As a student I find coffee one of the most necessary drinks that helped me through days and night during an exam week. But it can be pretty wasteful. Most coffee pads that are used by Senseo or other brands contain polyester or other synthetic materials. Polyester is made from the same material as plastic, therefor it is not compostable and can leave polyester in your coffee. Coffee capsules, such as Nespresso is using, are also made of synthetic materials and are hardly ever recycled. Let alone that most of the coffee beans come in a non-recyclable packaging.
Luckily there are other options that can be waste free. Using French press or brewed coffee can be a less wasteful alternative. These methodes only need coffee beans / coffee grounds and water. Brewed coffee needs a paper filter which, if it is not bleached and made of 100% natural materials, can be composted or you can use a reusable cotton alternative. I love French press because you can also use it for making tea, ice tea, hot chocolate or anything else.
Here is a guideline about how I make waste free coffee.
1. When buying coffee it is good to know where it comes from and who harvested it. Gimsel has a great variety of coffee beans at their store and they explain which coffee beans are from which country. You can also use your own cotton bags to tap the coffee beans but they also offer you the option to grind the beans there as well and put them in a paper bag. I like to grind them as home, sinds the aroma will be stronger when you grind your coffee fresh.
2. I store the coffee beans at home in a glass jar in the cupboard. You will also need a little scale to measure the coffee beans.
3. 20 grams of coffee beans and 300 ml of water is for me the perfect combination. It is a bit strong but if you like your coffee less strong add more water or less beans to it. Just experiment and you fill find the best ratio.
4. I grind my coffee beans at home with a little beans and herb grinder. You only need to grind it for 5 seconds to have a bit of a rough coffee ground.
5. Pour the coffee ground in the French press and add hot water. Watch out, boiling water can burn your coffee and can make it less tasty.
6. Leave the coffee in the French press for 4 minutes. During these 4 minutes I like to get changed in the morning or wash my face and do my make-up.
7. When the 4 minutes is done, press down and enjoy your coffee.
9. When you finished your coffee, add the coffee grounds to the compost. You could also mix the coffee ground with soil for your plants as well. Read more about composting at home here.
Enjoy your coffee and let us know how you do it zero waste!