What to CookCoffee

9 Reasons Not to Pour Your Leftover Coffee Down the Drain

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I do everything I can to get every last drop of coffee into my body before I leave the house in the morning—but depending how many times I press the snooze button or linger over the crossword puzzle, my level of success varies, and I'm often left with a little getting-cold-fast black coffee in the bottom of my Chemex. And it breaks my heart to pour it down the drain on my way out the door.

You too? Next time, instead of dumping it, grab a clean jar, pour the last mouthfuls of coffee into it, and stash it in the fridge—and then, when you get home from work, make these:

Photo by James Ransom
  • Make a red-eye gravy to serve with sweet potato hash and eggs.
  • Creamy, rich zabaglione drinks up a few ounces of coffee. Dip ladyfinger cookies in it.
  • Make a coffee-based brine for a chicken! (Just reheat the coffee before adding the spices in the first step.)
  • Pour it into ice cube trays, freeze, and use them instead of regular ice in your first iced coffees of spring (!!!). Or spice the coffee first with cinnamon or vanilla or almond extract; then freeze, and drop them into a tall glass of milk.
  • Make a brandied coffee syrup for whatever fruit you have on hand—fresh or dried. (Dried apricots? Fresh pears? Yes. Yes.)
  • Blend leftover coffee with yogurt, frozen bananas, and a little cocoa powder for a creamy, caffeinated smoothie. (Alternatively, go for a milkshake: Whirl vanilla, chocolate, or coffee ice cream with leftover coffee and a splash of milk.)
  • Sub coffee for the water in this genius chocolate mousse.
  • Use it up in a pot of chili.
  • Drizzle coffee cake with a coffee-and-sweetened-condensed-milk glaze.

How do you use leftover coffee? Share your tips and ideas in the comments.

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Leftovers, Cooking with Scraps