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Inhale, sip, and sigh… Doesn’t coffee just hit the spot?
Coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. The aroma is inviting, the flavor is intoxicating, and the effects give you just enough “pick me up” to get your through the day. But as with anything, there is a responsible and irresponsible way to enjoy coffee. If you aren’t careful, you could contribute to high levels of waste which puts strain on the environment.
Thankfully, there are a dozens of coffee-related brands working to provide sustainable solutions for coffee lovers. Here are just three companies improving coffee sustainability.
How often do you use paper or plastic cups to quaff your coffee? Do you use paper cups at the office? Do you accept disposable plastic cups when you visit the café?
According to studies, 18 billion pounds of plastic trash wind up in our ocean every year and landfills contribute to roughly 80 percent of soil pollution; much of which could be recycled. While composting and recycling can greatly reduce the amount of waste created, one company came up with a more creative solution.
It might sounds crazy at first, but KaffeeForm is a company making durable coffee mugs out of coffee grounds. Yes, you read that right – coffee grounds.
The origin story is simple. Founder Julian Lechner saw the large amount of coffee grounds left over after countless cups of espresso and wondered if they could be converted into something useful. And thus, the idea for eco-friendly coffee mugs was born.
Perhaps even more incredible is how the cups are constructed. By using biopolymers (organic compounds which allow for plastic-like formations without the use of crude oil-based plastics), KaffeeForm is able to make durable mugs that can withstand hot liquids, multiple washings, and years of use. And since the cups are made from only coffee grounds, biopolymers, wood, cellulose, natural waxes, resins and other renewable raw materials, they are easy to break down at an industrial composting plant. Or you can send the spent mug right back to the manufacturer to be recycled into a new creation.
Products include traditional coffee mugs, saucer sets, and “to go” mugs. Each are beautifully designed and unique enough to make people do a double take. Is that cup made out of coffee grounds? Believe it or not, yes!
Caffè di Artisan
Another company changing the world of coffee is Caffè di Artisan. This breakout brand deftly balances ease of use with environmental concerns with their luxury coffee capsules.
Now these coffee capsules aren’t like traditional coffee pods sold by Keurig or Nespresso. Unfortunately, those brands are known for creating excessive waste which can neither be recycled nor composted. Coffee capsules from Caffè di Artisan, on the other hand do not require a machine, are 100 percent recyclable (in fact, are widely recycled!), and deliver a more rich coffee taste than any of its competitors.
How does it work? Basically, you order a number of single-serve coffee pods, peel the top, and pour the gourmet liquid coffee into a cup of hot water, frothed milk, or however you take your coffee. It’s also more versatile than traditional coffee pods, by allowing you to make espresso or coffee drinks in mere seconds.
As already mentioned, Caffè di Artisan’s coffee capsules do not require a brew machine or any kind. This saves on energy, obviously. But it also means that you coffee will be more clean, healthy, and sanitary. As, regrettably, coffee machines often accommodate harmful bacteria including E. coli. Gross, huh?
So, if you are looking for a simple and sustainable way to make great coffee, coffee capsules from Caffè di Artisan is the way to go.
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters
Last but not least on our list is Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, based in southwestern Wisconsin. In 2015, the company leverage a federal grant offering a 30 percent tax break to convert its facility over to solar power. The effort was a major success! By installing an 80-panel solar array, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters was able to cover 100 percent of its electricity usage using only eco-friendly solar power.
The company is also known for its fair trade coffees and for working directly with growers (rather than through middle men).
As stated before, there are a plethora of responsible and good natured coffee companies. By patronizing any of the above companies, you can feel good about your next cup of Joe. Not only does it taste great, it’s also working to heal the earth. Enjoy!