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I have several bags of quality coffee beans brought from Costa Rica. Their best before date is over a year ago. I just grinded and made a pot of coffee of them, and although it was drinkable, taste wasn't that good anymore.

Is there any other culinary use for coffee beans? Any recipe where their fresh taste isn't as important as in a cup of coffee?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Coffee can be used for a variety of things BESIDES drinking straight. Off the top of my head, you can use less-than-perfect beans for:

  • Chocolate mousse and cakes: brew into coffee, and add to the chocolate mix for a richer flavor
  • Ice cream and sorbets. Coffee ice cream is awesome, and the cream will mask defects
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans. These make a great pick-me up snack for mornings, sweet and caffeinated.
  • Coffee-flavored simple syrup, for baking and cocktails. Use equal weights coffee and simple syrup.
  • Compost. Grounds compost very well, especially if used

In a pinch, stale beans also make great projectiles. Got squirrels on your bird feeder? Coffee bean slingshot!

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I feel that the more violent options are always better. – Tyler Carter Jun 10 '12 at 1:24
Sometimes I roast grinded coffee in a small pan to get rid of cooking smell in my appartement, mostly just after opening the window. I don't know if it really helps, but I like it much better then ie some fishy smell. Maybe that's also something for you. – Sven Jun 10 '12 at 21:21

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