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7 Delicious Ways to Use Coffee Beans in the Kitchen

1.) Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

There can’t be an easier snack to make at home, and finding a tastier treat is pretty difficult. Have you ever been to a coffee shop that gave you a chocolate-covered coffee bean with your drink? Skip the drive and make these at home. Buy whole coffee beans and high-quality chocolate. If you like it sweet, milk chocolate works great with the slight bitterness of the coffee bean. If you love dark and bitter flavors, dark chocolate and coffee will be a dream combo for your taste buds, but most will find the bitterness a bit overwhelming.

Melt approximately 12 oz. of your chosen chocolate over low heat or in the microwave, add a cup of coffee beans, and stir or toss until your beans are completely coated. Pour or ladle your covered beans onto a parchment covered sheet pan and wait for the chocolate to cool and harden. Store your beans in an airtight container and enjoy!

2.) Coffee Ice Cream

On a scorching summer day, a cup of coffee isn’t the soothing cup of relaxation it might be in winter—unless of course it’s from one of our cold brew bean bags. Our cold brews are the perfect pick-me-up on a warm day, but if you want something not just cool but frozen, take it up a notch with coffee-flavored ice cream. Adding instant coffee granules or brewed coffee to your favorite custard recipe is a great way to step up your homemade ice cream game. Our Downward Dog Decaffeinated blend is a great choice for desserts, as it brings caramel and cocoa notes to the party, and the low caffeine content means you can enjoy it day or night.

3.) Coffee Popsicles

Don’t have an ice cream maker? Can’t make custard without scrambling eggs? Don’t sweat it; you can still beat the heat. Reusable popsicle trays are on sale every summer, and coffee popsicles are a genius innovation in the field of frozen treats. Brew a pot of coffee and allow it to cool slightly. Pour your coffee into your popsicle tray and place it in the freezer. In a few hours, you’ll have deliciously cold popsicles with a caffeine kick.

The great thing about making your own popsicles is their versatility. Using black, unsweetened coffee means this snack is great for low-sugar diets. For those of us who aren’t as concerned with our summer bodies, adding cream or sugar to the coffee before freezing can give you a treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Bonus tip: You can also freeze coffee in ice trays to make ice cubes that won’t water down your iced coffee or cold brew.

4.) Make a Cocktail

Coffee doesn’t have to remain relegated to mornings and work-time pick-me-ups. Bring coffee into happy hour with a few different cocktails. With 2 ounces of vodka, 1.5 ounces of coffee liqueur, and 1 ounce of espresso, you can craft a Coffee Martini, a perfect drink for a sophisticated evening. Don’t have access to espresso at the bar? Switch it out for cream and have a White Russian instead. Served on ice, the White Russian is sweet, cool, boozy, and an ideal coffee drink for summer nights.

5.) Coffee Syrup

Flavored coffee syrup is a versatile purchase that can quickly become a kitchen staple. Adding the syrup to desserts, morning pastries, or even drinks can add a splash of great coffee flavor to your day. We love adding a dash of coffee syrup to a dark soda for a depth of flavor that elevates a regular cola. And if you don’t want to buy the syrup, making it yourself is as easy as dissolving a cup of sugar in a cup of simmering coffee. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool before storing it in an airtight container. This syrup may even come in handy for those cocktails!

6.) Use Coffee as a Spice

Most people hear the word “spice” and head straight for the herbs, but coffee holds its own in the spice rack. You will need to grind the beans, but coffee is great in spice blends. Add it to a rub for meat and poultry for an interesting hint of darker, toasty flavors. Coffee rubs are especially good for barbecue, where they highlight the smokiness of the grill. Coffee and paprika are often used together to create a flavorful, spiced crust on your meat of choice.

7.) Bake It In

Coffee is an all-star when it comes to baked goods. Not only is a cup of coffee the best way to complement a pastry, but coffee is a wonderful flavor addition to the pastry itself. Obviously, coffee-flavored cakes, cookies, and other treats are great, but coffee may work best in a supporting role here. Adding a hint of coffee to chocolate desserts will make the chocolate flavor more robust and “chocolatey” than it would be without the coffee. Add ground beans, espresso, or even freshly brewed coffee to your recipes to make them stand out.

This is generally done by replacing the normal liquid called for in a recipe with your coffee of choice. While coffee is a standard addition to chocolate desserts, don’t be afraid to add a little java to other recipes. A hint of coffee adds caramel, toasty, slightly bitter notes that complement a wide range of flavor profiles. Our favorite is a nutty, spiced coffee cake. The key is to only add a hint; if the taste of coffee is obvious, you may have added too much. Be subtle and you will find that coffee will take your baking to a whole new level.

If you’ve only been using those coffee beans for your morning brew, you’re missing out on a world of options for maximizing the power of the bean. And if you want to help animals while leveraging your coffee beans for all kinds of goodness, make sure to buy from Hugo Roasters—the coffee that supports animal rescue efforts.