Let’s face it: the world runs on coffee. More than 500 billion cups are consumed annually all over the globe, which begs the question, where are those grounds going? Coffee grounds are compostable, but the majority of the bean pulp is tossed into the landfill. However, in Berlin designers are putting coffee grounds to work.
Rather than curbing the worldwide addiction, German designer Julian Lechner transforms the coffee grounds into a solid material that can be molded into cup form. Lechner casts the protein polymer into cups and saucer molds for use in Berlin cafes. His company, Kaffeeform, repurposes waste and makes a dishwasher-safe cup that retains the rich aromatic qualities of coffee.
The secret to the perfected formula is a mixture of grounds, natural glues, and sustainably sourced wood. The start-up has now begun serial production with grounds collected from Berlin cafes and local coffee bars who use the cups Kaffeeform cups are sold to local coffee bars and are available on their website.
For those coffee junkies uninterested in purchasing a new cup, coffee grounds have many uses around the house. In the garden, grounds add a nitrogen source for composting, repels slugs, snails, and cats. In the house, course grounds can be used to exfoliate skin, freshen fridge smells, and clean ashtrays. Long story short, you can still get your kick in the morning without adding weight to the landfills.