Articles From Whole Latte Love

Coffee: It's not Just for Drinking Anymore.

Posted: 08/26/04

Did you know that every time you throw your spent coffee grounds in the garbage, you’re throwing away a valuable resource? You agonize over every last drop of your brew and make painstaking efforts to treat your beans with respect, but then discard the used grounds as if they have no use. This is a myth, my friends! Making their way from elite spas, to your neighbor’s garden, to one of the best steakhouses in Seattle, coffee grounds are taking the country by storm. Here are some of the ways that you can make your used coffee grounds work for you!

Seattle’s Signature Coffee Steak

We’re always looking for new flavors to add to our lattes, but meat? When a chef from Rippe’s Steakhouse in Seattle had the bright idea to coat filet mignon with spent espresso grounds from the local coffee house, she had no idea it would become such a phenomenon. Said to have a mild coffee taste, this coffee covered filet will be a hit at your next barbeque!

Coffee Steak

12 oz filet mignon
3 Tbsp. ground espresso
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 pinch paprika
(This is Rippe’s original recipe as printed on!)


Prepare steak for cooking:
Start by trimming any fat away from the edges of the filet. Cover with plastic wrap and use mallet to hammer into 1--inch thickness. Using a small, shallow bowl; submerse fillet in 1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon for several hours. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients including the ground espresso. After the filet has marinated, place it into the bowl with the mixture of dry spices and espresso. Coat liberally.

Grilling steak:
Grill each side of filet on high heat for 3 minutes. High heat will create flames with most home grills. Decrease, or move, from high heat and continue cooking until desired temperature is reached. Filet mignon is best served medium rare, which measures 130-140 degrees internal temperature.

Gardening with a God Shot

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, making them a perfect soil conditioner and a great complement to your compost pile. Thoroughly blend the coffee in with your soil or compost, and if you’re adding to your compost heap, make sure the grounds don’t make up more than ¼ of the total mixture. Adding whatever grounds are leftover from your daily brewing will do the trick, but if your coffee rituals can’t keep up with your gardening habit, most coffee houses are happy to give away whatever they’ve got. Worms are very attracted to the grounds as well, so give them a smorgasbord of Sumatra and watch your plants improve in looks and health!

Coffee Gardening
Have some cold coffee sitting in the pot from this morning? Pour it on your indoor plants. It will produce a similar effect as mixing the grounds with your soil!

Barista’s Body Scrub

Used coffee grounds have not one, but two benefits for your skin! First of all, the grounds exfoliate your skin, removing dead cells and bringing out fresh and healthy skin. In addition, the grounds have a known cellulite fighter as a key component: caffeine! Several skin care companies have introduced coffee ground scrubs, but why break the bank?

Coffee Body Scrub

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground coffee beans (A drip grind will work best for this, so you espresso fanatics will probably need to change your grind setting!)
1 tablespoon finely chopped hazelnuts
2 teaspoons almond oil
2 teaspoons jojoba oil
2 teaspoons soy oil (or olive oil)
8 drops of orange
essential oil
teensy dash of cinnamon (This recipe from shows you how to make your own by adding a few simple ingredients.)

What to do:
Dump ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. In the shower, gently massage the scrub in circular motions all over your body avoiding the neck and face area. Pack remainder into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. And because we all have different coffee palates, try adding a few drops of fragranced oils like mint, chocolate, vanilla or caramel to your taste.

Java Logs

Composed mainly of used coffee grounds, Java Logs are an environmental friendly way to make a beautiful fire. Named one of the Coolest Inventions of 2003 by Time Magazine, Java Logs ignite more quickly and produce larger, more attractive flames than other fire logs. Although they don’t smell like coffee, Java Logs do emit a sweet smell that will bring magic to your backyard bonfire!

This is just a small sampling of the things you can do with your coffee grounds. The possibilities are endless!

Let us know if there’s something else you do with yours!

Seattle Steak---,
Body Scrub---,