How did everything start?
The idea to make cups out of coffee grounds came from studying
Product Design in Bolzano, Italy. After countless cups of espresso,
the founder, Julian Lechner, wondered whether the leftover
coffee grounds couldn’t be used for something new.
After numerous trials and experiments, the first prototype of
an espresso cup made from coffee grounds was developed there
How did it continue from there?
With much help and support from experts, companies, family, and
friends the initial idea actually became a finished product.
The five-year development period had many ups and downs,
but the will to realize the idea was strong enough to hold onto
the vision and found Kaffeeform in 2015.
From where do you source your coffee grounds?
The coffee grounds are collected daily from cafés and caterers in
the Berlin area. The collection is carried out in collaboration with a
social organisation, which also helps with drying and the logistics
for further processing the grounds into coffee cups. By now, the team
of the social organisation has become a part of the Kaffeeform core.
How come your cups are so sturdy?
Coffee grounds by themselves would not withstand repeated exposure
to liquids and heat, so we spent a lot of time exploring hardening
possibilities. The solution we developed is a composite material made
from coffee grounds, biopolymers, starch, cellulose, wood, natural resins,
waxes, and oils. This innovative material is based on renewable raw
materials and is free from crude oil based binding agents.
What are biopolymers?
The walls of all plant cells are made of biopolymers, and as thus they are
the most common organic compounds on Earth. These compounds of
long chains of molecules have properties allowing them to be plastically
formed, and thereby represent a future-oriented choice in an age of
crude oil based plastics.
How long can I use my cup for?
The cups are designed for long-term use so that they can bring many
years of happiness. They can be washed regularly in a dishwasher, and can
survive some falls onto hard surfaces.
Are the cups recyclable?
Yes, as the material can be used to create new things again. We are
happy for every cup we can take back directly, should you at any point
decide to part with your cup. We can use them to produce a 3D-printable
filament, extrude tiles, or produce new cups.
On the other hand, the cups can also be disposed of with your household
rubbish. Depending on the waste separation plant, the cups can be broken
down in an industrial composting plant or burnt in a carbon neutral manner.
Do you want to cooperate with similar projects?
We are overwelmed of the large interest of similar projects and requests.
However we decided to focus on the development of our company first.