Coffee Grounds–the new super hero

Coffee is amazing.  Not just the black stuff you drink, but the grounds themselves.  I hearken back to my Big Sis’s soap making days.  She used to create colorful bars of perfumed soaps in all shapes and sizes.  But my favorite was always the coffee ground soap.  It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.

Peel an onion.  Wash with coffee ground soap to get rid of the lingering scent.  That alone was enough to keep a bar on my kitchen counter at all times.  And yet, I never thought outside the coffee can with this until a co-worker came in with a problem.

She’s a farmer’s wife and happened to unload a truck full of pigs one morning before school.  In her rush, she forgot to wash her hands with lemon juice, apparently an old stand by, pig-smell eraser. 

I suggested she wash her hands with coffee grounds–a staple in any church.  Viola!  No more pig.

In this way, coffee grounds are almost like a super hero.  Yo, Coffee Ground Boy, come wipe out this offending smell.

Writers can learn a lot from Coffee Ground Boy. 

  1. We could know our strengths, talents and limitations–and how they complement each other.  For instance, coffee tastes good, perks up a lagging morning and is great at eradicating unpleasant scents.  This is a fabulous bonus for CGB.  He is in virtually every household, ready to assist in whatever way he can.  As a writer, I’m usually good for 800 word passages, and yet I strongly desire to publish longer pieces.  The solution: shorter chapters and daily blogging.   
  2. We could be ready for action.  Instead of waffling over stale passages, we could swoop in, cut them out and move on to the next crisis.  Imagine if CGB wiffle-waffled over what to do?  Should I offer my services to the beautiful MC with the mild onion smell on her hands?  It’s not really that bad and it might not turn off Mr. HotPants.  Things could turn out okay on their own.  Hello, we’re writers.  Okay is not good enough.  Not for super heroes or manuscripts.  Get in, get on with it and get it done.
  3. We could be accepting of change.  CGB has many disguises and he allows us to dress him to suit our needs.  He doesn’t balk when I fill my mug with hazelnut creamer.  Instead, he inherently knows that some like it black, others like half and half and still more prefer a dash of cinnamon on top.  As written the first time or the fifth time around, our manuscripts are not perfect.  Let’s put on our big girl panties and thick skin.  There is nothing wrong with allowing others to help hone our java so it is more palatable.
  4. We could spread the love.  Even the smallest bag of coffee goes a long way.  Five scoops equals ten cups of brew.  Ten.  Imagine the lives we could touch if we opened ourselves up to the writing community.  If we engaged in literacy projects.  If we helped out at events.  If we wrote encouraging comments.  If we were more secure in ourselves and didn’t cut down other writers or slam rejecting agents.  CGB would be proud of our big hearts and our accepting natures.  After all, even he knows that Lemon Juice has a place in this world too.

Out of curiosity, how else have you used coffee grounds in your life? 

As a writer, which of these super hero lessons resonates with you and why?  If you had to add to the power of Coffee Ground Boy, what other tips could he give us on our writing journies?

Thanks for indulging in my whimsy!


18 responses to “Coffee Grounds–the new super hero

  1. Love this post, Cat. I use coffee grounds along with my veggie and fruit leavings for compost bin (which includes 300 new red worms). And I’m also going to send the link to this post to my home crafting mystery author friend, Cricket McRae, because she knows how to make soap.

    The whole Coffee Ground Boy link to writing was fun. Nice post.

    • Thanks, Patricia.

      I hope Cricket McRae enjoys it. These ugly little bars of soap make fabulous gifts. My Dear Sis said she was going to use glycerin based soap next time to see if it enhances the appearance. If not, it just looks like your regular soap got dropped in a sand box!

  2. What a fun post! I made coffee ground soap years ago, but had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder. I’m glad Pat directed me over here to your blog.

    Hearth Cricket

    • Cricket, thanks for showing up and commenting. Don’t you just love the soap? To me it is the most amazing stuff on my counter. And it exfoliates too!

  3. Great analogy Cate! CGB is quite the diverse little dude. I like him. I sadly do not have a coffee maker in my house. I guess I should work on that. Afterall, I’m sure I’m going to CGB sooner or later. 😉

    • Lisa,

      I didn’t start drinking coffee until two years ago. Tastes change I guess. Which could be an entirely new lesson for our little super hero. We should allow ourselves the ability to change and grow in what we like to write and aspire to write.

      Maybe there’s a direct link to how long you’ve been drinking coffee and how long it takes to snag an agent?!?!?

  4. what an interesting analogy. even the used coffee grounds has its purpose in the compost heap.

  5. I hate coffee, including the smell. I can see how it’s very useful to others, though. Maybe that’s what else CGB teaches us.

    • LOL! Your response is exactly right. We all have different likes and dislikes–in life and in the literary arena. That’s why there are so many different genres, agents, publishers and writers. Essentially to keep a very diverse reading group happy!

  6. I don’t drink coffee – but I love this post! It always amazing me what we can learn when we really look, really listen, really see. Great post! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jemi. I love how there are little lessons for us in all things if we just look. I also love learning about everyone else’s experiences. Mundane things like coffee mean different things to different people.

  7. Wow, I didn’t know it was even possible to write without drinking coffee. 🙂

    I’ve never tried making soap out of the grounds, but I love it in my garden. Starbucks gives me free bags of it and I’ve used it as an organic amendment to soil mixtures and a top dressing for flower beds. We all love coffee here!

    • Rahma,

      Do all flowers like coffee grounds? I’ve known lots of people who use them, but I don’t want to offend any of my plants. My grandma used to store the used ones in a used coffee can and dump them in the garden when she filled it up. I should start saving them for my spring planting.

      I’ve also heard that crushed egg shells are great for plants. And, for those who have fish tanks, the water you take out to clean the tank makes great fertilized water for your house plants. Mine used to love the extra boost when we still had fishies as pets.

  8. I have never used coffee grounds for anything – who knew all of its uses?

    There are a few pesky house spiders who seem to like the grounds, though. The last couple of mornings when I’ve opened the filter thing, there’s been a spider sitting on it or hanging from it.


    • Paper Rats,

      That is hilarious, though I suppose not to you who actually finds the arachnids each morning. My spiders tend to congregate in the downstairs shower. I think they like the warmish, wettish feel of it all. Or maybe yours are java addicts!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you around.

  9. It’s pretty cool how you manage to turn every subject into something we can use in our writing life. I’ve never heard of coffee grounds for soap. I always save my coffee grounds and spread them like fertilizer around acid loving plants….my holly and evergreen starts, etc. That and egg shells are great gardener’s tools

    • Yvonne,

      LOL. I’m not sure if it’s a talent one should trumpet. It’s just the product of a very quirky mind.

      Do all evergreens like coffee grounds? I have some that are looking a little winter worn this year and think maybe it could help perk them up a bit.

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