What Can You Do With Coffee Beans

What Can You Do With Coffee Beans? 19+ Amazing Uses For Coffee!

Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 14:45

Other than the plain old obvious of making your fave cuppa Joe, just what can you do with coffee beans? It is a viable and great question — those cool exotic coffee beans can be expensive and my old adage of being thrifty is “waste not, want not”.

In this article I will show you what to do with old coffee beans, what to do with unused coffee grounds, how to refresh old beans and a lot more.

Stay tuned to learn some pretty neat alternative uses, like making a coffee face and body scrub, a hair treatment and how to use coffee to remove those bags and ark rings around your eyes!

There are a lot more we can do other than just beauty treatments. Keep reading to find out 20+ great uses for coffee beans.

What Can You Do With Coffee Beans? Let’s Start With What To Do With Fresh Coffee Beans

Table Of Contents

I’ll be honest with you here, warmly, lovingly and absolutely honest it is absolutely amazing the dozens and dozens of uses that you have some are absolutely just brilliant from composting to beauty treatments.

Let’s get rocking with what you can do with fresh coffee beans.

1. Mix Body Scrub

Ladies first. The acidic content of Coffee Grounds and the grit-like texture ensures that fresh coffee are great exfoliators. The antioxidant content is a fabulous additional benefit also. You can easily make your own Body Scrub.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Used or fresh coffee grounds.
  • Natural Oil, Coconut Oil is great.
  • Brown Sugar.
What To Do With Fresh Coffee Beans
You Can Make A Natural Body Scrub With Coffee!

2. Removing Hair Product Residue

Obviously, something my sweet Vietnamese girlfriend has more use for that than I do. Dry Coffee grounds are great for getting rid of sticky residue on your hair left over from haircare products. Rather than using apple cider vinegar, which is highly acidic you can simply add a few dry grounds into your haircare products and mix them in and viola.

The residue sticks to the coffee grounds and not your hair!

3. A Natural Deodorant

Coffee grounds are natural absorbents of odors, which is why you need to keep your coffee bags and containers sealed shut. Even your grinder!

Used beans, that are left over used coffee beans can be used to your advantage and help keep your home smelling nice, clean and fresh.

All that is needed is a nice open small jar kept around your home in inconspicuous places.

Got stinky drains or pipes?

Throw down a few tablespoons of used coffee remains with a couple of drops of soap and boiling hot water. This has a double benefit of breaking down the grease and reducing the smell from your drains.

Don’t do this too often. Once per month is enough. You will want to avoid accidental clogging of your drains.

4. Make Your Own Toothpaste

This one is really easy. Simply grind up your coffee beans and combine with baking soda and salt. Add essential oils if desired. It makes an awesome toothpaste. Just remember to store it away from children as they may swallow small amounts.

5. Fix Furniture Scratches

Simply use a q-tip and dab it in a water and coffee ground mix then dab the scratch with the q-tip, wait around 10 min and buff up with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.

6. Jazz Up Your Compost

Spent coffee grounds are rich in minerals, vitamins and importantly, nitrogen. They are very rich in nitrogen. The minerals in coffee include calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Using your left-over coffee residue will help you to enrich your compost.

Read: No Crema On Espresso?

7. Use Them As A Fertilizer For Plants And Flowers

Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen so adding them to your garden soil will give your plants all the nutrients they need. They’re perfect for growing flowers, especially roses. If you don’t have any leftover coffee grounds, throw them out after brewing because they contain caffeine which could harm your plant.

8. A Natural Pesticide

A number of insects, bugs and pests don’t like the acidic scent of coffee. This can be a double benefit of its use in your garden and your home. For best effect, spread a2-inchh thick line around areas of your house where pests are. Replace the line every two weeks.

This works like a charm in my coffee shops in the ant hill of Vietnam and Cambodia. I have staff put that around the inner perimeter. The ants disappeared. Double bonus is that air freshening effect of absorbing odors I spoke about earlier!

9. Coffee Candles

Love making candles? — Then go for it with coffee. Use coffee grounds as a candle making ingredient.

Coffee Bean use in this manner is great as when the candle burns down it will burn the grounds also and release the great coffee scent.

This FYI, a great secondary use of those expensive single origin roasted coffee beans. Notably, your artisanal product will look fantastic and unique.

What To Do With Unused Coffee Grounds
You Can Make Candles With Coffee Grounds

10. Winter De-icer

Great for green-conscious people in cold areas where it gets rather chilly during the winter. Coffee is a natural non-toxic alternative to many of the chemicals or corrosive salts used. The nitrogen content lowers the freezing point and works as a very good grit, creating extra friction.

There is no environmental concern due to being full of compounds that are great for the environment. You can either sweep up the remains and use them a second time in your compost pile or sprinkle them in your garden as a fertilizer.

What To Do With Unused Coffee Grounds

There are many uses for unused coffee grounds, many of which are a continuation of the above list.

1. Flea Removal For Your Pooch

t turns out that fleas really don’t like coffee at all. With your coffee you have a 100% natural alternative to the chemical and prescription treatments. Simply rub the grounds on your dog’s fur after shampooing, rinse well and then let your pet dry off as usual.

This is something you want to do outdoors and at the far side of your garden or public hose at or near car wash.

My point being you don’t want fleas exiting your dog and being stuck in your home. Do not let your dog consume coffee as it is toxic for them and will make them sick.

2. Use It As A Cleaning Product

Coffee not only has antibacterial properties, they are also abrasive and thus can be used to scower your sink, pots, pans and general cookware. You can even clean your grill with them.


who would have known or guessed that coffee can make for great non-chemical cleaning product.

Don’t clean porous material though as coffee does and will leave a slightly unclean looking brown stain.

3. Use It As An Anti-Cellulite DIY Coffee Scrub

Coffee is not only a great exfoliant and removes dead skin cells; it is fantastic for cellulite. When the caffeine content is applied topically to your skin it is known to help breakdown fat deposits and increase blood flow to the area and aiding you in reducing the dimples of the fat deposits in your butt, legs etc.

Simply mix in your coffee grounds in coconut oil, and use as a scrub for 15 min two or three times per week on the affected area.

4. A Natural Clothing Dye

Sure, coffee can leave a stain, something we all know for sure. Using coffee grounds can be used on a number of different materials like cellophane, paper, cotton, rayon as a dye. You can also use coffee as natural hair dye to darken the natural color of your hair.

5. Meat Tenderizer

Meat is full of protein and muscle fibers which give it that toughness. The natural acids as well as the enzymes help to soften up the meat and add a neat coffee flavor.

Rub, dry rub your meat with used coffee ground 90 min to 2 hours prior to cooking. Your meat will be dark in color and texture and nice and crispy as the grounds are cooked onto the meat.

Another option is to rebrew your grounds and use the rebrewed coffee as a marinade. Marinade your meat in the fridge for 24hrs before cooking.

6 . Stimulate Hair Growth

Sounds odd a bald guy tells you used coffee can stimulate hair growth. I touched on how you can use it for your hair earlier. It can also be a good exfoliator for your scalp and stimulate hair growth.

The science behind it is what makes it effective as an anti cellulite treatment — the stimulation of blood flow.

Just once or twice per week, grab a good handful of grounds and give your scalp a good massage with them. Then rise well and repeat.

7. Grow Mushrooms

Easily grown in nature but incredibly difficult to do on your own. Mushrooms need a substrate layer. This is where your coffee grounds come into play.

Due to containing a lot of good quality nutrients and been previously sterilized in their brewing process you have what makes a great substrate.

What To Do With Old Coffee Beans
You Can Grow Mushrooms, Thanks To Coffee Grinds

8. An Anti Aging Product

You can use spent coffee grounds as an anti-ageing product for your eyes. Your eyes have very little fat, due to which they are more prone to aging and more delicate.

Many reasons exist for eyes and skin in this area showing signs of aging quickly, including fragile blood vessels and poor circulation.

Coffee is full of antioxidants and properties that boost circulation, which can reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Simply make a coffee paste with coconut oil and place under your eyes for 15 to 20 min before rinsing off. Repeat daily. You can also use it as a facial scrub to exfoliate at the same time. A rejuvenating face mask is also something you can do at the same time

9. Cat Repellant

Keep cats out of your property by sprinkling around your garden plenty of coffee and orange peels. For some reason or another, it is an effective repellant for cats. One I picked up from a forum, tried it out to great effect.

I guess the scent repels them.

10. Hand Sanitizer

The natural anti-grease effect that unclogs your drains is gentle on your hands and a great natural solution.

What To Do With Old Coffee Beans – Can You Use 2 Year Old Coffee Beans?


they are safe for you to make a cup of Java with but will not have that fresh flavor as they did when new and possibly a slightly rancid, musty scent to them. You will not get sick by drinking a coffee made from 2-year-old beans.

The longer your beans are exposed to air, the quicker they will oxidize and go off.

Can You Make Coffee With Expired Beans?

Yes,generally speaking, it is okay to drink coffee with expired beans. The biggest issue is the flavor of the beans. As your beans get older they will become slightly stale and not hold the same taste as the oils start to age and go off.

When Should You Throw Out Coffee Beans?

There is not a single point in which that you cannot reuse your coffee beans either as a drink or for any one of the 20 uses that I have mentioned above. No point in wasting them at all when they have multi-purpose use.

How To Refresh Old Coffee Beans

You have a few simple options and techniques for jazzing up and refreshing your old coffee beans, which are:

1. Add Vanilla extract to your stale coffee beans.
2. Enhance the flavor of your grounds by using almond oil or black walnut oil.
3. Use cinnamon in your drink for a great tang.
4. Use a variety of flavored syrups in your coffee to give some zest to your coffee.
5. Add in a nice dollop of chocolate and make a mocha!

What To Do With Stale Coffee Beans – How Do You Revive Stale Coffee Bean?

This is going to sound weird, but adding salt to your beans has an effect that reduces the bitterness of a slightly stale cup of coffee and does not leave your coffee tasting salty.

This is the secret behind Vietnam’s famous salt coffee.

The trick is not to use a lot of coffee and only 1/8 of a teaspoon for a regular cup of coffee. Add the salt to the grounds prior to brewing.

What Happens To Stale Coffee Beans?

As soon as your beans have been roasted, they begin expelling carbon dioxide and start slowly decaying. Over time the cell structure breaks down, the fresh flavor starts to become dull, stale and a little bitter.

This is why, to keep them fresh, you must store them in a cool dark part and in an airtight container with a special valve that lets out the carbon dioxide as it is emitted from the beans.

How Can You Tell If Coffee Beans Are Stale?

You can tell if your coffee beans have gone stale when they start to smell a little sour, smell a little off and are a bit musky.
I encourage you to get familiar with the scent of good quality roasts and smelling them frequently to know when they are starting to go off.

What Makes Coffee Stale?

The process of oxidation is what causes coffee to go stale. When the roasting process is finished, they are immediately starting to go off emitting CO2, oxidizing, starting to break down and absorb odors from other nearby products — hence why you must keep it in an airtight container with a special valve to let the carbon dioxide out.

Unfortunately, poor storage will negatively affect your beloved speciality beans.

Old Coffee Beans Taste?

Stale coffee has a bland taste to it, slightly off, sour and bitter. The taste of old coffee beans depends on the roast and how old the roasted beans are.

If you don’t know the date they were roasted, you can safely assume they are stale.

Can You Use Old Coffee Beans?


it is safe for you to drink coffee that you have made using old coffee beans. Furthermore, it is completely safe for you to use for any one of the 20 alternative uses that I spoken about earlier in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Can You Do With Coffee Beans

Can I Put Whole Coffee Beans In My Garden?

Yes, both whole coffee beans and used coffee grounds will make great compost and fertilizer for your garden due to the nitrogen content. Using them in your garden will help to enhance the soil quality. They’ll also help to enrich your compost, whole or as ground coffee.

Can Coffee Grounds Go Directly Into The Garden?

Yes, it is entirely your choice if you want to use fresh coffee grounds, used grounds or whole beans directly in your soil. They work very well as a soil enhancer if they are sprinkled on top or turned into the soil.

The best effect is when they are mixed with dry materials.

Can You Eat Coffee Beans?

Yes, coffee beans are perfectly safe to eat and are available as a gourmet treat as chocolate covered espresso beans. You still need to pay attention to the FDA limits of 400 mg of caffeine daily and not forget about the morning coffee you had earlier.

Which Plants Do Not Like Coffee Grounds?

While coffee grounds are good for the garden, there are some plants that don’t like them, include Rye grass, fern, asparagus, geranium and Chinese mustard.

Do Coffee Grounds Attract Mosquitoes?

Coffee grounds are excellent at keeping insects at bay, I am delighted to say that coffee grounds do not attract mosquitos; the opposite is true – they repel mosquitos.  It doesn’t stop there; they repel all kinds of insects, helping you to stay bug free.

Unfortunately, coffee shops don’t save or recycle their coffee grounds and tend to throw their used grounds in the bin.

Most councils and local authorities these days though have a special refuse bin for organic waste which means they are contributing to improving soil quality, or however the particular local authority used their organic waste.

What Else Can Coffee Beans Be Used For?

You can use your coffee beans to make amazing bath bombs to give a nutritious and potent antioxidant-rich relaxing bath. You can make a great revitalizing eye mask and face mask with it too. It’s great for beauty products for women.

Can I Eat Coffee Beans Instead Of Drinking Coffee?

Yes, you can eat coffee beans instead of drinking coffee. It is best that you eat dark roasted or espresso roasted bean as they are easier to bite. Lighter roasts are likely to break your teeth! 

Frappé-ing It All Up – What Can You Do With Coffee Beans?

There are plenty of things you can do with both old, new and used coffee beans, ranging from a whole variety of natural beauty treatments to cleaning your home and, my favorite – a free natural compost!
My mind only boggles at how many tons are being wasted and not being used to fertilize soil in a completely natural way.
So, If anyone asks you that question, what can you do with coffee beans? Point them in the direction of this article.
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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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