20 Quick Tips for Using Leftover Coffee or Coffee Grounds

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Dear Home Ec 101,
It seems like no matter what amount of coffee I make there is always a half-cup of leftover coffee in the pot at the end of day. I hate wasting it. Are there any handy uses around the house or garden for leftover coffee?
Something’s Brewing in Brampton

It seems like no matter what amount of coffee I make there is always a half-cup of leftover coffee in the pot at the end of day. I hate wasting it.

Heather says:

Leftover coffee? You’re doing it wrong. I kid, I kid.
There’s a lot of uses for leftover coffee and the grounds used to brew it.

Here are 20 quick tips for using up leftover coffee or coffee grounds.

Rather than rattle off ideas, I pitched the question on Twitter and let the Home Ec 101 Community at large answer it. Readers are welcome to add their own suggestions in the comments.

Ready? Remember these were written for Twitter which has a 140 character limit. Cut some slack in the grammar department.

1. Put it in the freezer & then use it in an organic “lasagna” garden style bed. @Skimtheocean

2. Not a yummy response, but I let it cool and pour on my shrubs. The acids help them grow. @ScrappyGolden

3. I water my plants with it @irleslie

4. Refridge and then make iced coffee w/ almond milk and sugar throughout the day. @AshleyTCaldwell

5. Freeze in cubes and you can make frozen drinks @prosperitygal

6 & 7. We keep a pitcher of cold coffee in the fridge to use for iced coffee and running out the door. Also, use it in place of water in cake recipes for a “mocha” flavor! YUM! @leighforpres

8. If you make lye soap, you can use the leftover coffee — and some of the grounds! — to make “gardener’s soap.” @LakeNeuron

9. Nuke it and drink it! I also hear the grounds keep away ants somehow… not 100% sure about that. @pguyton

10. My chili uses about a cup of coffee and I’ve had some really good brownies that used coffee, too. @jwynia

11, 12, 13. Composting. I put tons of leftover coffee in our composter; the acids really do a great job of breaking down organics.
Fresh coffee grounds work GREAT as a rub for steaks and slow cooked meats. . .
Homebrewers sometimes put fresh coffee grounds in their secondary fermenter to infuse some coffee flavours into the brew. @CoffeeBean843

14, 15, 16, 17. Ice cubes==> sweetened condensed milk -> cocoa powder = frappucino. Also gouges in wood, helps cover them up.
and I am not above using leftover coffee to make ivory linens out of coffee stained white ones.
It also makes a great base for hot chocolate mix – use instead of water, stir with a candy cane. @Milehimama

18. Baked goods! @SarahinMI

19. Coffee ice cubes so that you can use them to cool overly hot coffee or for iced coffee. . . @lwrenhubbard

20. Store in a Mason Jar in the fridge for coffee milk / iced coffee / latte later. Also red-eye gravy. @saraclark

What suggestions do you have?

Send your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

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8 thoughts on “20 Quick Tips for Using Leftover Coffee or Coffee Grounds”

  1. If my toddler can get her hands in the ground (and yes, it has happened before) she takes them and spreads them out in front of the dog's pillow, commanding him to eat in an imperious way. He's never impressed by them, but I have a good laugh. Normally, though, the grounds go to the compost pile. Somehow I never have leftover coffee.
    My recent post We woke up to snow

  2. I wonder if the caffeine in the grounds would be good for your face? It seems like Mary How would be right about the exfoliating properties…but the caffeine might be a boost to the complexion…???

    I will have to look it up!



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