Updated: Nov 9, 2020
In the UK alone, 95 million cups of coffee are consumed per day, littering an estimated 182.5 million take-away coffee cups and 350 million single-use coffee pods a year. As if that was not bad enough, other 500,000 tonnes of coffee ground waste are sent to landfill every year, producing 1.8 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
Reusable coffee cups and pods surely help to reduce environmental harm but what are we doing to help with coffee ground wastage? Inspired by a Perfect Daily Grind collaboration we have put together a guide with simple tips to avoid coffee waste at home.
Planning how much coffee will be consumed in a certain period of time is key. Buying coffee beans as fresh as possible and in small amounts according to your caffeine intake means the coffee is being used promptly, keeping its great flavour and reducing the chance to get spoiled.
Improper storage can make a fair amount or even the whole coffee batch go to waste depending on how bad it is kept or for how long. Good advice is to keep the coffee in air-tight container protected from direct light and humidity, for no more than two months.
Grinding shortly before brewing will also reduce the coffee spoilage rate. The bold flavour and so needed caffeine boost are held by the oils inside the bean, which break down once it is ground and start losing its freshness soon after due to oxidation. These oils are also responsible for that vivid sweet, fruity and floral tasting coffee experience.
During preparation, always follow the brewer device manufacturer instructions, paying attention to the correct amount of coffee and water. Pairing your grinding settings correctly with your device of choice is also essential for a success home brew.
Deep cleaning and maintenance can be overlooked when making only a few cups a week using a simple coffee brewer but worth checking once in a while to guarantee the best flavour and results.
It is important to understand that everyday coffee comes from a complex process. Starting with a humble bean picked at a specific coffee plantation out of seventy different countries around the world, to processing and roasting and finally being transported to your local store. Along with comes environmental issues causing a huge impact on the planet that should not be ignored. Together we can make a difference.
Tip: Even after brewed, coffee grounds can still be repurposed in numerous ways. The most common uses are: garden fertilisation and pest repelling, compost bin enrichment, fridge/freezer deodorisation, also body scrub, hair care and candle making.