Can You Regrind Coffee Beans? The Answer Might Surprise You!

By Harry •  Updated: 05/15/22 •  9 min read

Do you like coffee? (duh, who doesn’t?) Do you like saving money? (double duh!) Then listen up, because today we’re talking about whether or not you can regrind coffee beans to save yourself a little cash.

Spoiler alert: the answer is Yes! Keep reading to learn more.

Can Every Grinder Regrind Coffee Beans?

The quick answer is no, not every grinder can successfully regrind coffee beans.

To save you the trouble (and heartache) of trying to grind your beans only to have them come out as a disaster, I’ve tested and found the best two types of grinders for regrinding coffee beans.

Most grinders can be classified as either burr grinders or blade grinders. Burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces (burrs) to crush the beans, while blade grinders have a single spinning blade that chops up the beans.

In general, burr grinders do a better job grinding coffee beans than blade grinders. This is because they produce a more consistent grind, which is important for making a good cup of coffee.

Blade grinders are usually cheaper than burr grinders, but they’re not as good at grinding coffee beans.

Now we have manual and electric grinders. Manual grinders are great if you’re only grinding a small amount of coffee, but they can be a pain if you’re trying to grind a lot of beans.

Electric grinders are much faster and easier to use, but they tend to heat the beans, which can affect the taste of your coffee.

Let’s go over electric and manual grinders in more detail.

1. Using A Manual Coffee Grinder.

A manual coffee grinder is exactly what it sounds like – a grinder that you operate by hand. Manual grinders are typically less expensive than electric grinders, and they’re also more portable.

If you’re only grinding a small amount of coffee, a manual grinder is a great option. But if you’re trying to grind a lot of beans, it can be a bit of a pain.

To regrind coffee beans using a hand coffee grinder, simply unscrew the top of the grinder to access the beans. Add the desired amount of beans and screw the top back on. Then, hold the grinder in one hand and use the other hand to twist the handle.

As you twist the handle, the beans will be grinded finer and finer. Stop grinding when the beans are at the desired consistency.

Coarse coffee grounds will require a bit more time to grind than fine coffee grounds, but you can always add more beans if you need to.

2. Using An Electric Coffee Grinder.

An electric coffee grinder is a bit more complicated than a manual grinder, but it’s also more powerful. Electric grinders typically have settings that allow you to choose how coarse or fine you want your coffee grounds to be.

To regrind coffee beans in an electric grinder, simply put the beans in the grinder and choose your desired setting. Do it in short bursts so you don’t overheat the beans and damage their flavor. Once the beans are ground to your liking, remove them from the grinder and enjoy!

Regrinding coarse ground coffee will be easier with an electric grinder than a manual grinder, but it will still take some time and effort. The key is to go slowly and not overdo it.

Why Regrind Coffee Beans?

So now that we know how to regrind coffee beans, you might be wondering why you would want to. After all, it’s more work than just buying pre-ground coffee, right?

Well, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider regrinding your coffee beans.

1. To Make All The Grinds Even.

If you’re using a blade grinder, your coffee grounds will likely be of varying sizes. This can make it difficult to brew a consistent cup of coffee.

By regrinding your coffee beans, you can make all the grinds more even, which will help improve the taste of your coffee.

2. To Adjust The Grind Size.

The grind size of your coffee beans can have a big impact on the taste of your coffee. If the grinds are too coarse, the coffee will be weak. If the grinds are too fine, the coffee will be bitter.

If you’re not happy with the taste of your coffee, you can try adjusting the grind size by regrinding your coffee beans.

3. To Get More Coffee From Your Beans.

If you’re using expensive coffee beans, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of them. One way to do this is to regrind the beans so that you can extract more flavor from them.

4. To Regrind Pre-Ground Coffee.

Yes, you can regrind pre-ground coffee! If the coffee has a coarse grind, you can regrind it to make it finer. This can help with the extraction process and make the coffee taste better.

Tips For Regrinding Coffee Beans

Now that you know why you might want to regrind coffee beans, here are a few tips to help you do it right.

1. Use A Good Grinder.

If you’re going to be regrinding coffee beans, you need to use a good grinder. A blade grinder is not going to cut it. You need to use a burr grinder if you want to get evenly ground coffee.

2. Don’t Overdo It.

When you’re regrinding coffee beans, it’s easy to overdo it. If you grind the beans for too long, they will start to turn into powder. This is not even good for espresso, let alone regular coffee.

3. Know Your Beans.

Not all beans are created equal. Some beans are more suited for grinding than others. If you’re not sure what kind of bean you have, it’s best to consult with a professional or do some research online.

4. Store Properly.

Once you’ve ground your coffee beans, you need to store them properly. Coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

5. Use Freshly Ground Beans.

Once you’ve ground your coffee beans, it’s important to use them as soon as possible. The longer they sit, the more flavor they lose.

Important: If you’re going to be regrinding coffee beans, make sure you do it right. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Why Should You Grind Your Coffee Beans Fresh?

Let’s be honest: For most of us, the answer to this question is, “because it tastes better.” But, does grinding your coffee beans right before you brew make a significant difference in taste compared with grinding them ahead of time? And if so, how do we know?

Curious about these questions myself recently, I set out to discover whether fresh-ground beans do produce better-tasting java—and why.

As it turns out, several factors play into the equation that determines just how much difference freshly ground beans can make on flavor. Let’s start at the beginning and unpack each of those variables.

Beans begin losing flavorful essential oils almost as soon as they’re roasted and exposed to air. The oils are what give roasted coffee its aroma.

They also enable us to distinguish between different coffees apart from the flavor of their basic ingredients—the beans, which are all pretty much the same thing.

As soon as beans are ground, however, they begin to lose these oils at a dramatic rate due to exposure to air and other elements.

So, for example, if you grind 36 grams of beans into the grinder’s internal bowl but only use 12 grams in your brewing process that day, then 24 grams of those precious oils have escaped into the atmosphere by the time you’re ready for your next brew! 

Since this oil loss occurs within 15 minutes after grinding, it seems all too obvious that freshness is an important factor when it comes to coffee aroma. There’s a distinct difference in the way different coffees taste when they are freshly ground vs. on their second or third day after being roasted.  

Let me first say that the more you use the same bean, the more familiar it will taste—even on its first day! That’s because you’re learning to appreciate subtle sweetnesses and sour notes that may not have been there before you drank multiple cups of it over time.

This is why people generally find old-favorite brands of coffee enjoyable year after year, no matter how much better new varieties are said to be.

Yet, there is still a clear difference between beans freshly ground for optimal flavor and those that have aged even two days.

Fresh-ground beans taste better due to exposure to oxygen as soon as you open their packaging. Once you remove coffee from its original package—whether it’s a can or baggie—it’s on borrowed time.

All coffee contains very small amounts of naturally occurring gases (carbon dioxide and nitrogen) which dissolve into its essential oils and give it some shelf life.

This phenomenon is called “the retronasal effect”—that, when we smell coffee but also drink it as well, the aromas tickle our palate.

Coffee loses its freshness faster during warmer months because heat accelerates oxidation—the breakdown of essential oils by enzymes in the air which turns compounds into other forms.

You might think that warmer weather would make for a more pleasant experience in terms of the aroma and taste of coffee, but this is not necessarily true. Higher temperatures can make beans lose their flavor faster.

Final Thoughts

So, can you regrind coffee beans? Yes, you can. But should you? That’s up to you.

I hope this article has helped give you a better understanding of what regrinding coffee beans entail and the pros and cons associated with it.

If you decide to give it a try, be sure to follow our tips for grinding them fresh! And if you want more information on grind sizes and how they impact your brewing results, download our free grind size cheat sheet today.

Harry

Harry is the founder of The Coffee Wave. He is an expert at grinding coffee and he drinks at least 5 cups of coffee a day! His mission is to make coffee grinding easy for everyone and each year he helps thousands of readers with grind size, types of grinders, and more.