10 June 2010

What to do with leftover coffee

Leftover coffee - a hellish concept really. Now, I know you probably don't ever have coffee leftover in your pot in the morning, but let's assume, for argument's sake, that it does occasionally happen. For instance, you get a couple of boxes of coffee from Starbucks for your buddies at work, and somehow manage to be the only coffee drinker in the room. It's not really healthy to drink 20+ cups yourself in a day, so if you don't figure something out soon, all that precious bean juice will just go to waste!

The idea of just pouring it down the drain seems ghastly, and frankly, should be punished with thumbscrews, or some equally heinous Medieval torture device befitting a crime of this magnitude. In order to keep all your limbs intact, here's a list of ways to use up that box o' joe.

Chill Out

First thing that comes to my mind: coffee cubes. They're like ice cubes, but less likely to destroy a refreshing chilled coffee beverage with excess water. All you need to do is pour some cooled coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze. I recommend putting the tray in a plastic zipper bag before freezing. Freezers are notorious for funky smells, and coffee soaks those smells up like a sponge.

Down Home Cookin'

Another popular use for coffee is red eye gravy. Get your cast iron skillet roaring, and crisp up a nice, salty ham steak. Sprinkle in some flour, then deglaze with some nice strong coffee. Pour it all over some biscuits, and you've got yourself a rib-stickin' Southern delicacy right there.

Get Baked

Baked goods, especially the ones with chocolate, can always be improved with a little java. Add it to chocolate cake, brownies, or even chocolate chip cookies, and the chocolate's flavor has so much more dimension. For those who don't like coffee, or mocha, number one: I don't get you, and number two: only adding a few tablespoons of the black stuff will add some zing to your treats, without an obvious coffee flavor. It will just make the chocolate more chocolate-y.

Chill out (again)

Got a lot of left overs? Shame on you! But, you can be redeemed by making coffee granita. Just sweeten your liquid, stick it in a pan in the freezer, and scrape it with a fork every few hours. Delicious!

Java Buzz

Make your own coffee liquor. Sure, you can buy coffee liquor at the liquor store (packy, ABC, whatever you call the place that sells hooch), but everyone knows making something yourself is way more fun. Plus, you have much more control on what goes into it. Price wise, it will be much cheaper in the long run (assuming you buy the equipment needed - which is pretty minimal - you'll break even on your first bottle compared to buying a bottle of the good stuff at the store). It will be much higher in alcohol content, but also much more delicious, so it can be used more sparingly.


  1. I cracked up when I read this: "For those who don't like coffee, or mocha, number one: I don't get you"

    Too funny!

    I saw at Starbucks they had a big barrel full of leftover coffee grounds and they were encouraging people to take and put in their garden. Maybe there's another reason to save leftover coffee grounds? Can I have some of yours?

  2. Great for carrots and radishes! Mix your seeds with your grounds before planting and it helps the seeds survive, and propagate like crazy!

    Just be careful if you have a cat/dog; caffeine can be lethal, so if they tend to dig in your garden... maybe not the best idea. On the up side, coffee grounds also repel a lot of garden pests. Great for roses as well (I think it's the acidity).


Related Posts with Thumbnails