We may be biased here but we strongly believe that a decent cup of coffee is the absolute BEST way to start the day. The ritual involved in boiling water, preparing the coffee grounds, brewing the grounded coffee and inhaling that exquisite aroma as the flavour is gently released is a beautiful morning process and one that dedicated coffee-drinkers make time for every day.
Have you ever wondered what to do with coffee grounds after brewing?
Once you’ve enjoyed your delicious cup of coffee, what happens to those used coffee grounds??
Uses of Coffee Grounds
You may have walked past coffee shops on the high street offering bags of used grounds for the garden. The nutrients contained in the ground coffee include nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous, which act as a wonderful slow-release fertilizer for the garden that also repels some pesky insects too.
Coarse ground coffee can be turned into various exfoliating agents after use. Combine with essential oils to make a natural body scrub, or add to detergent to scour dishes, pots and pans. The coarse nature of the used coffee grounds is an effective and safe way to remove grime from ourselves and our dishes.
In recent months with energy prices spiralling up in cost, cold weather lingering into spring and inflation creeping higher, more and more people are looking at thrifty ways to save a penny or two. The earth-conscious among us may have been using coffee logs for heating the home for a while now, but if you’re only just hearing about this phenomenon read on for more information.
What Are Coffee Logs?
Coffee logs are logs of compacted coffee grounds that can be burnt in wood burning and multi-fuel stoves, as well as biomass boilers. The coffee grounds not only burn well when dried out, they supposedly burn hotter and longer than wooden logs and give off a subtle aroma too.
Benefits of Coffee Logs
Less greenhouse gas emitted
Made from recycled coffee grounds
Saves on waste
Burns hotter and longer than kiln-dried logs
Can be made yourself
How to Make your own Coffee Logs
You will need: Old metal loaf tin, greaseproof paper, tin foil, wax, black treacle, used ground coffee
You might choose to make a log at a time and pop them in the oven when you’re using it to cook something else. This would save on having to turn the oven on just to make a single log. If you have more than one old loaf tin, then you can make several at a time instead.
Collect your used coffee grounds until you have a large bucket full.
Use approximately 750g of dried coffee ground to approx. 225g of wax (ideally a natural wax like soy wax or beeswax is best, but old candle wax works too).
Spread the coffee grounds on a large baking sheet and bake at around 130 degrees for 20 minutes or so, turning half way through to ensure they’re dried evenly.
Line your loaf tin with greaseproof paper or foil and add the wax and 500ml of treacle.
Bake the treacle and wax for 20 – 30 minutes until all the wax has melted, the remove from the oven.
Carefully add a spoonful of dried coffee grounds at a time to the hot wax/treacle mixture and stir to combine. Repeat until the grounds are all coated.
Cut another section of foil or greaseproof paper and place it on top of the grounds and press firmly down to compact them.
Once cooled, put the loaf tin containing the coffee grounds mixture into the freezer and freeze for at least an hour.
Remove from the freezer and gently coax out of the tin.
Store your coffee logs in an airtight container and use as required.
Coffee Logs FAQs
Can you make coffee logs without wax?
You can make coffee logs without wax, but they will have a shorter shelf life.
How to make coffee logs without wax?
Simply use treacle and dried coffee grounds without adding wax.
Are coffee logs environmentally friendly?
They emit less greenhouse gas than burning wood, use a waste product to make and are made from entirely natural materials, when formed using natural wax. So, yes, they are environmentally friendly.
Can you use flavoured ground coffee to make coffee logs?
We would advise against this. Flavoured coffee can contain additives which may affect the burnability of the coffee log.