What to Do With Old Coffee Beans: 9 Practical Ideas

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Stale or expired coffee beans aren’t conducive to a delicious cup of coffee. If you brew old or stale beans, you’ll just end up with a bitter, tasteless brew. Yuck!

If you’re a practical person, then you likely don’t want to simply discard your old coffee beans without trying to come up with some other use for them. Fortunately, there are some wonderful alternate uses for old coffee beans.

Here are nine cool ideas for what to do with old coffee beans, whether they are just a little stale or far past their expiration date.

1. Make Some Delectable Chocolate Treats 

If you aren’t afraid to get creative in the kitchen, then there’s no better way to use expired coffee beans than by adding them to your favorite homemade desserts. Even though the expired coffee beans would likely make an undesirable cup of coffee, they can still successfully enhance the taste of your chocolate desserts.

Even making something as simple as chocolate-covered coffee beans can be a delicious treat, and no one will ever know that the beans are expired. 

2. Make Your Garden Flourish 

Coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, which is an odorless, colorless gas that can work effectively to fertilize rose bushes and many other plants. In addition to working as an effective fertilizer, coffee grounds also work as a deterrent to bugs, which is a natural way of preventing annoying pests from helping themselves to the vegetables in your garden.

3. Deodorize Your Home

No matter how clean you keep your home, disgusting odors have the tendency to materialize when you least expect it, whether it’s your teen son’s smelly socks or something completely different. Instead of using chemical-laden deodorizing sprays, you can deodorize your home naturally with old coffee beans.

The coffee beans will need to be ground and dried out in the oven before using them, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how well they can deodorize your home. 

4. Scour Those Filthy Pots and Pans

It can sometimes be hard to thoroughly clean pots and pans that have caked-on food and grime on them, even if you have the best scrubber. You would be surprised at how effective coffee grounds are at loosening up old food. All you have to do is sprinkle some in the pots and pans and scrub like usual, and you should end up with clean, shiny pans that smell great.

5. Beautify Your Skin

If you’re interested in exfoliating your skin without the use of harsh chemicals, then concocting your own exfoliating tincture is definitely a good idea. There are various ingredients that you can mix together with roasted or non-roasted coffee grounds that will effectively exfoliate your skin and potentially make you look years younger.

Some ingredients that you can use with the coffee grounds are honey, brown sugar, pineapple, almond milk, cocoa, and much more. It all depends on your overall goal. Keep in mind that some homemade facial scrubs could cause micro-tears in the skin if you scrub too hard, so be gentle, especially if you’re using ingredients like walnuts or brown sugar. 

6. Make Arts and Crafts or Home Decor 

Believe it or not, old coffee beans can be used to make very attractive arts & crafts and home decor projects. An easy way to put those old coffee beans to use is to choose an attractive glass (or plastic) container that you can see through and simply fill it with beans. You will be in awe at what an attractive piece of decor you will end up with by doing something so simple. 

You can also make some art using coffee beans that you can hang on the wall. All you need is a frame that can be hung on the wall, as well as some glue, and depending on how many beans you have, you can create beautiful masterpieces for hours. This is also a great project for kids, as kids will love being creative and helping their parents to decorate the home. Of course, the decor can be customized in any manner that you desire, but if you need some visual ideas, there are many pictures and videos available online to provide you with some inspiration. 

7. Stop Hair Loss and Stimulate Hair Growth

If you’ve been experiencing hair loss, then you obviously want to not only stop your hair from falling out but also stimulate new hair growth.

There are many over-the-counter products at the store for hair loss, and while many of them are effective, most of them don’t come without the possibility of undesirable side effects. However, using coffee grounds will not cause side effects, and the caffeine from the coffee beans will stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.

The coffee grounds will strengthen the structure of the hair, making your hair thicker and less likely to shed.

8. Use Old Coffee Beans as a Dye

Whether you want to dye fabric or your hair, old coffee beans can help you effectively achieve your goal. Using coffee beans to dye fabric is a simple process, and the darker you want the fabric to be dyed, the stronger you will brew the coffee with the old beans. Once you’ve brewed enough coffee, place it in a large pot and add the fabric.

After allowing the fabric to remain fully immersed in the pot for an hour or longer, depending on how dark you want the fabric to be, you can remove the fabric and rinse it in cold water. Once the color is no longer bleeding color from the fabric, you need to place the fabric in a container with cold water and vinegar for 10 minutes in order to set the color. 

In order to dye your hair using old coffee beans, all you need is a pot of brewed dark roast coffee, your favorite hair conditioner, as well as dark roast coffee beans. After combining all the ingredients, you will use a soft brush to completely saturate your hair.

Leave the coffee in your hair for at least an hour. The longer you leave it in, the darker the color will be. Once an hour has passed, you should thoroughly rinse your hair and enjoy your new hair color.

The hair dye will last up to two weeks, and the more often you wash your hair, the more quickly the dye will be removed from your hair.

9. Create an Effective Meat Tenderizer

Not only can old coffee beans be used to tenderize meat, but coffee grounds can also promote caramelization in the meat, which can enhance flavor, especially when grilling the meat. It’s simple to tenderize meat using old beans, and all that you must do is brew a strong pot of coffee using the old beans and then marinate the meat in the coffee for 24 hours.

The coffee contains a great number of enzymes, and these enzymes break down the tough portions of the meat, effectively tenderizing it. 

What’s Next?

Those are just a few ideas for what to do with expired coffee beans. The only wrong answer is using stale coffee beans to make bitter coffee. Instead, put them to use elsewhere and go buy some fresh Colombian coffee grounds or delicious Costa Rican coffee beans.

If freshness matters (and it does!), you should definitely be grinding your own coffee beans. Coffee grounds go stale much faster than whole beans, so a budget coffee grinder is the cheapest way to improve your overall coffee experience.

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