Coffee Appreciation Week Pt. 3: 5 Things to Do with Coffee Besides Drink It

  We'd never suggest that you waste good coffee doing anything but brewing it perfectly and enjoying it, but we understand how sometimes you end up with coffee you're just not going to drink. For us, it's usually a bag of "gourmet coffee" gifted by a well-meaning friend who doesn't quite 'get' specialty coffee. Or it might be the last bit of a bag we didn't use up, or, once in a while, a failed shot. We hate to just throw away coffee, even when we're not going to drink it for whatever reason. Over the years, we've found some really cool uses for stale coffee beans, old ground coffee and even brewed coffee that didn't turn out right. Here are just five things you can do with coffee when you're feeling creative -- and if you're not, you can just enjoy your coffee while you check out some of the amazing and fun things that other people are doing with their coffee. .  

Paint with Coffee

A couple of years ago, a young graphic artist named Hong Yi (she calls herself Red) gained international recognition when she released a YouTube video of herself creating a portrait of singer Jay Chou -- using coffee rings. Watching her process is pretty amazing -- but she's not the only artist who chooses to work with coffee as a medium. Karen Eland has been painting with espresso since 1998. She displays and sells her work at Coffee Creations, where you can check out her caffeinated versions of Van Gogh's Starry Night, Whistler's Mother and some stunning portraits, landscapes and still lifes created with nothing but espresso.  

Add Coffee to Your Beauty Routine

  Body scrubs and soaps with coffee are the new cool. It's not so much the aroma that makes people want to try it. It's the fact that coffee is so chock full of antioxidants and mild acids that happen to be good for your skin. And like so many other coffee trends, it's not exactly new. Back in the day, Grandma used to mix coffee grounds in with melted soap and keep it on the sink. It gets your hands clean, sloughs off old skin to soften them and, as a bonus, gets rid of the sink if you've been chopping onions or cooking fish. These days, the ads for coffee scrubs and coffee soap claim that they help you eliminate cellulite and lose weight. We can't substantiate those claims, but we do know that it does a great job of cleaning your skin. You can try it yourself with this coffee scrub recipe from our blog.   5 Things to do to coffee that doesn't involve drinking it  

Crafting with Coffee

  When we talk about craft coffee, we're usually talking about artisan coffee roasters that produce some of the most amazing coffees we've ever tasted. Other people combine coffee and crafts in other ways. We've seen a coffee bean mosaic made with more than a million coffee beans, a storage jar with coffee embedded in the cover and an easy-to-make coffee bean candle that's great for gifting. Feel free to share your own coffee crafting projects in the comments. We'd love to hear about them.  

Culinary Coffee

  If you follow our blog at all, you know that we love cooking with coffee. From sumptuous coffee desserts to coffee syrup to coffee rubs for barbecue, we've been posting coffee recipes here for a long time. If you're looking for more, you'll also find coffee recipes at Epicurious, recipes for coffee drinks and desserts at Jura and more than 250 coffee recipes at Food Network.  

Coffee Staining - On Purpose

  You've heard about dying for coffee, but how about dyeing WITH coffee? Coffee leaves stains, a fact that most coffee lovers know -- and don't necessarily love. Sometimes, though, coffee's staining properties can serve a useful purpose. Coffee -- both liquid and as wet grounds -- is one of the best ways to artificially age fabrics and textiles. You can also use it to darken your hair and make it grow faster, as well as to stain wood projects.   We really hope you've enjoyed your coffee more than ever this week. We're always looking for ways to help you appreciate your coffee more. If you haven't done so already, you should sign up for our mailing list (at the bottom of the page), Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check out our boards on Pinterest.  

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