How To Use Coffee In Your Kitchen, Besides Just Drinking

November 02, 2022

Coffee’s role as a pantry staple can quickly feel very one-dimensional. While it’s mostly consumed as a beverage at home, coffee can be used in numerous ways to create all kinds of exciting dishes. More importantly, coffee does not need to be solely consumed as a brewed liquid. Instead, coffee can be ground, mixed into foods, and transformed into different textures to elevate all types of recipes.

Similar to how we encourage experimentation with brewing coffee at home, our team at Lardera supports the idea of thinking beyond the espresso machine to make coffee part of your ingredient artillery.

Coffee In Desserts

Arguably the course with the most coffee-flavored recipes, dessert is always an exciting part of a meal to play around with fresh grounds. One of the world’s most iconic desserts, tiramisu, is a coffee-flavored sponge cake that calls for fresh espresso. Another Italian classic is the affogato, which only calls for fresh espresso poured onto a scoop of vanilla gelato.

Coffee goes particularly well with chocolate since the two have similar flavor profiles. They share a deeply rich, semi-bitter flavor that is delicious on its own or with sugar, making these two a match made in heaven. Instant coffee or brewed coffee can be incorporated into chocolate cake recipes, brownies, or chocolate souffle, to name a few options. A rich chocolate fudge sauce can be enhanced by the depth of flavor that coffee brings as well.

Lightly roasted coffee packs a unique flavor palate for desserts. With a natural brightness and citrus-like notes, light roast coffee pairs well with nut-heavy desserts, such as banana nut muffins or coffee cakes with mix-ins like walnuts, pistachios, and almonds.

For these recipes, try our Peru coffees, all lightly roasted and a perfect dessert pairing.

Coffee’s Role At The Grill

Many people naturally group coffee with sweet flavors, but it’s not a naturally sweet ingredient until sugar is added. Brewed coffee is a great addition to marinades by bringing its acidic, fruity, and nutty flavors to meat. Coffee also doubles as a natural tenderizer, allowing the meat to break down slightly before hitting the grill.

When braising meats, incorporating brewed coffee into your braising liquid does a number of delicious things. The coffee will eventually begin to caramelize in the bottom of the pot, bringing tons of sweet, savory, and semi-bitter properties to the dish. Coffee grounds and instant coffee can also make their way into dishes as part of your spice rub or dry brining mix.

For these recipes, try our Colombian coffees, all lightly roasted with a complex profile to bring out the umani flavor in your grilled goods! Pair it with the Chestnut grinder to get the grind just right.

Coffee In The Morning - In More Ways Than One

Coffee can be enjoyed at breakfast in a number of ways. It can be stirred into butter to produce an infused spread that’s delicious on pancakes or waffles. Coffee’s acidity also pairs wonderfully with the fat and richness of bacon, making it great as part of a glaze.

For ways to transform coffee texturally, coffee can be enjoyed as part of a delicious marmalade on buttered toast. Brewed coffee can also be stirred into gravies to enhance its savory notes before pouring it on biscuits or other breakfast classics.

Coffee At Cocktail Hour

Although we began this article by stating that coffee can be enjoyed in more ways than just a beverage, we still recommend it as part of your cocktail repertoire.

Espresso martinis are a popular happy hour order that balances out the cocktail’s gin or vodka with its natural sweetness and bitter notes that combine wonderfully with coffee liquor. The Carajillo is another classic that pairs coffee’s bright acidity and warmth with notes of citrus and spices. If you’re interested in adding a hint of coffee to a refreshing cocktail, sprinkle some espresso beans into your gin and tonic and allow the coffee’s natural oils to seep into your cup. You’ll still enjoy the crisp flavor of your drink with a subtle coffee note lingering in the background.

What's your favorite coffee? Try it in these various forms to enjoy it all day long!