How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Zero Waste Coffee

let’s find out how to make some simple, delicious, zero waste coffee to make your day.

let’s find out how to make some simple, delicious, zero waste coffee to make your day.

Coffee is the number one reason a lot of people are able to be functional in their daily lives. We owe a lot fo coffee. I wonder if we can blame coffee for making us hyper-productive. But nahhhh. Coffee is faultless. The fault lies with us, if anything. 

Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s find out how to make some simple, delicious, zero waste coffee to make your day.  

The previous coffee post covered fairtrade, organic coffee brands. (Head over there if you haven’t read it yet.)

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE DETAILS.

 

Buying and Storing Coffee

First, how do you buy your coffee beans?  

Do you buy them in bulk stores and therefore not use plastic? If you don’t yet do that, try your local Jimbo’s for bulk organic, fairtrade coffee that you can buy and pack into your own container and take home. Whatever the local store you shop at, just inquire if they will let you purchase without packaging. They’ll probably say yes if they sell in bulk:)

If you don’t have access to bulk buy stores locally, then you have choices such as: 

  1. Ethical Bean, which sells fair-trade certified, organic coffee in compostable and recyclable packaging, 
  2. Equal Exchange

Now that we’ve bought the coffee beans, let’s move on to…

Grinding Coffee Beans 

The key word in zero waste coffee making? Low-tech.

It’s best to grind your coffee by yourself, but that’s not really feasible for most people. If you want to grind your own coffee, you can learn more on how to do that in this comprehensive article here. 

If you want to grind your coffee without using electricity (which mean you can take it camping!), this is a great option. And so is this.

Manual coffee grinders that are zero waste and long lasting

Once you have the ground coffee, that’s where the major fun starts. 

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE DETAILS.



 

Brewing Coffee

If you’re an espresso drinker, check out these manual espresso makers here, the minispresso here and the Handpresso Wild Hybrid here.

Or, you can use the stovetop espresso maker, otherwise known as the Moka pot:

Moving on from espresso, if you fancy looking like a mad scientist while brewing your coffee, check out this Vacuum pot contraption: 

Ok, with all that out of the way, let’s get into a couple of the simplest, low-energy ways to brew coffee:

Use a French Press

Zero waste coffee with a French press

Bring water to a boil in your kettle. Grind the beans to a consistency similar to breadcrumbs. Add the grounds to the French press. When the water is sufficiently hot (between 195°F and 205°F), pour it into the French press and stir vigorously into the grounds. Let it sit for four minutes, and then slowly plunge the press. The grounds get pushed down, leaving the coffee above. Serve immediately (before the bitterness seeps into the coffee).

 

Get a ceramic French press here:

Zero waste coffee from a ceramic French press

 

Get a personalized stainless steel French press here:

Personalised stainless steel french press 2Personalized stainless steel French press

 

 

Use a Chemex Pour-Over

Brew a cup of zero waste coffee with a Chemex

Bring water to a boil in your kettle. For a delicious, aromatic cup of coffee from a Chemex, use beans that are similar in consistency to granulated table salt.
Place a filter in the brewer and wet it with hot water to calm down the wispy papery texture of the filter and to and warm up the brewer. Discard this water; it has served its purpose.
Add the coffee grounds to the filter, keeping the surface level. Use water that’s between 195°F and 205°F, and slowly, steadily pour it over the grounds, enough to completely saturate them. Start from the middle and spiral your way out to the edge.
Stop pouring and wait for half a minute. Then slowly pour in the remaining water. Carefully remove the filter with the wet grounds, and remember to compost them. Then you can enjoy your freshly brewed coffee!

 

Get a vintage Chemex here:

Zero waste coffee with Etsy's vintage Chemex

Get a vintage Chemex 8 cup coffee maker here:

Vintage chemex 8 cup coffee maker

 

Get some reusable coffee filters here:

Zero waste coffee with reusable coffee filters

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE DETAILS.

Interested in trying out a few other styles of coffee brewing? (Disclaimer: They may or may not be ‘other’ to you, depending on your culture. I’m Indian and am very familiar with the South Indian filter coffee, so while it isn’t ‘other’ to me, I suggest you try it sometime:))

  1. South Indian filter coffee
  2. Vietnamese phin coffee
  3. Turkish coffee

 

But hey, what do you do with the…

 

Used-up Coffee Grounds

Finally, after having enjoyed your fabulous mug(s) of coffee, make sure to compost the coffee grounds and give your plants a nice nitrogen boost. You could also use them to make your own body scrub (the caffeine really works wonders on your skin’s elasticity).  



 

Coffee Made Thoughtfully

So, there you go: End-to-end ethical coffee, as far as it’s possible. You’ve created your own personal supply chain, where you are purchasing fairtrade coffee (and thereby paying the coffee farmers a fair price), not using plastic to brew your coffee (the only waste created is water, compostable paper and grounds, and, well, what’s coming out of you!), and finally disposing of the organic coffee grounds into your plants or your skin (and then the drain). 

Remember to wash your mug and coffee brewing equipment with non-toxic dish washing soap, and to air dry it (no need to use the dish washer and use up electricity!).

 


 

A Final Note

Zero waste is not actually possible, I know. It’s just a useful phrase to indicate minimal waste. 

Some of you reading this may think this is being too anal about something that perhaps ultimately makes no difference to anyone. You may be right. Does it matter that a few thousand people make zero waste coffee, when millions of people are throwing away coffee cups and K-cups every day? Does it matter that some farmers are being paid fairly, when the majority of farmers around the world are still being exploited and forgotten? 

Does any of this matter? In the larger scheme of things?

You tell me.

You’re here, reading this.

Does it matter to you?

Well, it matters to me. 

And it sure as hell matters to the environment.

Read more

The Environmental Problem with Coffee

The Epic Guide to Ethical Coffee Drinking

How to Live an Environmentally Conscious Life

 

Please share this if you found it helpful. Thank you:)

Coffee is the number one reason a lot of people are able to be functional in their daily lives. We owe a lot fo coffee. Let’s find out how to make some simple, delicious, zero waste coffee to make your day. #zerowaste #coffee

THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE DETAILS.



What do you think?