At Providence Coffee Company in Faribault, Minnesota, owner James Curren was irked at the pounds and pounds of coffee chaff being thrown out. He was even more irked when he found out that 32.4 million pounds of chaff—which is the skin of the green coffee bean—was being sent to the dump every year, nationwide.
“It’s this light, fluffy stuff,” Curren explained. “I thought, there’s got to be some redeeming value to this. What can be done with it?”
With a little help from the Agriculture Utilization Research Institute, he found out. Coffee chaff is absorbent and full of nitrogen, making it an ideal fertilizer. So, not one to miss an opportunity, Curren started his own fertilizer brand: JavaCycle.
While JavaCycle is still only being sold in a few Minnesota stores, it could be well on its way to being mainstream. The coffee chaff makes the fertilizer smell pleasant, which works well for house plants and patio gardening. And, no matter what, it’s better than wasting so much potential.