Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak

Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak makes the flavor of steak come alive with a simple coffee and chile based rub.
Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak

Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime


This is a recipe I have put together for a cooking group to which I belong. Soon we will be sampling recipes from all around the world, and trying each other’s creations. One of the areas in this Culinary Quest is the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. The recipes from this area must reflect the character and cuisine of that place. And one of the big things out there, obviously, is coffee (Thanks, Starbucks!)

I have heard about espresso rubs and coffee rubs before so this came as a natural choice. I keep instant espresso for cooking uses, and usually have quite a selection of ground chiles which pair well with beef. Another thing I decided to add is the crushed bouillon. I am trying to remember but don’t recall…there was a particular chef who felt that adding bouillon to the coating of the famous French steak recipe, really brings out the meaty flavor while keeping the peppercorns in that recipe from overtaking everything. I knew I didn’t want the flavor of either espresso or chiles to be excessive, in effect drowning out the flavor of the steak, so I decided to try that idea. And it does work!

The rub does give the steak a bit of a dark coating once it cooks. But don’t worry–being dark doesn’t mean it is burnt, as you can see from my photos.

And the best part is that you can put your steak sauces away, as they won’t be needed here.

I chose to serve this with tossed salads, baked potatoes and red wine. Any medium bodied red wine will do, such as Shiraz. I am partial to Cabernet Sauvignon.


Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak
Espresso Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 6 beef bouillon cubes, crushed into powder
  • 2 teaspoons Ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Pat steaks dry and rub spice mixture into meat liberally on all sides.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour, then unwrap and grill to your desired preference.
  3. Unused spice can be stored in an airtight container in your spice cabinet.

Makes 1/2 cup
enough for about 4 rib-eye steaks

Espresso Rub and Steaks
Espresso Rubbed Grilled Steak

You might also like:

Grilled Steak and Radicchio Salad

Chile Bourbon Steak Marinade

Tagliata con Rucola

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One response

  1. This sounds really yummy. It’s very similar to the rub I use for Cowboy Steaks. I love the added flavor and coloring you get from the espresso.

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