If you are wondering and asking yourself the question: can you brew coffee twice? In order to find out – I took it to the acid test with a few different brewing methods, first using fresh coffee grounds and then making a second cup with the same coffee grounds.
The results are not surprising, not at all surprising.
For those of you in a rush, I’ll tell you straight as it is, you simply cannot brew coffee twice, no matter what the method of extraction is.
Keep reading for details of what happens when you try to brew coffee twice in a French press, Aeropress, Espresso machine and cold brew.
Can You Brew Coffee Twice?
you just cannot brew your coffee for a second time and get a second cup of coffee out of it. While some claim it is possible, I simply challenge you to try and make a pot of coffee reusing old coffee grounds that you have already used to brew a cup of coffee with.
The second time around, your pot of coffee, regardless of which brewing method you are using, will be notably lighter in color and a lot lighter in flavor.
I tried with the following brewing methods:
- Pour over.
- Drip coffee.
- French press coffee.
- Cold brew coffee.
Unfortunately, the results are just not comparable to brewing with fresh grounds. The extraction process first time round removes most of the coffee solubles, which is what you need to get a great tasting coffee.
Read: Can coffee grounds be reused?
Can You Use Coffee Grounds Twice In A French Press?
A French press coffee maker is one of my favorite brewing techniques, as it gives you full control over the variables that affect the flavor of your coffee, which helps you to get the best out of your coffee beans and your coffee exactly as you like it.
This is why, when you are using specialty grade fresh coffee grounds, you get an amazing cup of coffee with this coffee brewing method.
Being able to control the water temperature, brew time and coffee to water ratio should be the key to getting an acceptable second cup of coffee while re-brewing coffee grounds.
the results, no matter what you adjust and geek out on, just don’t reach that of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, not for the color, taste, aroma or body.
Read: How many times can you reuse coffee grounds?
What Is The Appearance Of Re-brewed French Press Coffee Like?
The color is noticeably lighter even when using a 1:6 coffee to water ratio instead of regular 1:12 for fresh grounds and extending the extraction time. This alone is a clear sign that the soluble compounds are just not getting extracted, re-brewing and reusing coffee grounds.
They are not extracting the compound because they are simply not there.
Rather than be disappointed and the “glass is half empty” kind of person. I’m more of “the glass is half full” and look on the positive side, the lack of coffee solubles left in the coffee grounds is testament to the brewing process extracting them first time round. This is literal testament to the French press being a great brewing process.
The Taste Test
First time, freshly brewed French press coffee is very aromatic, bold, tasty, and full-bodied. The brewing process extracts the subtle flavors, coffee oils and the natural sweetness from the coffee grounds.
It is, and was, a rather tasty cup of coffee.
Using the coffee grounds for a second time, unfortunately, produced a very lackluster beverage that had a peculiarly weak and slightly stale aroma. The taste was predictably weak and watery due to the appearance.
It was very disappointing.
Can You Use Coffee Grounds Twice For Cold Brew?
This coffee brewing process is, like the French press, a full immersion method of extraction of the soluble compounds from the coffee grounds and is a summer time favorite for coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts, or people who just want a caffeine hit without the inconvenience of a hot drink and getting all sweaty.
Many people try to use their coffee grounds for a second time due to the large amount used, and to be quite frank – why not try? I, for one, do not blame anyone for trying to save some money!
One of the tempting reasons is that the grounds, when they are strained or filtered out from the freshly brewed cold brew coffee, are still aromatic, which gives the (false) pretense that you can get a second cup out of them.
The reason behind the grounds still being aromatic is due to volatile oils not getting extracted by the low temperature brewing. They need a higher temperature and simply will not be extracted, even if and when you brew them for a second time.
This is the very reason why cold brew lacks the aroma of a typical cup of coffee.
Read: Can you reuse coffee grounds?
What Is The Appearance Of Cold Re-Brewed Coffee Like?
Like the French press method, I had to increase the brewing time and the ratio when brewing cold brew coffee for a second time.
I stepped the ratio from 1:8 to a 1:6 and increased the brewing time from 12 hours to 24 hours.
The result was a coffee that was at least 3 to 4 shades lighter.
The Taste Test
A first time brewing of a cold brewed coffee with fresh coffee beans. The result is a great tasting coffee that is very balanced, well-rounded and distinctively mellow. It is also less bitter and has a reduced acidity.
Reusing the coffee grounds for a second time and really trying my best to get the best out of them as I could, as a coffee connoisseur and expert barista, I simply could not. At best, I could only replicate cheap, low quality, ready to drink cold brew concentrate and well short of a quality cup of coffee.
Can You Brew Coffee Twice Using An Espresso Machine?
It is particularly difficult to get a second shot out of espresso ground with an espresso machine. The particular problem is the ground themselves. They will produce an absolute mess, particularly if you have a bottomless portafilter.
If you don’t have a pressurized portafilter you might get away with not making an ugly mess.
The problem is not the portafilter itself, it is the channeling and the spillover caused by it. Basically from the very outset, using your coffee grounds a second time is a huge no.
What Is The Appearance Of A Rebrewed Espresso Shot Like?
If you really want to try it, first consider how it will look. We are all very familiar with how a espresso should look, with the rich, thick crema on top.
A second shot, by comparison, is clearly not as dark, as it is much lighter, brighter, and has a very strange-looking bubbly crema.
The Taste Test
A well-brewed shot of espresso is bold, strong, and pretty punchy with hints of sweetness. There is a pleasant, nice texture. It, the distinctive, thick, rich crema on top is the hallmark of an enjoyable espresso shot.
A shot pulled when brewing the same shot twice with old coffee grounds is an assault on your taste buds. It is weak, tasteless, thin, and simply hollow.
Can You Brew Coffee Grounds Twice In An Aeropress?
An Aeropress is the latest coffee brewing technique, invented in 2004 by Adam Adler, and is pretty much a portable travel device for making espresso on the go.
Unlike French press and cold brew methods, there is very little that you can do to alter the brewing method to get the best out of reused coffee grounds.
At best, all you can do is change the type of coffee filter.
What Is The Appearance Of A Rebrewed Aeropress Coffee Like?
Trying the best that I could, and keeping the water as hot as I could, and with the metal mesh Aeropress filter at best, all I could achieve was a light brown, watery colored coffee.
Clearly the result was under extracted and most certainly was not looking for the taste test.
The Taste Test
In the taste department. I’m telling you this was not pretty, perhaps because I am not at all a fan of sour tasting anything.
There are no prizes here for guessing how this coffee ended up – it tasted horribly sour and watery and nothing at all like a cup of coffee. For a matter of accuracy and clarity, and not too adept with an Aeropress and this particular brewing technique.
How Many Times Can You Use Coffee Grounds To Make Coffee?
Once. Just use your coffee grounds one time for making an enjoyable cup of coffee. The second cup of coffee, when you try to use your coffee grounds for a second time, regardless of the brewing method, is weaker and, in most cases, just undrinkable.
The only use that you have for a second rebrewed cup of coffee is to water your houseplants or garden. This, not a slant on the coffee itself, waste not, want not. Coffee has nutrients that are beneficial for your plant.
you can use the coffee grounds for revitalizing your soil.
Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Brew Coffee Twice
What Happens When You Brew Coffee Twice?
If you are attempting to brew your coffee grounds for a second time – by this I mean reuse old coffee grounds to brew a second cup of coffee. The result, no matter what brewing method, will be a weak, watery, under extracted brew that is sour and very disappointing.
Can You Run Coffee Through A Coffee Maker Twice?
No, you cannot run your coffee through any coffee maker twice, be it a drip coffee maker, French press coffee maker, pour over coffee maker, or whatever. Some sites suggest that you can if you are careful with your brewing equipment and water temperature. This is nothing short of being absolutely false.
When you brew your coffee for the first time, you have already extracted the flavor compounds, oils, and caffeine. There is no more left for you to get a decent second cup out of them, no matter which brewing process or technique you use. I tried adjusting a number of variables, from temperature, brew time and brewing method – you just can’t do it.
Can I Rebrew Coffee?
Rebrewing coffee is a cardinal sin of coffee. You just can’t do it in any form. Some coffee lovers call it the mortal sin of coffee. By rebrewing I am referring to both squeezing a second cup of coffee out of your coffee grounds and heating up (although technically not rebrewing) your coffee once it has gone cold.
The former will result in a weak sour coffee with a very watery taste. It will also be notably pale in color.
The latter, reheating your coffee, will result in a stewed and stale taste to your brew. This is the very reason why you need to be careful about leaving your pot of coffee on the hot plate of your drip coffee maker for too long.
Can You Resteep Coffee?
No, full immersion is a popular coffee brewing technique and extraction process that is used in various brewing methods, such as French press, cold brew, mud coffee and cowboy coffee, to name a few.
If you try to resteep coffee, and I have tried, you can’t manage to get even a half decent cup of coffee. I’ve altered methods, coffee to water ratio, brewing temperature and brew time, and just could not manage to replicate the taste or appearance when brewing with fresh coffee grounds.
Unfortunately, the coffee flavor was weak, fairly bland and like water.
Does Reusing Coffee Grounds Reduce Caffeine?
Yes, if you reuse coffee grounds, you will reduce the caffeine, as the majority will have already been extracted. This is true for caffeine, the flavor compounds and coffee oils.
Does Brewing Coffee Longer Make It Stronger?
Yes, if, and when you brew your coffee for longer, it will be stronger in both caffeine and flavor, so you will have a more focused and concentrated cup of coffee. This is the effect that brewing time has on coffee.
However, there is a careful and fine balance between the perfect brewing time and over brewing and getting an overtly bitter tasting coffee.
Final Thoughts – Can You Rebrew Coffee Twice?
You no longer have that question, can you rebrew coffee twice, buzzing around in your mind, as you know that you can’t and shouldn’t try to rebrew your coffee for a second time. It is impossible for you to get a quality second cup of coffee when you do try to get a second cup of coffee by reusing your coffee grounds.
Did you try to brew your coffee for a second time?
How did it turn out?
Did you crack the code of rebrewing coffee?
Join our online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and let us all know – reveal you coffee brewing secrets with us all!