coffee grinder, customization means adjusting the distance between the blades, which will dictate the grind size.
  • Quality: Overall, a coffee grinder is unbeatable. While a food processor can do the job, only do so when you have no other option. It is hard to get the same level of consistency in terms of grind size in a food processor as you would in a grinder.

Tips and Tricks for Achieving the Best Results 

coffee beans and ground coffee in cup

Grinding beans is necessary for increasing the surface area. This will result in a better interaction between the beans and water, which will create a more robust flavor and aroma. With this, here are some of the best things to do to achieve the best results when grinding coffee beans using a food processor. 

  • Choose a good food processor. If possible, use one with a pulse function, which will allow better grinding results. The quality of the blade also matters.
  • Use fresh coffee beans. Even if you have a high-quality food processor, if you have stale and inferior beans, the outcome will most likely be underwhelming.
  • Match the grind size to the brewing method that you prefer. For instance, for a pour-over brew, a medium-fine grind is best. Meanwhile, the coarse grind is the ideal pick for a French press.
  • Timing is also essential. The brewing water must be ready before you start grinding the beans. Otherwise, this can result in losing the flavor.
  • Determine how many cups you want to make. Grinding too much can result in waste and will make the coffee grinds stale.

Other Ways to Grind Coffee Beans 

If a food processor is unavailable, below are other creative ways to grind coffee beans.

Mortar and Pestle 

Fill the mortar with coffee beans, but do not put more than ¼ its capacity. Use your dominant hand to hold the pestle while the non-dominant hand holds the pestle. Use a twisting motion to crush the beans. Roll the bowl to distribute the beans evenly and keep pounding until you achieve the desired consistency.

Rolling Pin 

Measure the beans that you need and put them in a Zip-loc or plastic bag. Put parchment paper on both sides and lay it down on a flat surface. Use the pin to hammer the beads. Once crushed, roll the pin to make the grinds more consistent.

Knife

Put a cutting board on a flat surface and arrange the beans. Use the flat side of the knife to crush the beans. It is best to use a butcher knife for this task of any knife with a wide blade so you can cover more area.

Also, find out if you can grind coffee beans in a blender.

Conclusion 

Yes, you can grind coffee beans in a food processor. If a grinder is unavailable, use the Pule or Chop function in a food processor to achieve the desired consistency of the beans. The longer you process the beans, the finer the grind size will be. Match it to your choice of brewing method.

Avatar for Krista Haws

Known among her friends as 'the caffeine fiend', Krista loves all things coffee. From an extremely short, strong espresso to a 3 day cold brew, Krista loves them all.

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