Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew? Why or Why Not?

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Throwing away your coffee grounds is a natural part of the coffee-making process. However, you might have wondered about the possibilities of reusing coffee grounds for your next round of cold brew. 

You can certainly reuse coffee grounds, but we do not recommend it. Almost all the goodness and flavors of the coffee grounds are extracted in the first round itself. However, if you’re running short on coffee grounds, we can familiarize you with a few techniques to get the most out of your used coffee grounds. If this interests you, this guide is for you!

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew? Why or Why Not?

How to Reuse Ground Coffee

Here are two ways you can reuse coffee grounds for cold brew

Method #1: Re-brewing Coffee Grounds

If you want the most out of each batch of coffee beans, this brewing method is for you. 

1. Choose the Right Coffee Beans

Since you’re planning to reuse these beans, we suggest you go with a dark roast coffee, provided you don’t mind strong coffee. Opt for a coarse texture to keep the residue out of your coffee. 

READ MORE: How To Grind Coffee Beans For Cold Brew?

2. Add the Water

Use only half a cup of cold water for each serving. For example, if you want two cups of coffee, use one cup of water. 

3. Let the Coffee Grounds Brew

Soak the coffee in water for no more than 8 hours. Make sure you don’t go beyond the stipulated brew time, or else you might end up extracting all the flavors.

4. Prepare Your First Serving

Take 50% of the coffee grounds for your first serving and add water to it. Let the mixture sit for another four hours. Next, drain the water and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee. 

Take the coffee grounds that remain in the container and put them back into the original container of concentrated brew. 

5. Prepare the Second Cup

Before you prepare the second serving, add water to the remaining brew and leave it for at least 8 to 12 hours. Use the standard cold brew process to enjoy a delicious second cup of coffee. 

Method #2: Preserving Coffee Grounds

This method is for anyone who doesn’t have a coffee maker at hand but still wants to reuse a batch of coffee grounds. It works best for people who don’t want to reuse filtered coffee grounds completely.

1. Get a Coffee Ground of Your Choice

Choosing the right coffee beans for cold brew is easily the most important step. You can either buy fresh grounds for your favorite coffee or crush the beans. Make sure you only use coarse ground coffee to avoid any fine residue that could ruin the flavors of your drink. 

2. Prepare a Concentration Brew

Soak the coffee grounds in water for a concentrated brew. Remember to use at least 50 to 75 percent less water than you usually put in your coffee. Let it soak in the water for at least 10-12 hours for the best taste. You can also put the container in the refrigerator and leave it overnight.  

3. Prepare Your First Serving

Now that you’re ready to prepare your first serving, take out a small portion of the concentrated brew, and add the remaining water you set aside in step #2. Make sure you dilute only what’s needed to prepare a serving or two, not the whole container. 

4. Store the Remaining Brew 

Store the remaining concentrated brew in an airtight bottle to use for the next round. If you want to keep it fresh till the end of the day, add a few ice cubes to it. The ice will slowly melt into the brew and keep it fresh and tasty. 

can you reuse coffee grounds for cold brew

Things to Keep in Mind When Reusing Coffee Grounds

Before you reuse coffee grounds for your next round of coffee, make sure you tick these off your checklist: 

1.  Don’t brew it for too long. If you over-extract the coffee grounds, it will turn your coffee bitter. A good way to reduce the bitterness is to not reuse the grounds immediately.

2. Reused coffee grounds are more likely to be flavorless and dull. You can avoid this by using rich-flavored beans right off the bat.

3. It’s best not to have high expectations from reused coffee grounds. These methods will give you satisfactory coffee in a pinch, but certainly not as good as fresh grounds.

4. No matter what beans you choose, always go for a coarse grind to brew a cup of coffee. 


Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds Again and Again?

Typically, you shouldn’t use a coffee ground batch more than twice. Two rounds are enough to extract 100% of its flavors and taste. You’ll hardly have anything left to enjoy the third time. 

What Happens When You Use a Coffee Grounds Batch More Than Twice?

If the coffee beans are overused, your coffee taste will turn unfathomably bitter and dull. It will likely be unpalatable and weak.

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds for Every Coffee Recipe?

It’s best if you reuse coffee grounds only for cold brew coffee. Since the grounds here are soaked in water for a much longer time, you have a higher chance of extracting the entire flavor profile from the coffee grounds. After that, you can add milk and sugar to modify the recipe. 

Final Thoughts

Can you reuse coffee grounds for cold brew? Yes!

Quality aromatic coffee beans and grounds can make even a homemade coffee comparable to a professional coffee shop. That’s why we do not recommend reusing coffee grounds if you want a lip-smacking cup of coffee. But if you’re left with no other choice, we hope the techniques mentioned above will come in handy to get you the best possible cold brew or hot coffee from used coffee grounds. 

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