INTERVIEW + INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY: Meet Kaffeeform, the coffee cup made of coffee grounds, and enter the raffle for the chance to win a cappuccino set (coffee & saucer). “Coffee-circular” economy we like!
Unless you’re a fortune teller, you have no use for them. Sure – mulch would be an option. But as a regular city person with no garden (two meagre succulents are not worth mentioning, Lucy) and no side job as an augur, coffee grounds seem like regular waste to you.
As you can guess if you read artices like this one about a pineapple fibre-based leather alternative, processed coffee grounds can become an exciting and beautiful raw material. And this is where Kaffeeform comes into play. This Berlin-based company collects coffee grounds from partner restaurants to then process the grounds into a novel, bio-degradable and sturdy material.
Upon noticing the distinct dark brown cups all over the hip cafés I was frequenting, I grew curious and felt that I needed to learn more about them. And so I asked Kaffeeform founder Julian Lechner a few questions about the interesting new material and the young company.
Q: Julian, so I read that it took over three years to fully develop the products. How did it go about and most importantly, how do you keep motivated over such a long period?
A: Yes, the development of the coffee grounds recycling idea took several years. Initially just a crazy notion, it then became a university project and, eventually, after several ups and downs, the founding of a company. It were several small intermediate presentations, invitations and recommendations that really kept us going. We had to examine many areas such as biochemistry, catering, design and logistics. Whenever we hit on problems or experienced shortages of any kind, distancing ourselves from the project would often help.
Images: Kaffeeform/ PR
Q: Do you make sure that the biopolymers you work with are tox-free?
A: We can say with confidence that our compound material is safe to use. An independent testing institute has examined the cups applying different scenarios, and successfully verified the purity of the vessels.
Q: In the past, coffee (even organic) was found to be contaminated with acrylamide, mould toxins etc. How do you make sure to be working with uncontaminated coffee grounds?
A: We’re lucky that coffee has to comply with food requirements, so that our suppliers – the restaurateurs – have to observe the highest quality standards. Any further additives, fillers and hardening agents pass strict quality checks with a certified specialised company.
Q: How long would you say does a Kaffeeform cup last me? And where does its life cycle end?
A: The oldest Kaffeeform cups are about three years old and still in use daily. When used excessively, in other words in restaurants or by coffee lovers, the surfaces develop a light patina. To be honest we consider it beautiful, and it’s also what many customers tell us. Should a cup reach its unexpected end, you can bring it to one of our participating cafés so we can reuse it to make new things. What we’re testing right now, for example, are table tops. Or you can simply dispose of it with the regular household garbage. Depending on your system, it will be recycled or burnt in a CO2 neutral way.
Q: Our final question: what do you enjoy the most about being an ethical entrepreneur?
A: Providing new impulses, inspiring others, and creating a cycle.
Thanks Julian! When it’s time to replace my espresso cups, I’ll give Koffeeform a chance for sure 😉
As of now, the Koffeeform range includes:
– Espresso cup with saucer
– Cappuccino cup with saucer
– “Weducer” cup – reusable easy screw lid cup for your coffee on the go
– And, coming in May 2018: Latte cup with saucer. For the really thirsty coffee fan.
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One lucky person can soon call Kaffeeform Cappuccino Set consisting of a cup and a saucer their own.
Fill out the form below to enter the giveaway/ raffle. Giveaway/ raffle ends on April 26th 2018 00:00 CET. The winner will be announced the next day via email and in an update within this post.
Good luck to you all!
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