A cup of freshly ground coffee has a reputation for tasting better than a cup of pre-ground coffee. However, when you’re craving a freshly ground cup, you’ll need to grind the coffee beans yourself unless you plan on going to a coffee shop.
If you don’t have a coffee grinder on hand, you can still grind your coffee beans. When you’re looking around the kitchen for an appliance that can help you, a spice grinder may look like the perfect solution. Can a spice grinder give you freshly ground coffee? Keep reading to learn more about grinding coffee beans in a spice grinder.
You Can Grind Coffee Beans in a Spice Grinder
The answer to this question may come as a surprise to you, but you can grind coffee beans in a spice grinder. In fact, many spice grinders are marketed as a coffee grinder too.
While you can use your spice grinder to grind your coffee beans, keep in mind that the majority, if not all, spice grinders have blades. When grinding coffee beans, blades will work, but you’re better off using a grinder that has burrs. With burrs, you’ll be able to control the grind size of your beans better.
How Will it Affect the Spice Grinder?
Grinding coffee beans in your spice grinder isn’t necessarily going to break the blades or the rest of the equipment. But accidents happen sometimes. While the coffee beans shouldn’t cause any harm to your spice grinder, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
If your spice grinder is older or the blades aren’t in top condition anymore, you run the risk of the coffee beans damaging the blades. Although, this is highly unlikely.
Another thing to consider before putting your coffee beans into the spice grinder is if you can use the grinder on soft and hard spices. While most spice grinders can grind soft and hard spices, some recommend you avoid hard spices.
If the spice grinder you own isn’t made for hard spices, you’ll want to avoid grinding your coffee beans in it.
When the grinder is not capable of grinding hard spices, it’s not going to be capable of grinding hard coffee beans. If you choose to grind them anyway, be prepared for the possibility of the grinder breaking or getting clogged.
Will it Affect the Taste of the Coffee or Spices?
The short answer is that the taste of your coffee or spices can be affected if you’re using the grinder interchangeably between the two.
The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to clean the spice grinder thoroughly between each use when using different ingredients.
You don’t necessarily need to clean the spice grinder between cycles if you’re grinding the same product. For example, if you’re grinding cinnamon in more than one batch, they have the same flavor. Therefore, there’s no need to clean the grinder until you’re finished.
Now, if you’re grinding up garlic and then going to grind coffee beans, you need to wash the grinder. No one wants to taste a garlicky cup of coffee. Well, maybe not no one, but still.
How to Grind Coffee Beans in a Spice Grinder
It’s relatively straightforward to grind coffee beans in a spice grinder. You’ll follow the instructions for grinding other spices. Remember that coffee beans do better being ground with burrs rather than blades, so you may need more than one cycle to get to the consistency you want.
It’s important to note that while you can grind your coffee beans in a spice grinder, the consistency of the coffee grounds may be very inconsistent.
Pros to Using a Spice Grinder for Coffee Beans
Grinding coffee beans in a spice grinder is simple. You’ll put the beans into the grinder and let the grinder do the rest.
Another pro of getting dual uses out of your spice grinder is it’ll save you money. Most coffee and spice grinders are affordable, but by using your spice grinder for spices and coffee, you’ll save money on buying an additional appliance.
Cons to Using a Spice Grinder for Coffee Beans
Due to most spice grinders having blades rather than burrs, your coffee beans may not get to the exact fineness you’re looking for. Or, if they do, it may take a lot longer. It may take longer because when grinding coffee beans with a blade grinder, you have much less control over the grind size compared to one with burrs.
Alternatives to Consider
Grinding coffee beans in a spice grinder will get the job done. But, if you’re worried about using your spice grinder for your coffee beans, there are other options for you.
Buy a Coffee Grinder with Burrs
The best alternative to grinding your coffee beans in a spice grinder is to purchase a coffee grinder. These are relatively inexpensive on most websites or stores. When browsing the selection of coffee grinders, you’ll want to check to see if the grinder has blades or burrs.
Blades can grind coffee beans, but burrs are better for this task. Since many spice grinders are marketed as coffee grinders, double-checking that the grinder has burrs is necessary to get a product that will work well for you.
Buy Pre-Ground Coffee
Buying pre-ground coffee may not be an ideal alternative, but it is an alternative nonetheless. To avoid having to wash your spice grinder after every use for fear of your coffee tasting like spices and vice versa, purchasing pre-ground coffee can save you the hassle.
Freshly ground coffee is fantastic, so purchasing pre-ground beans probably won’t be a favorite alternative. But it’s a good idea, at least in the meantime, while you decide what a better solution would be for you.
Buy a Spice Grinder Only for Coffee Beans
If you love how your spice grinder grinds coffee beans, you can always buy one that you’ll use only for coffee beans. Having a spice grinder that you use for spices and a spice grinder you use for coffee beans will help prevent any flavor contamination.