Homemade Coffee Rub

Awaken your taste buds with homemade Coffee Rub! This unique blend of ground coffee, spices, and brown sugar imparts an earthy, robust flavor that’s irresistible. It’s perfect for enhancing steak, beef, ribs, and brisket, adding depth and richness to your grilling endeavors. Ideal for BBQs, everyday dinners, or when you want a special touch to your dish. Experience how it takes your meat from ordinary to extraordinary!

Homemade coffee rub and steak on a platter.

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What Makes This Coffee Rub the Perfect Addition to Your Signature BBQ Rubs? 

Is your stand-by rub for BBQ getting a little stale? Then now is a great time to try something new. With its perfect balance of sweet smokey heat elevated by a touch of bitterness from the finely ground dark roasted coffee grounds, Coffee BBQ Rub is an excellent change of pace from the usual.

Whether you are new to barbecuing or have been smoking meat for decades, you will want to add this savory Coffee Rub steak seasoning to your culinary bag of tricks. 

Why You Should Try This Coffee Rub Recipe

There are quite a few beef rubs out there that use coffee as an ingredient. But this one is the one that was made famous by Tim Byres, the chef/owner of Smoke and Chicken Scratch, two of the best smoked meat restaurants in the BBQ capital of the world, Texas!

It’s just about as authentic as it gets, but the dry rub is still easy to make. With just a little sprinkle or two, you can transform even the most uninspiring cut of beef into something exceptional. Is it magic? Nope. It is just a great recipe that you and your family will love.

Coffee Rub Steak Seasoning Ingredients 

To make this coffee rub for beef, you’ll need:

  • Dark brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Dark roast coffee ground fine
  • Chili powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Granulated sugar
  • Granulated garlic
  • Ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper

French or espresso-style roast coffee beans ground to the finest size are ideal for this recipe. If you don’t have a coffee grinder or your local market does not grind to order, use pre-ground Turkish-style coffee. Do not use instant coffee granules.

If you cannot find granulated garlic, you can substitute it with garlic powder.

Homemade coffee rub ingredients in square bowls.

How to Make Coffee Rub Seasoning

To prepare the rub:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bone-dry small bowl. 
Homemade coffee rub ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
  1. Whisk well until evenly blended.
  2. Any moisture in the bowl, on the whisk, or even in the air can cause clumps to form. Use your fingers to break apart clumps, then whisk to combine.

You can adjust the spiciness by adding more or less cayenne pepper.

Homemade coffee rub in a bowl and steak next to it.

Different Ways to Use Coffee Rub

Whether you need a tri tip coffee rub or you’re preparing coffee rub brisket, this recipe will work for you. It’s the perfect seasoning for coffee-rubbed steak, especially ribeye steak and New York strip steak. It is also suitable for making coffee rub chicken, turkey, and pork. But what if you are not in the mood for meat? You can still use this coffee rub seasoning in your kitchen:

  • Grilled vegetables. Coat veggies like portobello mushroom caps, sliced eggplant, pressed tofu, and zucchini in olive oil. Dust the veggies lightly with the rub and then grill over medium heat.
  • Roasted nuts. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Melt a little butter and add the rub. Toss well spread on a baking tray to roast for 10 to 15. Shake the tray every few minutes to prevent burning.
  • Corn on the cob. Boil or grill corn on the cob. Roll the cooked corn in melted butter and sprinkle Coffee Rub on all sides. 

How to Store Coffee Rub 

Keep any leftover coffee BBQ rub in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Opaque glass or non-porous plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work well. Plastic bags aren’t a good option since they don’t keep out the light, air, and moisture well. Use the smallest container that will fit all the rub to minimize oxidation. 

How Long Does It Last

As long as you keep the Coffee Rub seasoning correctly, it should last for several months or more, depending on the freshness of your ingredients. But just because the rub is safe to eat doesn’t mean it will be as flavorful as the day you made it. Always try to use the rub as soon as possible after mixing it for the best taste. 

Overhead view of homemade coffee rub and steak.

More DIY Seasonings and Mixes

Favorite Beef Recipes

Check out more of my easy DIY recipes and the best beef recipes here on CopyKat!

Homemade coffee rub and steak on a platter.

Homemade Coffee Rub

This beef rub is my absolute favorite there are all sorts of spices in this magic rub. 
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meat rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 55kcal


  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup finely ground dark roast coffee
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1/3 cup smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Use your hands to break up any remaining clumps.
  • Store the rub in an airtight container and use 2 tablespoons of rub per 1 pound of meat.



This recipe yields 2 1/2 cups of rub.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 55kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 2898mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2101IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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