Coffee Facts

Where To Grind Coffee Beans For Free

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Ahh, coffee. The best smell for a coffee connoisseur, like yourself, to wake up to, and the best drink to get your morning off to a good start. Now, later in the day, you want to want a cup of coffee for an afternoon boost, but realize all you have are coffee beans and no coffee grounds. Not sure what to do? This article is for you.

Places That Will Let You Grind Your Coffee Beans For Free

Some stores and coffee shops will let you take your coffee beans in and grind them for free. Higher bracket places have the exception, though, that the coffee beans need to be purchased from their store or be a brand they sell.

Starbucks

Starbucks is the most widely known coffee chain in the United States. They offer the option for you to grind your coffee beans for free if the coffee beans are Starbucks coffee beans. You can’t bring in coffee from grocery stores. 

This is because they use the same grinder to grind their famous coffee beans as they use to grind your coffee beans. They have a certain level of integrity to uphold. If they grind any random non-Starbucks brand coffee beans in their grinders, the remnants of that brand will mix in, and the difference would compromise the quality and taste of their universal grind.

That being said, I have found a couple of times that if you go in at the right time, usually right before closing, they’ll do you a favor and grind your nonbrand coffee beans. This is because they clean their coffee machines every night at closing time, so if you get there right before then, you should be able to get your coffee beans ground.

Costco

Believe it or not, Costco Wholesale Warehouse will allow you to grind your coffee beans for free. Depending on the Costco you shop at, you may find coffee grinders provided in their stores so that consumers can grind their coffee beans when they buy them in bulk.

These stations are usually unmonitored, so it is up to you to grind them, but there are instructions printed on the grinders so that you can grind your coffee beans just the way you want them. If you still don’t understand the process or want someone to help you, reach out to an employee. 

Unlike Starbucks, you can come into the store with any brand of coffee and have them ground. I feel the only downside to this is that you do not know how often the grinders get cleaned or what has gone through them. That could change the overall flavor of the coffee beans you want ground. So it might be worth asking a Costco employee to clean the grinder before you use it.

Wal-Mart

Everyone has a Wal-Mart nearby; this is the beauty of their brand. They also have coffee grinders in their stores that you can use for free. You can usually find the grinder station in the aisle with their coffee products. 

Many grocery stores have the same setup in their coffee aisles. If you can’t find a coffee grinder in the coffee aisle and purchased some coffee beans, you may want to ask the delicatessen or bakery employees what options you have.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of having a coffee bean grinder varies from store to store. If you are in a bind and don’t want to make an unnecessary trip to a store that may or may not have a coffee grinder, give them a call to find out before you go. 

Local Coffee Shops

You also have the option to go to one of your local coffee stores to get your coffee beans ground. Usually, it is best to be a regular customer at the coffee shop you are visiting. If not, they may charge you to grind your coffee beans. 

In my experience, it’s all about timing. If you go to your local coffee shop when they are not busy, they will have no problem grinding your coffee beans. But in a pickle, I have had to pay a time or two to get it done. It’s usually not an actual item on their register, but instead, you have to buy coffee beans from their stock, then they will grind both bags for you. 

Coffee Grinders

Another option to consider if you don’t have a proper coffee grinder is to buy one. If you’re like me and understand the benefit of getting coffee beans and not ground coffee, investing in a coffee grinder is a great option.

Amazon, Costco, Walmart, and more all have quality coffee grinders a true coffee lover can purchase for a low price. Even though you’re paying for your coffee beans to be ground up at this point, in the long run, the money you can save on gas alone will add up to the cost of a coffee grinder. 

Of course, if you’re already at the store where you buy your coffee beans, then, by all means, have them ground there. If you already do that and you don’t have to go out of your way, then maybe you can get away with not buying a coffee grinder. That’s a win-win in my eyes.

Last Resort

If you find yourself at a point that you can’t leave to go to a place that will grind your coffee beans for you or have a grinder you can use, there are still some options you have at home.

I like to call these my last resort options for those times when I have no other choice. A few household items can easily do the trick to grind your coffee beans. You might need some plastic baggies to contain the beans on a flat surface, but a few options are:

  • Hammer or rubber mallet
  • Wine bottle
  • Meat tenderizer
  • Rolling pin
  • Food processor, bullet blender, or regular blender
  • The flat side of a knife

These are unorthodox but efficient ways to grind your coffee beans if you have no other options.

Grinding Coffee Beans

Wrapping Things Up

Coffee lovers have to stick together, and more often than not, wherever you decide to take your coffee beans to be ground, they will help you out. 

Whether you choose to buy a coffee grinder or not, you still have options to get your coffee beans ready for that delicious brew!

Happy Caffeinating!

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