What to do with old coffee grinds?

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
bandgeek

#1: Post by bandgeek » Aug 05, 2019, 6:33 pm

At the shop I work at, we go through a minimum of 20 lbs. of grinds a day making cold brew for the shop as well as clients. I know these grinds can be useful for gardens and composting but we often end up throwing most of it away. Do any of y'all have experience with finding community organizations and/or individuals in your communities who may find use for all of these grinds? Please let me know as we work on becoming a more environmentally sustainable company.

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BaristaBoy E61

#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 » Aug 06, 2019, 12:14 am

I'm just 'thinking out loud' but I wonder if it might be 'packaged' and given away to interested clients that would use it in their gardens as compost.

It could spark some interesting conversation that would keep clients with a Green Thumb returning, providing it's not too time consuming.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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TomC
Team HB

#3: Post by TomC » Aug 06, 2019, 7:26 am

Many HB members like JohnB swear by throwing coffee grinds on their blueberry bushes. They seem to love the lower pH.

If I had a backyard garden I'd probably compost it/reuse it as well.

jpender

#4: Post by jpender » Aug 06, 2019, 8:19 am

I used to have a compost bin in the back yard. But now there is an ordinance in the city I live in requiring separation of organics, recyclables, and garbage. So I just put the grounds in the green bin along with food scraps and let the garbage service compost it. My understanding is that they sell the resulting soil.

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guijan12

#5: Post by guijan12 » Aug 06, 2019, 1:37 pm

You can grow mushrooms on them. :)
Regards,

Guido

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guijan12

#6: Post by guijan12 » Aug 06, 2019, 1:39 pm

From hear say; cats hate to walk where coffee grinds are laying in the garden.
But my wife also dislikes them between the flowers. :lol:
Regards,

Guido

lagoon

#7: Post by lagoon » Aug 06, 2019, 5:23 pm

Just a bit of a myth busting comment here.

Despite the conventional wisdom, Uncomposted coffee grounds are actually detrimental to plant growth.

On the other hand, once composted, it becomes a highly effective fertiliser.

So definitely throw the grounds in the worm farm or compost bin, but not straight on the plants.

Melbourne University did the science. Details here:

https://www.sgaonline.org.au/using-coff ... he-garden/

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JohnB.
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#8: Post by JohnB. » replying to lagoon » Aug 06, 2019, 8:53 pm

Some more myth busting. I've dumped all our coffee grinds directly around our blueberry bushes for the last ten years & all the bushes are not only thriving but producing an amazing amount of berries each year. I also pour all the liquid collected from the Bosco's drip tray on the ground in our blueberry patch. 4 large plants & 4 small ones. Harvested 36 quarts in the past 10 days with more to come.
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lagoon

#9: Post by lagoon » Aug 06, 2019, 9:37 pm

Without a scientific "control" sample, unfortunately that doesn't tell us much.

Think how much better it could have been using fully composted grounds :)

Bret
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#10: Post by Bret » Aug 06, 2019, 10:25 pm

JohnB. wrote:Some more myth busting. I've dumped all our coffee grinds directly around our blueberry bushes for the last ten years & all the bushes are not only thriving but producing an amazing amount of berries each year. I also pour all the liquid collected from the Bosco's drip tray on the ground in our blueberry patch. 4 large plants & 4 small ones. Harvested 36 quarts in the past 10 days with more to come.
Around ten years ago we had a rare hard freeze here, 10+ days where the temp never got above freezing, and got into the teens each night. A hedge at the front porch went dead brown and didn't recover by the start of spring, like most other plants (fortunately) did. So it was just a hedge of brown sticks and leaves. On a whim, I dumped all my coffee grounds and pucks around it for a few weeks. It recovered completely, and I've kept doing it (even dumping some stale beans now and again). It is flourishing, healthier than it ever was.

Since the referenced experiment only had one type of soil to start with, and limited types of plants, it isn't really a myth buster, but another set of data/conditions that are not universally applicable.

I'm reminded of an old S. Harris cartoon (which I cannot find online, so paraphrasing):

one scientist, holding a flask, says to another: "It may bring about immortality, but it will take forever to test...."