Having downed countless cups of espresso, KAFFEEFORM founder, Julian Lechner, wondered whether the leftover coffee grounds couldn’t be used to create new things. The idea to design cups was inspired by his Product Design studies in Bolzano (Italy). And so in 2009, after numerous trials and experimenting, he developed a first prototype espresso cup made from coffee grounds.
Continuing from there and with much help and support from experts, family, and friends the initial idea merged into a finished product. After years of ups and downs and the sheer will to hold onto his vision, Julian Lechner launched Kaffeeform in 2015.
Based in Berlin (Germany) the KAFFEEFORM team daily collects coffee grounds from cafés and caterers in and around the city. The collection, as well as the product processing and logistics of turning coffee grounds into the finished products, are managed locally.
KAFFEEFORM products are super sturdy, dishwasher friendly and fully compostable. Coffee grounds by themselves would not withstand repeated exposure to liquids and heat, so Julian Lechner and his team spent a lot of time exploring possibilities. Finally, the solution they developed is a fully sustainable composite material made from coffee grounds, biopolymers, starch, cellulose, wood, natural resins, wax, and oils. Based on renewable raw materials, this innovative solution is free of oil-based binding agents.
What are biopolymers?
The walls of all plant cells are made of biopolymers, which make them the most common organic compound on Earth. These compounds of long chains of molecules have properties much alike oil-based plastics. Thus, they represent a future-oriented choice and alternative to oil-based plastics.
The KAFFEEFORM cups are designed for long-term use and can be washed regularly in a dishwasher while surviving many a fall on hard surfaces without breaking.
Presently, KAFFEEFORM only ships to countries in the European Union. This also applies to wholesale or franchise opportunities for businesses. However, they are planning to expand so be sure to sign-up for their newsletter for future reference.