When you grind coffee beans, volatile oils are released. These oils are responsible for coffee's aroma and flavor. Grinding the beans just before brewing preserves the oils and produces a richer, more flavorful cup. Unfortunately, grinding coffee requires some equipment. A standard coffee mill is inexpensive and operates on the same mechanical principles as your blender: a blade spins at high speed in the bottom of a canister, crushing the beans into a powder.
If you don't have a dedicated coffee mill, your blender will do the trick.
Measure the Beans
The ratio of coffee to water helps determine the quality of the finished coffee. Too little coffee or too much water, and the coffee will be disappointingly weak. Too much coffee, and the brew will be bitter and unappetizing. The most accurate way to measure coffee beans is by weight. Use 15 grams, or 0.5 ounces, of coffee per 8-ounce cup. Measuring the coffee by weight rather than volume allows you to accurately measure the beans before grinding, rather than grinding what you guess is the right amount of beans and then measuring a teaspoon or two of coffee grounds.
Grind in Pulses
The biggest difference between a household blender and a coffee mill is the size of the canister. In a standard sized blender, the coffee beans will fly around the canister rather than staying down near the blade where they will be pulverized. To solve this problem, grind the beans in several short pulses on your blender's ice crush setting. This will maximize the amount of time the beans spend near the blades.
When the beans are ground, detach the blender jar and blade mechanism from the blender and turn the whole apparatus upside down so the ground coffee falls into the jar. Unscrew the blade mechanism.
- For the most flavorful cup, brew your coffee immediately after you've ground the beans.
- To store ground coffee, keep it in an airtight container away from heat and light.