Brewing coffee at home is quite affordable, and using fresh ground beans is amazing. But buying a bulky, expensive, and underwhelming electric coffee grinder is not amazing. Manual coffee grinders are less expensive and have a small footprint, but they are painfully slow to use if you’re making a lot of coffee. That is why I switched to fresh drilled coffee beans. Read below to see how you can use common household items that you probably already have to power a manual coffee grinder. All you’ll need is:
1. A manual coffee grinder
I have chosen the Hario Skerton Pro because it’s hexagonal grinder shaft fits a 7mm socket. This ceramic burr grinder is also solidly built and achieves a good grind quality for the price.
(Note: if you buy or have a different model with a threaded grinder shaft, you can still make this method work–see my explanation in the comments below)
2. A 7mm socket and adapter for your power drill
If you own a metric socket set, chances are you already have the right size socket and adapter. If not, you can add these items to your cart:
(Note: you need the socket and the adapter)
3. A power drill
Simply install the 7mm socket and adapter into the drill, remove the handle from the grinder, and then use the drill to power the grinder instead. This will reduce the grinding time substantially, to the point where owning a manual coffee grinder is practical for day-to-day use. Depending on the beans and grind size you choose, you may need to periodically shake the grinder to feed beans to the burr. When using the drill, make sure it is set for clockwise rotation, use low speed and torque settings, and follow the drill’s operating and safety instructions. If you are grinding a lot at once, take a break to allow the grinder to cool down. High temperatures can damage the burr (and the coffee). If you don’t own a drill but were going to buy one anyway, here is a good option:
(Note: if you don’t own or need to own a drill, the drilled coffee method may not be cheaper than just buying an electric coffee grinder)
4. Coffee beans and coffee bean storage
We buy beans in bulk at Costco and then use the canisters below to keep them fresh. Sure the canisters are an upfront expense, but there is no point in freshly grinding stale beans.
5. Coffee maker
Coffee makers, like coffee beans, are a matter of preference. I really enjoy the AeroPress linked below because it is small, easy to clean, and doesn’t add another appliance to the kitchen. Just use the stove, microwave, or an electric kettle to heat the water and add it to the coffee grounds in the AeroPress.
Making coffee at home will save you lots of money compared to buying it at a coffee shop. You can use the list above to make delicious coffee at a low price and with a small footprint in your kitchen. But there are other added benefits:
- You eliminate two appliances–the electric coffee grinder and maker–from your kitchen.
- You get more usage out of your power drill, which likely sits idle most of the time. Just make sure you knock any sawdust or drywall off the drill before using it to grind coffee.
- You can easily bring the manual coffee grinder (remember the handle) and AeroPress on trips.
- You start the day off with a FI-conscious cup of coffee and set yourself up for frugal choices throughout the day.
- You get to keep a power drill in the kitchen, which makes for great conversation when you have guests over.