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  • Writer's pictureCafé Porte

7 creative ways to reuse coffee

In Spain, approximately 4.5 kilos are consumed per person per year. It may seem like a lot, but if we compare it with the 12 kilos that are consumed in Finland, we realize clearly what the market is like.

However, those 4.5 kg, represent almost 200,000 tons per year of sediment that go to waste most of the time. Let's see how all those millions of kilos of organic waste can be used for different uses and thus give a new approach to the life cycle and recycling of coffee.

We invite you to discover seven +1 alternative uses of coffee, both in beans and the remains once emulsified.

manos restos de cafe molido

1. As an air freshener

Given the aromatic characteristics of coffee, rich in linoleic acid and cyclic organic compounds, ground coffee gives off a powerful and persistent smell that permeates everything around it. For this reason it is frequently used, wrapped in breathable gauze, in closed spaces such as closets and also in refrigerators, to camouflage bad odors.

2. As an exfoliator

The remains of ground coffee are an excellent exfoliant for the face and body due to its abrasive power and its acid PH. It can be used on very dry and not very clean skin as an emulsion with olive oil or egg white. The mixture is floated on the skin and allowed to stand for about 15 minutes to adhere the dermal layer of dead cells. Then rinse and rinse under the shower. Subsequently it is important to apply moisturizing cream on the area that has been exfoliated.

Another way to use it as an exfoliant is by creating a soap, with a neutral glycerin base, then adding the remains of the emulsified ground coffee. Depending on the tolerance of each person, the grain has to be ground more or less coarsely.

3. To compost

Given its composition rich in fibers, organic compounds and elements such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus or iron, coffee grounds are an excellent compost for home plants.

The best way to make a compost is to keep the lees from the infusion in a ventilated and dark container, mixing them with a good quantity of soil for indoor plants, so that the lees ferment and decompose enriching the soil. The mixture is stirred periodically and is applied as needed to restore the potting soil that has lost vigor. Previously, the pH of the mixture must be controlled to prevent it from getting too low, since both the sediments and the damp earth are usually acidic. If it is too low, it can be corrected by adding a little lime accompanied by soluble iron.

4. To dye the hair

A cup of coffee is allowed to cool and applied to the hair when showering. Thanks to the flavonoid compounds and other forms of vitamin B, which darken with the roasting of the bean and which are abundant in coffee, its tinting power is high and it will be absorbed without problems by lighter or graying hair. If we apply it after washing, we will keep the hair wet with coffee for about 15 minutes. For this we can help ourselves with a shower or swimming cap. Afterwards, we can rinse it off with plenty of water and the result will be dark and shiny hair.

5. As a repellent

Again the aromatic characteristics of coffee can be used to our advantage. In the same way that it eliminates bad odors, ground and non-infused grain is a good ant repellent. It is enough to put mounds of ground coffee in the usual route of the ants, as well as in the cracks where we see them appear, to block their access.

6. As a cleaning product

Coffee grounds are acidic and abrasive, two qualities that any stain cleaner should have. But in addition, it adds to them that of being a great electronic stabilizer of positively charged elements, such as dust, which it traps.

The reason is that the wet sediment is negatively charged thanks to its richness in acids, and because the trace elements are not in free form. Consequently, if we apply the paste of the sediment with a damp cloth or even wet with the coffee infusion itself on a surface with stains of stratified dirt and rub hard, we will see very positive results and in this way, we will have a totally cleaning product. natural.

7. As a furniture stain

For the same reason that coffee allows us to give our hair a darker and brighter tone, it is a good idea to apply it with a brush on discolored wood, as long as it is light tones. It will help to give uniformity and shine to the furniture thanks to its ability to stain the wood. The most advisable thing is to modulate the darkness of the infusion that we want to use as a dye with water.

Extra tip:

8. Tenderize the meat

Meat contains muscle fibers and protein that can give it a tough consistency.

Coffee contains natural acids and enzymes, making it especially effective in tenderizing meat. The acidic nature of coffee can also help improve its flavor; just add the emulsified coffee grounds to the meat two hours before cooking. The grains will cook over the meat and form a dark, crispy crust. Alternatively, the coffee grounds can be re-prepared, allowed to cool, and used to marinate the meat in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.


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