Brew a better world by giving back to the soil that grows your morning coffee.

Composting is a fantastic way to reduce waste and give back to the environment, and it is the best option for coffee chaff uses. Composting involves breaking down organic matter (like food scraps and yard waste) into a rich and nutrient-dense soil amendment. This process not only helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, but it also helps to enrich the soil and improve the health of plants.

Reducing waste keeps our planet healthy. It’s where our coffee grows; without healthy soil and environment, we wouldn’t have incredible coffee.

One surprising material that can be used for composting is coffee chaff, or the husk of the coffee seed. You may see bits of this in the cracks of the beans (but not to worry, it’s flavorless in low quantities and will not affect your cup). It is usually discarded as waste, but it turns out that coffee chaff is actually a great addition to your compost bin.

Coffee Chaff:

  • Thin, papery outer layer of the coffee seed
  • Falls off during the roasting process when the coffee expands
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Aids in breaking down compost materials

Coffee chaff is high in nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plants. It also contains trace amounts of other nutrients, like potassium and magnesium, that can help to improve soil health. When added to a compost pile, coffee chaff helps to balance out the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, ensuring that the compost breaks down efficiently.

Not only is coffee chaff a valuable addition to a compost pile, but it is also relatively easy to come by. 

Many coffee roasters generate large amounts of chaff as a byproduct of the roasting process (about half a cup for every pound of coffee roasted!) and are often happy to give it away for free. 

In fact, we have such an abundance of chaff that not only do we make our chaff available for anyone and everyone, we have also partnered with Tidewater Compost to help ensure we’re doing our part to keep earth’s soils healthy. Tidewater Compost is a residential and commercial organic waste diversion and compost company based in Virginia Beach, VA.

Tidewater Compost Badge

Tidewater Compost aims to provide easy access to composting for those who may not have the time, space, or energy to do it themselves, and also offers educational programs to promote the community composting movement in our area. They love coffee, community and the great outdoors, just like us.

Other sustainable uses for coffee grounds waste:

  • Use your spent coffee grounds in garden beds to add nutrients to the soil
  • Make a coffee body scrub
  • Use coffee grounds to deter insects, slugs and snails
  • Odor neutralizing: use grounds while washing hands to get rid of onion or garlic odor

So next time you're enjoying a cup of coffee, consider the potential of the chaff as a composting material, and check out these uses for spent coffee grounds. Not only will it help to reduce waste, but it will also provide valuable nutrients to your soil and plants. We're here to keep the great coffee coming, and every effort counts!

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