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Photo by Christina Rumpf on Unsplash 

Think outside the cup! 5 clever ways to cook with coffee

If you need a boost of caffeine, why not try cooking with coffee?


Because coffee should be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, AND dinner.

Coffee has become a source of national pride here in Ireland. There are a variety of local coffee producers and roasteries all around the country, making each and every flat white or americano special.

If you need even more coffee in your life, try incorporating it into your cooking. Not just something to be added to desserts, coffee can add incredible flavour to savoury dishes too. Read on for five of our favourite ways to cook with coffee.

Read more: Meet the Makers: Coffee Roasters

Add coffee to braising liquid

Coffee can quickly add a lot of flavour to a dish, especially beef. By adding a teaspoon of espresso powder to a marinade or the liquid you plan to cook the beef in, you'll add a bittersweet note to the overall flavour, as the coffee will caramelise and cook out deliciously. Try combining stout, a little dark chocolate and chilli with a little espresso and you'll have some amazing flavours on your hands.

Coffee-based spice rubs

Similarly to the above point, coffee works so well with meat. If you're making a spice rub for beef, pork or lamb (especially lamb rack), add some coffee; it will caramelise and create a smoky flavour in the meat. 

Infuse gravy with a hint of coffee

The best thing about making a jus or gravy is that you can infuse it whatever you fancy and allow everything to develop together to create layers of flavour. If you're making a red wine jus to go with a roast, but don't really have enough time for the flavours to develop, add a little coffee and maple syrup. These flavours will help to balance out any raw red wine or tomato flavours, adding extra depth that you haven't had time to allow to develop. 

Read more: Upgrade Your Flat White With Dublin's Coolest Coffee Art

Coffee-poached fruit

Poached fruit, like pears or plums, are a great option for dessert. Often cooked in red wine or spiced sugar syrup, coffee is a delicious option to use in place of water in the sugar syrup used to poach fruit. Try poaching plums in a 2:1 mixture of coffee to sugar with some vanilla and brandy or whiskey – we guarantee you'll enjoy the result!

Enhance your bakes

It might seem obvious, but adding some coffee to any chocolate dessert will increase the flavour massively. When incorporating liquid into a chocolate sponge, adding a teaspoon or two of espresso dissolved in hot water can make all the difference. Try it in biscuits, cakes and more to discover a whole new level of flavour.

READ MORE: How sustainable is your cup of coffee?