Coffee rub

coffee rub

Let me ask you a simple question:
What is coffee used for?
You are probably thinking about different coffee-based beverages. You are not wrong, but there is a shocking reveal. Coffee is not just exclusive for drinking anymore and you can use it as a coffee rub.
If you want to know about coffee rub, its use, and different ingredients, you are in luck. In this article, we are about to discuss some aspects of coffee rubs.

What are coffee rubs?

A blend of herbs, salt, spices, and sometimes sugar is called a “rub”. Rubs can be used on meat, fowl, and fish. Like red wine, Coffee grounds are usually used as a type of rub for nearly different types of meat. Coffee has acidity and this attribute of coffee makes it a perfect pair with the delicious tones of meat.
You can use coffee rubs to make delicious and gourmet steaks out of cheap cuts of meat. That is why Chefs and barbecuers often combine coffee rubs and meat to make a variety of savory flavors.
The main purpose of coffee rubs is to increase the flavor of the meat and to introduce other flavors. Coffee rub acts like a spice. That is why coffee, whether ground or brewed, is ideal to be added to the meat.
This coffee-based spice works best when it is paired with other spices. Sea salt, mustard powder, black pepper, paprika, celery salt, garlic powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and any herbs and spices are some types of different spices and ingredients that can be added to coffee rubs.

Types of rubs

There are two types of rubs:

  • Dry rub
  • Wet rub

Dry rub

As we already mentioned, Chefs and barbecuers use rubs to enhance the flavor profiles from rubs for big brisket, to rubs for spicy chicken.
As you glean it from the name, dry rub is a combination of dry ingredients. You can rub this mixture on a piece of meat before you start cooking or grilling.

Can you eat raw coffee beans?

Wet rub

When you use a dry rub, you rub dry spices right on the meat. However, using a wet rub means suspending the seasonings and spices in cooking oil or some other liquid.
There is no major difference between dry and wet rubs and it is about your preferences. Actually, choosing dry or wet rubs comes down to the specific flavors and tastes you want to add to your food. For example, you cannot substitute soy sauce with a dry rub, so you are forced to use a wet rub.

a spoon of coffee grounds

Rubs Vs. Marinades

The main purpose of coffee rubs is to add flavor to the meat. they also might leave a bit of a crust after cooking.
On the other hand, Marinades do both of those duties. they can flavor and tenderize meat together. The tenderizing process happens when enzymes go to work on the protein strands.

How to use coffee rub?

The surface of raw meat can be an ideal place for all kinds of bacteria. So, it is necessary to be careful and spread the raw meat around when you’re applying a dry rub.
The best way to apply the rub is to use the two-handed method. Firstly, use one hand to scoop and sprinkle the rub. Secondly, use your other hand to massage the rub into the meat.
Start sprinkling the rub on the surface and leave an even layer of seasonings on all sides of the meat. Be careful because thick cuts of meat should get some rub on the “sides”, and not just on the two main surfaces. Use your opposite hand to start rubbing the seasonings(using a kneading-type motion) into the meat.
Some sources suggest rubbing the meat gently to avoid scratching the surface. Honestly, scratching the surface slightly gives you more surface area to hold more flavor from the seasonings.
Now that the rubbing part is over, you have three options. You can start cooking or grilling, you can store the meat, or you can apply a second layer. Have fun playing with flavors!

How Much coffee rub to Use?

There is a disagreement about the amount of coffee rub we should use. Some people believe you should use approximately 1 tablespoon of rub for every pound of meat. Other people believe you should go with your instincts and trust your eyes.
The more rub you apply, the more strongly you will taste the rub in your meat. The amount of rub you apply must be appropriate for your meant. For example, you have a fine cut of meat. If you use a lot of rubs, it will ruin the flavor of the meat itself. On the other hand, with big cuts, you can find lots of meat under the surface. This type of meat allows you to taste the true flavor of the meat no matter how much rub you apply.
The main goal here is to apply the rub evenly and don’t leave out any spots. Any areas of dry seasoning that are left behind have a chance to feel awful in your mouth after they’re cooked.
So in general, the amount of rub you use comes down to personal preference. Have fun experimenting.

Can you eat raw coffee beans?

When to add coffee Rub

There is a debate among experts about the proper time for adding coffee rubs. Some experts believe that the rub should be added right before you place the meat on the grill. Some believe that the rub should be added hours before, and some believe in rubbing it a day in advance.

Since we call this method dry rubbing, there’s no need to start the seasonings hours or even a day prior to the grill time.
In fact, if you are not looking to tenderize the meat, avoid putting the rub on too early before grill time could turn the surface of your meat to a soft, wet mass.
Now, just to be on the safe side, it is helpful to apply it in advance. Most of the time, it is enough just to massage it in right before you put it onto the grill and it will taste great.

What kind of coffee is best for coffee rubs?

The best kind of coffee for a coffee rub is medium to dark roast coffee beans. The type of coffee doesn’t matter and it is based on your preference. Honestly, the most important part for rubs is grind levels. Your grind level needs to be as fine as possible without it becoming a powder.

Does coffee rub have caffeine?

Caffeine is not a delicate chemical, so it can survive roasting and baking. The amount of caffeine in a dish that is prepared using the flavorful rub is negligible. But if you really can’t have caffeine, you can always switch from regular coffee to decaffeinated coffee.

Can you eat raw coffee beans?

What does coffee rub taste like?

Coffee rubs usually have a great and deep earthiness taste which is slightly bitter, but not unappealing. Honestly, the taste of coffee rub will depend on the other ingredients that you use to make your rub.

Coffee rub recipes

Here are some recipes for different types of meat:

  • coffee-rubbed steak
  • coffee-rubbed chicken

Note: For each type of meat you can find different recipes based on specific countries or regions.

coffee-rubbed steak

Follow this recipe for a delicious steak.


  • 1 tbsp of espresso coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp of onion powder
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of chili powder

(tbsp stands for “tablespoon”)

(tsp stands for “teaspoon”)


  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4


It is super easy.

  1. Just put espresso powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar, black pepper, salt, and chili powder together in a bowl. Now you need to blend them.
  2. Rub the mixture on both sides of the steak.
  3. Set the steak aside for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow the rub to penetrate the chicken.
  4. Start grilling both sides of steaks over medium-high heat.
  5. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

  • Sodium: 590.9 mg
  • Calories: 28
  • Carbohydrates: 6.6 gm
  • Protein: 0.6 gm
  • Fat: 0.4 gm

coffee rub

coffee-rubbed chicken

Follow this recipe for a wonderful chicken meal.


  • 4 tsp of ground coffee
  • 4 tsp of sea salt
  • 4 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp of ground mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 or 1/2 tsp of cayenne (This item is optional)

(tbsp stands for “tablespoon”)
(tsp stands for “teaspoon”)


  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4


  1. Add in all the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix and Whisk the ingredients together
  2. Rub the mixture on all sides of the chicken.
  3. Put pork and chicken away for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow the coffee rub to penetrate the chicken.
  4. Grill both sides of the chicken over medium-high heat.
  5. Enjoy!

Nutrition facts

Per serving:

  • Calories: 152.7 kcal
  • Potassium: 221.5 mg
  • Calcium: 8.7 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 2 gm
  • Protein: 14 gm
  • Vitamin A: 225 IU
  • Fat: 9.25 gm
  • Cholesterol: 63.7 mg
  • Sugar: 1.5 gm

You can use this recipe for pork chops too.

Final thought

Coffee rubs are alternative ways to benefit from coffee beans. If you are looking to buy some rubs you can check coffeevibes, visit our online coffee store, and order some to add rich flavors to your meals.

You can write about your experience in the comment section.


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If you're a coffee fanatic who enjoys the first sip of coffee every day, you understand the magical power of good coffee beans. I've been crazy about coffee for a quite long time, and I truly enjoy learning about different types of coffee and all the facts about caffeine. So, I decided to share my experience with you to help you choose coffee beans like a pro and find your favorite type of coffee. Hope you enjoy!

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