Latvian student to build furniture from coffee grounds

Rīga Technical University Master's degree student Vineta Haritonova is currently working on creating wall panels and interior design objects produced from coffee grounds, Latvian Television reported October 8.

For many people, every morning starts with a sip of coffee. Afterwards, coffee grounds remain that we mostly throw out. Some people use them as compost, but student Vineta is creating ways to build house interior elements from the grounds.

“I've been interested in innovative, new, biological materials for years because of waste problems. I was more interested in sorting, how it happens, what can't be recycled,” said Vineta Haritonova.

And so she came to coffee. She studied the grounds of coffee and how they could then be reused.

“From cafes, I got wet coffee grounds. Then I dried them (..), there are no more bacteria, and then the binding agent can be mixed in, a mass is formed and it can be poured in moulds. At home, I've tried to experiment with different binders and have found a material that doesn't get moldy, firm enough. You can create different shapes from that,” Vineta said of her work.

Vineta uses a glue of natural origin as a binding agent, which does not cause damage to the environment.

“Pretty firm material. Different textures can be made, it can be sawed. Looks a bit like wood. The texture is initally rather rough, but I have tried to smooth it and then create a decorative effect.”

Coffee tiles could be used indoors for wall paneling in the future. You can also create a variety of beautiful design objects from coffee, including dishes. Vineta aims not only to explore what could be produced, but also to start producing.

“I'd like to go into large-scale production. Produce wall panels, make an interior that is mostly composed of coffee grounds. Try to find a large volume of applications. One small café produces a big ten-liter bucket of grounds per week,” Vineta  said about future plans.

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