Can Coffee Grounds Be Reused - Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds In A Coffee Maker

Can Coffee Grounds Be Reused? – Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds In A Coffee Maker?

If you asking yourself the question “Can coffee grounds be reused?” You might just about to commit a crime against coffee!

Rather than jump and straight out scream “Nooooo!” and call the coffee cops, I’ll be straight and down the line with you. You can’t reuse coffee grounds to get a second cup out of them – as much as you’d love to, you just can’t.

We tired with various popular brewing methods, the results of which I discuss below.


I did say I’d be straight with you – you can reuse your coffee ground by repurposing them for secondary used, just not for a second cup of coffee.

Keep reading to find out the results of brewing a second cup of coffee using Espresso, Pour over, French press and cold brew coffee.

Can Coffee Grounds Be Reused To Brew A Second Cup Of Coffee?

The quick and easy answer is no – and this is not for any coffee snobbery reasons, trust me, I’m a thrifty Scotsman and know how to save a penny or two! As a matter of clarity and honesty, if you could, I’d tell you and explain how you can. Sadly, you just can’t.

No penny-pinching here, sorry!

The reason you can’t reuse your coffee grounds to squeeze a second cup of Joe out of them is due to the extraction process.

When hot water gets into contact with ground coffee the flavor compounds and oils get extracted, and get into your first cup. By the time you get around to making your second cup of coffee, the flavor compounds and coffee oils have already been extracted and none are left to get you a flavorful brew.

If you do try to get a second cup out of your coffee grounds, you will get the same problem as over-extraction. It will taste overtly bitter, too bitter to enjoy and very astringent, full of harsh flavors.

Even if you try and pull a fast one, and try and be smart and let your grounds dry out, you will run into a problem at the opposite end of the scale: it will taste under-extracted, sour and with no body at all.

This is because as your coffee grounds dry they continue to extract and deteriorate. When they have completely dried, literally all their flavor has gone!

Just because the brewing process takes all the flavor out of your coffee beans at the first cup, that is not to say you can’t upcycle or repurpose your coffee grounds and save a little money on other things.

There are many uses for used coffee grounds, just not as making a second cup of coffee.

Can Coffee Grounds Be Reused
Can Coffee Grounds Be Reused?

Read: Can you brew coffee twice?

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds In A Coffee Maker?


there is simply no rebrewing of your coffee grounds to make another cup. The only reason I can think of making a second cup of coffee from old grounds is to water your plants or to revitalize your soil and get the remaining nutrients from the grounds into your soil.

As a note, you can also just sprinkle your grounds on your soil for a sustained slow release of nutrients and the revitalisation of your soil over a prolonged period of time.

Just don’t go trying to use your drip coffee maker to extract a second cup of coffee from your coffee grounds. The results will be more than disappointing.

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds In A Coffee Maker
You Can’t Reuse Coffee Grounds In A Coffee Maker

Read: Can you reuse coffee grounds?

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds For Espresso?

Getting straight to the point, if you try to pull a second shot with your grounds you will get nothing but an absolute mess due to the channelling and the coffee spilling over.

If you have a pressurised portafilter you might, with emphasis on the word might, get away with not making a horrible mess that spills over from the channelling.

From the very get go, making a second shot of espresso with your coffee grounds is a big no-go!

Comparing A Second Shot Of Espresso – The Appearance

If you are daring enough to try and brew a second shot of espresso with the same grounds it will be much lighter in color, lighter in flavor and with an odd bubbly looking crema.

It is also a lot weaker.

Compared that with a shot made with fresh coffee grounds, it is truly a world apart.

Comparing The Taste

An espresso should taste strong, bold and with a degree of clarity and hints of sweetness, yet a touch of bitterness. There should be a good pleasant texture, the very hallmark of a very enjoyable espresso shot from fresh coffee beans.

A second shot pulled while reusing coffee ground, as I tried and assaulted my taste buds in the name of good research, is hollow, weak, just simply tasteless. It didn’t even come close to resembling a lungo, let alone an espresso.

Can You Reuse Cold Brew Coffee Grounds?

The reason this question pops up frequently is due to the amount of coffee grounds used to make a cold brew coffee, and the simple fact that when you strain the grounds they still smell very pleasant and aromatic.

The reason for the aromatic scent is the volatile oils remain in the grounds and don’t get extracted into the cold brew coffee. If you smell cold brewed coffee, you will notice that there is no aroma.

This does not mean that you can reuse the ground coffee for extraction a second time, as despite the aromatic volatile oils still being in the grounds, the flavor compounds are not, and neither is the caffeine.

Can You Reuse Cold Brew Coffee Grounds
Cold Brew Taste Great But Can You Reuse The Coffee Grounds

Comparing A Second Brew With A First Brew – The Appearance

This is and was a difficult one to even remotely extract well when reusing the coffee grounds for a second time.

Even when extending the brewing time to twice as long as a first time extraction. The color was notable lighter, much lighter.

Comparing The Taste

A regular and well-made cold brew has a distinctive mellow and well-rounded taste and is less acidic than other brewing methods due to extracting the low temperature compounds.

Reusing the coffee grounds and doubling the extraction time to draw out more of the compounds and get as best a result as I could.

The taste was weaker and a little bland and was on par with cheap ready-to-drink cold brew concentrate. It was drinkable, but nowhere near as tasty as the first time round brewing with fresh coffee ground.

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds In French Press Coffee Maker?

A French press coffee maker provides you with one of the better coffee brewing methods and a number of variables that you can control to get the very best out of your coffee grounds.

Obviously, with quality fresh grounds you can make an amazing coffee, and thanks to being able to control things like the brew time, the water temperature you can try as best as you can to get a semi-decent second cup.

Unfortunately, even when extending the brew time and maintaining the water temperatures as high as I could with as little heat loss as I could I was just unable to maintain that same level of quality when compared to brewing the coffee grounds for the first time round.

The plain and simple answer is you simply can’t reuse your coffee grounds in a French press coffee maker.

Comparing A Second Brew With A First Brew – The Appearance

Despite increasing the brew time by 50% and insulating my French press to maintain temperature the color of the extracted brew was still very notably lighter.

Even when trying the experiment again with a more focused coffee to water ratio (1:8 instead of 1:12) and extending the brew time I still could not match the color of brewing with fresh grounds.

Comparing The Taste

A French press coffee is bold, tasty and a very aromatic full bodied brewing method that extracts the natural sweetness, subtle flavors and oils from the coffee grounds due to the full immersion and steeping of the coffee grounds.

It is one of my favorite brewing methods for a reason!

Brewing a second cup with reusing coffee grounds resulted in a what can be best described as a less than okay sub par coffee. Even the best version I tried came up simply tasting fairly bland and lacking body with a distinct lack of aroma.

It was very weak and watery.

Can Coffee Grounds Be Reused To Brew A Pour Over Coffee?

Like a French press coffee maker, pour over gives you literally full control over all the variables associated with brewing coffee.

Using my preferred Hario V60 and a quality coffee beans I went to work on this extraction process with the dual goal of both making the best coffee first time round and the best possible coffee using reused grounds.

Comparing A Second Brew With A First Brew – The Appearance

It should be easy to ascertain how this coffee ended up looking, not matter what the adjustments were that I made, I could not replicate the darker color of the first cup.

The appearance of the brew is indicative of how the coffee will taste, weaker.

Comparing The Taste

Straight up, with the fresh grounds the initial coffee was beautiful, complex and with an balanced acidity and sweetness and, yes, a great body.

I am particularly experienced and adept at the pour over technique and can get all the intricate and complex flavors from the coffee grounds.

The second cup with reused grounds, while there is and was nothing at all I could do with the grind size. I adjusted the coffee to water ratio, contact time, and even the filter type from paper to metal filter to get a bolder brew.

The brewing process is one that you can work with, still I could not get much better then a watery appearance.

The only way I could improve this was by intentionally under brewing the first cup, which is an option to immediately discard as nobody, absolutely nobody would intentionally under brew their first cup of coffee just to get second under brewed coffee.

It makes no sense.

There was no notable aroma with the second cup and all the complex flavors were gone when compared to the original. I was left with a light brown slightly bitter cup of warm water with hints of sugar.

This, more than anything shows just how much of the flavor compounds are extracted first time round with their brewing technique.

Frequently Asked Questions About Can Coffee Grounds Be Reused?

By all means, and unfortunately coffee grounds cannot be reused to brew another cup of coffee. Squeezing out a second cup of coffee will be very  weak, very watery and very uncaffeinated.

Not to mention the rather sour taste.

The best that you can do is to repurpose them and use them for baking – which is a perfectly fine secondary use when repurposing them for consumption purposes. Other uses for used coffee grounds include as an insecticide and a fertilizer for your garden or household plants.

Yes, absolutely you can reuse the same coffee grounds twice – just not for brewing a second cup of coffee. You can try it; you will get a sour and very weak tasting cup of coffee that is, quite frankly, very watery.

Those grounds from your morning brew, there are multiple secondary uses such as using them for your home baking, making a facial or body scrub from them. You can even use them for removing lice from your pet dog.

Reusing your coffee grounds, even for the same brewing method or a different one, will reduce the caffeine content, the flavor and less of the coffee oils will get into your beverage.

Once you have extracted the flavor compounds and the caffeine content that’s it! The compounds that you want for a tasty coffee have been extracted, with very little left in the remaining grounds.

When you keep your coffee grounds in perfect conditions, they can last you for up to 2 years. Perfect conditions are storing them in an airtight container with a one-way valve. Keep them away from strong lights and scents too. I advise for extra freshness, storing them in your fridge.

Coffee grounds contain nutrients that make them an excellent fertilizer, due to other properties coffee grounds are a great insecticide. Simply sprinkle them onto your soil in your garden. You can also add them to your compost heap.

Yes, you can reuse your cold brew coffee grounds but not to make a second batch or a hot coffee. The coffee grounds can be reused – no matter what the brewing method used was.

Simply collect them and reuse them as an odor neutralizer, add it to your compost, soil or plant pots, as an exfoliant, to get rid of fleas from your pets and many more. 

Final Thoughts – Coffee Grounds Be Reused? 

That old question – can coffee grounds be reused has well and truly been answered in this article and there is no way that I’d deny that they can indeed be reused. There is also no way that I’d recommend that you brew a second cup of coffee with them for any brewing method or technique. 

Use them for purposes of upcycling them for your compost pile, for baking, rubbing on your steak, revitalizing your soil and the many other uses.

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Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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