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For our Provisions shop, we search for the best and most beautiful things for our kitchen and home. And since we like to think outside the box, we’re showing you all of the different ways to use some of our favorite products.
Today: When life gives you coffee, make cake. And iced coffee. And chicken. Tell us how you use coffee in the comments for a chance to win two bags of Stumptown Hair Bender blend beans and a Hario Skerton coffee grinder!
One of our best-selling coffees on Provisions is this Hair Bender blend from Stumptown, a Portland, Oregon company committed to fair trade and sustainable sourcing. And their coffee doesn’t just do good, it tastes good.
This particular roast uses beans from across the globe -- Latin America, East Africa, and Indonesia -- and the result is a coffee with notes of chocolate, caramel, jasmine, Meyer lemon, apricot, and pineapple.
One benefit of a small, hands-on operation like Stumptown is their ability to monitor each coffee, which results in consistently layered blends like the Hair Bender. If the beans from Latin America are skewing too fruity one August, they’ll add a bean that's a bit more savory to balance it out, which keeps the taste consistent throughout the year.
Other (read: bigger) coffee companies often don’t have the luxury or flexibility to taste and adjust their blends, so they roast the heck out of their beans to keep them consistent, which destroys all of the nuance. Stumptown, on the other hand, is in it for the flavor -- so they aim to make coffees that showcase how the beans are supposed to taste.
So once you’ve got a bag of very good coffee on your hands, what do you do with it besides the obvious? Here are 6 more ways to make the most of it:
1. Coffee ice cubes. We think the world would be a better place without watered down iced coffee. Here's Merrill's technique for avoiding it.
2. Turn it into cake. What’s that? You like coffee and ice cream and cake? You’re officially on our team. When we see an opportunity to turn something into cake, we seize it. This coffee ice cream cake recipe is exceptional, but you can make ice cream cake without a recipe too.
3. Fix furniture scratches. Used coffee grounds shouldn't go to waste -- before tossing them, give them a second life: Dip a cotton swap into your old grounds and use it to buff a scratched area of any dark wood furniture. Once it sits for a few minutes, wipe it off gently with a towel or a clean cotton ball. It doesn’t remove the scratch, but goes a long way in making it less noticeable.
4. Improve your gardening. We told you not to toss your coffee grounds! Add them to your garden soil (or any plant you’ve got). Coffee grounds contain a lot of nitrogen which is excellent for plants. Start with a spoonful mixed into soil to see how your plants do -- some can handle more than others.
More: Grow your own greens this year.
6. Up your ice cream game. If you haven’t been pouring hot coffee over vanilla ice cream, well, you haven’t been living. Hot and cold, bitter and sweet, black and white combine for a top-notch caffeinated sundae. Bonus: It’s one of the quickest yet most elegant desserts to make for guests.
We want to know your favorite way to use coffee! Tell us in the comments by Friday July 18th at 6 p.m. for a chance to win two bags of Stumptown Hair Bender coffee beans and a Hario Skerton coffee grinder!
Photos by James Ransom