How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Blender

How do you usually start your mornings? Do you like with a warm cup of coffee, a glass of fresh green smoothie, or both? Whatever you find best to jam-start your day, I’m pretty sure it works out for you perfectly. Regardless, this guide is all about how to grind coffee beans with a blender to ensure you always start your day with a fresh flavor of caffeine.

As a fitness fanatic myself, to be honest, I usually make a smoothie in most of my mornings. Nonetheless, I still do coffee once in a while, and one thing my tongue can’t lie is that freshly ground coffee is more flavorful than the pre-ground one. A true coffee connoisseur will agree with me on this one, for sure.

But most of us don’t have a burr grinder at home. So, I’m going to show you how to improvise with a  blender to get that fresh ground coffee. You might find the article helpful as well in case your dedicated grinder failed on you before you could grind your coffee beans.

Does the Blender Grind Coffee Beans as Good as a Burr Grinder?

To begin with, the main reason they’re so many appliances in the market is that each of them serves a different purpose.

Burr Grinder

Just as the name, a burr grinder is primarily for “grinding” dry, hard food materials like our coffee beans or spices. It usually comprises a burr grinder system, with a stationary and a spinning plate, which works together in crushing the ingredients.

The two burr plates have a set of teeth lined all around and that’s what chews on the coffee beans when they come together. So, none of the coffee beans will be able to evade their fate.

Blender

On the other hand, the main role of a blender is to “blend” smoothies. But as I’ve severally mentioned, the tool is one of the most versatile in the kitchen as you can also use it for food processing. That includes tasks like chopping vegetables for salads, salsas, and sauces.

More on that, a lot of people have started using their blender for making Frappuccino and cocktail drinks at home. But that then calls for a strong and willing blender for ice since it’s kind of the characteristic ingredient in both cases.

how to grind coffee beans with a blender
Coffee beans

Long story short, a blender can also do the grinding stuff, including turning your solid coffee beans into a fine or coarse grind. The machine will use its spinning blades, just like a blade grinder, to chop the beans until the desired consistency.

However, unlike a dedicated burr grinder, a blender tends to have much space beneath and between the blade leaves. So, it’s more of a hit-or-miss thing, in which case the ground coffee texture will appear in varying sizes. And since the water usually extracts the coffee from each coffee grind (particle) differently, your drink will have tastes all over.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Blender at Home

First of all, I should say that all blenders don’t look or work in the same way. As such, the task of grinding the coffee beans totally depends on whether you have the right tool at hand. Some of the blenders will produce the exact ground texture you need, and others won’t even be able to break down the beans at all.

In any case, here are five different ways you can grind coffee beans without a burr grinder at home.

Grind Coffee Beans with a Vitamix Blender

In my opinion, a Vitamix is the overall best blender to grind coffee beans if you don’t have a dedicated grinder. The machine is stronger than the standard blenders, plus it uses a blade blunt-by-design to pummel through the hard ingredients.

Note, I’m not referring to the regular wet blade that usually comes with the machine here, but the dry blade. Indeed, a lot of people still use the wet-blade container for the milling tasks, but the dry-blade jar is much better at it. Why is that?

For one, Vitamix innovated the dry-blade container as a solution for the issues the users complained about when grinding with the wet blade. One of these achievements is how dry blade blends while pushing the ingredients away from the blades (reverse vortex). Hence, minimizing the chances of your coffee grains hiding under the blade and flying all over the container.

Moreover, the reverse vortex from the dry container does ensure maximum contact of the ingredients with the blades. Thus, you’ll notice it grinds faster than when using a wet container.

But, anyway, here’s a quick guide on how to grind coffee beans with a Vitamix.

Ingredients

  • Whole Coffee beans
  • A full-size blender

Directions:

In a dry container, add your coffee beans and secure the lid. Turn the machine on the lowest speed, then increase to Variable 8. After running for about 20 seconds, you’ll have a fine ground coffee for your ESPRESSO drip machine.

If you wanted a coarser texture for a French Press machine, you’ll let the Vitamix run for about 10 seconds to achieve the coarse ground texture. However, you might want to blend in short pulses to get the best control over your coffee beans and the texture you want.

Grind Coffee Beans with a Nutribullet Blender

Let’s say you don’t have a Vitamix yet, can you grind coffee beans in a nutribullet and it still comes out great?

Well, indeed, a Nutribullet is a compact tool that we tend to take too lightly but can handle some of the toughest culinary tasks. Grinding is one of these tough tasks, whereby you can make a nice batch of fresh coffee right from your kitchen in seconds.

You may interested: Nutribullet vs Magic Bullet vs Ninja

However, we’ll be using the milling blade (instead of the extractor blade) for the task as it’s able to grind more finely. The flat design of the blade is more like that of a blade grinder and it even has blunt edges. Thus, enabling it to beat and break down the hard grain materials more easily.

Anyway, to grind coffee beans with a Nutribullet blender, you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • The dry Coffee beans

Directions:

Just like when blending, you’ll add the coffee beans into the blending cups to about three-quarters full. In doing so, the content will have enough room to turn and drop into the spinning blades.

Sadly, however, the Nutribullet personal bender doesn’t have any physical buttons. That means you’ll need to use the blending cup to control the process and the fineness of your ground.

If it’s a coarse fineness to throw into a French Press, you’ll blend in short pulses of about five or seven times. You can pulse with Nutribullet by pushing the cup down from the top without locking it.

If you want a fine coffee ground for your ESPRESSO machine, a Nutribullet can deliver more consistent results than a coarse fineness. It’s also much easier as you need to let your machine make the first run at the maximum speed for about 10-15 seconds.

After that, unhook the blending cup from the motor and shake it up a little bit to allow the unblended coffee beans to slip down closer to the blade. Then, mount it back to the motor base and run continuously for another 10-15 seconds.

Grind Coffee Beans with a Ninja Bullet Blender

You probably know Ninja is one of the best standard blenders under $100 in the market right now. However, as you might also know, the stacked total crushing blade tends to struggle processing tiny seeds/ grains from its design “flaw”.

This might be one of the reasons the company has created its full-size blenders with the ability to work with single-serve containers. But now begs the question, can you grind coffee beans in a Ninja Bullet and these personal cups?

Well, a quick answer is a YES, you can achieve a fine or coarse ground coffee with a Ninja Bullet. The blade system of the personal blender has almost flat prongs, which we could say mimics the blade grinder. Hence, the reason it works.

To make the ground coffee with your Ninja Bullet:

Ingredients:

  • Coffee beans

Directions:

Add the coffee beans into the Ninja Bullet cups up to about three-quarters full. After you’ve mounted it on the motor, pulse for about seven to ten times or until you have the coarse grind you desire. Remember, this one does have physical buttons, including one to pulse. So, it should be easier to achieve the coarseness you want.

If you want ground coffee for a drip machine, you can run your Ninja bullet continuously for about 15-20 seconds. It should give you a finer texture, good enough to shine your morning.

Grind Coffee Beans with a Ninja Countertop Blender

Again, the stacked blade of a full-size Ninja Blender isn’t the best when it comes to grinding tasks. In this case, the coffee beans tend to slip through the gaps between the blades. No matter how you try making a finer grind, it still won’t be as smooth as with a Ninja Bullet. So, you might want to hook the single-serve cup up and use it to grind the coffee beans,  just as I’ve shown you above.

Grind Coffee Beans with a Food Processor

At this point, we’ve seen you can enjoy fresh and flavorful caffeine if you have a working blending in the kitchen. However, can you grind coffee beans in a food processor and still enjoy a nice cup of espresso?

Sure! A Food processor is as versatile as a blender. It also has a blade-down design like a blade grinder. So, you don’t have to skip your regular morning drink if you have the coffee beans and the machine idly sitting in the kitchen.

For you to grind coffee beans with a food processor, you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • Coffee beans

Directions:

Put your coffee beans into the bowl of the food processor and secure the lid. Then, turn the machine on and blend in short pulses of about three seconds each. As you do this, you’ll also need to tilt your food processor sideways to ensure the S-shaped blade captures all the ingredients.

After doing this for about 40 seconds, you should have a nice, coarse ground coffee for your French Press machine.

If you want a fine grind size for your drip coffee maker, you’ll have to grind your beans a bit longer. However, you should also keep an eye on your grounds to ensure you don’t overdo it and ruin the taste of your coffee.

Key Takeaway: Important Tips As You Grind Coffee Beans

Here are six crucial Things to Remember as you grind your Coffee with a blender

  1. Blade Down: blade down blenders are the closest to a blade coffee grinder and grinds much better.
  2. Small Batches bled better: when you grind your coffee beans in small batches, they have better contact with the spinning blade. Hence, ensuring faster results and also a more uniform grind.
  3. Remember to Pulse: unlike with grains like corn, coffee beans tend to burn when you ground them for too long. So, you might want to blend in small increments to ensure you have the best control, as well as that of the texture size.
  4. Don’t Over-blend: That’s what I’ve just said. When you blend your coffee beans for too long, they tend to burn and give your coffee drink an unpleasant, bitter taste.
  5. You Can Shake it a Bit: although it will depend, you may want to tilt your blender sideways while blending to help get all the beans closer to the blades.
  6. A Blender is still a substitute: That’s right. A blender can grind but it’s hard to achieve the perfect consistency for your grounds. So, you might want to invest in a burr grinder if want to get the best flavor out of your coffee beans.

Final Thoughts:

In truth, no other kitchen tool can beat a burr grinder in preparing a perfect ground coffee. However, you may not need to buy one if you already have a nice blender in your kitchen. You just need to accept that the ground result won’t be as perfect as with a grinder, but still try as much as you can to make it work.

Note, a blade-down blender should give you better consistency compared to the blenders with slightly upright prongs. Hence, the reason the Nutribullet milling blade grinds the coffee beans much faster and smoother than a Ninja bullet.

Regardless, Vitamix is still my favorite choice to make ground coffee without a burr grinder. True, it will still have some inconsistency in the coarse grind, but the fine grounds are perfectly perfect.