It would be interesting to read the statistics analyzing the number of people who genuinely love coffee and drink more than a cup or two a day. Knowing that there are more than 32,000 Starbucks locations in 80 countries around the world, it would be a fair assumption to believe we are in the hundreds of millions, if not billions!
With that said, many true lovers of coffee believe that making coffee with whole beans, ground of course, is the only way to truly enjoy a fresh hot cup of coffee. Unfortunately, sometimes we go a bit overboard when ordering coffee beans. At some point we notice those beans still sitting on a shelf and so we wonder, does coffee get old? If so, are there any expired coffee beans uses so we aren’t wasting money on top of gourmet coffee? Maybe it’s time to look at some clever uses for old coffee beans.
House and Garden Uses for Old Coffee Beans
There probably isn’t a gardener on earth who doesn’t know the benefits of using old coffee grounds as a nutrient in the garden. In fact, if someone asks you “Can you use expired coffee grounds in the garden?” or “Can you compost coffee grounds?” you know they are novice gardeners. Actually, coffee grounds provide a number of benefits to a garden such as helping to aerate the soil while providing organic material that is slightly acidic and ideal for roses and flowers in the nightshade family of plants.
Furthermore, there are other uses for coffee inside the home as well. One thing which many people do is to try burning coffee grounds to get rid of smell from pets, garlic and other obnoxious odors you don’t want lingering in your kitchen. On the other hand, you may not want your pets running through the kitchen, so if you want to know, “Do coffee grounds deter dogs?” perhaps the answer would be better suited to your garden. Dogs inherently hate bitter, acidic smells, so one way to keep Fido from digging up your newly planted roses, is to heavily sprinkle coffee grounds with bitter orange in the soil around the plant.
There are so many uses for coffee beans in and around the house that you may stumble upon uses such as used coffee grounds as insect repellent both in the home and in the garden. So, do coffee grounds repel cockroaches as well as other insects? The answer is a resounding YES! Just sprinkle some coffee grounds on the corner of a windowsill or at the corner of floorboards and roaches should be effectively held at bay. That is one amazing way to recycle coffee grounds, isn’t it?
Health and Beauty
Here is something else many people aren’t aware of. Did you know there are several uses for unused coffee grounds for health and beauty? Unused coffee grounds make a wonderful and totally natural exfoliating technique. You can safely use coffee grounds on your face which not only helps to buff away dead skin cells but has been effectively used for a natural acne treatment.
But can you use coffee grounds for hair growth? There is one formula that many people swear by, and it consists of ground coffee to its finest grind, honey and olive oil. The instructions tell you to mix this ‘paste’ through your hair from scalp to the ends and leave it there for at least 30 minutes.
Then there are rumors abounding that coffee stunts your growth. This is an age-old question and if you really want to know, does coffee stop you from growing, look at what Harvard Health has to say about it. Apparently, there is no science-backed data on that, but it appears as though the misconception came about in relation to osteoporosis. It was rumored that coffee causes osteoporosis and that is a condition that can result in loss of height. However, the two aren’t related. Coffee does not cause osteoporosis or loss of height, plain and simple. If you can’t believe Harvard in all things medical, who can you trust?
Crafts and Decorating with Dried Beans
There are so many clever bean coffee ideas for use in crafts and décor. Have you ever tried making a decoupage using year old coffee beans? These are almost certainly expired and if you don’t want to re-roast them, use them for coffee bean crafts. In fact, can you re-roast coffee beans. Certainly, you can but if they’ve gone dry and stale, you might want to use them for coffee bean decor. How creative is that?
You may have seen that “enjoy your hot bean water meme” floating around the web. The gist is that some people love that pure hot bean water, which would be a good, strong, hot cup of java. You can print your own poster from images found on the web or you could create your own image. Whether you use old coffee beans to give your picture a 3D appearance or use fake coffee beans for decoration doesn’t matter. The whole point is to bring a smile to the lips of other coffee lovers who enter your home.
Getting Back to Basics
So, now that you have a few ideas running around in your head, let’s get back to basics on how to use coffee beans for more ‘normal’ uses. Once you’ve gotten out the old coffee bean grinder, you can use it in your garden or home as a natural bug repellent or cover a few beans with melted chocolate. Some people love those yummy coffee nibs they find online or in gourmet coffee shops. In an effort to duplicate them at a lesser cost, they take out the old fondant pot and melt a bit of chocolate to dip the beans in. Unfortunately, those coffee nibs are not coffee beans. They are cacao beans and that, in itself, is why they taste like chocolate covered coffee beans. Yes, there are such things as chocolate covered coffee beans, but they are not coffee nibs.
Some Random Thoughts
When seeking clever uses for old coffee beans, some people think that maybe they can use them to get a bit high. If you are among those who question can you get high off coffee beans, the answer isn’t as simple as you’d probably like. In the first place, you can’t grind and smoke coffee beans like you would a cigarette. You would not like the taste! Besides, it doesn’t work that way. However, you can learn how to make coffee with whole beans that is very, very strong. It’s the caffeine content that gives you that extra rush of energy. Then there are those who make a DIY used coffee grounds concoction that they eat or drink for the extra caffeine they don’t want to waste.
So, can you brew coffee with whole beans? You absolutely can! However, it is strongly advised that you grind them first or you would be boiling those beans away from here to kingdom come. Can you drink coffee that has been sitting out? Actually, coffee that has been left sitting out tends to turn a bit foggy but once you heat it up that goes away. It can turn quite bitter if left out too long, so if you are going to reheat it, make sure it hasn’t sat there for more than a few hours. The best suggestion would be to make iced coffee out of any leftover amounts so that you can keep it fresh in the refrigerator. That is another clever use for old coffee and old coffee beans.
A Few More Tips
Finally, you don’t want to be drinking coffee grounds, so make sure to use a good coffee press or filter in your drip coffee maker. With that said, getting rid of coffee grounds can be quite easy and instead of throwing them out, save them for use in the garden! Use a strainer and perhaps line it with cheesecloth to pour coffee through that has grounds in it. Drink the coffee. Save the grounds.
Remember, you can learn how to tell if coffee beans are stale simply by biting into one. If it immediately wants to disintegrate, it is stale. If it is firm and takes a little bit of effort to chew it up, you are safe. You may want to catch your coffee beans prior to them being too stale for use.
In the end, if you want to know what to do with whole bean coffee, the best answer is drink it, of course! If those beans are too old and stale or if you inadvertently chose a bean you can’t get into, then by all means make a few DIY coffee crafts. Why waste some perfectly good beans just because you prefer another taste? Explore a few more clever uses for old coffee beans and you will never lament wasting coffee ever again.