Going Green with Your Beans

Coffee is an experience. From the aroma. To the delightful taste. To that amazing boost of energy. We go to bed dreaming of our morning cuppa, and relish every sip. 

With the launch of our very own “Wake and Bake” blend, we are so excited to now be able to share this experience with you. The flavours have been carefully chosen, and lovingly combined, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

We’re also so chuffed that the packaging is 100% home compostable. So, when you’re done with this beautiful brew, you can add the brown bag to your garden fuel! 

But that’s not the only thing that can be re-used. 

Just when we thought coffee couldn’t get any better, we discovered that the used grind can be re-purposed! 5 cups later, and we’ve compiled this list for you to try at home. Have fun!

1. For the great outdoors

Coffee itself is a wonder of nature, so why not use it to give nature a wonderful boost? 

As composts and fertilisers

Even after your warm bevvy has brewed, the remaining coffee grinds contain a healthy mix of nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. Soils require these nutrients to help your plants flourish1,2. Nitrogen, for example, is used by plants to create protein and amino acids that they need for cell production. So, it’s essential for their growth 3. As the plants feed on these minerals, they drain the soil of its reserves, leaving the soil in need of regular replenishment 2. Coffee grounds can help to do this, by adding nourishment and improving soil-health.  

If you’re an avid composter, consider adding used grinds to the heap 1. As they break down, they’ll add more nitrogen to enrich the mix 4. Frequent turning of your compost will then enhance the nitrogen levels even further, creating a yummy and nutritious garden-feast 3

Coffee grounds can also be scattered around your plants, or dug directly into the soil, as a fabulous free fertiliser 1,2,3! If you’re hoping to cultivate beautiful blooms, many flowers thrive on the extra acid that the coffee brings. Roses, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons; are all said to love coffee almost as much as we do 1,2,4,5! And for those plants that are less inclined towards an acidic environment, raise the pH with other garden debris. Dry cuttings (like grass, leaves and straw) will help make the soil a lil’ more neutral 1.  

Whilst we’re dabbling in natural science, why not experiment with using coffee grinds to change up the colour of your hydrangeas? These pretty petals change according to the pH of the soil – with alkalinity painting things pink, and acidity bringing the blue 1! (You could impress your friends with this fun fact at your next dinner party, or even put it to the test in your very own flower bed.) 

Carrots and coffee both rank highly on our ‘list of favourite things’. And we’re delighted to discover just how compatible they are! If you’re considering adding carrots to your veggie patch, combine the seeds with used, dry coffee grounds before planting. The little seeds love the nutrients and added bulk that the grinds offer, and are said to grow bigger, stronger and more fabulous 1,5!

To chase away pests

Whilst we love all creatures, great and small, they’re not all welcome when we’re trying to produce a bountiful harvest. If little ants, slugs and snails are moving in on your precious plants, coffee grinds might be a natural way to keep them at bay. Unlike us, ants are not a fan of that divine coffee smell. And slugs and snails don’t like the feeling of the grinds on their soft tummies. So, try spreading the old grounds around your plants. Or soak them overnight in water, retaining the weak coffee mix as an “anti-bug-plant-spray” 1,2,4,5

You could also use coffee grinds to prevent mozzies and flies from ruining the vibe at your next braai. Little bowls of old coffee grounds dotted about your veranda will not only look very artsy and hip, but the scent could deter these flying insects from chomping on your guests and attacking your chow 2

2. For your home

Oh, how gloriously versatile! Coffee grinds are not only a gift to the garden, but you can use them inside your house as well.

To reduce odours

You may have gathered that we like the smell of coffee. Well there are also smells we don’t like. Old food, pans we didn’t wash, spills in the fridge, lunchboxes forgotten under the seat of our car…. Thankfully, those funky fumes can be dampened. And coffee could be the way 1,2,3,4! Nitrogen (fast becoming our favourite element on the periodic table) assists in removing sulphurous gases; making nitrogen-rich coffee grinds a great way to “clear the air” 2. Bowls of dried, used coffee grounds can be put around your home, in the fridge or freezer, and in cabinets or cupboards 2,3. You could also get creative and recycle old socks and stockings, by filling them with dried grinds and sealing them with a knot. These can be conveniently popped in your car, gym bag, drawers or even in your shoes (not whilst wearing them of course….) 2.

To make things squeaky clean

If you’re looking for a natural cleaning agent, used coffee grinds could be the answer! Grinds on an old cleaning cloth or sponge can help dislodge last night’s supper from your favourite dish. Or make your sink or oven-grid sparkle and gleam 1,2,4! Some suggest adding baking soda to make it particularly effective 4, but warn not to use the grinds on porous surfaces that might get stained 1,2.

To clear out the braai-place

Braais are the business, but cleaning up afterwards is not. When getting the old coals out the weber leaves you covered in soot, try spreading used, damp grinds over the ash. The added weight of the grounds reduces dust, smoke and mess. This can also be useful with indoor fireplaces, making clearing up after cosy winter nights less of a chore1, 2, 5

3. For your beauty regime

You’re already beautiful. Sometimes it’s just nice to give ourselves some TLC. Coffee grounds offer a range of natural ways to give your bod a lil’ loving. 

As an exfoliant

Exfoliants that contain plastic microbeads might leave us feeling like smooth operators, but they’re no good for our oceans. These little plastic bits find their way through our drains into the sea, and are hazardous for marine life 6. Used coffee grinds, on the other hand, provide a natural alternative to get that silky feel without harming the turtles. Mixed with some warm water or natural oil (e.g. coconut oil), the grounds create a scrub that can be massaged into your skin during your shower or bath. Not only do the rough grinds help remove dead skin and dirt, but the caffeine reportedly revs up skin cells and blood flow giving skin a healthy boost! You could also try this mix to treat yo’self to a DIY facial – just check that the consistency is not too rough for your lovely cheeks 1,2,3,4,5

As a hair treatment

Shampoos and hair products can help us create a stylish do, but may sometimes leave a pesky residue. Over time, this can accumulate and steal away your hair’s natural shine. It may (by now) be no surprise that used coffee grinds could be the remedy you require. When rubbed through your hair before you wash, the grounds can help to dislodge unwanted residues and exfoliate your scalp. Thereafter you can wash and rinse as normal, and hopefully find yourself mesmerised by your gorgeous locks 1,2.


All this info has got us cartwheeling down the corridor. Whilst this may be due to our current caffeine consumption, we think it’s because we get SUCH a kick out of waste reduction. 

So, join us eco-warriors! And when the sweet sipping is done, be kind and mind that you re-assign the grind! 

Written by: Claire Francis Willows


1. Natural living ideas. (2020, January 20). 17 genius ways to recycle used coffee grounds. Retrieved from: https://www.naturallivingideas.com/recycle-used-coffee-grounds/

2. McDonell, K. (2018, April 12). 16 Creative ways to use old coffee grounds. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/uses-for-coffee-grounds

3. Rodgers, M. (2018, February 25). 8 Ways to recycle used coffee grounds. Retrieved from: http://craves.everybodyshops.com/ways-recycle-coffee-grounds/

4. Death Wish Coffee Co. (Date unknown). How to recycle used coffee grounds. Retrieved from: https://www.deathwishcoffee.com/pages/how-to-recycle-used-coffee-grounds

5. Breyer, M. (2012, November, 19). 20 ways to reuse coffee grounds, tea leaves. Retrieved from: https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/recycling/stories/20-ways-to-reuse-coffee-grounds-tea-leaves

6. ElementsBathAndBody.com. (Date unknown). What exfoliants are good or bad for the environment? Retrieved from: https://www.elementsbathandbody.com/eco-friendly-exfoliants/