decafé – grinding a halt to ground coffee waste

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By Lorrin Windahl.

It’s no secret that Melbourne is (well ok, maybe we just think we are) the coffee capital of the world. So we certainly have lots of ground coffee waste. And you can only put so much in your compost bin, right? Well, a young Brazilian designer has developed another sustainable way of using ground coffee waste. He mixes it with a natural binding agent and produces an earthy, tactile material that can be formed into different shapes.

Decafé is the brainchild of Raúl Lauri. He started looking at used coffee grinds as drinking coffee is a universal, everyday addiction of people all around the world. In fact, according to The Investor Guide, it is the second most traded commodity after crude oil. It’s a material that people can relate to due to their everyday use. And because of this, there is no shortage of it.

Decafé is the result of endless experiments and exploration. The coffee grinds are blended with a natural binding agent that is then heated and pressed to form a solid material in the desired shape. The exact recipe and process is a tightly held secret but the end product certainly has appeal as a natural-looking, sustainable material.

Although a relatively new product, Lauri is already using the material to produce interior products such as light shades, bowls, candle holders and mirror surrounds. His decafé product range won first prize at the 2012 Salone Satellite Awards in Milan.

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All images courtesy of textura, who sell the decafé range in Australia.

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