Can Coffee Grinders Grind Spices?

Coffee grinders are a staple in many kitchens. The primary function of coffee grinders is to create freshly ground coffee.

Yes, they can also be used for other purposes such as grinding spices. It’s normally recommended for grinding dry spices such as nutmeg, cardamom, cumin, and flux seeds.

Coffee grinders work by crushing the beans into smaller pieces and exposing them to more surface area.

The grinding allows for more flavor extraction. This is how they make great-tasting coffee.

The same principle applies when using a grinder for your favorite spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.

Two coffee grinders

Can You Grind Herbs in A Coffee Grinder?

Like spices, you’re able to grind several types of herbs with a coffee grinder. Most appliances come with more than one jar, giving you the flexibility to grind more than one item.

The thing about using a coffee grinder for your spices and herbs is the fact that it does not create static electricity.

This means all of those little bits will stay in the container instead of flying out into your kitchen.

However, there is a downside to grinding herbs in your coffee grinder.

You will find that the oils and flavors of the herb do not stay intact as well when ground up this way.  

Another disadvantage is that some spices and herbs tend to leave residue and build up in the grinder.

Also, you may need to often clean the machine every time you’re grinding a different item to prevent cross-contamination, which can be a challenge.

For example, if you were going for something like an Italian dish with lots of basil flavor (like pesto), grinding up the basil in your coffee grinder may not give you as much flavor as a food processor would.

Bottom line, if you're just looking to grind herbs into powder for use with recipes that don't require tons of herb and spices, then it's fine to do so in your coffee grinder. If you want a more intense flavor from your herbs, then a food processor is the way to go.

History of Coffee Grinders

Let’s start with a brief history lesson about coffee grinders.

Coffee grinders were first invented in Germany by an inventor named Melitta Bentzner-Muhlert. He created them to be used to grind coffee beans.

One of the original models can still be found at the Smithsonian Institute.

Manual historical coffee grinder

The first electric coffee grinders were introduced in 1939.

Then by 1940, they had become standard household items. It’s important to note that one of these was even patented!

The invention of a coffee grinder opened up many possibilities for cooking with herbs and spices as well – including using it to grind them so you can cook with them.

If you have a coffee grinder, it can be used to grind up your herbs into powder form so that they’re easier to work with.

You may also find yourself using fewer herbs if you are grinding sauces or soups. This is because you know exactly how much you are using.


Coffee grinders are versatile and can be used to grind coffee beans, herbs, and spices. However, it is recommended to only grind dry spices to prevent damage.

If you’re looking for more intense flavors, it’s better to use a food processor. Avoid grinding your ingredients with a coffee grinder.

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