Coffee can be enjoyed in so many ways; however, no matter how you brew it, one thing always stays the same: you end up with coffee grounds. While many just toss or compost them, rather than discard the grounds left behind after it’s brewed, after reading this article, you may reconsider throwing them out.
If you love coffee and creativity, why not take those old coffee grounds and turn them into works of art!
Coffee Grounds In the Kitchen
Coffee grounds are a versatile ingredient you can incorporate into many mouth watering dishes.
BBQ season is upon us! Did you know coffee grounds contain natural acids and enzymes that help tenderize meat and enhance its flavour?
- Coat raw meat with damp coffee grounds in a plastic bag and then let sit in the fridge for at least three hours (or better yet overnight). Wash off the grounds before you cook your meat, or leave them on for a subtle smoky flavour.
- Mix coffee grounds with brown sugar and sea salt to create a delicious steak rub!
Looking for a sauce to accompany your tenderized meat? We recently did a collaboration with Meow! That’s Hot. and these fruit-based coffee hot sauces are handmade with spicy goodness (and coffee!) and are definitely worth checking out!
And while used coffee grounds may not make a good second cup of coffee, they’re still great for flavouring baked goods!
- Add coffee grounds to baked goods (cookies, brownies, scones, or coffee cake) to give them a rich espresso taste.
- You can swap in spent grounds for just about any recipe that calls for ground coffee.
You already know that chocolate goes with coffee (insert shameless plug to our popular BBCR chocolate made by LaConfiserie Wakefield). So why not whip up a batch of leftover coffee chocolate brownies, which uses both leftover coffee from the pot and coffee grounds to enhance the coffee flavour. Check out this spent espresso ground brownie recipe:
SPENT ESPRESSO GROUND BROWNIE RECIPE
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 ½ cups of flour
¼ cup of leftover coffee
1 teaspoon of espresso grounds or finely ground coffee
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of vanilla
½ cup of vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350°
In a large bowl whisk together all of the ingredients until combined.
Next, spray a 9x9 baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray and pour the brownie batter in.
Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is slightly firm
Cool to room temperature before serving.
Coffee Ground Art Projects
PAINT WITH COFFEE
Many creative coffee lovers have tried their hand at creating latte art, but have you thought of using old coffee grounds to paint with? Wet coffee grounds can be used to make paint with similar appearance to watercolours.
Try mixing old coffee grounds with water and then apply to canvas or parchment with a paintbrush. To get different tones, change the amount of water used. More intense colours will use less water. By varying the amounts of water in the mixture, you will end up with colour ranging from very light brown to almost black. To create a darker colour, you may want to try boiling the coffee grinds/water mixture in a saucepan until it thickens up. Finished works look like sepia-toned pictures, with lots of depth and warm tones. Looking for some inspiration? Check out the work of these coffee painters: Karen Eland, Red HongYi, Maria Aristidou, Angel Sarkela-Saur and Andrew Saur.
A NATURAL WOOD STAIN
Are you a woodworker? You can actually use coffee grounds to stain wood. Coffee grounds can provide a green, all natural way to give your next wood project a rich, deep colour.
There are two methods for making your own coffee wood stain. The first uses steel wool, coffee grounds and vinegar. A detailed explanation can be found at familyhandyman.com. A second option to create a coffee-stained masterpiece uses coffee and water. We found the article at wholegreenlove.com on how to stain wood naturally with coffee to be helpful. Both methods involve repeating the layers of stain to achieve the desired shade.
Not only a great option for a wood stain, coffee grounds soaked in water can also be used to dye cloth or paper, for a cool antique look.
Coffee Ground Crafts
Using coffee grounds as an artistic medium is something for young and old alike. Let's complete this article with these fun ideas for the kids.
COFFEE PLAY DOUGH
Coffee dough (flour, salt and coffee grounds mixed together) is a great way to recycle coffee grounds and provide fun for the kids. Mix together 1 cup of flour, ½ cup salt, 1 cup coffee grounds and ½ cup of chilled coffee to create the dough. The coffee gives an interesting texture and a unique appearance. Store dough in a zipped plastic bag to keep fresh. Your kids will amuse themselves for hours with this homemade play dough made from coffee grounds!
We also found an easy DIY coffee slime that combines school glue, baking soda, water and old coffee grounds.
You will need:
4 oz. school glue
½ tsp. Baking soda
1 T. water
1 heaping T. coffee grounds
Combine school glue, baking soda, water and coffee grounds in a large container.
Add in contact solution a little at a time, stir well between each addition just until your slime starts to pull away from the side and it no longer feels sticky. Take care not to add too much then it will become more like a hard rubber.
Knead mixture with your hands for a few minutes to work all the ingredients together well.
Looking for some more crafty ideas to do with the kids? Be sure to check out our Brown Bag 101 blog post: Coffee Filter Planet Earth Craft for Kids.
Why not try your hand at coffee ground art and have some fun!
As you can see by now there are a lot of creative uses for those used coffee grounds so next time you brew that next cup of coffee make sure you set aside a place to put those grinds and put them to use in any of the ways mentioned above. You will not only be helping yourself but the environment as well!
Looking for some more practical ideas for reusing your coffee grinds? Be sure to read our Brown Bag 101 post: How to Celebrate Earth Day With Your Coffee.