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Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor?

According to numerous coffee experts, it is advisable to meet certain measurements and standards when brewing coffee. Sometimes, these standards make the entire brewing process a little complicated. A drink that should be fun to prepare may feel like it needs laboratory expertise to get right. This is especially true when it comes to grinding coffee beans.

grind coffee beans with food processor

Coffee snobs argue that you must have a manual or electric burr grinder to get a perfect cup of coffee. However, this does not mean you cannot brew coffee from coffee grounds prepared with a blade grinder or other coffee grinding alternatives. With that said, can you grind coffee beans in a food processor?

Probably, your manual burr grinder has malfunctioned or there is no electricity to use an electric burr grinder. Sometimes, you may have bought whole coffee beans mistakenly when all you wanted was pre-ground coffee. In such circumstances, what are you supposed to do? Read on for further details on whether you can use a food processor to grind coffee beans.


How is a Coffee Grinder Different From a Food Processor?

A food processor and a coffee grinder work differently. Essentially, a burr coffee grinder uses burrs to break and crush the beans into consistent grounds. The burrs have an abrasive surface that ensures you get a finer grind size, which is ideal for brewing coffee with an Aeropress, Moka pot, espresso maker, or making Turkish coffee. Consistent grounds allow for more efficient extraction. Thus, you get a morning cup of coffee with a smoother, stronger, and bolder flavor.

On the contrary, a food processor shreds food with the help of sharp blades. It works like a blade coffee grinder. Thus, it will grind beans into a coarser grind. The grounds will be inconsistent. Coarse grounds are more suitable for brewing with the Chemex brewer, percolator, and the French press.


So Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor?

It is possible to grind coffee beans in your food processor. The sharp blades will help in cutting and grinding the beans. Although it produces coarse grounds, you can get finer grounds by running the processor longer.

However, the grounds will not be uniform in size, which can make it challenging to make coffee with brewing methods that require finer grounds.  Whether you are using a Ninja food processor, Magic Bullet, or a mini chopper, they can all get the coffee bean grinding job done.


How to Grind Coffee Beans With Your Food Processor

To successfully grind your coffee beans in a food processor, you will need various items including:

  • Food processor
  • Paper towels
  • Roasted coffee beans
  • Sieve
  • Small empty container

The reason why you grind coffee beans is to increase their surface area for enhanced extraction when brewing. Ground coffee has more contact with water, hence easier extraction. When grinding coffee beans with a food processor you often get an inconsistent grind size, which leads to poor extraction. Luckily for you, we will show you how to grind coffee beans more consistently with a food processor. Here is how to get it done:

  1. First, put a few coffee beans in your food processor. Grind them in short bursts. Shake them between each short burst. Use the pulse setting for better results. You can press the pulse button 3 to 5 times. If your food processor lucks the pulse function, grind the beans for 1 to 2 seconds and stop. Shake and grind again for 1 to 2 seconds until you get the grind size you want.
  2. Next, empty the grounds into a bowl through a sieve into a small container. Finer coffee grounds will sift through whereas coarser grounds will be left behind. Return the coarse grounds to the food processor. Grind them again for about 3 to 5 pulses.
  3. Sift again and grind any coarse grounds left. Repeat until you are left with enough fine grounds.

Also, remember the longer you grind the beans in your food processor, the finer the size of the grounds. To get coarse grounds, grind the beans for a short period like 2 seconds. For a medium grind size, grind the beans for about 2 seconds and sift the grounds through a standard sieve.

For a fine grind size, grind the beans longer and use a fine sieve to sift them. Regrind the remaining grounds every time you sieve them and grind them again to a medium or fine grind size as needed.

Since food processors are typically used for blending various foods, they may retain flavors that can be introduced into your ground coffee. Thus, clean and dry your food processor thoroughly to remove any remnant smells before grinding your whole coffee beans. Also, clean the food processor after grinding coffee beans to remove any remnant coffee smells.



While a burr grinder is the best tool for grinding coffee beans into consistent grounds, sometimes, you may have no other option but to use other means to grind coffee beans. So can you grind coffee beans in a food processor? Yes, you can. You just need to employ a few hacks to get consistent grounds from your food processor. Most importantly, pay special attention to the grinding time and only grind in short bursts. Always sieve the finer grounds and regrind the coarse grounds until you get your preferred grind size.


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