10 Surprising Uses for Leftover Coffee


If you’re like most people, you probably put your leftover coffee grounds in the compost to help reduce your kitchen waste (and provide great nutrients for your lawn and garden). More people are stumped, however, on what to do with the leftover coffee itself – there always seems to be that last half-cup that sits in the bottom of the pot and that no one really seems to want to drink! Below are ten surprising uses for leftover coffee so you won’t have to worry about simply throwing it out.

Coffee Ice Cubes
Freeze that leftover coffee to make coffee ice cubes. These are great for making frozen coffee drinks, since the coffee won’t get diluted in water when the ice cubes melt. You can also add these iced coffee cubes to a glass of milk for a quick cold coffee drink.

Oatmeal Pepper-Upper
If you just can’t get enough java in the morning, consider adding a little coffee to thin your oatmeal; a dash of cocoa powder to this will give you a great mocha-flavored oatmeal treat to start your day.

Cocoa Additive
Add a bit of the leftover coffee to your cocoa to give it an extra bit of pep. This makes a great afternoon pick-me-up.

Mocha Brownies
The rich chocolate of brownies is made even better when you add a small amount of coffee to the batter to make mocha brownies instead. This is especially good with dark chocolate!

Iced Coffee
The only thing you need to do for a cold coffee drink anytime is to put the leftover coffee in a pitcher in the fridge and let it chill. You can add milk, soy milk or sweetener to taste – it is just as good as what you buy in a coffee shop!

Chili Seasoning
If you are making chili tonight, add the leftover coffee to the chili pot. It gives the final dish a nice twist in regards to flavor without radically changing it.

Instead of using just milk to make homemade frosting, add a little coffee as well. This works especially well with chocolate or vanilla frosting.

Plant Food
As long as you do this in moderation (say, once a week or so) you can use leftover coffee to nourish acid-loving plants like tomatoes.

Fabric Dye
You know how hard it is to get coffee stains out of clothes — so put that staining power to good use! Soak a shirt or skirt that you are coloring overnight for a lovely, earthy brown tone.

Grill Cleaner
Coffee makes an excellent cleaner if your grill has a lot of hard, caked-on grease. This works really well if you have a lot of leftover coffee, as you can soak the grates before you clean them.

So don’t throw that coffee away! The tips mentioned above are great ways to get the most use out of your humble cup of java!

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Mayimina has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.