Julian Lechner had the idea of establishing a coffee-focused start-up while he was studying in Italy. Naturally! Where else other than the country where espresso is part of its cultural heritage and where “la dolce vita” would be unthinkable without the comfortable café on the street corner? “I used to drink a lot of coffee in those days”, says the Berliner with a grin. “And after every cup I asked myself: what happens to the coffee grounds?” He then asked the barista and his question was met with incredulous looks. But Lechner did not let this discourage him. To the contrary: the barista’s incomprehension proved that he had asked the right question.
Others joined in: Could coffee grounds be the raw material themselves? Could this assumed waste be used to create new products? The qualified product designer researched, experimented – and reused. Lechner has since created a unique product cycle with his start-up “Kaffeeform” which is both resource-saving and almost infinite. Instead of throwing away coffee grinds, “Kaffeeform” transforms them into a granulate in a complex storage, hardening and manufacturing process. This granulate then becomes new coffee cups. “We start where coffee drinking otherwise stops”, explains Lechner.
We want to question our actions and ask: which of the things that I throw away or repurchase can I continue using or reuse?
Lechner’s motivation: sustainability. “We want to question our actions and ask: which of the things that I throw away or repurchase can I continue using or reuse?”, he says. Because waste is not always waste, as Lechner knows: “In our material world, the production of almost every product requires petroleum in some way. In contrast, our raw material requires no petroleum at all.” He hopes that his products will motivate others to think about the day-to-day actions more sustainably.
The Kaffeeform concept has been well received, the demand is increasing and Julian Lechner is highly motivated to make his raw material usable for other products. Because he knows that “coffee is a raw material that will never run out.” And a sustainable and environmentally-friendly one on top.