Coffee Rub Seasoning Mix

Chef Jim Leonardo

So my favorite winter recipe is turning out to work magic on summer grills.

I’m talking about a coffee rub recipe from Jim Leonardo, chef of Vinology, the spiffy wine-bar and restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chef Leonardo uses the rub to season bison sliders that he puts on Vinology’s late-night menu and serves at receptions and parties that Vinology caters. Topped with an onion marmalade and boursin spread, the sliders are nothing short of fabulous (you can find the full recipe in an article that I wrote for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch if you click HERE ). Take away the toppings and the sliders would still be terrific, thanks to the coffee rub.

Last winter, I used the seasoning to perk up stews and slow-cooking roasts (both pork and beef) and I gamely slathered it on game.

This summer, when unusually hot weather provides grounds for not cooking indoors, I’ve use the coffee seasoning to beef up the flavor of hamburgers, steaks and ribs cooked on the outdoor grill. Trust me, the coffee seasoning is no grind to make and renders grilled beef, pork and other fatty meats pig-out delicious!


Yield: about 1-1/2 cups.

1/2 cup finely ground decaffeinated dark-roast coffee

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

2 tablespoons granulated onion

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup salt

Combine all ingredients and store , at room temperature, in an airtight container.