Can You Grind Coffee Beans In A Food Processor?

Coffee is the most popular drink in America, with adults reporting that they prefer the energizing brew to tea, soft drinks, and bottled water (via Statista). According to the National Coffee Association, coffee consumption hit a 20-year high in 2022, with 66% of Americans reaching for a cup of joe every day.

There are many ways to prepare your coffee, from more recent brewing techniques like using a Keurig, to more old-fashioned methods like the pour-over. No matter how you brew, a good cup of homemade coffee starts with the coffee beans. But should you buy them pre-ground or grind them yourself?

Flavor and cost-effectiveness suggest that grinding your own beans is best. Whole beans last longer than ground beans, according to Masterclass, so you can store them at home for longer without worrying too much about freshness. In addition, Masterclass notes that once the coffee is ground, the process by which it goes stale ramps up, so buying whole beans in bulk can be the most economical option.

Additionally, according to the New York Times, freshly grinding your beans immediately before brewing provides the best flavor and overall coffee experience. Imagine how much freshness has worn off those coffee grounds that have been sitting on grocery shelves for weeks.

But what if you don't have a coffee grinder handy? Don't rush out to buy one. The creative solution to your fresh-ground dilemma might already be in your kitchen.

Getting creative with your appliances

Your food processor is perfect for chopping vegetables and making homemade bread crumbs, but is it a suitable replacement for a coffee grinder? According to Allrecipes, both your blender and food processor can stand in to grind your whole coffee beans into something brewable. However, Allrecipes explains that pulsing your coffee in the food processor might work better than the blender because the beans have extra space to move around, resulting in a more even grind.

While your food processor can help you in a pinch, if you're a big coffee lover, you might want to invest in a grinder. One reason is that the machine intended to do the job gives you more control over the consistency and size of the grounds you'll end up with (via Blue Bottle Coffee). And when it comes to coffee grounds, size definitely matters.

According to Starbucks, a coarser grind is best when using a coffee press, a medium grind is the go-to for a drip coffee machine, and a fine grind is perfect for a pour-over. It's all about how much time the water interacts with the grounds, extracting flavor and flowing into your cup or pot (via CNET).

Whether you use a coffee grinder or food processor or just buy your beans pre-ground, you can head to our extensive coffee guide to learn more about making the perfect cup.