What to Do With Old Coffee Beans: 7 Creative Ideas

By Robert Parsons August 20, 2021

No one likes to waste. Well, we hope no one does. While it definitely is not a waste to utilize coffee beans to create our delectable drink of choice, some of you may have wondered if there is more to do with old coffee beans. The answer is yes. There are loads of uses for old coffee beans. 

We have 7 of the most clever options on what to do with old coffee beans from food, drinks, and other outliers that will definitely surprise you. No more suspense. Let’s jump into the crazy uses for old coffee beans that keep on giving.

1. Houseplants

While it might seem a bit left-field, coffee beans can be a great tool for caring for houseplants. Add some grounds to the soil for a natural fertilizer. Some people use grounds for this, but give it a shot with whole beans. Not only is this simpler, but it can be a lot less messy. Just be sure to mix the beans well with the soil mix and create a good ratio of soil to beans. For a 6 inch pot, you should only need a handful. 

Be mindful of the type of coffee bean you are using, however, as some are more acidic than others. If you know anything about plants, you should know that too much acidity is not a good idea. If you do drink more acidic coffee beans types such as Arabica, invest in a pH meter to ensure you are keeping your plant healthy while opting for your organic coffee fertilizer. We don’t want any plant deaths on our watch. 

2. Coffee Candle

Well, not quite a candle, but you can create a coffee scent throughout your home even without brewing a pot. Boil some water on a potpourri burner. Add the beans to the pot and watch your home transform into the coffee shop scene of your dreams. You can mix the coffee aroma with other scents in your potpourri as well if you would like a hint of something else. 

3. Alcohol and Coffee? Yes, please. 

The world’s two favorite beverages in one. Yes, coffee and alcohol have a place together and it is beautiful. There are many ways this can be done, but as far as used coffee beans, try adding them into a liquor of your choice for infused coffee liquor. 

There are a lot of components that will need some personal judgement as far as amount, soak time, and cocktails to create with this devine liquor, but if done well, you could have the perfect storm up your sleeve for your next cocktail night. 

4. Add Some Flavor

Yes, used coffee beans lose most of their initial flavor. Hence the dilemma of figuring out ways to reuse them. However, there is nothing that a bit of innovation can’t fix. Grab another flavour-packed pod such as vanilla or caramel and empty it into a bag. 

Mix this with the coffee beans and infuse your coffee beans with a new flavor. This may take a bit of trial and error to find the perfect combination of flavor and time, but give it a bit to soak it in before trying to reuse the beans as normal. 

5. Chocolate Treat

A big trend right now that comes with a large price tag in the stores is chocolate coffee beans. Instead of spending money on the store-bought version, try it out with your used coffee beans and see what the hype is all about. This treat is perfect for a midday snack that gives a small kick of caffeine without requiring an entire other cup of coffee. We covered exactly what you will need to create this tasty treat in another article right here. 

6. Crafts

This one is a bit of a stretch, but if you have kids, coffee beans are a great addition to arts and craft project days. Use them as a decor that can be glued onto a picture or build a shaker with coffee beans inside a ball. There are hundreds of options when it comes to simple and fun kid-friendly options for coffee beans. 

7. Decor

For all the DIY ladies and gents, coffee beans can be used as home decor as well. You just need some creativity and a vision to execute the best uses of beans as inspiration. Try adding them to an empty glass candle or centerpiece to create a homey look for the holidays or just fall and wintertime in general. Nothing screams warmth and comfort like coffee. 

8. Grind the Beans

If none of the other options seems to satisfy you, you can always grind the beans and create a plethora of options with used coffee grounds. We have an entire other article dedicated to coffee ground uses, so swing over there and see if this seems more useful for your home. To name just a few, you can make a face scrub, use grounds to clean your dishes, or even use them as an ant repellent. 

There you have it. Seven creative coffee bean uses and a bonus. Now run home, make yourself a cup of coffee, and try out one of these options with your used coffee beans and see what you think!