As a college student, I run on coffee. However, sometimes I overestimate the amount of coffee I drink and I brew too much of it. So after years of pouring it down the drain, I decided to do some research and find out what things to do with leftover coffee. Now I know a lot of ways to reuse coffee that I would've never thought about.

1. Make a Hair Mask

beer, ginger, ale, tea
Lauren Wieder

Coffee is great for your hair, the caffeine and antioxidants in it make it shiny and bouncy because it removes built-up products. If you apply this hair rinse to your hair every time you wash it, your hair will be looking shiny and it can even help it grow.

2. Bake a Chocolate Cake (or Cupcakes)

My favorite chocolate cake recipe has coffee on it, and I looove chocolate cake, like really love. Apparently, coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate making it taste even better, and no, your cake won't taste like coffee or moka so don't worry. You can also make cupcakes with this recipe if you adjust the baking time.

3. Use it as Wood Stain


palacy on Flickr

This is a cheap and easy way to stain wood. To do it you need to sand the wood and paint it with some strong coffee (or light depending on the desired color) with a cloth or a paintbrush. Apply as many coatings as needed, waiting 15 minutes between coats and let it dry.

4. Bake Brownies

chocolate, brownie and ice cream, brownie with ice cream, Healthy, dessert, vegan brownie, VEGAN ice cream, Vegan, brownie, ice cream
Laura Subiaur

Just like in chocolate cake, adding coffee to your brownie recipe will make them ten times better. If your favorite brownie recipe calls for water or milk, try using coffee instead. Remember, the stronger, the better! 

5. Make Coffee Ice Cubes

Everyone hates watery iced coffee, but there's a simple solution for that – if you freeze your leftover coffee and add it to your iced coffee instead of ice cubes you'll have a thick and rich energizing drink.

6. Make Marinades 

Coffee can make savory food taste better too. There are several marinade recipes made with coffee on the internet. My favorite one is this Rosemary Coffee Tofu, it's full of flavor and plant based protein. 

7. Cook Chili

pepper, chili, condiment, tea
Delfina Barbiero

Coffee is a great addition to chili because it strengthens the flavors of the spices and makes it hearty and meaty even if it doesn't have any meat, just like this Spicy Vegetarian Chili recipe, which uses the famous chocolate and coffee combination to deepen the flavors.

8. Water Your Plants 

herb, vegetable, Greenhouse, Garden, Earth, Green, Eco, compost, Plant
Alex Frank

You can water your plants with leftover diluted coffee because it increases the acidity of the soil, acting like a fertilizer. However, you should only use coffee on acid-loving plants and you shouldn't use it every single day because the soil can become to acidic. 

#SpoonTip: You can also make compost with used coffee grounds to help your plants grow. 

9. Make a Salad Vinaigrette 

pesto, vinaigrette, chicken, garlic, sauce, salad
Robin Chohan

Salads can be pretty delicious if you use a good dressing. Check out this, this and this vinaigrettes that use coffee as an ingredient to deepen the flavors. 

10. Reheat it! 

coffee, cappuccino, espresso, milk, mocha
Amy Cho

Even though nothing beats a freshly brewed cup of coffee, don't be afraid to reheat it later, or keep it in the fridge to drink it the next day. If you're worried about it tasting funny, add some frothed soy milk to make a latte with it instead. 

Now you have no excuse to waste leftover coffee. There are many creative ways to use it that will end up saving you some money – specially number 10. And if you're wondering what to do with used coffee grounds you should check out this article.