Coffee Rub Developement

coffee rub


That title sounds like this is more like a business blog. Well I suppose it is although I do get asked from time to time how I come up with products. So, I'm going to try to explain that.


I had been thinking about making a coffee rub for a long time. They’re not new or anything and there are lots of recipes on the internet. First thing I do is look for recipes. I’ll look at a whole bunch that have positive reviews and see what the common ingredients are. Typically for rubs the usual suspects are salt, sugar, garlic powder, black pepper etc. Then I’ll pick a recipe that appeals to me and make it as is. This kind of gives me an idea of what in this case a typical coffee rub should taste like. I’ll try it on some stuff and decide what I think could be added or increased.  Also, what could be taken out or decreased. That’s when the fun starts. I always make things according to my own taste and hope that it will appeal to consumers. Very rarely to I get what I want on the first try. It may take 3 or 4 goes at it before I think it’s ready.


Every year I take 4 or 5 months off and head down to Mexico. Usually from say mid January to mid May and maybe a short trip after the rainy season to make sure the house is still standing. It works well for me. I have a lot of time to reflect on the business and it seems like I always come back with ideas that make things more efficient and help me formulate plans for the future. As I have so much free time there I decided to start working on the coffee rub. I picked up the medium roast coffee from La Taza Negra and started to play.  I’m not sure of the origin of the coffee. I know it’s a Mexican one but I’m not sure where the beans are grown. Once I had a prototype, I used it on some pork side ribs. It was ok but I felt that it could use more salt and more brown sugar. So, I made another batch and this time I smoked up a beef brisket that was covered with it. I really liked the flavour. The brisket itself was tough as shoe leather but that happens sometimes. My time in Melaque was coming to an end so I left it at that. I did let some people sample the goods and over all I think the response was favourable.


Once I got back to Enderby it was a while before I could get back to this project. Once I did though I was glad to be back in the kitchen. I could get most of the ingredients I wanted in Melaque but I have so much more at my kitchen in Enderby.


There was an interesting development in town too. Half a block from my kitchen a coffee roasting company had purchased the old building on the corner. Turns out to be Carla and Frank from the Frog Friendly Coffee Company.  I used to deal with them a long time ago when they had their café in Canoe.  I stopped in to say hi and they were still waiting for final inspections to open up but they did have some coffee and they gave me some to play with for my rub project.  I explained to them what I was doing and the work I’d done so far in Mexico.  Coincidentally or perhaps serendipitously their coffee beans are from the cloud forest in Oaxaca. It ships out of Manzanillo to Vancouver, BC. Just down the road from Melaque.  I thought about it and I could not think of any other Mexican Coffee being marketed in Canada. It’s a sign I tell ya! Looks like this may turn out to be a collaboration of sorts.


I finally got back to it after a few weeks and I did make a few minor adjustments to the rub. I used it on smash burgers, roast chicken and sirloin steak.  Everything was good. In my opinion it goes best with beef though. The steak was fantastic! I’m not sure if it’s completely ready to go but this is where I am now with the recipe. Feel free to make it if you like and any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.

Coffee Rub Recipe (in grams):

Sea Salt           100g

Ancho Powder   60g

Coffee (finely ground) 40g

Brown Sugar      100g

Paprika                20g

Garlic Powder      25g

Black Pepper       25g

Cayenne              25g

Onion Powder      25g

Cocoa                  15g

Thyme                   5g

Basil                      5g

Oregano                5g

I'm not sure that the herbs actually bring much to the party but I like to use them in rubs. You could probably substitute them with 15g of Italian seasoning as that's what is usually in it. I might try and increase the brown sugar a bit too. I'm undecided about that. Even though the recipe only calls for 40g of the coffee it is what I taste first. Turns out coffee is a darn strong spice.




I’m almost there and will be making labels for the finished product very soon. This will probably be available under both my label and also as a Frog Friendly Coffee product. Or maybe just one label highlighting the collaboration. It was really nice to connect with Carla and Frank and I’ve had a lot of fun with this project. Most likely we will only sell it online and locally. I’ll keep you posted.


frank of frog friendly coffee comany and denzel


For more info on the Frog Friendly Coffee Company check out their website at:

For more info on La Taza Nerga check out their facebook page at:



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