Coffee, that familiar companion to our mornings, has hidden talents beyond its role as a wake-up call.
While sipping a steaming cup of joe is a daily ritual for many of us, there’s a world of unexpected ways to use it.
In this article, we explore some creative ways to use coffee that stretch far beyond the cup. Maybe you’ll find a new way coffee can enhance your everyday life beyond morning pick-me-up!
On a morning when you really need an extra boost, an espresso shot may just be what’s needed! Expresso is made by forcing hot water through finely-ground beans. It has an intense flavor and is often finished off by a creamy foam layer.
An espresso shot provides more benefits than meets the eye (or in this case, taste buds). Espresso is a highly concentrated form of coffee, meaning you get more caffeine per ounce than in your typical cup of joe – ideal for when you need that extra boost of energy in order to move past that 3 PM slump!
Coffee is also packed with antioxidants – your body’s “little soldiers” fighting off free radicals – as well as creativity-fueling elements like its strong flavor which has been known to stimulate brain activity, boost memory and enhance concentration.
2. Latte Art
Latte art, often referred to as coffee art, is a unique expression of creativity in the world of coffee. Talented baristas use steamed milk to craft intricate designs atop espresso-based beverages, transforming a simple cup of coffee into a visually stunning work of art.
From graceful hearts and ferns to intricate patterns and even detailed portraits, coffee art adds both beauty and a unique touch to your daily brew.
Latte art isn’t limited to coffee shops; you can also try your hand at it in the comfort of your home. With some practice and the right equipment, like a milk frother and a steady hand, you can create your own beautiful coffee art designs.
It’s a fun and rewarding way to elevate your coffee experience and express your creative side!
3. Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee, a refreshing alternative to hot coffee, has gained popularity in recent years. Unlike traditional hot brewing methods, cold brew is crafted by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period.
The result is a smooth, mellow, and less acidic coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk and served over ice.
Try It Yourself: Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew Recipe
4. Coffee Cocktails
More than mere beverages, coffee cocktails serve as conversation starters, mood lifters, and party provokers!
From espresso martinis that reinvigorate a late-night gig to Irish coffees that add warmth and coziness at winter gatherings, coffee cocktails have an uncanny knack for setting the right ambiance.
If you haven’t experienced the magic of coffee-infused Negroni or White Russian cocktails yet, you are missing out!
Even more coffee cocktails:
– Mexican Hot Chocolate Coffee Cocktail: A Boozy Upgrade
– Warm and Spicy Gingerbread Coffee Cocktail
– Homemade Coffee Eggnog Recipe
5. Coffee Desserts
Coffee pairs beautifully with desserts, creating layers of complexity that other ingredients simply cannot match. Think of it like the unexpected plot twist in a great novel: welcome but unexpected.
Tiramisu is one delicious example. This classic Italian dessert is a heavenly combination of delicate coffee-soaked ladyfingers layered with creamy mascarpone cheese and dusted with cocoa powder.
Affogato is another must-try coffee dessert. It’s a traditional Italian dessert made by pouring a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.
Coffee can add a unique twist to your favorite dessert recipes. Whether you prefer brewed coffee or instant coffee powder, try incorporating coffee into your cakes, brownies, and cookies.
Did you know that coffee pairs especially well with chocolate? Try adding some to your next batch of chocolate cake, brownies or chocolate frosting. It will amplify the chocolately flavor without tasting like coffee!
6. Culinary Uses of Coffee
When it comes to cooking, coffee can be a surprisingly versatile ingredient.
One great option is to use coffee in dry rubs for meats. By mixing coffee grounds with a selection of spices, you can create a dry rub that enhances the flavors of beef, pork, or chicken. The earthy and slightly bitter notes of coffee pair wonderfully with the rich and savory characteristics of these meats.
Coffee can play a delicious role in marinades and sauces. The earthiness of coffee blends seamlessly with the smokiness of barbecue sauces, the richness of mole, or the heat of chili.
7. Coffee Infusions
Coffee infusions are another cool idea you may not have heard about.
One option is to make your own coffee-infused oil by steeping coffee beans in high-quality olive or coconut oil. It’s perfect for salad dressings or as a distinctive cooking oil.
How about a coffee extract? Similar to vanilla extract, coffee beans can also be infused with alcohol to make a concentrated extract. A few drops of extract can add a rich coffee flavor to your recipes.
8. Coffee Skincare and Scrubs
Believe it or not, coffee’s unique texture and natural exfoliating properties make it a great addition to DIY skincare products.
Finely ground coffee beans can serve as a gentle yet effective exfoliant, making them an excellent choice for formulating homemade facial and body scrubs.
This natural exfoliation not only helps to slough away dead skin cells but also contributes to the rejuvenation and revitalization of the skin, leaving you with a fresh and invigorated glow.
Coffee is an all-purpose beverage. From being the morning wake-up call to an artist’s palette and an energetic cocktail ingredient – coffee has many uses. So the next time you reach for your standard brew, remember there’s a whole world of beans waiting to be discovered – let’s raise our cups to their limitless potential!
Micky Reed, a two-decade veteran in the food and baking industry, leverages her influential Three Snackateers food blog and Instagram presence to collaborate with industry giants like Ben & Jerry's and Crumbl Cookies. Her work has been featured on Delish, PopSugar and more. Her expertise as a product curator for one of the world's largest international snack subscription box companies solidifies her status as a key player in the field.