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Many people swear by coffee to make it through the day, or even to just get their day started.  While making your own coffee at home is certainly more cost-effective than purchasing one from a coffee shop, the cost can still add up.  For this reason, you may be asking: “Can you reuse coffee grounds?”  Keep reading, and we’ll provide you with all the information you’ll need to learn about reusing coffee grounds.

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds?

Can you use coffee grounds more than once?

While you technically can reuse coffee grounds to make a new pot of coffee, there are a number of reasons why this isn’t a good idea.

When you make that first pot of coffee, once the hot water hits the coffee grounds, it releases the vast majority of the caffeine, flavonoids, proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants.  These are all the components that make that freshly brewed cup of coffee so enjoyable and effective.

However, if you try re brewing coffee, you won’t enjoy that same experience or taste.  Since the majority of the caffeine, flavor, and other components of the coffee grounds have already been extracted, your second pot of coffee will be less than desirable.  You’ll likely notice a major decrease in the flavor.  And, since most of the caffeine from the coffee went into the first pot, that second pot will be lacking in that area as well, and you’ll basically be drinking decaffeinated coffee.

So, if you’ve been wondering can you reuse coffee grounds for the next pot of coffee, you’re probably better off if you choose to use fresh grounds for each pot.  This will leave you with a better tasting cup of coffee that has sufficient amounts of caffeine to perform the important job of keeping you alert.

If you want to reuse coffee grounds next day, that may be an even worse idea than brewing a second pot right away.

When you brew coffee, the coffee grounds get wet (obviously) from the hot water that seeps through them.  If the wet grounds sit around for an entire day, they may become a breeding ground and allow bacteria to grow.  If you use the day-old grinds, you’ll be sending some of that bacteria into the coffee you’ll be drinking. Yuck!

Starbucks Medium Roast Ground Coffee — Breakfast Blend — 100% Arabica — 1 bag (20 oz.)

 

How Many Times Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds should really only be used one time to brew a pot of coffee.  Using them more than one time decreases the flavor, eliminates most of the caffeine, and may introduce bacteria into the second pot of coffee you brew.

Some people wonder, “how many times can you reuse coffee grounds for cold brew?”  Many think that this may sound like a better idea since cold brew coffee seeps longer than a standard pot of coffee and more ice and milk are mixed with it to dilute the flavor more.

However, if you try this, you’ll still notice that your cold brew coffee isn’t tasting as it should, and you really won’t be saving much money since coffee isn’t too expensive to start with.

If you are looking for information about how many times can you reuse coffee grounds because you are trying to save some money, reusing the grounds may not be the best answer.  Rather, consider finding a less expensive coffee to try that will produce even results for each pot, rather than trying to reuse the grounds and ending up with one pot that doesn’t deliver anything you need.

If you are looking for a few lower-cost, but still good coffees to try, check out a few of our recommendations:

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

 

Is it Bad to Use Old Coffee Grounds

But, is it bad to use old coffee grounds?

If you reuse your coffee grounds immediately after brewing a pot of coffee to make a second pot, it isn’t necessarily bad.

However, you probably won’t enjoy the second pot nearly as much as the first since the flavor won’t be right and there won’t be as much caffeine the second time around.

If you reuse coffee grounds next day, then it could be potentially dangerous.  Since the moist coffee grounds create a space where bacteria can grow, you may introduce some harmful bacteria into the second pot of coffee.  Reusing coffee grounds just generally isn’t a great idea.

Dunkin' Original Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounces

 

Using Coffee Grounds Twice

Just because reusing coffee grounds to make a second pot of coffee isn’t a great idea, don’t fret.

There are still a number of alternative uses for coffee grounds so you don’t have to feel like you’re just tossing them in the trash after only one use:

  • Some components found in coffee grounds are toxic to insects.  Sprinkling used coffee grounds around your yard, garden, or patio may work to keep pesky insects away from you.
  • Coffee grounds are coarse and can be effective when used as an exfoliant.  Considering making your own homemade bath scrub with coffee grounds and coconut oil and rubbing it against your skin to get rid of dirt or dead skin.
  • Coffee grounds can also be used to dye hair.  It can darken the color of a blonde and deepen the color and leave a nice shine for brunettes or redheads.
  • The antioxidants and caffeine in coffee may help reduce circles under the eyes.  Coffee grounds can help stimulate blood flow to decrease swelling beneath the eyes as well.
  • Try using coffee as a meat tenderizer.  Used coffee grounds contain enzymes and acids that work to break down proteins in meats.  This will make the meat more tender.  Using coffee as a meat tenderizer can also work to give meats a more powerful flavor.  If you’re interested in using coffee as a meat tenderizer, consider adding it in with a marinade and soak the meat in the marinade for a couple of hours before you cook it.
  • Old coffee grounds can also be used to make a special paste to cover up scratches on darker wooden furniture.  Apply a few coats of the paste made from the coffee until the scratches match the stain on the wood.

 

What Can You do with Old Coffee Grounds?

If you are still looking for a few additional ideas for how to use coffee grounds twice consider the many ways they can help your garden.

  • Coffee Grounds as Compost: Using coffee grounds in your garden is a great way to put those used grounds to work.  Coffee grounds can be added to a compost bin.  They are nitrogen rich and also offer good amounts of calcium, potassium, and magnesium to your compost bin, making them a good source of green compost material.  Be sure to supplement with some brown compost materials, such as leaves or newspapers, to maintain the ideal 4-to-1 ratio for brown compost material to green compost material.
  • Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer: In addition to using coffee grounds for a compost bin, they can also be used as fertilizer.  Their nitrogen can help fertilize the soil and help plants grow.  Coffee grounds have a nearly neutral pH and don’t pose concerns related to acidity.  When using coffee as a fertilizer, take care not to pile too many coffee grounds up in the same area as it may create a water resistant barrier.  Rather, sprinkle smaller amounts of coffee on top of the soil or mix it in with the first few inches of soil.
  • Coffee Grounds as Worm Food: Coffee grounds can also be used to feed worms in a garden.  Try adding about one cup of grounds each week to a worm bin or adding them to the soil to attract helpful earthworms to the soil.
  • Coffee Grounds as Natural Pest Control: You can also use coffee grounds to protect plants from snails and slugs. This is sometimes effective at keeping slugs and snails away from plants because of the abrasive nature of coffee grounds.

Eight O'Clock Ground Coffee, The Original, 36 Ounce

 

Can you reuse coffee grounds? Yes and No

While it may seem tempting to re brew coffee grounds to save a little bit of money, it just isn’t the best idea.

If you want to really enjoy your coffee, first choose a coffee with a flavor and caffeine level that matches your needs and preferences.  Then, learn how to brew coffee properly in your own home.  If you prefer flavored creamers, have some on hand so you can create your ideal cup of coffee.  Just don’t try to reuse coffee grounds if you are looking to brew a pot of coffee you’ll really enjoy.  Coffee is great, but even coffee fanatics enjoy a break from coffee every now and then.

When you’re ready for your next break from coffee, or if you’re just looking to add another enjoyable beverage to your day, consider trying brown rice green tea for its health benefits.