The time has come for you to open the bag of coffee you got over the holidays. You've been saving it for a special moment when you could savor it fully, and that moment has finally arrived. As soon as you open the bag and take a whiff, you start to imagine the rich, bold cup of coffee you'll be able to make. Then it hits you: they're whole beans. You don't have a coffee grinder on hand, and you don't know how to make coffee with whole beans. Now what?
There are alternative methods to grind whole coffee beans. Two of the most efficient ways are done with things anyone will likely already have in their kitchen.
Mortar and Pestle
Quite possibly one of the first-ever kitchen tools of mankind, it's incredibly simple and straightforward to use. The bonus benefit of grinding your whole beans using a mortar and pestle is that you get extra control over the final size. You can give yourself grounds that are coarse for your French Press, or get ultra-fine grounds like instant coffee granules.
Don't fill up the mortar with whole beans entirely; go with 1/4 instead. That way, you can get full control. If you want more, you can do more batches. While keeping the mortar in place, use the pestle to grind the beans. The best way is to use a twisting motion as you forcefully crush the beans. After the initial round, you can start to roll the pestle around until your beans are ground to the size and consistency you're after.
Yes, you read that right. Your blender can actually help you with your coffee grinding. It will be able to function the way a blade-type coffee grinder would. There are actually blenders that come with a "grinder" setting meant for coffee grounds.
If you don't have the "grinder" setting, choose a high speed. Don't fill the blender; instead, put a small amount of beans in at a time. Make sure the lid is closed firmly before turning it on. Small bursts are best, because constant blending runs the risk of the beans' oils overheating. That will, in turn, give you coffee that is quite bitter.
The on-and-off blending should be accompanied by the blender’s occasional gentle tilt f the blender from one side to the other. This way, big chunks that may have been missed will be in the direct path of the blade.
Maybe you're in a hurry or maybe you'd rather not exert a lot of effort. Making coffee with unground beans is possible, but note that the brewing time will be much longer.
Coffee is an excellent partner to kickstart your day or pick yourself up when you need a boost. Getting a whole bag of coffee beans when you don't have access to a grinder shouldn't throw you off from having your perfect cup. Use basic kitchen items found in your home and get the right ground you need.
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