During a recent trip out west, we visited Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

We stayed in the charming town of Jackson and enjoyed several delicious dining experiences. One of the most popular spots on the square was Cowboy Coffee Company, an intimate local coffee shop with a cool vibe and a line out the door at all times. I bought a bag of their Teton Blend dark roast, inspired to make a batch of my favorite steak rub – Cowboy Coffee Rub – when I returned home.

Cowboy Coffee Rub is a very simple combo and a recipe I’m frequently asked to share. Most people have the four basic ingredients on hand, and the only steps are to measure, then stir! The coffee grounds add rich and nutty flavors to this dry rub as well as helping to lock in those juices that make a steak incredibly moist and tender. The brown sugar also helps with tenderness, but to me its real benefit is the flavorful crust it builds on the steak. I have no issues with salt, and pepper is a must in my book. I use this rub on any cut, but the fabulous fat-marbled ribeye is my favorite. Generously sprinkle the steak on both sides with the rub and grill to your chosen level of doneness – medium rare for me.

Cowboy Coffee Rub

Only 4 ingredients in this deliciously simple steak rub recipe!
Cuisine American
Keyword coffee rub, spice rub, steak rub


  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds or espresso powder
  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2.5+ tsp coarse grind pepper
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar


  • Stir all 4 ingredients together and store in an airtight container(s)

There are so many lovely fall evenings that are perfect for grilling out – especially when you think about what a chilly job it will be in the months ahead! A mouthwatering thick steak sprinkled with Cowboy Coffee Rub, a giant baked potato and a crisp green salad are all you need for that delicious steak house dinner at home.

Thinking ahead, don’t overlook Cowboy Coffee Rub as a a great holiday gift for the cooks on your list. Give a grill master a full recipe in a lidded glass jar, or make a few stocking stuffers using small spice jars or zip containers. Go all out and make a BBQ Basket with a jar of the rub, grilling tools, cutting board, etc. for your favorite grill enthusiast. Good stuff!

I have a habit of buying “food souvenirs” when I travel. Every now and then their transportation in the luggage is a bit tricky, but for the most part, they have wonderful way of extending the flavor of the trip experience. I’ve carried home the fragile deliciousness of Laduree macarons from Paris, fragrant everything bagels from Tal Bagels in NYC, flaky croissants & buttery brioche from Montreal, and Murchie’s “Anniversary Tea” from Victoria BC to name a few. “Food souvenirs” don’t last forever and don’t sit around and collect dust for years to come. But they can summon memorable experiences for as long as they last!

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.