What to do if I accidentally bought whole coffee beans?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “what to do if I accidentally bought whole coffee beans?” with an in-depth analysis of what should be done if you accidentally bought whole coffee beans?. Moreover, we will also discuss the methods to grind whole coffee beans.

What to do if I accidentally bought whole coffee beans?

If you accidentally bought whole coffee beans, it is better to grind them. You can grind the whole coffee beans to make coffee powder. The coffee powder made by grinding whole coffee beans can be used in making coffee or other desserts with coffee flavor.

Several ways of grinding whole coffee beans:

There are different ways of grinding whole coffee beans. Some are given below:

Grinding with the help of pestle and mortar:

Take small amounts of coffee beans at a time. When the beans crush, they can burst into little fragments. You should use one hand to cover the mortar so you’re both holding it in place and stopping small pieces of bean from escaping.

  • Drop a few spoonfuls of coffee beans into your mortar. Do not fill it very high. Just one layer of beans will be easiest to grind.
  • Crush the beans with the pestle with a strong twisting motion. Make sure to cover over the mortar with your other hand so bean pieces don’t explode away.
  • Once each bean has been crushed at least a little; press and roll the pestle around the inside of the mortar.
  • When the beans are ground to your liking, sit the grounds to the side, and repeat on the next little lot of beans for the batch.

Use A Food Processor

A food processor is a big blade grinder. While blade grinders are not as good as burr grinders; they still get the job done.

  • The trick with using a blade grinder, or a food processor, is to pulse the beans. If you were just to turn it on you would get either an overly fine grind or a very inconsistent grind. Pulsing the beans does give you a better grind and stops it from getting too fine.
  • Listen to beans as you pulse them. They will go from a particularly gritty sound to a bit more of a sandy sound. Tip the food processor from side to side making sure the blades are going through the beans. Keep checking on them to make sure there are no particularly large bits of beans still to be chopped up.
  • For even more control over your grind, It is recommended to process the beans in small batches. That way if some beans accidentally get ground up too fine, you can get other small batches that are more of the grind size you want.

 A Blender

  • Similar to using a food processor; a blender is very similar to a large coffee bean blade grinder. Again, the trick here is to use a pulse technique.
  • Because blenders tend to be more of a conical shape than food processors, you might find a blender more appropriate than a food processor. You absolutely must keep the lid on as you pulse the coffee beans. 
  • Pulse the beans, maybe tip the blender a little to make sure the blade goes through the beans.

A Big Knife

A large wide blade can do a great job of crushing things if you press them down with the side of the blade. Put your beans in a plastic freezer bag and then wrap that bag in a kitchen towel. The bag will stop flyaway bean pieces and the towel will protect the bag.

Things required:

  • A knife with a wide blade 
  • A wide chopping board.
  • A freezer bag large enough for all your coffee beans.
  • A kitchen towel to wrap around the freezer bag.

Method: 

  • Drop your beans into the plastic bag.
  • Wrap the kitchen towel around the bean bag.
  • Lay the towel and bag on the chopping board.
  • Place the side of the blade on top of the beans. Hold on to the handle with one hand and place your palm on the top side of the blade (not the knife-edge; the blade should be horizontal, not vertical). 
  • Press down firmly to crack the beans. Do not whack the beans with the side of the knife; the crushing is done by you pressing down on the side of the knife. 
  • Lift the towel occasionally to check how fine you have crushed the beans. The bag might need a shake sometimes. Repeat by crushing the beans with the side of the blade until you are happy that the beans are crushed up enough.

A Rolling Pin

Similar to crushing coffee beans with the side of a knife, using a rolling pin to crush your beans can be very effective.

Like with the knife method; place your beans in a plastic bag. There is less need to wrap the bag in a kitchen towel but it’ll certainly lend more protection to the plastic.

For best results, only grind up small amounts of beans at a time; it gives you more control over your grind.

Things required:

  • A rolling pin.
  • A wide chopping board.
  • A freezer bag large enough for all your coffee beans.
  • A kitchen towel to wrap around the freezer bag.

Method: 

  • Drop your beans into the plastic bag.
  • Wrap the kitchen towel around the bean bag.
  • Lay the towel and bag on your chopping board.
  • Initially, press the rolling pin into the beans to crush them.
  • Once each bean is crushed; roll the beans. As you roll your beans, keep lifting the kitchen towel and how fine the grind is becoming.

Use a Hammer

  • The ideal hammer is that with a big head. A mallet or meat tenderizer will do the crushing nicely.
  • You don’t need to strike the beans. The technique is careful taps. Just hit the beans and they’ll fall apart.
  • Begin by loading your beans into a plastic freezer bag. There is less need to wrap the bag in a kitchen towel for protection. A hammer is quite blunt but the towel would certainly lend some extra protection.
  • Lay the bag down on a chopping board and begin by just gently hitting the beans with the hammer. Try to let the weight of the hammer do the work.

Once all of the beans are burst, you can try a bit more of a press and grind technique.

It is recommended to hammer these beans down in small batches at a time for more control over the grind.

Use a Salt or Pepper Mill

Salt and pepper mills are excellent manual coffee grinders. They grind beans in a very similar way that a burr grinder works. A burr grinder is by far the best kind of coffee grinder.

A burr grinder will give an extremely consistent grind. Unlike with a blade grinder which just chops beans at random. A salt and pepper mill is a very similar mechanism to a burr grinder.

What are the suitable coffee grinds for different coffees?

Each brewing method requires a different coffee grind. Typically, the longer your grounds are stewing in the water, the coarser your grind should be. 

  • Cold Brew. Very coarse grind.
  • French Press. Coarse grind.
  • Drip Machine or Pour Over. Medium grind.
  • Espresso. Fine grind.
  • Turkish Pot (boiled). Very fine grind.

You can read how to make a coffee cake here.

What is the best kind of coffee grinder?

There are two main types of coffee grinders: blade grinders and burr grinders.

Blade grinders:

A blade grinder is essentially just a small blender. It has a set of little rotating blades which chop in circles; if there happens to be a coffee bean in the way then it gets sliced. While this method will certainly bust up your beans, it chops them up fairly randomly and often results in a very inconsistent grind. You can get very fine particles mixed with large lumps of beans.

Burr grinders:

A burr grinder will crush your beans through burrs. When bits of bean have been crushed down sufficiently small that they can’t be crushed anymore, they fall through the burrs. You end up with a pile of coffee grounds of a very similar size. A burr grinder provides the best grind for your coffee beans by far.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we have answered the question “what to do if I accidentally bought whole coffee beans?” with an in-depth analysis of what should be done if you accidentally bought whole coffee beans?. Moreover, we have also discussed the methods to grind whole coffee beans.

Citations:

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.