So, you’re that guy. And by that, I mean that you’re one of two guys:
You took the plunge, ditched the pre-ground coffee in a plastic barrel, and joined the true coffee die-hards by buying your first bag of whole beans. And, it turns out, you forgot to buy a grinding device.
You’ve been one of those coffee die-hards in scenario 1, this is your 267th bag of whole beans (you’ve kept track using a spreadsheet), and your trusty conventional coffee grinder (probably from Kickstarter) just broke. And, completely unwilling to pop down to the local coffee shop to get a new electric coffee grinder because you have perfectly good beans at home, you’re desperate for a cup of coffee.
Look, no one’s judging you. We’ve all had coffee emergencies before when a professional burr coffee grinder was nowhere to be found. But, perhaps the Magic Bullet is, well, actually the magic solution to the grinding process. Or, maybe it isn’t. So, crank up that Magic Bullet, pray to the caffeine gods, and do your darndest to get the perfect grind for your espresso coffee.
What’s a Magic Bullet?
A Magic Bullet is a mini-blender that operates much like a blade grinder. The food processing apparatus is smaller than the average pulverizing pitcher, and it’s perfect for chopping just a handful of nuts, making single-serving frozen drinks, or grinding up peppercorns and other food items.
While there are a variety of small blenders and food processors out there, Magic Bullet has become a household name. Just like all slow cookers are Crock Pots, compact blenders are generally referred to as Magic Bullets. It’s not fancy: it’s just a small blender.
Sure, there are benefits to using a Magic Bullet to grind your coffee beans into ground coffee if you don’t have a proper coffee grinder. Convenience, the pull of multi-purpose kitchen tools, and ease of use are just a few of the Magic Bullets highlights.
It’s Already in the Cabinet
If you’re new to the whole coffee grinding thing, you either didn’t realize you needed a regular coffee grinder, or you don’t want to go out and buy another small kitchen gadget to clog up your precious cabinet space. If you already have a Magic Bullet, you’ll make it through this bag of beans in no time.
As early as 1958, researchers had determined that a prime selling point of any product was convenience. Would the product be convenient to use? Would it be easy to clean and replace, a tedious task previously done by hand? The Magic Bullet certainly meets all of those criteria, and if you’re new to the grinding scene, it’s a low barrier to entry to get started.
I Don’t Want Another Thing
Kitchen gadgets have a way of piling up, and the fact that a more outlandish one is released every day doesn’t help matters. You could be thinking, “I don’t want to buy another oddly specific tool for this one beverage that I make.” An utterly reasonable conclusion, especially if you already have an apple corer, a fondue pot, a salad spinner, and a whole drawer full of frosting tips.
Whether you’re looking to save money, cut back on your gadget-hoarding, or contribute less to throw-away culture, using a tool you already have for something as simple as grinding coffee beans for drip coffee is a no-brainer. If that citrus juicer is already taking up enough space, consider passing up the grinder for a tool you already have.
Coffee Grinders Are Complicated…
Well, they’re not. But, if you’re intimidated by the wide selection of proper burr coffee grinders out there, Magic Bullet coffee grinding might just be in your wheelhouse.
While coffee grinders are becoming simpler and more streamlined, putting your grinder together or using the grind adjustment settings might sound daunting, especially if you’ve never ground whole beans before. In that case, the Magic Bullet is an affordable option that can help you. You’ve already used it, so you’ll probably get the results that you expect.
The coffee experience can be intimidating. If grinding gives you goosebumps, try using a more familiar tool to get the hang of it.
While Magic Bullet coffee grinding is an accessible, convenient, and user-friendly grinding method, it has drawbacks. Anything with a motor can fail, and you will not have the consistency of coffee grinds you are looking for. If you’re able to buy one, a grinder devoted explicitly to coffee beans is the superior choice every time.
Burnt Out Motors: Another One Bites the Dust
One of the most commonly reported issues with the Magic Bullet and devices like them is the probability that your device’s motor will burn out. If your Bullet’s motor burns out, you’ll likely notice a burnt-rubber or smoky stench, and (worst case scenario) the base of your blending device will begin to emit a milky grey smoke. Fun!
Unfortunately, small blender motors burn out pretty frequently. Depending on the quality of your product (did you go for the off-brand Mystical Dagger instead of the Magic Bullet?), your device could become disposable, and fast.
A perk of manual grinders is that they don’t have motors to burn out on a particularly aggressive batch of espresso beans. A manual burr grinder is easy to use, and you don’t even have to plug it in!
When you’re choosing the grind size for your beans, the size must be consistent throughout the entire batch. Different grind sizes are optimal for each type of brew, so it’s important to choose the correct size for optimal flavor. Swap out the cross blade with a flat blade used for processing nuts, and you might get a consistent coarse grind for your French press coffee maker.
Your Magic Bullet, while easy to use, likely won’t have grinder adjustment settings for adjusting grain size if you’re grinding coffee beans. Not only would this be a pretty strange option, but your Magic Bullet’s primary purpose isn’t to be a coffee bean grinder. As a result, you’ll likely end up with inconsistent grains or a grain size that’s not correct for the brewing methods you will use for your type of coffee.
The size customization of professional coffee grinders allows users to experiment and fiddle with the texture of ground beans until they achieve their ideal level of taste. This capability is especially important for people new to grinding their own beans. The customization of coffee grind size is yet another coffee characteristic that pre-ground buyers can discover upon exiting Plato’s cave.
So, Can I Grind Coffee with my Magic Bullet?
Yes, you can grind coffee beans with your Magic Bullet. You would do better with a manual coffee grinder with actual grinder settings, but you’re perfectly within your rights to use this affordable grinding option if your current coffee grinder dies. However, ought you try using a Magic Bullet blender for coffee grinding? The coffee lovers among us would likely scoff at the suggestion.
But don’t let the snobs and coffee enthusiasts fool you. We were all novice baristas once, and grinding your own beans is often a novice’s first step out of JV and into varsity. If the Magic Bullet was a coffee grinder alternative in the early days of your grinding journey to get freshly ground coffee, then stand by your carafe of coffee proudly. If the coffee tastes good, you’re already on the right track.