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  • Writer's pictureRayki Goh, MSc

OneUp from Ground Zero

Used coffee grounds are discarded annually in millions of tons, yet they hold untapped sustainable potential. How can this waste transform into a cornerstone of eco-friendly living and a circular economy?

sustainability coffee grounds

Dear Food People,

Have you ever thought about the fate of used coffee grounds? It's kind of sad to think they usually just end up in the trash, right? Well, this week, we're shining a light on a super cool way to give those grounds a second life. Imagine turning them into coffee liqueurs. Yes, you heard right! It's an awesome way to cut down on waste and embrace the whole idea of a circular economy, where we try to reuse stuff instead of tossing it out.

By teaming up with local cafes, this idea does double duty. It's not just about making something tasty; it's also about helping out the local economy. And for those leading the charge in sustainable coffee liqueur, they're setting the stage for a shift in how we think about what we buy, focusing on ethics and sustainability. Turning spent coffee grounds into liqueurs is a brilliant example of rethinking how we use resources. It's about making sure nothing valuable goes to waste, and it's a story about ambition, innovation, and caring for our planet.

Every time you enjoy this kind of coffee liqueur, think of it as a small step towards a more sustainable world. Now, on to the health benefits of this delicious brew. Coffee liqueur made from spent grounds offers a range of benefits beyond its amazing taste. Thanks to the coffee, it's full of antioxidants that help your body in numerous ways, including fighting inflammation and protecting your heart. Furthermore, it provides a caffeine boost to sharpen your senses and may even make you feel a bit happier. But remember, everyone's body reacts differently to caffeine, so finding the right balance for you is key. And if you're not into caffeine, there are decaf options that let you enjoy the taste without the buzz.

Let's not forget about the brands that take sustainability seriously. Some companies, like Kahlúa, are all in when it comes to being eco-friendly. They're not just about making a great product; they're also committed to renewable energy, eco-conscious packaging, and supporting their communities. Choosing these brands means you're supporting a bigger, greener vision.

However, the story doesn't end with liqueur. Used coffee grounds have a tonne of potential. They can enrich your garden soil, keep pests away, help neutralise odours, and even work as a natural skin exfoliant. Some people are getting creative and using them for art projects, such as dyeing fabrics. Researchers are actively turning these grounds into biofuels and renewable energy sources.

And hey, if you've got any thoughts or ideas on how we can tackle environmental or food sustainability issues, or if there's something specific you want us to cover in our future articles, shoot us a message over at We'd love to hear from you!


Further Reading:

  1. Beverage Daily, November 2023, Coffee biorefinery creates new uses for upcycled coffee grounds. Available at:

  2. World Economic Forum, November 2018, 5 surprising ways coffee grounds can be reused. Available at:

  3. Frontiers in Chemical Engineering, 2022, [Title of the Article]. Available at:


The information provided in our articles is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content on our website, including articles, is not meant to endorse or promote any specific medical treatments, products, or procedures. The information provided is based on general knowledge and research at the time of writing. Medical practices and knowledge are constantly evolving, and what may have been accurate at the time of publication may not be current or applicable today.


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