So you are a coffee junkie and you have started to notice that your daily consumption of coffee is financially crippling your wallet. Money is tight agreed but we love our morning coffee. As such, it is normal to have ideas like reusing coffee grounds.
Can you reuse coffee grounds to make more coffee? The answer is yes; you can reuse coffee grounds, but do you really have to? Maybe not. This is because the coffee will lose its flavor and consequently have an odd taste.
Keep reading to find out the effects of reusing coffee grounds, other alternative uses for already used coffee grounds, how to dry coffee grounds and other coffee-related questions.
Why Reused Grounds Is Not Recommendable
You see, whilst the second mug of coffee brewed with already used coffee grounds may be drinkable, its taste and flavor are wanting. This is due to the small amount of caffeine left in the reused coffee grounds. Therefore, unless you are looking to consume brown water with sugar, it is recommended you brew a fresh bundle of coffee grounds each time.
That said though, if you insist on reusing grounded coffee, we have tips to maximize on it.
Firstly, you can only reuse grounded coffee twice, past the second time is pointless. Forget about the awfully tasting coffee from the second brewing, beyond this point, the drink will be horribly disgusting and all you will be doing is wasting water.
Secondly, if you are looking to reuse coffee grounds, it is recommended you do so within the shortest time possible. Waiting an entire day to brew your coffee could result in bacterial growth on the already used coffee grounds. Wet soggy coffee grounds are a perfect breeding site for the growth of bacteria, molds, and fungus.
These microorganisms and plants grow very quickly. Therefore if you are not careful reusing this coffee grounds, it may result in food poisoning. By following these two tips, you can brew your reused coffee grounds and be safe. However, remember to extract the wild flavors of coffee, this is not the best option.
Effects of Reusing Coffee Grounds
As mentioned above, reusing grounded coffee results in loss of flavors. To start, coffee beans contain flavor compounds, caffeine, solids, and oils that give coffee that distinct feature. When the coffee beans are grounded more surface area is exposed.
Thus, when the grounded coffee is brewed the compounds and other contents are extracted from the coffee beans into the water. There can only be so many compounds in a single coffee bean. Therefore, during extraction, most of the compounds are released to water.
If you reuse the grounded coffee, the result is a lighter version of coffee without most of the flavors. Therefore, if you are interested in the flavor profile in coffee, reusing grounded coffee is definitely a bad idea.
Consequently, the loss of flavors leads to an unpleasant taste of the coffee. In fact, the state of coffee brewed from reused grounded coffee is commonly described as bitter, lacks sweetness, salty and bland. The taste of coffee is also altered because brewing coffee is based on a coffee to water ratio, water temperature, steeping time, and brewing methods.
Not all these may be considered when reusing grounded coffee especially the coffee to water ratio that is already breached. It may seem like you are saving coffee but the drinking experience is so bad you just need to let go of the used coffee.
However if your concern is to save money so that you can sustain your coffee budget, you can opt to use a cheaper brand of coffee. Even though the taste of coffee from cheaper brands is poor than that of quality brands it is better than coffee from reused grounds.
Alternative Uses for used Grounded Coffee
Does this mean that used grounded coffee should be disposed of with other garbage? No, even though reusing grounded coffee does not result in quality coffee, there are many other uses for the used grounded coffee. They include
- Making Home Made Body Scrub
Coffee is good at getting rid of dead skin. You can add used grounded coffee to some soap and use it whenever you are showering to scrub your body.
Alternatively, you can make a body scrub by mixing a jar of sugar, mint, and used grounded coffee. Voila! You have a body scrub! Use the body scrub to shower and enjoy the level of luxury and sophistication that comes with it.
- Removing Odors
If you are a coffee diehard, you already know that coffee has a strong pleasant scent. What you probably do not know is that coffee is very efficient in absorbing other odors. Therefore, if you are looking to get rid of an unpleasant smell from your fridge, trash, or even closet you can make use of already brewed grounded coffee.
You can do this by placing coffee in a porous cloth like a handkerchief then hang it in the place you need to get rid of the awful, scent. We have all at one time cut onions or garlic and to be honest the smell left behind on our hand is irritating. It does not help that it can last for days.
However, here is some good news; you can use coffee to get rid of that garlic smell that has adamantly refused to wash away. Simply place your hands in water then place a good amount of used grounded coffee and scrub. The grounds will absorb the unpleasant smell leaving your hands smelling nice.
Well if you have been struggling with smelly shoes, coffee grounds may be what you need. Place used coffee grounds in your shoes and allows them to stay overnight. In the morning pour the grounds and enjoy fresh smelling feet for the rest of the day.
- Add them to the Compost Manure
Coffee contains compounds that form a perfect mixture for use as manure in your garden. Therefore, you can add the already used grounded coffee to the compost manure to boost its nutrients. In addition, due to the presence of coffee, the unpleasant smell of manure is reduced.
First, coffee grounds have an abrasive property that enables them to be used during rough and heavy cleaning. Therefore, if you have stubborn stains on your dishes, consider sprinkling coffee on the surface of the stains then scrubbing with a sponge.
Also, coffee grounds can be used to unclog drains. For this process, place some coffee in water and boil it. Pour the mixture down the drain. The mixture will take with it some of the clog materials. The coffee will also reduce the unpleasant smell from the clogged drainage.
- Use them as Natural Wood Stain
Given the deep brown color of coffee, it can be used to make natural wood stain. Therefore, if your wooden surface is worn-out and has a tired color, you may consider using used grounds of coffee to make stains and apply the dye on the wooden surface.
Additionally, the natural dye from coffee is better since it does not have the strongly unpleasant smells associated with bought wood stains.
- Add them to a Mason Jar
Add the used coffee grounds to the mason jar them stick a couple of fresh flowers. At the end of the day, the decor smells like a charming cafe yet looks brightly colored due to the flowers. This is a perfect decor for your tabletop.
Most of the uses described above will require that you first dry the coffee grounds. Wet coffee grounds are a perfect condition for the growth of bacteria, which will inhibit most of the above uses. I cannot emphasize enough on the Importance of drying your coffee first. Therefore, you can use the above alternatives to get rid of the used coffee grounds.
How to Dry Coffee Grounds
Now that we have mentioned the need to dry used coffee grounds prior to their use, how do you dry coffee grounds? The following is a simple procedure to dry coffee grounds under the sun.
Step 1: Place the coffee grounds on a baking sheet with the newspaper. The grounds should be at least 3 inches away from each other. This increases the surface area for contact with sun rays, therefore, fastening the drying up process.
Step 2: Place the grounds on the baker sheet outside in the sun
Step 3: Leave the grounds out in the sun for 2-3 days. Each day rotates the grounds and change the newspaper.
Related Article: CAN YOU PUT COFFEE GROUNDS IN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL?
How much caffeine is left in used grounds?
During the regular brewing of coffee, a mug of coffee contains 100-120 mg of caffeine. Note that this quantity varies according to the method of brewing and the type of coffee used.
Assuming we are using the best brand of coffee, 10 g of coffee grounds is enough for a standard cup of coffee. So 100-120 g of caffeine is extracted from 10 g of grounds leaving behind 40- 80 grams of Caffeine. Therefore, for used grounds of coffee 1/3 of the caffeine is left.
How long does Coffee Last?
The life span of your grounded coffee depends on its form, how it has been stored and where. Therefore, the best place to store grounds is in an airtight container. The environment should be cool dry and dark. Grounded coffee stored this way can be used for a few more months past its date of expiration.
Under the same conditions of storage, instant coffee will last for up to 20 years and whole beans for up to 9 months. Also, to increase the coffee’s shelf life you can place it in a freezer. It increases the lifespan of coffee for up to 3 years for whole beans and ground coffee. Freezing, however, is a bad method of storage since it destroys the flavor profile of the coffee at hand.
Related Article: BEST WAY TO STORE COFFEE BEANS AT HOME
Can you Reuse Coffee Grounds for a Cold Brew?
Yes, you can, but just like the normal coffee, the taste will be wanting. However, if you add milk or ice to dilute it, you may be able to not notice the flavor changes. That said thou, it is now worth the struggle while you can make a cold brew using fresh grounds. Here is a procedure for preparing cold brew.
Step 1: Pour water then add grounded coffee in a large container with a tightly firing lid.
Step2: Stir the mixture in the large container gently, cover and aloe it to sit for 12-24 hours
Step 3: When the mixture has steeped for an adequate amount of time, pour it through mesh sieve surrounded by a double layer of cheesecloth.
Step 4: Incase the old brew looks murky pass it through the mesh sieve again for a number of times until it has no sediments remains
Step 5: When the old brew is ready, mix with 1-2 parts of cold water or milk. Enjoy your cold brew.