Making coffee jelly... and other uses for leftover coffee.

Some days here at casa Coffee Detective we finish our full carafe of coffee from our trusty Bonavita drip brewer. Other days we don’t.

When we don’t, I sometimes end up pouring the rest of the coffee down the sink, which is a shame, and a waste.

So...what can we do with that leftover coffee? It turns out there are a few options.

Make some coffee jelly.

Coffee jelly or jello

We started doing this only recently. If you have a fair amount of coffee left over in the carafe – like a couple of cups – you can use it to make coffee jelly, or jello as it is commonly called in North America.

This is super-easy to do, takes very little effort, and provides you with a tasty dessert.

Here’s the recipe:

  • Put the two cups of coffee in a saucepan with about 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • Heat the coffee and sugar until it almost boils, but not quite.
  • Separately, mix a tablespoon of gelatin powder in 4 tablespoons of water.
  • Stir the coffee and gelatin mixtures together, pour it into a bowl, let it cool and then put it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

And that’s it.

BTW – coffee jelly has quite a history as a dessert in both the US and Japan. It’s not a new idea at all.


If you don’t want to make coffee jelly, store cold coffee in the fridge.

Keep cold coffee in the fridge.

Brewed coffee can stay in the fridge for a week or two. So you can have a jug or jar of coffee you add to each day.

And then, when you’re ready, you can use the cold coffee as the base for your favorite cold coffee drinks, iced coffee drinks or coffee smoothies.


Or, when you have only a little left over... make coffee ice cubes.

Coffee ice cubes

This is great for when you have only a little leftover coffee but don’t want to waste it. Just pour it into an ice cube tray and put it in the freezer.

Having coffee ice cubes ready is perfect for when you want to make iced coffee drinks. Adding regular ice cubes dilutes the drink, by a lot. But not if your ice cubes are actually coffee ice cubes.

So there you have it...

You have absolutely no reason to throw away any leftover coffee at the end of the morning or the day. There’s always a way to use it.

Finally, a word of caution... don’t give your kids coffee jelly before bedtime or the caffeine will keep them up all night!

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