Solo, latte, espresso, cortado, cap, extra shot, soy latte, americano, filtered, homebrew or fairtrade. Local or from one of the big chains you find everywhere. All those cups of coffee leave behind a mountain of coffee grounds. Now designer Raúl Laurí has found a way to turn that waste into aromatic bowls and lamps.

You’ve probably had at least one, if not more, cups of coffee already this morning. More and more countries are producing and exporting more and more coffee. That’s because more people around the world are drinking it, even in places where it hasn’t been the custom for long. And that increasing consumption means we’re also producing lots more coffee sludge.

Raúl Laurí from Spain wanted to do something with ordinary everyday coffee grounds. So he came up with a really tough, organic, heat-resistant and fire-resistant composite material to create a collection of bowls, lamps, candlesticks and much more. Yes, the Decafé collection smells of coffee, and every piece is that little bit different to the others. What’s more, everything is crafted in a traditional manner and is fascinatingly beautiful, thanks in part to the material.

Check the full catalogue of Decafé here.

Coffee grounds also provide a fertile soil in which to cultivate mushrooms, as is demonstrated by a project from La Place restaurants, GRO (Green Recycled Organics) mushrooms and Vroegop Windig. La Place restaurants serve up oyster mushrooms that have been cultivated on the coffee grounds produced by the chain. And that waste amounts to a whopping 2000 kilos a week — enough to grow some 300 kilograms of mushrooms. Not an original idea it must be said, because Zimbabweans have been using coffee grounds to cultivate mushrooms for years. GRO has also developed a DIY mushroom farm kit for home use, totally in tune with today’s ‘grow your own food’ trend. The packaging illustrates it all in an understandable manner.

What we’re basically saying is: drink and enjoy your coffee, and then recycle all that multipurpose sludge.

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