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There are numerous uses for coffee grounds – as a pesticide, shampoo, and even soap – but here’s an interesting idea that could spore a thousand others: a coffee maker that doubles as a crop nursery and uses coffee grounds as fertiliser to grow mushrooms.
That isn’t as strange as it sounds. Coffee grounds compost has long been used in gardens (the grounds contain nitrogen, potassium and magnesium). The HIFA coffee maker from designers Adrián Pérez and Mauricio Carvajal, which is in the prototype stage currently, uses a French press system to brew coffee. Then the coffee grounds fertiliser is transferred to a different compartment; mycelium (the roots of the fungus effectively) and water are added and pretty soon – mushrooms!
Images: Adrián Pérez
Coffee consumption will reach an all time global high in 2016, but with less than a quarter of each bean actually being used, many are looking for ways to recycle used coffee grounds. One company in Taiwan is even using them to produce clothing.
There’s a couple of huge questions brewing however: do the mushrooms taste of coffee or provide a caffeine hit? No, by all accounts.
Via Food Republic