Coffee Dry Rub

Coffee Dry Rub

This coffee dry rub is simple to make and packs a punch when it comes to flavor, and it is delicious with beef and pork. I especially love it with beef and pork tenderloin. There is something about the tender meat with the slightly bitter and the sweet and crunchy exterior that makes for an unbelievable bite.

Coffee may seem like an odd ingredient to include in a dry rub, but it’s been used for a long time. It seems like it’s been flying under the radar for way too many people. You don’t even need to like coffee (the drink) to like coffee in a dry rub!

Pile of coffee dry rub

So what does it taste like?

Like I previously mentioned, it doesn’t taste like drinking coffee. At all. I mean my kids will eat it no problem. It really does these two things when added to meat:

  • Taste – Deep savory notes with slight bitter undertones. The sugar and the spices round out the rest of the flavor to make for one hell of a bite.
  • Texture– The resulting crust after cooking is probably why I love this recipe so much. It’s slightly crunchy and really adds some complexity to the overall bite.
Coffee Dry Rub

Tips for the Coffee Dry Rub

  • Grind your own coffee – Coffee starts losing its’ punch as soon as you grind it. So fresh ground will always beat pre-ground (but I won’t judge you do). I’ve been using this grinder for years without issue.
  • Fine ground is best – The last thing you want is a big chunk of ground coffee. Grind it fine so that all the ingredients will be uniform in size.
  • SALT! – Please note there is no salt in the rub. Apply salt first, then the rub! The reason we do this is because salt penetrates the meat and the seasoning stays on the surface.
  • Apply to meat early – Season the meat at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. This will allow the rub to fully adhere to the meat.
  • Don’t burn it! – The coffee and sugar has a nasty habit of wanting to burn. They can take a fair amount of heat but take care to not burn the rub. That won’t be pleasant.

Other recipes you may like

Brisket Empanadas with Roasted Poblanos

Steak Dry Rub – The best 7 ingredient steak seasoning

Coffee Dry Rub
Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Coffee Dry Rub

Fresh ground coffee combined with sugar and spices makes an amazing crust.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Rub
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq rub, coffee, coffee dry rub, dry rub, steak dry rub
Servings: 8
Cost: 5


  • 2 tablespoons ground coffee (ground fine) (NOT INSTANT!)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Please note, this recipe doesn't include salt. Salt the piece of meat first before applying dry rub. See notes about salt amount.
  • Combine all ingredients and mix to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.


Salt should applied at 1/2-3/4 teaspoon or kosher salt per pound of food.  The fattier the cut the more salt is usually requires.  
If using on meat with high heat make sure you don’t burn the crust.  I like to do a sear and move to indirect heat to finish the cooking.  The reverse sear method will also work.