Coffee: Time to Think Outside the Mug!



When someone mentions ‘coffee’ you may immediately think of a hot beverage.  Perhaps even a cold beverage.  Have you ever thought of a coffee brine, rub, dipping sauce, syrup, or bar-b-cue sauce?  This is part of thinking outside the mug.

Sure, coffee is at the base of many wonderful drinks.  Straight black, flavored, iced, espresso, and after dinner coffees dot the tablescape.  It’s time to use the flavor and aroma of coffee in exciting and unexpected ways.  For instance, the next time you brine your poultry, use your favorite brew as the liquid component instead of water.  One tip; in most brine recipes, you’re supposed to bring the salt, sugar, and spices to a boil.  Do this in water and then add cold grounds after the boiling is done.  Boiling it creates very unpleasant bitterness.

[bctt tweet=”Sure, coffee is at the base of many wonderful drinks.”]

Cafe Britt


Perhaps you are in the mood for beef or pork.  Finely grind your favorite coffee. (If it’s already ground, which it shouldn’t be, you can grind it further in a food processor or blender.)  To a quarter cup of ground coffee add kosher salt, cayenne, smoked paprika, and black pepper and mix.  Coat your favorite meat ten to fifteen minutes before cooking.  The juices from the meat combine with the coffee and spices to create a flavorful crust.  You can even create a pan sauce similar to steak au poivre.

coffee canoli syrup

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One of my favorite outside the mug applications is mocha syrup.  Start by making a simple syrup, then adding dark cocoa powder and vanilla.  Finally, finish the sauce with a double shot of espresso or one quarter cup of a very strong steeped brew.  Allow syrup to cool then drizzle over desserts, ice cream, or stir into a glass of cold milk.

I hope you can begin to think outside the mug and incorporate your coffee into other foods, both savory and sweet.  For more Outside the Mug ideas, visit

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