Coffee-Rubbed Roast Beef: A Flavorful Twist on a Classic Dish

To me, one of the best examples of comfort food is a big ol’ roast beef. Though this isn’t a dish that I grew up with, I remember the first time I tried it at a friend’s house in college.

Vertical close-up image of seasoned sliced meat on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans, with text on the top and bottom.

I was invited over for Sunday dinner one evening and the recipe of the night was this meaty classic. It was served with homemade mashed potatoes and the scent that filled the house had my mouth watering before I even sat down.

The result was this meat that oozed a ton of flavor. I immediately asked for the recipe, and from then on, I was hooked.

Out of all the recipes out there, this coffee-rubbed roast beef is my all-time favorite version to make for a hearty meal, especially when there’s a chill in the air outside.

Before you run away screaming, trust me when I say that coffee-rubbed roast beef is not the most outrageous idea in the world!

Vertical top-down image of a sliced piece of meat on a light brown plate.

You might think that you are going to essentially be downing a cup of the caffeinated drink with each serving, but this recipe is nothing like that. Instead, the coffee adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the beef that a simple spice rub without added coffee beans would never be able to do in quite the same way.

This recipe creates a toothsome yet tender meat entree that will basically melt in your mouth with each bite.

I personally love using coffee with all kinds of beef cuts from roasts to steaks, because it highlights the flavor of the beef without completely taking over the meat.

There is this depth of flavor that brings out the earthy notes, and it is amplified even more with the addition of a little bit of brown sugar in the spice mixture.

Now, let’s talk about the best cut of meat to use when you want to make this roast. Since the meat is cooked for while in the oven, you want some fat marbled throughout the meat to keep it from drying out completely as it cooks.

Vertical image of a plate with meat, green beans, and mashed potatoes on a dark surface and dark background.

Chuck roast or rump roast generally does the trick, plus it’s super easy to find most grocery stores. Chuck is a popular cut for stews and braises, so your store should carry it.

If you aren’t sure when making your selection, be sure to seek the advice of your butcher to make sure you are choosing an appropriate roast for this recipe.

The most important thing is to make sure you don’t skip the step of searing the roast before you put it in the oven. This helps lock in the juiciness of the meat, creating that melt-in-your-mouth texture as a result.

I highly recommend serving this entree with a side of mashed potatoes, but you can really serve it up with whatever types of potatoes your like, and a variety of vegetables as well.

And you can use the leftovers in a creative way. While you can enjoy another plateful of the same meal, I suggest thinly slicing the meat and using it for fun roast beef sliders!

To change things up with the seasons, I like to simply roast up the best vegetables that are available at the time alongside the meat while it’s in the oven.

Vertical top-down image of one plate with sliced meat, vegetables, and mashed potatoes next to two additional plates with more sliced meat.

This also helps to cut down on your active prep and cooking time, and the result is a hot and satisfying meal, fresh out of the oven. Then you can squeeze in some extra “you time” while it is cooking away.

Can you say “time for curling up with a great book on the couch with a glass of wine?” That’s my go-to, at least.

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Horizontal image of sliced and seasoned meat with green beans and mashed potatoes next to silverware.

Coffee-Rubbed Roast Beef

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Want to try a flavorful twist on a classic recipe? Coffee-rubbed roast beef is an earthy remix of your favorite entree.


  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coffee
  • 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2.5-pound boneless beef roast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  2. Mix together coffee grounds, sugar, pepper, oregano, and salt in a small bowl until combined.
  3. Use your hands to rub the roast all over with the spice blend. 
  4. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. Once hot, sear beef on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer seared meat to the prepared baking sheet. 
  6. Place in center of oven and roast 65-85 minutes (or 25-35 minutes per pound) or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 145˚F.
  7. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Category: Roast
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Beef

Keywords: coffee, brown sugar, beef, roast

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients

Horizontal image of seasonings in glass dishes next to a large piece of raw meat.

Measure out all of the ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

As I mentioned earlier, the best cuts for this recipe are chuck or rump roast. However, you can always consult your butcher if you aren’t sure which to choose.

Position an oven rack in the middle, and preheat to 350˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

Step 2 – Make Spice Rub

Horizontal image a glass bowl with a mix of seasonings.

Add coffee grounds, sugar, pepper, oregano, and salt to a small bowl. Stir to combine.

Horizontal image of seasoned uncooked beef on a tray.

Use your hands to spread the rub evenly all over the beef.

Step 3 – Sear

Horizontal image of seared and seasoned meat.

Add the olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the roast on all sides. This will take about 3-4 minutes per side.

Step 4 – Roast

Horizontal image of a blackened piece of meat.

Place the seasoned and seared meat on the prepared baking sheet.

Place in the oven, and roast for 65-85 minutes (or 25-35 minutes per pound). When it’s done, it will register 145˚F internally on a meat thermometer.

Horizontal image of sliced seasoned meat on a brown plate with a metal fork.

Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

What If I Can’t Have Caffeine?

The amount of caffeine introduced to this dish via the flavorful rub is negligible. But if you really can’t have caffeine, it’s a simple fix.

Horizontal image of sliced and seasoned meat with green beans and mashed potatoes next to silverware.

All you have to do is substitute the regular coffee grounds with decaf. You’ll still get that rich, earthy flavor that you’re looking for.

For more roasted meats to make for your next meal, you’ll love these tried and true Foodal favorites:

Have you ever used a coffee rub on your various beef cuts? Tell us in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe as well.

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 10, 2013. Last updated: October 31, 2022 at 11:57 am.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

4 thoughts on “Coffee-Rubbed Roast Beef: A Flavorful Twist on a Classic Dish”

  1. Love your article! Do you think your rub would work with sous vide? The chuck roast just melts in the mouth when cooked for 28 hours.

  2. Great recipe! Thank you. I made it pretty much as written. The only thing I did different was I roasted the beef in the same cast iron I used to sear it instead of using an extra pan. I wish you had instructions to make a gravy with this. I bet it would be even more delish

  3. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser. Make sure to bring the meat to room temperature before beginning. It makes a more tender roast.
    I used Trader Joe’s rub and seasoning with coffee and garlic instead of making it from scratch. Otherwise, I followed it as written.


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