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It happens to even the best of us: we make more coffee than we can actually drink before it gets cold. It’s a shame really, seeing all of that dark nectar of the tropics preparing to go to waste. So much potential, but so little dedication from so-called “coffee fanatics.”

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Sure day-old (even hours-old) coffee can’t compare with freshly brewed, but this is no reason to toss the old. What follows are but three simple ways to put your old java to new uses.

1) The obvious: A coffee smoothie. This is a great usage of leftover morning coffee for an afternoon refresher. Mix one-half cup coffee and one-half cup of almond milk with one TBSP of cocoa powder and sweetener of choice to taste. Pour over one to two cups of ice, blend thoroughly and enjoy. (Hint: add one scoop of whey powder for a fast and healthy lunch substitute.)

2) The less-obvious: A kick for stew. Add one cup of leftover black coffee to your favorite meat stew for an octane boost and flavor enhancer. In addition to adding flavor, the coffee also helps give the stew a darker, richer color.

3) The not-so-obvious: As a paint/stain. Artists have been using coffee for years in their art; it dries with a faded, weathered brown color that is difficult to get with paint alone. Woodworkers have also found that coffee can be used as a subdued stain and as a simple way to color scratches and nicks in furniture for an “authentic” look that doesn’t require a whole new coat.

These three are quite literally the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with leftover coffee. And that’s just with the brewed variety. There’s a whole host of other uses for whole bean and ground coffee, but those are other blog posts for other days. Until then, enjoy your coffee (both fresh and not-so-fresh)…