March 22, 2006

Coffee grounds, actually

One of the most common ways people get to this lil' corner o' the internet is by searching about "coffee grounds." I'm guessing a lot of them are a little disappointed that I offer no composting tips. This post is for you. It is not for people who may think that coffee grounds offer insights into the future like tea leaves do.

Making coffee grounds for compost is easy. It's not quite as easy as falling off a log, but it's getting down there. The best results come from dry coffee grounds. I say this based only on intuition, rather than experiments.

Drip coffee machines with their paper filters tend to produce wet grounds that take a long time to dry out. Therefore, step one in getting good coffee grounds is to dump the Mr. Coffee machine ... You will get better (IMHO) coffee from this approach too.

The best grounds come from Italian-style stovetop espresso makers where the water is forced through the ground coffee. You can pick up a good Bialetti stovetop espresso maker for $25, comparable to your common and garden Mr. Coffee thing.

Once the espresso maker has cooled down, just unscrew it and tip the grounds into a little container. Nothing to it, right? Again, based only on intuition, I assert that saving up a litre-sized yogurt container's worth of grounds, and then scattering it on your compost pile is better than a little bit at a time.

Another easy way to get decent coffee grounds for compost is to use a Vietnamese coffee drip. These produce drier grounds than Mr. Coffee if you screw it down tightly. To get good grounds you should then take the screw off, and let the drip with the grounds in it sit out for a couple of days to dry before you dump the grounds into your little container.

A French press, while it produces decent enough coffee, does not produce great coffee grounds because of all the water swilling around in the bottom there.

Happy drinking and composting ...

Posted by robe0419 at March 22, 2006 11:31 AM | TrackBack
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