To so many of us, the day can’t start without a good cup of coffee. And for me is no different. Before getting into this whole ‘Zero Waste’ lifestyle I used to own a capsule coffee machine (gasp!). Then, I didn’t even think about the environmental consequences of using those tiny plastic containers full of coffee to power my day.
But we all have to start somewhere and the day that I gave away my machine I also started traveling. It wasn’t until we came back to Australia that we would finally own our own coffee maker. Our Italian press is our everyday diligent tool to make delicious zero-waste coffee. But, it’s not the only way.
Today I’m sharing some ways to enjoy zero waste coffee at home. If you prefer to have yours at your favourite coffee shop, you know the drill…just buy yourself a reusable coffee cup.
First off, you need to buy your beans. Or your ground beans if you prefer. You can get your beans at your favourite coffee shop and take your own container for them to fill up or buy it at your local bulk store. However, I know that it can be an expensive option as prices range around A$15 per 250grams in most places. So if you have to opt for a cheaper option, go with the bigger pack you can get. Like the 1kg packs you can find at supermarkets. This way, you are buying in ‘bulk’ and you can still send the packaging to be recycled.
If you buy beans, you gotta grind them! I own a plastic electric grinder (sad face) which we bought a while ago but how I wish I’d invested in this one (how cute!):
Nevertheless, the one I own works very well and will continue to be used as long as it lasts (and then, I’ll try to fix it first).
To keep your coffee fresher, grind your beans in small batches and make enough just for a couple of days. Keep them in an air-tight jar for added freshness.
Now to make your coffee…
I personally use and love my Italian press…It creates espresso quality coffee with minimal effort and experience. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make. The coffee is strong, flavourful and aromatic.
I’ve used French press before and to me, it’s okay. Coffee is not as strong as an Italian press but still has aroma. It’s a great option when you are travelling and only have access to a kettle as you pour the hot water into the press and let it work its magic. So it’s also a pretty easy option to make.
Filtered or brewed coffee seems to be huge in America and South America (where I’m from). We would wake up every day to our brewed coffee at home, be it from the machine or the hand poured drip. This is not very popular in Australia (yet) but I love the great memories and delicious coffee it produces. In fact, brewed coffee has proved to have even more caffeine than your regular espresso. Plus, you can make your own drip coffee in a zero waste way…Instead of using paper filters, get yourself some of this reusable and organic coffee filters. They are easy to use and as they are organic, they won’t leak any nasty toxins into your coffee.
If you can really afford and have the space and passion to brew your coffee in a espresso machine, go for it! It’s definitely a treat to have a freshly poured cup of espresso and I love treating myself to it every now and then. On the down side, you have to practice to pour a delicious espresso as it requires quite a technique and also, a little time to extract it perfectly.
To make your coffee experience truly ‘Zero Waste’ I wouldn’t go around throwing those precious coffee grounds in your bin/compost (coffee is great for your compost though). Whenever you are are in need of a good scrub, get your leftover coffee grounds and jazz up a delicious, homemade body scrub to hydrate and remove the dead skin. You’ll be shining and smell like a fresh brewed coffee (that’s totally a plus to me!).
Just mix your leftover coffee grounds (from filter, press or espresso machine) and add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. When you are ready to use, scrub the mix all over your skin and shower afterwards. Repeat every week for best results.
What’s your favourite way to drink coffee? And do you drink it at home or out? Let me know in the comments!
Peace & Love,