Bottomless Cup

There's more to coffee than just caffeine

By Robert Beauchamps

Montreal’s mornings, like just about every city in the world, are fuelled by caffeine. That java jolt is so predominant, it drives our days, our social life, our 9-to-5 grind, and even our economics.

The $6.2 billion industry creates over 160,000 café jobs alone. No wonder java is the most consumed beverage among Canadian adults, according to the Coffee Association of Canada.

With that amount of coffee being poured every day, leftovers are inevitable. Before you pour the excess down the sink, know that there are many ways to use coffee in the kitchen.

  • Let’s start with the obvious: iced coffee. Fill a pitcher you keep in the refrigerator for those days you only needed two cups instead of three or four. It should keep well for three or four days. Perfect for summer mornings.
  • Why not make ice cubes from leftover coffee? When they melt, it won’t dilute the flavour of your iced coffee. Plop a couple cubes in a glass of almond milk for a nice blend of flavours.
  • Leftover coffee is that perfect perk to plants that thrive in an alkaline-rich soil. Everything from tomatoes and clematis to morning glory and honeysuckle will appreciate a weekly dose of your black brew.
  • Add it to your daily bowl of oatmeal. If your oatmeal is always lumpy, thin it out with leftover coffee instead of milk. Is it a food or is it a beverage? It’s both!
  • My family’s favourite coffee hack is to replace half the milk our usual brownie recipe calls for. Adding leftover coffee brings out a wonderful mocha flavour in every batch.
  • Up your chili game with coffee. This old cowboy trick calls for just a half a cup of coffee to bring out the earthiness of your favourite chili recipe.
  • Simmer a half litre of leftover coffee until it reduces by half or a bit more. See how it turns into a kind of paste? That’s perfect for repairing any scratches in your kitchen table, chairs or cabinets made from dark wood. Rub the paste onto the scratches, wipe away the excess with a damp cloth.
  • Next time you and the kids are planning an arts and crafts day, why not dye some white paper? Gather the young ones around the kitchen table and have them help you put that extra coffee to good use. The liquid turns ordinary (boring) white paper into something with a noticeable sepia tone or aged look.
  • All of that acid in your coffee will help cut through the caked-on grease and charred bits on your barbecue’s grill. If you have a lot of leftover coffee, congrats! You can now completely immerse the grates and give them a soak they’ve needed since last summer.


Summer 2018, Vol 10 N°3

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