How to Zero Waste Coffee

Simple steps anyone can take on how to enjoy zero waste coffee. I love coffee but don’t enjoy all the waste that can come with it. Making a simple change can make a huge difference in the amount of waste we create.

zero waste coffee storage

How to Make Sustainable Zero Waste Coffee

This year has been about being more intentional in my life. Intentional about my time, the products I use, the amount of trash I use and slowing down to simply enjoy the moments in life. So, I could go into details about how much waste is produced every year by the massive amounts of trash caused by coffee drinkers, but I will leave the research for you to do, for now.

Today, I am simply sharing how our family has started being more sustainable when it comes to our coffee. 

zero waste ground coffee

Buy Fair Trade Zero Waste Coffee

Coffee can only be grown in certain parts of the world and so, coffee beans are imported. There are only two states in the US who can grow coffee, one of them is California and the other is Hawaii. Coffee is a popular beverage and there is a lot of money to be made in the industry.

Fair trade simply means certified coffee producer organizations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fair trade Minimum Price for their coffee, which aims to cover their costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level.

Zero Waste Coffee Storage

I purchase my coffee from a local store who sells in bulk which means I can take my jar in, place my choice of coffee beans inside and then pay for them. I avoid extra waste by storing my coffee in jars.

There is no throwing away another package once I get home. I know not everyone has access to stores who sell in bulk but these types of stores are becoming more popular and you can also check here to see if there is a local store near you. 

zero waste coffee grinder made in the USA

Grind Your Own Coffee Beans

If your purchasing whole beans, you will need a way to grind them. When you buy coffee that is already ground, you have lost the freshness of the taste. Using fresh ground beans will result in a much stronger flavor and the subtle tastes of your specific type of bean are more noticeable.

Zero Waste Coffee Grinder

In my research for a high-quality coffee grinder, I found the Camano Coffee Mill. The Camano Coffee Mill is made in the USA, which is important to me. I enjoy knowing my money is supporting another family and their dream.

The Camano Coffee Mill offers settings for a super fine grind (Turkish) to a coarse grind (French Press) and everything in between. The ceramic burr provides an extra consistent grind and there are more settings for additional grind options. The top arch is cast iron & a cast iron arch inside the hopper offering further stability for the shaft which allows for a much more consistent grind.

zero waste coffee grinder and filter

Zero Waste Coffee Filter

In my old way of making coffee, I used a white paper filter each day. Then, I threw it away each time I was finished. In pursuing a more sustainable, zero waste coffee lifestyle, I knew I would need another option.

I found several options but ended up going with Coffeesock. These filters are made of organic cotton and completely reusable. Taking care of the reusable Coffeesock is so simple! 

After brewing, discard your coffee grounds and thoroughly rinse your filter. Rinse you Coffeesock and squeeze out excess water, then hang to dry. Once every 6-8 weeks boil filters in fresh water for 10 minutes to remove accumulated coffee oils. It is easy to use the Coffeesock and there is no longer a need for throwaway filters. 

Zero Waste Coffee Grounds

Composting your coffee is a great alternative to just tossing the used grounds in the trash. Coffee grounds help to add nitrogen to your compost pile. 

zero waste coffee grinder

How To Prepare Zero Waste Pour Over Coffee

So, now you know how to live the zero waste coffee lifestyle but how do you make coffee with these products? It is called the pour over method and here are the details listed in steps. 

Step 1: Boil Water

Step 1. Boil your water. I own the  Ovalware RJ3 Stainless Steel Drip Kettle. I love that it comes with a built-in thermometer so that you know when your water is right around 200-degree temperature, which is what you want. 

Step 2: Grind Coffee

Step 2. Grind your coffee. I prefer to grind mine to the coarseness of sugar and I use about 3 tablespoons each time I make a cup. One of the things I like most about pour over coffee is that I have control over the boldness of the taste. Use less coffee if you desire coffee that has a taste of being more lightly toasted.

Step 3: Filter

Step 3. Place your filter into the dripper.

Step 4: Add Coffee

Add your coffee to the filter and place your cup under the dripper.

Step 5: Pour

Begin the pour over process. The first pour will consist of allowing the coffee grounds to “bloom” When the hot water first hits the grounds, Co2 is released creating a blossoming effect. This will cause the grounds to rise up, allow this process to happen for about 30 seconds. Then, pour slowly in concentric circles over the coffee grounds until the desired volume is reached.

Step 6: Enjoy

Step 6. Wait for the water to drain all the way into the mug and then enjoy the most delicious cup of coffee!

Not only do I love the taste of pour over coffee better than the old drip machine method but I also love that this grinder doesn’t use any electricity and that I can take it with me where ever I go.

Red Rooster Company sells the Pour Mason that you see pictured above. It is a wonderful product that fits onto a wide mouth mason jar. It is lightweight and perfect for traveling or using at home if you don’t have the Home Brew Kit 

Have you ever had pour over coffee? I would love to hear your thoughts on this process and what you think about living a zero-waste lifestyle when it comes to drinking coffee. 

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5 thoughts on “How to Zero Waste Coffee”

  1. I love this! I am currently trying to move our family more toward zero waste. We have a Keurig and use the my cup and my husband loves his old fashion, Italian Bialetti coffee pot but there is nothing quite like pour over. Please keep the "make your own cleaning products" information coming.

  2. I have been doing pour over coffee for several years now… there is no comparison in the taste. It is now my method of choice to make my morning coffee! We do the best we can to live in a green environment with zero waste; we use cloth towels, reusable bags/baskets, natural products & essential oils throughout our home, as well. I would love to give this gorgeous set a good home, and add this to our kitchen for a zero-waste lifestyle. This would be such a beautiful set to leave out on the counter, and it would be enjoyed for many, many years to come – especially when having conversation with family and friends! What a wonderful piece!

  3. I love the way you started this post, I too love coffee & everything about coffee! I live in Australia & I will have to try this pour over method. Everyone here loves Nespresso machines & coffee pods but they are so bad for the environment.

  4. Hi,I’m Susan. Instead of discarding the coffee grinds give them a new purpose,they work great mixed with soil for healthy plants and flowers,as well instead of boiling the oils out of the filter place the filter in a glass jar with a good carrier oil in a warm window sill for a couple of weeks or so to extract the caffeine oils out of the cloth for a great facial oil,then once done boil your filter. Then zero waste could possibly be happening all together. Love your post and am deffinately going to be on the hunt for one of those grinders,live on a very tight budget since my husband’s passing but am deffinately about reusing and zero wasting. Thank you again for your post.


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