Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds For Cold Brew?

What happens if you run out of fresh coffee ground but cannot live without your daily cup of coffee? You may think of reusing your used coffee grounds to make coffee. However, you may be hesitant as you do not know whether you can use it again. 

With traditional brewing methods like French Press, Espresso machine, or hot brew, you cannot reuse your old coffee grounds since the result would be a horrible-tasting drink. However, with another cold brewing way, you can make use of your used coffee grounds and still get a pretty decent cup of coffee. So, the short answer to the question “Can you reuse coffee grounds for cold brew?” is yes and you can find out the more detailed answer below.

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds after the first brewing?

You can reuse coffee grounds for a cold brew if you have no fresh coffee grounds around and you cannot get some fresh coffee grounds immediately. In other words, reusing coffee grounds for cold brew should be your last resort.

As coffee lovers ourselves, we would not recommend you try this way out of curiosity. Since coffee will release all its flavor and goodness in the first brew, reusing your old coffee grounds will always result in off-tasting coffee. Thus, the second brew can release all the off-flavor substances in the ground to the water while these substances stay with the ground in the first brew. Hence, you should not expect the taste of your regular coffee when you plan on reusing the coffee grounds the second time.

Moreover, cold brew coffee is the only way for reusing used coffee grounds. If you rebrew your used coffee grounds in hot water, the second round of coffee extraction is bound to be off. Since all the coffee compounds have already been removed in the first hot coffee brewing, there will be nothing left to extract from the coffee grounds the second time you put it through hot water. 

Meanwhile, since cold brew coffee allows the used grounds to steep in the water for a much longer time, all the remaining parts will get extracted from the coffee in this long process. Thus, since the coffee grounds do not meet hot water in this way, you can rest assured that you will not get off-tasting coffee with this process.

How Many Times Reusing Coffee Grounds for cold brewing? 

We would say that you can reuse your coffee grounds one time. After two rounds of brewing your coffee grounds, you may not be able to extract anything from it the third time. Hence, you should brew coffee twice and rebrew coffee grounds once.

You will have to let your coffee sit for much longer for the second round of coffee extraction. The second brew will result in coffee that has a milder taste and aroma. These coffee grounds will be over-extracted, leading to a bitter and sour taste. Thus, the caffeine you should get from your used coffee grounds is much lower than that of the fresh grounds. Again, if you love coffee for its taste, aroma, and caffeine content, we do not recommend rebrewing your used coffee grounds.

With that being said, you should mask the off-tasting coffee in the second brew with milk, sweetener, or even flavored syrup. After you are done with the second brew, you could add sugar or creamer to the coffee. In this way, the difference between the first brew and the second brew will be insignificant.

If you still have a little bit of fresh coffee lying around, you should mix this fresh coffee with the used ground and you should do everything. This will give you better-tasting coffee. Thus, in this way, yours will be much stronger in terms of caffeine content. 

So, the answer to the question “How many times can you use coffee grounds?” is twice. After the second time, please get rid of your used coffee grounds.

How To Reuse Grounds for Cold Brew Coffee

If you don’t want to throw away your used coffee grounds some days ago and think it still has something to offer. Actually, it is still reusable, you should repurpose your used coffee grounds with your suggestions below.

  • Fertilizer: Coffee grounds, even used ones, are rich in nitrogen. Since nitrogen can help leaves grow faster, you can feed your used coffee grounds to your plants if you have any. However, only put used coffee grounds into your green. Don’t put this in your flower pot since coffee grounds cannot help your flower grow. This also works as a composer. Hence, reusing your coffee grounds as fertilizer can be a great way to protect the environment and reduce waste, if these are your main purposes for reusing used ground coffee. 
  • Coffee scrubs: If you are looking for homemade body scrubs or face scrubs, used coffee grounds are the way to go. Even though the coffee extraction has already extracted all its goodness, used coffee grounds can still have some nutrients that are beneficial for your skin. Hence, if you can use this as it is or mix the used grounds with sugar or essential oil to exfoliate your skin, you would be amazed at the result.
  • Prevent insects: This is an uncommon way to reuse coffee grounds. Yet, it works wonders. All you have to do is mix the coffee grounds with water and spray this mixture wherever you want. 

Conclusion

Now you have had the answer to the question “Can I reuse coffee grounds for cold brew?”. Yes, keep in mind that the coffee flavor will be much milder in the second brew. So, if you love strong coffee, we would not recommend reusing your old grounds. Thus, if you still have fresh coffee grounds at hand, do not resort to this method. Coffee always tastes the best in its first brew. If you have any comments about using used coffee beans or coffee grounds, please share them with me! 

Further reading: French Roast Vs Italian Roast: The Difference Between