HuskeeCup isn’t your typical cup for joe. Reusable, recyclable, and chip-resistant, the ceramic alternative is made entirely from discarded coffee husk, a byproduct of the milling stage of java production that has scant economic value. The average coffee fiend is responsible for the annual production of some 6.6 pounds of husk waste, according to HuskeeTech, the Australian company that developed the cup. Globally, this translates to more than 1.35 million tons of husk waste every year.
HuskeeTech is fresh off a successful campaign on Kickstarter, where it raised nearly $91,000 in funds for an initial manufacturing run of cups.
Saxon Wright, a co-founder of the firm, is intimately familiar with the problem of husk waste. As part owner of Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters, a coffee supplier based in New South Wales, Wright encounters an abundance of husk waste each harvest season.
“With mountains of beautiful organic material piling up around us and no sustainable way to deal with it, we asked ourselves the question, ‘What can we do with this?'” he wrote on Kickstarter.
After consulting with industrial designers and engineers, Wright realized coffee husk had a number of desirable qualities, such as the ability to retain heat. A number of prototypes later, the HuskeeCup was born.
Designed to last for years, the HuskeeCup doesn’t just do good but it looks good, too. It’s available in several sizes and features an elegant pleated design, a one-size-fits-all saucer for dining in, and a universal lid for carrying out. Bonus: You can toss it in the dishwasher during cleanup.
HuskeeTech is far from finished. Wright and company have plans, for instance, to eventually use carbon-capturing microbes to produce the bio-polymer that binds the husk material.
But even as it stands, HuskeeCup is taking a big bite out of waste.
“By using coffee husk in the creation of HuskeeCup, we are recycling hundreds of tons of waste material from the production of coffee,” Wright said. “Our dream is to realize sustainability for cafés and home users while achieving zero waste at the farm. HuskeeCup is the first step in fulfilling this mission.”