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How to make the tea leaves

Have you ever wondered how much coffee grounds is sent to the trash can on a daily basis? BBC Capital asked whether there are ways to give this stuff a second life.

With pleasure while drinking morning coffee, we hardly think about what Mountain coffee grounds daily reserves of humanity.

But some people - from engineers to designers - have found new ways to derive financial benefit from the waste that we produce because of addiction to this invigorating drink.

Unusual containers

Five years ago, Julian Lechner, a student of the design of one of the Italian universities, drank another cup of espresso when he came up with an unusual idea.

He decided to devote his thesis production of new materials from used coffee mass.

He now lives in Berlin, and he was able to create a material for the production of coffee cups and saucers, suitable for washing in the dishwasher. Yes, from the coffee grounds.

German company Kaffeeform enough coffee grounds from six coffee cups to make one coffee cup and saucer.

“They have a light coffee flavor that lasts for a couple of weeks,” says the 30-year-old designer, selling sets of cups and saucer for espresso for 19,90 euros, and for cappuccino for 24,90 euros. “But they don't leave a coffee taste. Of these, you can drink tea, and it will retain its original taste. ”

About a year ago Lechner left the job in the field of design to establish his own company called Kaffeeform with a starting capital of 40 000 euros obtained through private financing.

According to Lechner, is now eight people working for the company, and she "almost breaking even."

Coffee houses are located within walking distance from Kaffeeform office in the trendy Kreuzberg district of Berlin, the company provides free 500 kg of used coffee mass per month.

"In order to make a cup, it is sufficient to six servings of coffee, - he says. - With the increase in production volumes, we will gradually reduce the cost of [cups]. "

"In the future we would like to go to mass production. After all, there are so many coffee grounds. "

Goodbye, unpleasant odors!

It may seem that wearing socks made from coffee grounds - this is too much. But Aman Advani, head and co-founder of the company by Ministry of Supply garment, located in Massachusetts (US), believes that there are good reasons for this.

These Atlas socks from American brand Ministry of Supply menswear contain recycled polyester with coffee particles to control odor.

In the past, Advani worked as a business consultant, and he had to spend much time on the plane. He did not like socks, approach to his business suit to the end of the day getting wet.

So he cut off the top part of the normal sock and attached to it the lower part of a moisture-absorbing sports sock.

It was his first "functional socks". Before the idea associated with coffee, it was not much.

In 2012, together with other alumni of MIT, he founded a men's clothing company called Ministry of Supply in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To do this, they had to attract private investment in the amount of 8,5 million dollars.

Clients complained to him that one of the main problems when wearing socks was the appearance of an unpleasant smell.

"Natural and yet very effective solution was the coffee - with him nothing could compare," - says 31-year-old Advani.

"If you go to the perfume department of a shopping center, you will see on the shelves of the coffee beans. They are used to, sniffing, refresh olfactory perception, because the coffee will neutralize any odors. "

for the production of socks series Atlas project was launched on the portal Kickstarter three years ago. In the production of articles on 40% composed of recycled polyester with the addition of the coffee mass was able to collect 204 601 dollars.

According to Advani said that this series of socks with a retail value of $ 15 per pair (a little less than a thousand rubles) at the moment is one of the most popular products of the company.

During the special treatment of carbonated coffee mass provided by enterprises for roasting coffee and oils are removed, and then it is added to the fibers of recycled polyester yarns.

"We recommend that you treat them like normal socks and washed after each use. But we were told that even after a week of wearing these socks almost no smell, "- he says.

It is a new kind of fabric

Perhaps you are already wearing on the coffee grounds themselves - or at least the clothes, in which it is part.

American Eagle, Timberland and LL Bean are just a few of the 110 fashion brands that work with S.Cafe fabric from yarn containing 1,2 to 1,5% of coffee grounds nanoparticles.

This fabric comes Taiwanese textile company Singtex and is mainly used for sewing of sportswear, as well as lingerie and fashion.

Last year, the company earned 45 million US dollars, of which 7,4 million - thanks S.Cafe.

Family company, located in New Taipei city, invested 2,2 million US dollars in the development of eco-friendly yarns containing coffee.

This idea was born from the head of Jason Chen, when he heard a visitor to a local coffee shop asked to give him a lot of the used coffee, explaining that she needed him to eliminate unpleasant odors.

The owner of the Taiwanese textile firms Singtex invented fabric S.Cafe coffee after visiting the coffee house with his wife, Amy.

"Seeing this, [his wife] Amy jokingly told Jason that he should add a little coffee in her clothes," to him is not so much the smell "[after sports]", - says Moza Wong, deputy head of the marketing department in Singtex.

So common joke has turned into something more.

Today, fabric series production S.Cafe Singtex daily uses about 500 kg coffee mass.

"Coffee coffee grounds give us free. They do it with pleasure, because it helps them save on waste disposal ", - says Wong.

Fuel for barbecue

Waste left over after cooking cup of latte, can now be converted into fuel for barbecue.

It is such an innovative product - briquettes for barbecue cylindrical shape - the British company offers bio-bean, working in the field of environmentally friendly technologies.

Every year at the factory in Cambridgeshire, it recycles 50 000 tons of coffee grounds.

The British company makes bio-bean coffee grounds into fuel briquettes.

According 25-year-old Arthur Kay, founder and head of the company's bio-bean, these briquettes consist almost entirely of the used coffee mass, characterized by zero-carbon emissions and combustion does not emit any smell of coffee.

"In their production we use natural organic binder to briquettes were stronger and not fall apart, because the coffee grounds is composed of very small particles," - he says.

This idea came from Kay three years ago, when he was a student studying architecture, developed the design for the coffee.

Seeing how much coffee ground simply thrown in the garbage, he began to think about how to turn it into biofuel with zero carbon emissions.

With funding of $ 10 million pounds (860 million) from private and public sources, he founded bio-bean, which currently operates 30 employees.

Thousands of coffee shops, restaurants, and factories for the production of instant coffee, airports and railway stations free give them the used coffee grounds.

Made of her coffee briquettes can be purchased at supermarkets, garden centers and service stations UK this autumn.

"Briquette Coffee Logs can fully replace fossil fuels and wood biomass. They burn longer and produce more heat than wood, so shoppers can save on every kilogram of fuel ", - says Kay.

Fertilizer for the soil and means of slugs

Catching up on the search for solutions in the field of recycling of raw materials, the British Coffee Company decided Greencup deeper insight into the well-known to many fans of gardening advice about using coffee grounds as a fertilizer.

"Brits - the most avid gardeners in the world, so we felt that the idea of ​​recycling coffee grounds will have a response", - says Director of Innovation Greencup Adam Feyruezer.

After spending several years in the study, in collaboration with Imperial College London and the botanical gardens, the firm has managed to create a completely organic fertilizer and means to combat slugs.

It consists of coffee grounds, Greencup supplied customers in the amount of up to 200 300 tons per year, as well as other natural ingredients such as fern and wood ash.

The new product has passed the certification of the British fund biochar, while receiving high praise.

British Coffee Company annually turns Greencup 200-300 tons of used coffee grounds in

British Coffee Company annually turns Greencup 200-300 tons of used coffee grounds in a completely organic fertilizer.

Fertilizer for soil based on coffee grounds from Greencup sold in garden centers 7 pounds in four liters (about 600 rubles), and five-liter bank coffee granules for soil improvement from Greencup is 10 pounds.

According to the owners of the company, based in London and earns 2 million pounds a year, part of the profits from sales of fertilizer they give to charity.

Original decorations

Taking off with his own fingers have made rings, Rosalie McMillan occasionally picks up a light aroma of coffee coming from her hands - and all because she creates jewelry on 70% composed of recycled coffee grounds.

She lives in the UK, and the raw materials received mainly from the London office.

In addition to coffee in the products include shredded pieces of jute bags in which coffee is delivered, as well as biosmola as a binder.

"Most people think of at least strange to work with such material, but for me it is natural, - says 33-year-old McMillan, partner of the firm for the processing of plastic. - It is a wonderful material, because it is the soul of the people from all over the world. "

When creating his latest collection, called Java Ore, including necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings, she used the coffee material in combination with the high grade silver and gold leaf.

Jeweller Rosalie Macmillan creates these bracelets made of coffee mass and gold leaf

McMillan has for many years engaged in manufacturing jewelry. According to her, she has spent thousands of pounds on it to turn your hobby into a business.

Its products can be found on the Internet, as well as a few British shops, including boutiques in one of London's jewelry quarter, Hatton Garden.

Prices for jewelry range from 83 pounds (7200 rubles) for the Java Rock ring, covered with 22-carat gold, to 468 pounds for a massive Java Rock necklace made from recycled high-grade silver and gold leaf.

coffee art

Tired of the monotonous fern leaves that barista, coffee machine master, painted on the milk foam before to give him coffee, Gidak al-Nizar decided to create their own art of coffee at home.

One morning, the Indonesian artist from Bandung (West Java Province) developed this idea.

"I was too lazy to make coffee with milk foam, so I went to the kitchen and prepared a conventional coffee grounds. He finished his drink, at the bottom of the cup, I saw coffee grounds ", - says 27-year-old boy.

"It seemed to me that I see in it an image make-up, fictional creatures from the Harry Potter books. I played out a fantasy, and the hands have started to draw. "

Indonesian artist Gidak Nizar Al-use coffee grounds to create a graceful patterns on leaves, ceramic and melamine.

Using a brush, floss, coffee grounds, a drop of coffee and glue, he creates exquisite works of art on ceramic, melamine and dry leaves.

Being a supporter of environmental protection environment, he is very glad that in his work can use food waste - about two tablespoons of coffee grounds for each.

A series of drawings entitled Zero Waste Coffee Art ( "Waste-free coffee art") collected more than 45 000 Instagram subscribers and has been exhibited in Jakarta, Indonesia.

He sells his works to collectors mainly through the Internet at a price of up to 150 780 US dollars.

"Why coffee? Because I love it, - he says. - Coffee - it is a holiday! I would like people to understand the simple meaning of my work. They are not about how we are talented, and that we love to do and how much joy it brings to us. "

"I would like to have more love and peace in the world. Enjoy every drop of this wonderful drink! "

Read the original source of this article is available in English on the BBC Capital website.

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