If you drink a couple cups of coffee a day, you might be surprised to learn that you’re responsible for more than 6.6 pounds of coffee husk waste each and every year. In the same amount of time, coffee production worldwide yields over 1.35 million metric tons (tonnes) of husk waste. Now, the Huskee design company is tackling coffee industry waste head-on with its HuskeeCup, a reusable cup that is made from actual coffee husks that were discarded during production. The cup quickly reached its crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo, so hopefully the company will soon be able to turn their prototypes into ready-for-sale products.
What exactly is a coffee husk? Well, it’s the rough covering that holds the bean itself. “At the end of the harvest, coffee farmers are left with tonnes of this organic material,” the Huskee designers explain. “While it has previously been used as a fertilizer supplement and even a carbonized fuel source, there is currently no economically viable and sustainable way of dealing with it.” Cue the HuskeeCup.
Huskee sources its coffee husks from Yunnan, a Chinese province near the border of Myanmar. Yunnan is known for growing specialty coffee, and Huskee has been working in partnership with local farmers there for about 10 years. When HuskeeCup production takes off, the company expects to begin working with growers around the world. It’s truly a win-win-win: the company gets its raw materials, the farmers earn extra income, and the world is given a way to dispose of this particular waste stream.
While you’re entitled to feel a little virtuous when you’re sipping your latte from your sustainable, zero-waste HuskeeCup, environmental concerns aren’t the only reason to buy it. On top of being completely reusable and recyclable, the HuskeeCup is also chip and crack-resistant, which will surely make it a favorite in diners, cafés, and homes around the country. Durable means less hassle and less money to be spent.
Team Huskee designed their cup to keep your coffee hotter for longer. The HuskeeCup actually retains heat better than a traditional ceramic coffee mug, and because of the ridges along its body, your hand will always be cool and comfortable. The cups come in a range of sizes (six, eight, and 12 ounces), though they are all compatible with the same saucer and lid — and of course, the lid means you can take your coffee on-the-go, saving time and money and eliminating the need for disposable paper carry cups. You can put the HuskeeCup in the dishwasher, and we think you’ll appreciate the little design feature that channels water off of its base to ensure the entire mug is dry when you take it out.
HuskeeCups are designed to stack safely and efficiently, resulting in fewer breakages and the most effective use of cabinet storage space. This is an important plus for home users and busy restaurant staff alike.
“We are recycling hundreds of tonnes of waste material from the production of coffee,” the company says. “Our dream is to realize sustainability for cafés and home users while achieving zero waste at the farm. HuskeeCup is the first step in fulfilling this mission.”