Can you imagine how many tons of coffee grounds go to waste every day as people worldwide feed their caffeine habit on a daily basis? Concerned about this very thing, German designer Julian Lechner found a way to turn coffee grounds into espresso cups called Kaffeeform. It didn't happen overnight. In fact, he tested various combinations of natural glues and coffee grounds for five years before finally introducing them to the public for the first time at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival.
Lechner sources his coffee grounds from local shops in Berlin and then mixes them with bits of wood, also sustainably sourced, and natural glues. This mixture is then squirted into a mould and eventually forms into solid espresso cups and saucers that are safe for dishwashers.
“The amount of daily coffee consumption worldwide is growing, thus the potential of reusing its waste for further uses is enormous,” Lechner told Dezeen.
“Kaffeeform is a sustainable material that aims to take advantage of these readily available waste materials to become an alternative to petrochemical-based structural plastics.”
Lechner first conceived his idea to create a line of reusable cups out of coffee grounds while studying at Italy’s Free University of Bozen. The cups, which are specifically designed for drinking espresso, come with a small handle, while the saucers are indented to ensure the cups don’t slip. Before they made their debut in Amsterdam, the coffee cups were field tested at a coffee shop in Berlin.
At this time, the cups are not available to purchase in the United States, but if you’re in Europe, stop by the Kaffeeform website and order a pair, four or more.