Best Coffee Rub

Written by Mike Futia | Updated July 11, 2023

This coffee rub goes perfectly on smoked steaks and brisket, and is much cheaper than the store-bought rubs.

The star of the show is the coffee, which is earthy, savory and pairs perfectly with beef.

Be sure to try this homemade coffee rub the next time you've got beef on the menu!

You can put this coffee rub on all kinds of beef, from smoked brisket and smoked porterhouse, to smoked tri-tip and smoked filet mignon.

How To Make The Best Coffee Rub

This homemade coffee rub includes just eight ingredients, and I'd bet that you already have most of them in your pantry. 

coffee rub ingredients

The Ingredients

  • Ground coffee (2 tbsp). Use finely ground coffee, or even espresso. It provides a rich, deep, earthy flavor.
  • Brown sugar (2 tbsp). A little sweetness to balance the bitterness of the coffee flavor.
  • Paprika (2 tbsp). For a mild, sweet pepperiness that adds warmth to the rub.
  • Black pepper (1 tbsp). Adds a spicy kick to contrast nicely with the sweet and bitter components.
  • Salt (1 tbsp). To help tenderize the meat.
  • Chili powder (1 tbsp). For an element of heat and smokiness. 
  • Onion powder (1 tbsp). A savory note to complement the other flavors.
  • Garlic powder (1 tbsp). A pungent, slightly sweet flavor that adds depth and complexity.

The Directions

smoked porterhouse with dry rub

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well mixed together.

2. Apply liberally all over your beef!


Coffee Rub

Coffee rub goes perfectly with beef, but you can use it for other meats too. Paired with beef, it brings out the richness of the steak or brisket, and is especially delicious when smoked.

Does this rub tastes like coffee? Not too much. It tastes earthy, slightly bitter, and slightly sweet. It's one of my all-time favorite rubs.

Best Meat For Coffee Rub

This homemade coffee rub goes best on steak and brisket.


smoked porterhouse steak seared

This coffee rub works great on smoked steak because it really enhances the flavor. The coffee's deep taste goes well with the steak's natural smoky flavor.

The brown sugar in the rub adds some sweetness to balance the bitterness of the coffee. It also helps form a nice crust on the steak when it's seared on the end.

The spices in the rub, like paprika, black pepper, and chili powder, give a bit of heat and extra flavor. Onion and garlic powders add a savory taste.


smoked brisket done

This coffee rub is the perfect paring for the long, low-and-slow smoking process of brisket. It really brings out the smoky richness of the beef. 

You can see my go-to brisket recipe, and don't be afraid to try this coffee rub with it.

Storage Tips

Best Coffee Rub

This easy coffee rub will take your next brisket or steak up a notch. A recipe so easy, and so good!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 6 ounces
Calories 36 kcal


  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder zest
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well mixed together.
  • Apply liberally all over your favorite beef!


Calories: 36kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1189mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1550IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Mike Futia

Hello, I'm Mike Futia, a passionate griller and BBQ enthusiast. I'm the creator of Grill Frenzy, and I'm committed to sharing my knowledge of grilling and smoking with you. I believe that BBQ and grilling should be accessible to everyone. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, I'm here to guide you on your grilling journey. Welcome!


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