Alternative uses for Turkish coffee


You drink your coffee and then what? If you’re fortunate enough to be drinking Turkish then you might have your fortune read, but then what? You wash away your cup, coffee grounds and all, and head on through the day until your next fix.

Well, have you ever pondered a thought on where else you can use coffee in your life? Thought not… OK, here goes - by the way, this is long so make sure you’ve got some time on your hands.

Coffee in your cooking:

What better place to start than in the kitchen, because that is where the coffee is, right? Let coffee be your secret recipe ingredient. Using a sprinkling of coffee grounds in various cooking recipes can be your little piece of “magic”. We’ve taken a look at three recipes but do a google search on cooking recipes using coffee and you’ll be surprised at what there is out there.

1. Coffee in your bread

Bread is the main staple of Turkish cuisine, so what better food to kick this post off than using Turkish coffee in making bread. Because Turkish coffee is generally light to medium roast and extremely finely ground, you can be sure that your recipe will receive greater approval from your pallette than other coffee grinds. Look what 101 Cookbooks suggests.

2. Coffee as a meat rub

For all you meat-lovers, just reading this recipe is going to make you hungry. Slow cooked slices of deliciously juicy, tender beef. What could possibly be better than that. Well, to give your brisket a nicer earthy and bbq’d flavour, why not prepare a good meat rub with Turkish coffee and create a meal fit for a Sultan? Read Epicurious’ recipe on Epicurious. It’s got a 4/4 fork rating and 80% “I’d definitely make it again” feedback. Can’t argue with that...

3. Coffee in energy bites

So who likes oatmeal and coffee? So lets mix them and make a super-duper energy bite.

Blissfulbritt knows how...

Coffee on your body:

Did you know you can use used coffee grounds on your body. If you’re into making your own lotions and potions, then add some coffee grounds to benefit from its antioxidant and exfoliating qualities. Turkish coffee is particularly useful because it is the finest grind of all coffee grinds, which makes it extra mild on your skin.

4. Coffee in hand / face / body / shaving soap

Coffee is a great natural deodoriser so it is perfect for making soap with…

If you’re a novice at soap making, be extra careful so that you don’t burn the skin off your hands when you first use it - like I did! But once you get the hang of it, we can guarantee you that you won’t want to buy a bar of soap again. Head on over to Soap Making Essentials to get you started.

5. Turkish coffee as a face and body scrub

Why not give your body the same coffee pleasure as you give your palate. Better than chemicals, we think. Using Turkish coffee in particular is very beneficial for this because it is the finest ground coffee available and therefore will be most suited to all types of skin, even the most sensitive ones. You can find out what to use and how to use it to make your own homemade coffee scrub on Tulisan, who is an Indonesian artist-illustrated design brand, founded by Melissa Sunjaya in Jakarta. Nice designs but even nicer Turkish coffee body scrub recipe.

6. Turkish coffee as a cellulite treatment cream

Ladies, this is a sensitive subject but the quicker we can get it out into the open, the quicker we can get over it, right? Now there are two ways to deal with this; either you go and pay a handsome price to buy the latest cellulite cream, or you make your own…

The science behind the claim is from a 2007 study at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and then not to be outdone, the University of São Paulo backed it up with their own study in 2008. Does anyone know the difference between Brazilian coffee production and sales around those years?

Here’s the Cinqmondes version and here's the DIY version from Elle Magazine. It’snot any DIY anti-cellulite body scrub - it’s Elle Magazine DIY anti-cellulite body scrub).

7. Coffee as a hair mask

This is one for the brunettes out there, or of fine ladies who may be noticing one or two greys beginning to pop out. Using coffee grounds in a hair mask has a whole host of benefits; it will give you more bounce and shine, stimulate healthy growth and leave a nice natural highlights (and cover the greys). So if you want to give your hair a va-va-voom treatment, check out Her Act, which shows you what to use and how to use it.

8. Coffee as flea repellent

If your poor pet pup is stressed out from endless scratching, sure bet she’s got fleas. One of the most effective ways to rid her of her misery is to rub used coffee grounds through her coat and then rinse off as normal. Webponder can help you out. Don’t delay, your pooch is counting on you...

Coffee in the garden:

You would not believe the number of weird and wonderful uses of used coffee grounds in the garden. Practically everywhere you can think of, you can find a use for coffee grounds.

9. Coffee in compost

The acidity of roasted coffee is removed during the brewing process and hence used grounds are essentially neutral. Composting them with other materials will buffer any minor residual acidity. We’re no scientists but brewing Turkish coffee takes longer and so one would argue that the residue is even more neutral (unlike us - we’re as biased as it comes). So what do you need to do?

Check out The Compost Gardener.

10. Coffee as a fertiliser

Science is the future and we love scientists because they tell us that coffee grounds contain useful amounts of phosphorus and potassium, are a low-level source of nitrogen and also contain minor amounts of calcium, magnesium, copper, and other trace minerals, carbohydrates, sugars, some vitamins, and some caffeine. Everything you could possibly need to grow your tomatoes, roses, azaleas & blueberries, evergreens, camellias, avocados, and some fruit trees. But remember folks, don’t overdo it… It’s strong stuff, this coffee…. Green Planet shows you how to do it.

11. Coffee for growing mushrooms

We have talked about using coffee grounds as a fertilizer and compost. Well, how about focusing that garden knowledge and kicking off with growing your own mushrooms at home (you guessed it), with coffee…? If you’re thinking about the how’s you would do that, then the nice chaps at Gro Cycle even have an online course to help you get started - fantastic..!!

12. Coffee as an Insect repellant

Lets not beat about the bush here. Turkey has its fair share of mosquitoes. As you book your holiday, you’ll be sure not to forget to buy a bottle of insect repellent, right?. But what do you do if you’re the eco-friendly type of gal or you don’t want to spray yourself with a constant layering of chemicals 24/7?

Daily Lives has this ingenious method of using used coffee grounds to send smoke signals to those blood-sucking “sivrisinek”s. That’s Turkish for mosquito in case you wonder. It means “sharp fly” and we all know why, don’t we?.

Coffee for painting:

Coffee can cause unfortunate stains on your shirt or coffee table and it is a pain to remove it. But there is a whole host of people out there who purposefully dye, stain and paint using coffee and coffee grounds.

13. Coffee on fabric

Lura Lee says that certain fabrics such as cotton, hemp and wool are great for accepting a natural dye. You just need to make sure that you use the dye on fabric which hasn’t been in contact with skin, since once the fabric comes into contact with body oils, the dye won’t spread evenly - but that could also be your preference… If you wish to read more about it and get step-by-step instructions, then click I Need Coffee.

14. Coffee on wood

We are usually searching for ways to get rid of coffee stains from coffee tables. But what do you do if you can’t remove it at all? Go ahead and stain the whole table, of course. Staining furniture with chemicals can be harmful to your respiratory system, but using Turkish coffee grounds will only tantilise your nostrils and prompt you to go make a “cezve of kahve” and drink and stain and drink and stain and drink and…. Charles & Hudson tell you how.

15. Coffee on canvas

Painting using coffee is more common than we might think. There are quite a few links that show you how to prepare the mixture for light and dark shades suitable for painting. Here for example. But what I want to focus on is the story of Mr. Ekrem Baloğlu, a remarkable man, born in 1927, who spent his life in the Turkish Armed Forces. The story goes that following his retirement from the military he was drinking his coffee one morning, and spilt it suddenly over his newspaper. So intrigued with the unique shapes, it was his Eureka moment and since then he has put his time to good use by building up a sizeable collection of abstract paintings using used Turkish coffee grounds. In addition to coffee, he also uses carrot juice, beetroot juice and cocoa. With the help of his children, he began selling his art through an exhibition in Istanbul. The proceeds now go towards funding the educational needs of a student he sponsors. Anyone interested in finding out more and seeing his works, here is Mr. Ekrem Baloğlu’s website. It’s in Turkish, but as always we’re more than happy to help you get in touch with him if you need to - go on, he’ll be ever so pleased…

Coffee in the home

It’s not quite vinegar, but coffee has a myriad of uses in the home and the things you can do with it are near-endless. Here is a little selection for your inspiration.

16. Coffee in a candle

They say if you want someone to feel warm and welcomed in your house, you should have two fresh things in the house - fresh flowers and freshly brewed coffee. If you’re a regular brewer then you can use your coffee grounds to make your own coffee scented candle. This article on Instructables is very good. I tried it - it works and smells wonderful.

17. Coffee in your flower vases

If you’ve built up a collection of jars and haven’t had time to drop them off at the recycling bottle bank, then fear not. Rethink Simple gives you another use and that is to blend coffee grounds into a little soil, fill the base of a jar, stick some of your favourite flowers into the jar and hey presto, you’ve created a great looking flower vase and which smells great too.

18. Coffee to clean your fireplace

Traditional fireplaces are lovely, sitting beside it on a cold winter’s evening, sipping mulled wine is truly divine - but you still have to clean it every once in a while. So, it’s coffee to the rescue (again). Sprinkle moist coffee grounds onto the ashes and wipe away without turning your. The ashes will cling to the coffee grounds and stop your living room from turning into the London Smog. Check it out on Networx.

19. Coffee in a cockroach trap

I know that the first thing people would say is cockroaches won’t come to my house because my house is spotless. I’m sure that’s all true but sometimes it’s not just you. They could so easily find their way into your home from your neighbour. Whatever the case, this is a common problem and if you don’t want to spray toxics in every nook and cranny of your home, then a very effective way is to use used coffee grounds as eHow shows to build a neat little cockroach trap. Seems roaches love coffee too...

So there you have it. We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of wonderful (and sometimes weird) ways of using coffee in all it’s forms, other than just enjoying the drink. We’ve tried to highlight the areas where Turkish coffee should be selected as choice over others. Apart from our, “trust us, it’s true” statement, we admit our primary aim is to promote Turkish coffee. Trust us, it’s true… :)

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