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  • Writer's pictureLuis and JudyAnn

All-purpose Espresso Brined Tri Tip Steak

Coffee is a great seasoning and works beautifully in marinades. The flavor isn't overbearing and will help to enhance the natural beefiness of any steak or roast.

Coffee grounds can be used as a rub for almost any type of meat. Just like red wine, coffee is acidic. It’s those acidic tones of coffee that pair well with the savory tones of meat. When combined, the two make a heck of a flavor explosion.

The reason why coffee is great for BBQ, whether ground or brewed, is because it acts like a spice. Like any spice, coffee works best paired with other spices. Adding coffee to a BBQ rub will accentuate the flavors of the meat and when cooked, the grounds will caramelize making a sweet and savory crust that seals in the moisture of the meat.

But coffee does so much more than just enhance the flavor of meat. It also acts as a tenderizer. The best way to use the tenderizing power of coffee is to brew a strong pot, let that chill and then marinade the meat in the coffee for at least 24 hours. The reason coffee tenderizes so well is not because of the acid level in coffee. Instead, it’s the natural enzymes of the coffee that do the tenderizing work.

Now, the magnificence of beef is that it is inherently good. For this beef, grandness is achieved by employing the perfect cooking technique and applying a spicy rub. Not a store bought rub fill with preservatives, but a rub you make on the spot with spices, sugar and even coffee.

For a dinner party, this meat centerpiece gives you enormous flexibility to complete the meat. One taste of the blackened tip of the beef with this coffee rub, and you’ll be rooting for the ranchers and not the cows.


1. 2  tablespoons finely ground coffee

2. 1 ½  tablespoons kosher salt

3. 1 ½  tablespoons granulated garlic

4. 1  heaping teaspoon black pepper

5. 1  tablespoon brown sugar

6. ¼  teaspoon cayenne pepper

7. ¼  teaspoon cinnamon


1. Combine espresso beans, brown sugar, garlic powder, black pepper, and chili powder. Rub mixture onto steaks and place into a resealable container. Cover and allow to refrigerate for an hour.

2. Preheat grill for medium heat. Remove steaks from fridge and place on grill. Cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the thickness of roast and desired doneness.

3. Once cooked, remove from heat allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.


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