Cafe Mocha Rub

Coffee and Cocoa Rub for steak beef chocolate grilling

So for we have 3 rubs for rub week.

Day 1 was the Island Spice Rub

Day 2 was the Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub

Day 3 was the Lemon Pepper Steak Rub

Update: The rest of the week got filled up with:

  • Curry in a Hurry Rub – a sweet curry seasoning that is ideal on chicken.
  • Ragin’ Cajun Rub –  this classic cajun seasoning is really good with shrimp, but great on fish, chicken, pork chops and more.
  • Asian Five Spice Rub – an exotic spice blend that is great on chicken and pork

I am sure that the name for today’s rub has you skeptical.

Don’t click away yet.

Stay with me.

Yes this rub has coffee and chocolate.

We often think of chocolate as a dessert ingredient but many people over the years have learned how wonderful chocolate is when added to a savory dish. The Mayan and Aztec cultures used chocolate extensively in many different ways. In Mexico there is a popular sauce for meat called mole. Mole has many different spices, including chili and cinnamon, but another common ingredient is unsweetened chocolate. Chocolate mole sauce on chicken is incredible!!!

The coffee provides a toasted and nutty flavour that compliments the chocolate flavour from the cocoa powder. There is great depth in this rub with the cinnamon, paprika and cayenne.

I had fun making this little ingredient picture legend in Picmonkey. It is a great online site for photo editing.

Coffee and Cocoa Rub for steak beef chocolate grilling

You may still be hesitant to give this spice rub a whirl, but I would encourage you to try it. I have tried it on beef, pork tenderloin and chicken. I enjoyed it with each meat but I just LOVE it on steaks. The beef can really handle the bold flavours of chocolate and coffee.

Coffee and Cocoa Rub for steak beef chocolate grilling

Rub the cafe mocha rub all over the steak and grill to you desired doneness. I used steaks from a beef tenderloin. I grilled it for about 14 minutes, flipping it halfway through. It was perfectly rare, tender and juicy. Just look at the colour on the steak in the pic below.

Cafe Mocha Rub Recipe for Grilling

Coffee and Cocoa Rub for steak beef chocolate grilling
5 from 1 vote
Grilling spice rub that has coffee, cocoa powder, cayenne, cinnamon, brown sugar and more. Chocolate taste that is great on beef and chicken.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup


  • 1/3 cup fresh ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.
  • Use on beef, chicken, pork or other meats.


Coffee and Cocoa Rub for steak beef chocolate grilling

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    Love this rub, though I substituted chili powder for the Cayenne. I won’t grill a steak without it now.

    • Reply
    • Thanks for the comment David! Yeah, it is such a good rub for steak. Planning lots of grilling this spring/summer! 🙂

      • Reply
  • Hi Steve
    Can you use this cafe mocha rub on brisket in the smoker? If it’s not suitable, which rub would you suggest?

    • Reply
    • hmmm – I’ve never tried this rub for smoking a brisket so I am not sure how it would turn out. This is the rub that I use Beef Brisket Rub

      • Reply
      • It is awesome on brisket.

        • Reply
        • Yeah, I have tried it on brisket since my comment and you are right. So good!

          • Reply
    • It is awesome on brisket.

      • Reply
  • Any particular roast or blend of coffee work best?

    • Reply
    • I like a darker roast like French roast but really any kind will do.

      • Reply
  • This is so very similar to my own rub. I use smoked paprika for the paprika. Didn’t think of the cinnamon, but I’d like to try it (fits right in with Mayan culture). I use Anjou chile and brown chipotle instead of cayenne. I know cayenne is more traditional… Thanks for posting this. I’d like to try it and tweak it. 🙂


    • Reply
  • I’m surely trying this over the weekend. Love the idea of a mocha rub! 🙂

    • Reply
  • I’m definitely going to give this a try, pinned!

    • Reply
  • Make a very similar rub for my beef short ribs. I let them sit overnight and then bbq or cook on low in roasting pan. They are just as good as regular steak and fall off the bone! It’s an awesome rub.

    • Reply
  • what a unique spice blend, i need to try this!

    • Reply
  • Cocoa does so well with meats, but I never thought of it in a rub. Great idea!

    • Reply
  • Very cool recipe. My hubby would go nuts for this one.

    • Reply
  • I adore the sound of this, Steve. I’m such a fan of coffee flavor in anything. Great recipes this week!

    • Reply
  • I couldn’t wait to see this rub! Chocolate and coffee are two of my favorite things and to have them in a rub…paydirt! Your steak photos just leave my mouth watering!

    • Reply
  • What an interesting-looking rub! I’m always surprised how well chocolate incorporates into a savory dish.

    • Reply
  • love your spice week. great idea.

    • Reply
  • I am SO glad you stopped by my blog this morning, because that gives me a chance to become familiar with new bloggers.

    Your blog and your photography is beautiful.

    I’m going to be here all day! Love all of the spice rubs you have to offer!

    • Reply

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