A month of Coffee things to do while in ISO

With Melbourne being in lockdown for at least another month, The Barista House would like to give you some ideas on things to do while in Isolation.

Each day we will post something new to do. Play along and share your experience.

Our First Day is to be a Coffeegulpologer.

Coffeegulpologer is someone who take photos of their coffee.

The Barista House would like to invite you to share your coffee photos on The Barista House Reviews.

Stay Safe.


Day 2

Some months back I suggested to a group on Facebook that I setup 9 years ago for the Yalca South Primary School that we organise a Reunion.

One of the fond memories I have of the school is of a class mate, who was a cousin, mums, Ginger Nut Biscuits. My mum got the receipt from her and they were always known as Marg Bell’s Ginger Nut Biscuits.

I was too young to enjoy coffee then, but how I would kill to have a coffee with one of Marg Bell’s Ginger Nut Biscuits.

They must be flat, dry and crunchie.

Would it be wrong to put on her invitation to bring 2 plates of Ginger Nut Biscuits?

Make the time to make these, you will not be disappointed.

Ginger Nut Biscuits

125g butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup or treacle
1 egg, beaten
1 cup self raising flour, sifted
3 teaspoons ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 180˚.
2. Melt together in a saucepan butter, sugar and golden syrup, mix well and allow to cool slightly.
3. Add beaten egg, S R flour and ground ginger.
4. Leave mixture cool and set hard in fridge, approximately 30 minutes.
5. Roll teaspoon lots in to balls and flatten lightly.
6. Bake for 10 to 15 mins.

Do the right thing and Stay Safe or it might be a bloody long time before I get to enjoy Marg Bells Ginger Nut Biscuits.

If you make the Ginger Nut Buiscuits dont forget to share the on The Barista House Reviews


Day 3

With the announcement of harder restriction on Sunday by the Victorian Premier, I have fast forwarded this suggestion and if it’s used on several occasions in the next 6 weeks, then so be it.

I would suggest this one only comes out after the curfew, but then again it might keep you up all night.

Espresso Martini is an extremely easy cocktail to make, with 4 simple ingredients.

  • One shot of Kahlua
  • One shot of Vodka
  • One Shot of Espresso
  • Ice

Put all ingredients in a martini shaker and shake it like there is no tomorrow.  Yelling out “die you bloody virus”, while doing it is perfectly acceptable.

Share you Espresso Martini on The Barista House Reviews.

Stay Safe.


Day 4


If you enjoy candlemaking, you’ll love using coffee grounds as an ingredient. You’ll never want to use aromatic oils again - real used coffee grounds smell so much more authentic and look great when layered in candles.

As the candles burn down, the grounds become exposed and the heat releases the rich coffee aromas. Yum!

All you need is something to make the candle in like jars, old cups or a shot glass.  Hang the wick, melt the candle, pour some melted candle in, sprinkle some ground coffee and repeat till full.  You could even add a few drops of vanilla essential oil to the candle wax.

Share your Coffee Candles on The Barista House Reviews.


Day 5

Coffee grounds make a great exfoliant. The grounds do not dissolve in water, working as an exfoliating agent to help remove dirt and dead cells from the skin.

Coffee has natural astringent and antioxidant properties which make it a great cleanser and toner for your face.

There are many options to make the scrub, here are two options.

Option 1

  • one-quarter cup fresh coffee grounds
  • one-quarter cup brown sugar
  • enough lemon juice for the desired consistency

Option 2

  • fresh coffee grounds
  • coconut oil

Scrub the mixture into the skin once every few days after washing the body. Let the scrub sit on the skin for a few minutes, then rinse it off.


Day 6

Use It as a Natural Dye

On the off chance that you've at any point spilled coffee on a white shirt, you realize that it can leave a stain.

By rewetting spent coffee grounds, you can create an inexpensive and all-natural dye that can be used to colour cotton, rayon, cellophane, linen and paper.

This is an easy method to give fabrics and paper a vintage look or mask existing stains on your clothing and towels.

Used coffee grounds make a incredible non-toxic option to traditional dyes.

If you've dyed a piece of fabric or yarn that will be worn or used for sewing or knitting, make sure to wash it in cold water with a very gentle laundry detergent before using it.


Day 7

Coffee as a laxative

Now this has got your attention.

This was not something I was going to suggest to do, but it explains a lot. It can’t be denied that, for healthy adults, a morning cup of coffee can help… get things moving. Yep, coffee makes you poop. Whilst some of this can be attributed to caffeine’s laxative effect, there are many chemicals in coffee and scientists aren’t quite sure which one is doing what. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which is the brain and spinal cord. The vagus nerve links the central nervous system to the digestive tract. So stimulation to the central nervous will also affect digestion. In addition, coffee contains colon stimulating agents theophylline and xanthine which get that colon moving faster than it would otherwise.

Ok don’t even think about sharing any photos today.


Day 8

As plants grow, they absorb nutrients from the soil, ultimately leaving it exhausted from essential nutrients required for optimal plant growth.

Most gardens need to be fertilized to guarantee that plants have the sustenance they need to survive.

Coffee grounds contain several key minerals for plant growth and development — nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium
They may also help absorb heavy metals that can contaminate soil

Coffee grounds also allow certain beneficial microorganisms to thrive and attract earthworms, which are a garden’s best friend.

To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, simply sprinkle them onto the soil surrounding your plants.

Some flowering plants, like hydrangeas, change colour depending on the pH level of the soil. Adding coffee grounds will reduce the pH level and give you brilliant blue flowers.

Day 9

Some might say that ice cream is a summer thing, but many of us will say to hell with that.

An affogato (Italian for "drowned") is an Italian coffee-based dessert. It usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped or "drowned" with a shot of hot espresso. You could put an Aussie variation to it and add some Baileys.

This simple coffee treat can be made in just five minutes with two ingredients.

Variations could include, Baileys, Chocolate, Kahlua, Tia Maria, Cinnamon, Crushed Nuts or Honey.

I do recall having one of these before night shift once, and let’s just say I had no problems staying awake all night.

Now this one I want to be inspired with your photos, so share them on The Barista House Reviews.

Day 10

A variety of bugs don’t like the extreme acids and aromas of coffee grounds, even when they’ve been used to brew. There are a few ways you can use this to your benefit.

Keep ants from venturing into your home by spreading a 2cm thick line around vulnerable areas of your home. You’ll need to refresh that line with some fresh grounds every two weeks.

Works like a charm.

You can also keep snails and slugs off your garden by spreading some grounds around. These guys are really not fond of coffee, so a thin line or gentle sprinkling will work.

Day 11

Composting is a natural process that turns organic items such as food scraps and yard waste into a dark, rich material called compost.

Adding compost to your garden can help the soil hold onto more nutrients and water, thereby improving the wellbeing of your plants. Worms love nitrogen-rich soil, which means adding coffee grounds to your compost bin makes worms more likely to stick around.

With a mix of up to 40% coffee ground in your compost will be richer in nutrients than compost made with waste alone and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Other items to compost include grass clippings, leaves, bark, shredded newspaper, brush, herbs, egg shells, bread, fruit and vegetable.

Composting meat and fish scraps, dairy products, diseased plants, grease and oils should be avoided.

Day 12

Wedding invitations might be on hold for a while, but with the following method you can give them a sepia look, as if they have been on hold for years.

Simple make some coffee and pour it into a tray, place the paper in the coffee filled tray, from 5 minutes to overnight. The longer you leave it the darker, it will also darker as it dries.

Hang the paper and let it dry, Be mindful as you handle the paper, since it will be more fragile while it’s wet. You can press it under a heavy book to flatten it.

Day 13 

Hello anyone who makes this Cappuccino Swirl Bars, I am sending you a dogy bag.

They tell me that this will last for 3 days in the fridge. I am betting this will not last that long.

Get the recipe here - https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/coffee-chocolate-bars and I defiantly want photos to dribble over on The Barista House Reviews.

Stay safe and share the love.

Day 31

Day 31 of Things to do with Coffee while in ISO
Earlier in the week I said to hold the Amaretto, as I had plans for you. I have been holding on to this one to the end.
Tiramisu is a coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers (savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa.
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
900g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups espresso or strong coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup Amaretto
30 to 32 crisp Italian ladyfingers (savoiardi)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Bittersweet chocolate, for shaving
Line an 20 cm square baking dish with plastic wrap, leaving a 7 cm overhang on all sides. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Make the custard: Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is light and foamy, about 10 minutes (a thermometer inserted into the mixture should register 75 ° C
Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set in the bowl of ice water; whisk until the custard is cool, about 1 minute. Put the mascarpone in a large bowl. Fold the custard into the mascarpone with a rubber spatula until almost combined, then whisk until just smooth (do not overmix or the custard will be grainy).
Combine the espresso and Amaretto in a shallow bowl. One at a time, dip the ladyfingers in the espresso mixture until soaked but not soggy; arrange 2 rows of about 5 biscuits each in the baking dish. Spread one-third of the mascarpone custard over the ladyfingers. Repeat with a second layer of espresso-dipped ladyfingers, arranging them in the opposite direction. Top with another one-third of the custard. Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers, alternating directions. Spread the remaining custard on top and dust with the cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Invert a plate on top of the tiramisu, then flip the tiramisu with the plate. Remove the baking dish and plastic wrap. Invert a serving plate on top of the tiramisu and flip again so it is cocoa-side up. Remove the remaining plastic wrap. Shave curls of chocolate on top with a vegetable peeler.

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