Kaffeeform produces cups made from coffee, for coffee. The company collects coffee grounds from local cafés and mixes it with biopolymers to create durable, lightweight and biodegradable coffee mugs.

At Kaffeeform cafe in Berlin, you can quite literally enjoy a cup of coffee. Since 2015, the company has produced coffee cups made partly from recycled coffee grounds, that are durable, lightweight, dishwasher safe and – when no longer needed – biodegradable.

To produce the cups, the first step is to collect the coffee grounds from the 10+ local shops that use and sell the cups. Then, the coffee grounds are transported to a nearby factory that mixes them with biopolymers and injects the liquid into moulds. Biopolymers are simply materials from biological materials, including proteins, cellulose or even DNA. Kaffeeform experimented with many variations found in agricultural waste products in order to make the coffee grounds hard, moldable, and durable. Once hardened, the material is waterproof and durable enough to withstand cleaning in a dishwasher, and for the first couple of weeks, has a slight scent of coffee. The surface resembles dark marblewood and is unique to each piece that comes in two sizes and as a portable mug. The Kaffeeform cups can be purchased at local Berlin cafés or online.

Why you should care

In 2015, Germany was the largest coffee-drinking country in Europe, consuming more than 6.5 kg of coffee per person per year. Meanwhile, single-use coffee cups are problematic for recycling and either end up in landfill or go for incineration. By recycling coffee grounds and mixing it with biopolymers, Kaffeeform has invented a more sustainable and biodegradable alternative to existing single-use items.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Responsible Consumption And Production

Approximately one kilogram of coffee grounds goes into making 15 Kaffeeform cups, reducing waste by rescuing coffee grounds from the bin.