Will Starbucks Grind Coffee For You? (Read This Before Trying)

Picture this, you’re spending the weekend at your in-law’s house and you wake up tired after having spent the night in an uncomfortable, foreign bed. Good thing you brought some fresh and delicious whole bean coffee. 

Not so fast. Your in-laws don’t have a coffee grinder. They are satisfied with stale, old pre-ground coffee. How are you going to grind all these beans? The question pops up in your head: “Will Starbucks grind my coffee?”

Starbucks’ are pretty much everywhere and they do have commercial-grade burr grinders. (By the way, if you are looking for an affordable burr grinder that works great, consider one of these two brands!

Guess what, you’re in luck, Starbucks will grind your coffee. 

Yes, you heard that right, Starbucks will grind your coffee FOR FREE. But there’s a catch. Starbucks won’t just grind any coffee. 

Starbucks Will Grind Your Coffee But There Are Exceptions

Starbucks coffee cups

Starbucks will be happy to grind your coffee for free but there are rules to what they can grind. 

Will Starbucks Grind Coffee Outside Of Their Brand For You?

No, Starbucks will only grind its own brand. Now, this isn’t because Starbucks is greedy. In fact, there is a very good reason why they do this. 

The Starbucks grinders grind a huge amount of coffee every day. The oils from those coffees are well infused into those grinders. Placing grounds from other brands into those grinders will introduce foreign coffee oils that are not consistent with Starbucks coffee.

Starbucks has a reputation to uphold and this could hurt the brand if a customer tastes a flavor they don’t expect with the Starbucks coffee they ordered!

Bottom line, if you buy your coffee beans at Starbucks they will grind them for you.

The Coffee Bag Must Be Sealed And Unopened

If a coffee bag is open there is no quality assurance with the beans. 

Foreign objects could have been added, the beans could be inconsistent. Not only does this add to the problem we described above with the reputation of Starbucks coffee, but these unknown coffee beans could cause damage to the machine. 

Make sure your coffee bag is factory sealed before going to your local Starbucks!

Your Coffee Beans Must Not Be Expired

If you want Starbucks to grind their coffee beans for you, make sure they are not expired. Even if it’s factory sealed, it must not have passed that expiration date. 

Why does Starbucks care so much? Well, one could argue it’s just another corporate rule. The expiration period is like a guarantee for the beans, and they don’t want to mess around with going outside that guaranteed period. 

But there’s another explanation, expired beans can run the risk of releasing excessive amounts of oil which could theoretically damage an automatic grinder. Here’s an article I wrote that explains why old coffee beans can become oily.

No Coffee Beans Flavored with Additives

Starbucks also won’t grind coffee beans that are flavored with additives such as vanilla or caramel. This is due to the same reason why they won’t grind coffee beans that aren’t Starbucks beans, it can contaminate the flavors of the other beans they grind. 

Other Things To Consider Before Going To Starbucks To Grind Your Coffee Beans

Know What Kind Of Grind You Want Before Going In

Starbucks has a universal grind which they claim “delivers optimal flavor and maximizes convenience.” They say you can use this grind for electric drip coffee makers and coffee presses. 

If you don’t specify your grind size, you will probably end up with this universal grind. If you are unsure what the best grind size is for you, you will probably be safe with the universal grind. 

But let’s talk about grind size. What is the best grind size for the kind of coffee you want to enjoy? 

Well generally speaking your coarser grinds are going to be used brew methods like your French presses and cold brews. Think of methods that involve grounds sitting in water. 

Your medium range of grounds will be used for pour-over, drip, and household coffee makers. Less interaction with water, so a finer grind is needed. 

And finally, the fine range of grinding will be for your espressos that involve a short burst of hot pressurized water. 

This is a very generalized description, but it will give you an idea of what to ask for. Honestly, if you just tell the barista how you will be brewing your coffee, they will know what to do. 

Don’t Go During Peak Times

Avoid going to Starbucks to grind your coffee beans during their rush hours. When they are busy they won’t have the time to grind your coffee and will probably outright refuse that service.

Starbucks can get super busy and I’m sure we have all seen how swamped their baristas get when orders are backed up. 

Check peak times by googling your local Starbucks coffee shop!

Starbucks peak times

Does Starbucks Grind Coffee From Costco?

As long as the coffee beans you buy from Costco are Starbucks, unopened, and not expired, Starbucks will grind them for you. 

But keep in mind, Starbucks from Costco or Sams Clubs comes in very large sizes. If you plan on grinding that whole bag, really make sure you go when that Starbucks location is not busy!

Will Target Starbucks Grind Your Coffee For You?

Yes, they will.

Any Starbucks with a coffee grinder will grind your Starbucks coffee for free. Keep in mind that because it’s attached to a store, the peak times won’t be your typical Starbucks peak times. They will coincide with the peak times of the store!

Starbucks Won’t Grind Your Coffee Beans? Take Them Elsewhere.

If Starbucks won’t grind your coffee beans, whether that’s because it’s not a Starbucks brand or the bag is not sealed, take it to a different coffee shop! 

Local coffee shops will have their own policies, but you will find that they are usually more willing to grind your beans no matter what the brand is. As long as they are not too busy.

No corporate bureaucracy with across the board rules.

Also, grocery stores often have coffee grinders that you could potentially use as long as you ask. 

Conclusion: Will Starbucks Grind My Coffee?

They absolutely will. However, you need to make sure that you are only bringing in Starbucks brand coffee, the bag is factory sealed, and the coffee is not expired.

Your best bet is to invest in a good burr coffee grinder, because you really want to be grinding coffee right before you brew it. However, in a pinch, you can always drive to your local Starbucks and ask them.

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