Salmon tacos on white plate

Salmon Pumpkin Chai Dry Rub

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Your Go-To Salmon Dry Rub

Salmon and Pumpkin Chai coffeethese are two things most people would never think of putting together. But with a little bit of Death Wish Coffee magic combined with some great spices, this is one combo you shouldn’t pass up! 

As we continue the Dry Rub series, this week’s dry rub star is our Death Wish Coffee Pumpkin Chai. Death Wish Coffee Pumpkin Chai is a chai-inspired blend of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg, which will definitely spice up your next dry rub. Dry rubs are often considered to be the best marinade, but why is coffee in so many dry rub recipes? It’s because coffee has superpowers that many of us will never understand—that makes it incredible in just about anything. Despite its mysterious ways, we do know a few secrets as to why coffee shows up in countless dry rub recipes.   

 putting spices on salmon

Why Use Coffee in Dry Rubs? 

Cooking with coffee adds many health and flavor benefits, other than just adding a kick-ass flavor to switch up your typical boring dinner. Here’s how: 

1. Creates an Insta-worthy crust 

  • Flavor wise, coffee can help create an incredible crust for any and all meat you choose to cook with. 
2. Tenderizes  
  • Due to coffee’s natural higher level of acidity, it helps tenderize the meat. That gives the meat a softer texture that is also easier to digest. Did we mention that coffee is also a natural way of tenderizing meats? 
3. Rich in antioxidants 
  • Coffee is very rich in antioxidants, and you still absorb all these great benefits from cooking with coffee as well. Antioxidants can help protect you from premature aging, heart disease, cancer and possibly depression and anxiety. 

 Plus, it adds a kick of caffeine. What more could you ask for? 

Different spices on a white plate

Salmon Espresso Dry Rub Recipe  


  • 2 pounds salmon fillets, with skin on 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground Death Wish Coffee Pumpkin Chai 
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 8-12 small tortillas, corn or flour  


  1. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel. 
  2. Mix all seasonings together in a bowl and stir until mixed well.  
  3. Stir olive oil into the mixture. 
  4. Rub the mixture all over the top (not skin side) of the salmon.  
  5. Grill the salmon skin side down for roughly 8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 F at the thickest part. Then remove from heat. 
  6. Warm tortillas on stovetop or microwave. 
  7. Serve salmon in tortillas with any toppings and enjoy. 

 Salmon tacos with coffee bag

Check out more in the Dry Rub series to spice up your next dinner!