You’ve finally taken the first brave step to becoming a full-time stay at home barista by grinding your coffee beans with all your fancy equipment. One thing is leaving you scratching your head, though, and once you’ve finished your first coffee-making process, you notice you have grounds left.
Can you reuse these coffee grounds? What will it do to the taste of my coffee? What about the caffeine levels? These are all excellent questions that certainly need answering. Let’s start by looking at these below, and we will also cover some awesome alternatives on how else to use your coffee grounds at home.
There are those amongst us who drink coffee purely for the caffeine hit in the morning and throughout an intense working day. Then, there are those who drink coffee solely for the exceptional taste it brings. Both of these, I understand, I drink my coffee for both. If you’re someone who is determined to have a perfect cup of coffee every day, then the answer, as you can imagine, is no, don’t reuse your coffee grounds.
The art of making coffee is a science, water to coffee ratio, water temperature, steeping time, and brewing method – all of these done well will make the perfect coffee. Coffee has an optimal amount of extraction that is necessary to create that intense flavor we all love, reusing the grounds will water down your coffee and leave you with a bittersweet taste I doubt you’d want to experience again.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re desperate for a cup and you don’t have any fresh grounds, then consider reusing your grounds once more and adding a bit of milk and sugar to offset the watered-down coffee taste.
If you are in the situation where you need to reuse your coffee grounds for a second time, some simple tips for you to ensure your coffee grounds have cooled down since you used them as this will stop them from burning. Also, if you cover them in a jar something similar while you’re letting them cool down, this will stop as much of the flavor from leaving the coffee grounds as possible.
So, we’ve covered those of you who are drinking coffee for its exceptional taste. Now, what about our readers who are fixed on caffeine and need it to get through the day (yes, that’s’ me), can we reuse the coffee grounds? In this case, its also a no, above there is a chance of reusing your coffee grounds if you’re desperate and have no fresh grounds around. Around 25-30% of your coffee grounds extract when you make a coffee, and the rest isn’t soluble in water. Once you’ve made your first cup of coffee with your fresh grounds, most if not all the caffeine will have been extracted into your mug, that’s why the hit is so intense on fresh coffee, and we love it. If you reuse your coffee grounds, you’ll get no caffeine, and if you do, it will be such a small amount it won’t even open your eyes.
So, how can I reuse my coffee grounds?
Now this, this is the question you need to be asking us. Are there any other ways I can use my used coffee grounds around the house that will benefit me more than a bitter coffee. The answer is yes! There are loads of ways you can reuse your coffee grounds at home, some of these will blow your mind! Let’s cover this below:
1 Mix with compost
I personally do not have a garden, so this isn’t as appealing to me, but research online shows that coffee grounds have a few natural vital ingredients that will aid your compost mix. Also, compost isn’t the nicest of smells, so mixing in coffee grounds will help to mask this. If we ever move somewhere with a garden, this will be high up on our list of things to do.
2 Hand scrub
Have you ever finished cooking that spaghetti Bolognese and can’t get rid of the smell of the onion that you finely chopped? Even a few days later, if you scratch your nose, your eyes instantly water at the smell of your fingertips. Keep a little pot of coffee grounds around your kitchen or bathroom and rub a few together with your hands to help eliminate harsh odors, like onions!
3 Stain unfinished wood
If you have an unfinished piece of wood or an older looking piece that looks tired, then this is something you need to try. You can use your used coffee grounds as a natural stain for wood. This creates a lovely color that you can increase by using more and top up over time. The coffee will also protect your wood from hard-hitting odors, like onions!
4 Homemade soaps
You may already be someone who makes your own soaps at home with a DIY kit, which will make this method a lot easier. I’m not suggesting you make a flavored coffee soap. However, if you add a few coffee grounds to your soap mix, it will add a gritty texture that will help scrub the body of dirt, paint, blackheads, and so on. Now I’m thinking about making a coffee soap bar and seeing if I can drink the bathwater… is that weird?
5 DIY Air freshener
We all love the taste of coffee, and let’s be honest, the smell is beautiful, and if you’re a coffee-lover, the scent is even better. When I smell coffee, it always reminds me of all the good coffees I’ve ever had, and then, instantly, I need to make one! This method can be as simple as putting coffee grounds in an empty air freshener jar and letting it sit somewhere in the room. Some jars come with special lids with holes that release the smell slower, which would be better for coffee as I imagine the aroma would be quite intense. Not only that, I’d want to be continually drinking coffee!
6 Skin care uses
Used coffee grounds have been used by the skincare industry for decades as an easy at home fix to a lot of skincare problems common in women around the world. A few of these will benefit all of us and are worth mentioning.
- Depuff your eyes – If you’ve had a late night out with the work lot, completed your favourite Netflix series in a binge session or had your last coffee to late you may notice some bags under your eyes. Although this is completely normal if you rub your used coffee grounds over your eyes it will help you to feel refreshed and awake whilst reducing the puffiness.
- Face scrub – Dead skin and blackheads are a common enemy amongst all of us, you should have seen my teenage years. Coffee isn’t a quick fix solution for this however if you add some to the palm of your hand alongside your usual face scrub then the gritty texture will aid in removing dead skin and blackheads. Also, you’ll smell like coffee!
7 Insect repellent
We used to do this with conkers on the windowsill when I was growing up. My mom would leave a few by the windows, which apparently stopped spiders and other insects coming into our house. I can’t remember if it worked; it sounds like an old wife’s tale to me. Now, these same insects supposedly hate the smell of coffee (weirdos), so if you dry out and scatter some used coffee grounds across your windowsill, it will repel these insects and send them to your annoying neighbor’s house instead. Perhaps it would be best to put these in a jar or mug, otherwise, if the wind blows, you may be cleaning coffee off the floor.
As you can see, there are many alternative uses for coffee grounds that you’ve used for a delightful cup of coffee. All the methods we’ve mentioned aren’t challenging to do, and all have a huge positive impact on our daily lives, notably the insect repellent! If you’re considering reusing your coffee grounds for another coffee, then ensure they’re cooled down and try to offset the taste of this with extra milk and sugar. If you’re after your caffeine hit, it seems the best thing to do is get to your local supermarket or coffee shop ASAP and get some fresh brew.