facebook twitter instagram youtube pinterest send location star star

Cook with Coffee

Surprising and Oh-So-Delicious Ways to Cook With Coffee

Coffee and Cooking

September 18, 2023

picture of the ingredients for making tiramisu when cooking with coffee

You may not have gotten a lot of recipes from your mom or dad for ways to cook with coffee. Sure, there might be handed-down ways to brew and flavor coffee, from grandma’s touch of cinnamon to Uncle Steve’s touch of scotch to your sister’s touch of pumpkin spice, sugar, and cream.

At Cooper’s Cask Coffee, our team of coffee nerds enjoy our single origin coffees unadulterated. There’s just something about drinking a delicious cup of black coffee. It shows off the flavors of the region where it was grown. We think it’s cool to discover how the taste and aroma of coffee from Tanzania differs from coffee that originated in Costa Rica.

So instead of adding stuff to our coffee, we’re more than happy to add coffee to our stuff! Read on for some unique ways you can cook with coffee for delicious results outside the cup.

Tiramisù Is Good for Your Bawdy

Tiramisù may be the world’s most well-known dessert. It’s a layered concoction of eggs, sugars, mascarpone, cocoa, lady finger cookies—and coffee. 

The name “tiramisù” came from the Treviso dialect of northeastern Italy. In the original form, “tireme su,” it meant “pick me up.” The dessert first appeared in 1800 in the city of Treviso, where it was served as a dessert by the madame of a bordello.

And here you thought it was a fancy-dancy treat you should eat with a pinky extended. Nope. It started as a sweet affection confection to re-energize patrons after a good meal. That way they could enjoy the evening’s, uhm—more corporeal entertainment, as it were.

Tiramisù uses espresso to ensure the coffee flavors stay intact along with the other flavors.

Recommended coffee: Kenya Medium-Dark Roast, for an espresso rich with overtones of smooth caramel and hints of cherry and citrus.

Related topic: how to make an espresso.

Red Eye Gravy

You’ve taken the red eye flight to save money (or to arrive early for whatever you have planned). But have you taken red eye gravy to the table for an amazing taste sensation? If not, it’s high time you enjoy this black coffee enhanced sauce.

Red eye gravy has a bold and salty flavor, and it works well on ham or drizzled on mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables like green beans or okra, grits, and as a dipping sauce for biscuits (or anything else you want to taste amazing).

The recipe is super simple. Using cast iron or stainless steel cookware, pan-fry ham steak. Make sure it’s ham; this doesn’t work like sausage gravy or other gravies. Ham gives it the smokey flavor along with the saltiness. 

After you fry the ham steak, remove it and leave in the grease and fond (the tasty bits left behind after cooking/searing meat). 

Next, carefully add black coffee and a bit of water. You’ll have to play around with the amounts, because some people like more of the coffee flavor, some less. However, it’s not a lot of coffee. Most recipes call for maybe a 1/2 cup of coffee and 1/4 cup of water.

Use a metal whisk to loosen up the fond, then bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it to about 1/2 the original amount. Portion out the gravy in shallow bowls, and serve right away. Salty, rich, and amazing. Great for waking up or staying up.

Recommended coffee: Colombia Dark Roast, for its rustic sweetness, cocoa, and dark fruit notes.

picture of 2 bags of cooper's cask coffee used to make red eye gravy when you Cook with Coffee

Make a Pot of Richer Red Chili 

If you’re a fan of red chili (vs white chili), try a batch that you cook with coffee to make your next bowl taste richer and rounder. 

You have your own chili recipe, so start there. After everything’s gone in and it’s simmering away, add about 8 ounces or less of strongly brewed plain coffee. You’ll need to decide how thick you like your chili, which will govern the cook-down time and the amount of coffee you add. It works well in any red chili, regardless of which meat you use.

Recommended Coffee: Sumatra Dark Roast, for a distinctly fuller body and lower acidity.

bag of cooper's cask coffee sumatra organic coffee to use for chili when cooking with coffee

There Lies the Rub

Every Master of the Grill has his or her own specialties for making amazing smoked and grilled meats. Most of them won’t tell you the secret ingredient that makes theirs unique because, well, it’s a secret. 

That secret might be using coffee in the rub!

Start with the clock. You’ll want to put the rub on at least an hour before the meat hits the smoke, and up to 3 hours beforehand for maximum flavoring and for tenderizing the meat. Yes, the acidity of the coffee can help make your chosen meat more tender. 

We like to use coffee in our sweet rubs. These are highly personalized recipes, and every Grill Master lies about how much because they don’t want you making their brisket as good as they do.

It works well with at least a base of brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin and/or chili powder, and kosher salt. Add some ground cayenne or jalapeno pepper for heat, if you like that.

Next add medium to medium-fine freshly ground coffee. The ratio is about 4 to 1, so you want 4 to 5 times the total other ingredients than the freshly ground coffee. Stir this up, sprinkle on your chosen meat, pat it in, and then let the meat rest for at least an hour.

When you smoke or grill it, you won’t taste “coffee.” You will, however, experience a richer flavor when you cook with coffee for a crowd-pleasing complexity of smoke, sear, juices, and just plain awesome sauce. 

Freshly ground coffee is the key to a great rub taste, so once you add the coffee to your rub, try to use it all. 

Recommended Coffee: Tanzania Peaberry Medium Light Roast for its bright, acidic flavor with notes of orange, raspberry, and wine. 

Note: if you really want to jazz up your rub, you might try our Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee, which could add rustic sweetness, dark fruit notes, a hint of cocoa, and a smooth bourbon finish.

Related topic: the difference between espresso roast and regular roast.

What’s Up With Grandma’s Syrup?

John Speights, co-founder of Cooper’s Cask Coffee, grew up in New England. Every early spring season—around February through April—the maple trees would start running sap up their trunks.

John’s grandmother would tap maple trees, collecting the sap. The process of making maple syrup takes quite a bit of time for cooking it down, because the ratio of raw sap to cooked-down syrup is about 40 to 1!

His grandmother went to the task, though, making her own homemade maple syrup. John remembers as a kid during breakfast, his grandmother would heat the syrup on the stove and add a little freshly brewed coffee to it. It changed the flavor by making it a little darker and definitely richer. The whole family loved grandma’s special maple syrup.

John often wonders if that’s where he developed his love for coffee. Thanks, grandma!

Recommended coffee: Guatemala Medium Roast, for the smooth taste of milk chocolate and creamy caramel with a hint of orange.

Thinking Outside the Cup

Brewed coffee is our jam. However, using Cooper’s Cask Coffee single origin beans as part of other recipes can surprise and delight as you cook with coffee. Plus, brewing up a pot as you go through your cookbook can give you energy for ideas!

If you wonder which of our coffees has the flavor profile that would compliment your recipe, try our Coffee Finder Tool to discover which brew matches what you do. Then bake, mix, or grill on for unforgettable foods and great memories.

Find Out What’s Cooking at Cooper’s

We have over 7000 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon for our products. We back our beans with a 100% money back guarantee, so you can try something new for brew without worry. 

All of our online orders are roasted fresh per order, never before. Plus we have the coolest coffee gear for brewing, drinking, and grinding coffee. If you like to cook with coffee, these accessories will kick it up a notch!

Small batch, big satisfaction.That’s Cooper’s Cask Coffee