You might wonder if you can get away with brewing coffee more than once if you want to save money and reduce unnecessary expenses. Although that’s a fair thought, we regret to say that we do not advise it. When coffee grounds are used, most of the oils and compounds have already been removed, leaving little that can make a delicious cup of coffee.
You can see quite a debate on using your coffee ground a second time after the first extraction process. In our guide, you can find out more about can you reuse coffee grounds or whether there is a significant difference in the quality of your coffee.
By the end, you’ll see both sides of the debate between coffee enthusiasts. You’ll learn that some methods leave you with extraordinary results as the old coffee grounds are drained of their caffeine content more than others. (Learn How Long Does Coffee With Milk Last In The Fridge)
Can You Use Coffee Grounds Twice?
Here you can see both sides as to why you shouldn’t use your coffee ground twice and why it is fine to do so in some instances.
Note: If you do, you may save money, yet you’ll lose out on the taste you love if you use your leftover coffee grounds.
The reason you shouldn’t brew coffee grounds twice is the extraction process.
When hot water contacts ground coffee, it dissolves, and the oils and flavor compound mix into the water, creating the familiar cup of coffee flavor.
These compounds are gone once removed from coffee grounds and using the same coffee grounds will yield a cup of coffee that offers a unique collection of flavors than the initial cup — not a slightly weaker version of the same cup.
Over-extraction is another issue with recycling wet coffee grounds. Imagine you finish brewing a cup of coffee and then pour more water through the grounds to make a second cup.
This is like letting water sit on coffee grounds longer, which produces a harsh, astringent taste if you immediately reuse coffee grounds
If you’ve ever made French press coffee and left it to lie too long, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the harsh flavors of over-extracted coffee.
On the other side, can you use coffee grounds twice? Again, some individuals say you can. However, we don’t recommend doing it if you are hoping for high-quality results. This is due to the fact that reusing coffee grounds would result in weak and tasteless coffee. Still, on the plus side, it will be caffeinated.
Another consideration is the build-up of bacteria. Used coffee grounds have exposure to the air and are moist, meaning they are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. If you choose to reuse the coffee grounds, do so once they are cool, and don’t use old grounds that have been exposed to the air all day. Also, make sure you only reuse them once, as the benefits of using them more than this will be negligible.
It stands to reason that coffee made with reused grounds will not be as flavorful as fresh grounds. That’s because the first brew extracted most coffee components and flavors. To emphasize this point, we put this to the test to see how the quality of the coffee brewed with reused grounds diminished.
We don’t suggest it for high-quality results as when you reuse coffee grounds results in weak, bland coffee, although it’s still caffeinated. (Read Does White Coffee Have More Caffeine)
Bacteria growth is another issue. Used coffee grounds are air-exposed and damp; thus, they breed bacteria.
If you want to reuse coffee grounds, wait until they’re cool, and don’t use old, air-exposed grinds. Also, ensure to only reuse them once, as the benefits of doing so diminish.
Coffee brewed with reused grounds won’t be as tasty as fresh. This is because the first brew extracts most coffee tastes and components. To prove this, we put how brewing with reused grounds affected coffee quality.
If you want a second-morning cup, then you can throw in some hot water and use coffee grounds to make your second cup, yet it may need to sit longer to get satisfactory results.
How Much Caffeine Is Left In Used Coffee Grounds?
Is there enough caffeine to satisfy you if you brew coffee with used grounds? According to experts such as the American Chemical Society, most coffee beans have 10-12 mg/g of caffeine.
Used coffee grounds have a 3.59 to 8.09 mg/g, caffeine concentration according to a separate analysis when making coffee with used coffee grounds.
Despite the decline, spent coffee grounds still contain a decent quantity of caffeine so you can squeeze more coffee out of them.
Using used coffee grounds to make another cup is affected by certain factors.
Brewing process sits at the top and is followed by brew time and coffee grind size effect.
If you want coffee produced with reused grounds to have the same caffeine level as the first brew, you must adjust the water amount, brewing time, and water temperature, among other factors.
Same Brewing Method Taste Test of Fresh Vs. Used
Some places offer guidelines for using coffee grounds twice. However, here, we have taken the popular brewing methods and made coffee with fresh grounds, and then using these grounds again to determine the coffee taste.
Pour Over Coffee
Naturally, the second cup was not quite as dark as the first one, made with freshly ground coffee. The second cup had more in common with a cup of tea than the first one did with coffee.
Fresh grounds produced a batch with exquisite flavor. Sweetness and acidity were the two primary flavors in the taste profile, with a solid body.
Because of the watery look throughout the brewing process, we adjusted the coffee-to-water ratio when brewing the second cup of coffee with the same grounds.
The second cup had no apparent aroma other than an unpleasant scent of oils. The taste was mildly pleasant but appeared to be under-extracted.
The taste of the second batch, however, made with only 5 grams of coffee grounds and a whole pot of water, is more like French press coffee. The outcomes put it level with a drip coffee maker bit with a weakened bitter taste. (Read Starbucks Pink Drink Recipe)
Using fresh coffee grounds, the first shot requires 18 grams of coffee, which produces 36 grams of espresso in around 30 seconds. The outcome was, as anticipated, flavorful, potent espresso with a rich crema on top.
The second shot is brewed with the same grounds using the same procedure and equipment. The end product has a much lighter appearance and flavor. The brew was more watery overall, and the crema was bubblier.
The first espresso shot had a balanced taste, pleasant texture, clarity, and sweetness. It was an enjoyable espresso shot that we would expect using the Barista Pro with those coffee beans.
Meanwhile, the second shot was weak, hollow, and virtually tasteless. Again, the taste (or lack of) was a particular sticking point. To the palate, it is undrinkable and is nothing like the same taste from the first cup.
Cold Brew Coffee
Can you reuse coffee grounds for cold brew? You often steep grounds for 16 hours, so can they be reused?
Using old grounds makes weaker coffee, so, to improve cold brew, you may need to soak coffee grounds for 24 hours.
Even after 24 hours, the batch with reused coffee grounds was lighter than the batch with fresh grounds, which required 12 hours.
Once diluted with milk or water, a jar of cold brew brewed coffee with fresh grounds would be highly condensed and well-balanced. That’s because the high steeping time and low brewing temperature balanced out the acidity and bitterness.
In contrast, the batch that contained previously used coffee grounds tasted more like ready-to-drink cold brew than concentrate. As a result, the flavor wasn’t as strong as in the first batch. But, contrary to espresso, it was still a drinkable substance.
Overall, the results aren’t good enough to warrant using the coffee grounds more than once using the cold brews method.
You shouldn’t feel bad for throwing away used coffee grounds after your morning coffee, as coffee beans are only meant to be used once.
If you choose to do so, we advise just using cold brew with the coffee grounds. That’s because it was the sole brewing technique that produced drinkable output.
Alternative Uses For Reusing Coffee Grounds
As outlined in this article, used grounds are unsuitable for brewing another batch of coffee. However, after you drink your perfect cup, you can still repurpose old coffee grounds to get the maximum value.
Read on for our list of reusing coffee grounds once you have used them for brewing coffee. While the following are helpful, you can give your roast meat a unique flavor and use your grounds as a meat tenderizer.
Absorb Food Smells
Your used coffee grounds can gain the properties of baking soda if you spread them out on a baking sheet and let them dry. To that end, the spent coffee grounds will make well as a deodorizer for the food in your fridge.
Some of the used grounds can be stored in a small, unsealed jar in the fridge for a few weeks. Allow the grounds to begin absorbing the scents after that. (Read Does Dunkin Have Liquid Sugar)
Hand and Body Scrub
Old coffee grounds can be used to make a potent body or hand scrub by mixing one cup of the grounds with one cup of coarse sea salt. After that, stir in a cup of coconut oil.
Removing dirt particles and dead skin cells and exfoliating the hands will leave behind a rough natural body and hand scrub that will leave them clean and shining.
You can make a candle out of discarded coffee grounds if you like the aroma of coffee.
- You can accomplish this by using a double boiler or microwaving the food for around 90 seconds. Then, at a temperature of about 170F, melt some candle wax.
- Place a wick in the center of a far and gently pour in some of the molten wax as the wax cools to about 150F.
- Add a few of the used coffee grounds.
- Add more layers of wax and coffee grounds until the jar is filled after waiting about a minute.
- After that, trim the wick to the appropriate length, and your coffee-scented candle is ready.
As a wood furniture polisher:
Coffee grounds can be used as a wood furniture polisher in a hurry. To achieve it, sift the used grounds into a big glass after letting them soak for a few hours. Then, after adding two tablespoons of the strained mixture and about 100 ml of olive oil, stir for about 30 seconds.