Recipe: Espresso Pepper Salt

updated May 1, 2019
Espresso Pepper Salt
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(Image credit: Tessa Huff)

This Espresso Pepper Salt is quite robust, with its earthy and spicy flavor profile. Dark espresso is combined with fresh oregano, black pepper, and a touch of cayenne pepper for a little extra kick. It is perfect on ribs and other grilled meats, and it would make an excellent dry rub mixed with a bit of brown sugar for pork loin. I bet it would be great to rim the glass of a Blood Mary, too. Be sure to keep a jar next to your grill all summer long!

Although this blend uses fresh herbs, it will keep quite well in the cupboard for several weeks — at least! The low moisture and the salt itself both help preserve the mix, even at room temperature.

Espresso Pepper Salt

Makes about 1/2 cup

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2 cup

    flakey sea salt, like Maldon, or medium-grain kosher or sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh oregano

  • 1 teaspoon

    black pepper

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground espresso


  1. Place 1/4 cup of the salt, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a spice grinder or food processor. Pulse about 5 times until the oregano turns into small pieces. Combine with the remaining salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the espresso and stir until the espresso is absorbed. Spread the mixture out in a thin layer on a piece of parchment paper and let dry overnight. Place in a glass container and store in a cool, dry place.

Recipe Notes

Don't have an espresso machine at home? Use instant espresso or strong-brewed coffee.