Monday, December 4, 2023

How Many Times Can You Use Coffee Grounds?

by Mads

Reusing coffee grounds might seem like a cost-effective and time-saving method but may not result in an ideal situation for you.

Coffee grounds cannot be used more than once because all the flavor and aroma-inducing chemicals have already been extracted.

Once your first cup of coffee has been prepared, there isn’t anything left that you can use. So brewing your coffee again is pretty useless if you’re a real coffee lover.

However, the leftover coffee grounds can be put to other alternate uses other than flushing your coffee grounds down the sink.


What Are Coffee Grounds?

In preparing coffee, you use coffee beans and a cup of hot water that you are going to use. 

You can use coffee beans or grounded coffee to mix in with your hor water. Once your cup of coffee is finished, you will notice that there are some leftover coffee bits. These are called coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds are the by-product of coffee.

If you use a coffee machine to make your coffee, then the coffee grounds will be stored in your coffee machine. 


Many people assume that coffee grounds are just a waste product and tend to throw them away. But there are other useful ways to utilize those coffee grounds.

Is It Ok to Reuse Coffee Grounds?

According to the National Coffee Association, you should never reuse the coffee grounds.

When you use fresh coffee grounds to prepare your cup of coffee, this gets mixed with hot water. The main reason you should not reuse coffee grounds is the extraction process.

Once the coffee beans are in contact with hot water, they automatically extract all the oils flavor aroma producing the desirable coffee flavor that we love.


The ideal extraction for coffee is 18% to 25%. Below 18 ad above 25% leads to either an acidic taste or a bitter taste in your coffee. So when you use those extracted coffee grounds for another cup of coffee, they would’ve already lost most of their soluble components.


Before you decide to reuse your coffee grounds, here’s what a perfect cup of coffee should include:

  • Water to coffee ratioEzoic
  • Duration of the extraction process
  • The temperature
  • Coffee beans

So if you’re very concerned or particular about the flavor profile for your coffee, then do not reuse coffee grounds. However, if you like to add more cream and sugar to your coffee, you can reuse coffee grounds as you are less likely to notice the flavor change.

If you reuse coffee grounds, then your second cup will not even taste anywhere close to the taste of your first cup.

Is It Safe to Reuse Coffee Grounds?

There is nothing left to extract from your coffee grounds for the second time, but if you want to reuse it, make sure to reuse your coffee grounds immediately.

The longer your coffee grounds sit, they are prone to become a breeding ground for bacteria.

So even if you use your coffee grounds after a couple of hours, they are likely to be contaminated with bacteria and potentially dangerous to consume.

Additional Uses of Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are not just a waste product, but you can use them for various purposes such as:


Fertilizer in Gardening

You can use coffee grounds as artificial fertilizers because of their naturally acidic nature and other key nutrients essentials such as potassium, nitrogen, iron, etc., that are good for the health of plants.

Insect Repellent

Coffee can be used to attract worms, cockroaches, and other insects. So you can collect some coffee grounds in a jar or box to trap insects overnight. Moreover, by burning coffee, you can also create a mosquito repellent.

Learn more on whether coffee grounds keep squirrels away.


Coffee Scrub

There’s a quite different and unique use for your coffee ground. You can use coffee grounds to create a DIY scrub at home for your face to remove dead skin cells. 

Furniture Polish

You can also create a furniture polish from used coffee grounds. Used coffee grounds can also be used as a paste to conceal damages on furniture.


Natural Dye

Coffee grounds can be used to create a dark brown color dye for your hair. Blondes can use this natural dye to darken their hair color.

Improve Skin Texture

The caffeine in coffee grounds can be used to improve skin texture. For example, it can help to tighten your skin and reduce under-eye dark circles.


If you’re a true coffee lover and very particular about your coffee flavor, then do not reuse your coffee grounds.

Once the coffee grounds contact hot water, all the chemical compounds are extracted, leaving behind no flavor. 


If not used immediately, coffee grounds can become a breeding ground for bacteria that is dangerous to consume. 

Furthermore, coffee grounds can be used for various things such as furniture polish, skincare scrubs, and insect repellents. 


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