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Coffee Products for Conscious Consumers

Your habit can be kinder to the environment and farmers alike

Courtesy of Kaffeeform

There’s no doubt that everybody on the CH team is an avid (if not a little obsessive) coffee enthusiast, but the result of being of a coffee fan is—oftentimes—excessive waste: cups, filters, lids, sugar packets, straws, plastic pods, you name it. Becoming a more conscious coffee consumer involves more than just buying better (fair trade, shade-grown, etc) coffee—though that is a necessary prerequisite. To reduce our collective footprint, there’s plenty more we can all do. From purchasing reusable products to buying from companies that pay working wages and use ethically sourced or recycled materials, we can make the habit a guilt-free one—because it’s the right thing to do.

Cappuccino Cup with Saucer

Kaffeeform’s cup and saucer combo (19) is, itself, made from 100% recycled coffee grounds. Tightly compacted into a mold, the grounds are then hardened using biopolymers and the result is a BPA-free, durable and dishwasher safe cup (and saucer) that is also super-kind to the environment. They’re built to be reused, and even smell like coffee before you brew it.

Recyclable Coffee Pods

Nespresso pods have been subject to scrutiny for their impact on the environment because they can’t be recycled in a traditional manner. (Facilities cannot accommodate items that small or any containing food remnants.) But Volcano Coffee Works is now making Nespresso-compatible pods ($26) that are 100% biodegradable and fully compostable—and the coffee inside is just as good.

Handblown Coffee Maker

This handblown glass pour-over ($130) from Chemex is a long-time CH favorite. Invented by chemist Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, it’s certainly not new, but it remains a functional classic. Crafted from heat-resistant glass, with a wooden handle, its hourglass shape helps to brew chemically correct coffee. With a 40-ounce capacity, it’s big enough for about eight cups and (of course) it’s entirely reusable and will last morning after morning.


Bamboozle’s beautifully designed composter ($40) can, of course, be used for all kinds of organic waste, but is especially useful for disposing of used grounds and filters each day. The vessel itself is made from bamboo fiber—making it both biodegradable and dishwasher-safe. Fairly compact (it’s nine inches tall) it can also be stored neatly in your kitchen, or even in the freezer—a good tip since food scraps can get a little smelly, especially in the warmer months.

Brew Bottle 

Soma makes beautiful, sustainable water bottles, filters and pitchers. It was only a matter of time until their technology was used to create coffee products with the same principles in mind. The Soma Brew Bottle ($40) allows you to brew 12 ounces of hot (instantly) or cold (overnight) coffee in a double-insulated glass bottle.

Crafting blends that span all regions and flavors, Larry’s Coffee is also entirely fair trade, organic, shade-grown (underneath trees in order to maintain animals’ habitats) and is a certified B Corporation—meaning they passed the rigorous assessment regarding environmental performance, social performance, workers’ rights and more. Larry’s is also a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, the first and only group of green coffee importers who are committed to fair and direct partnerships with small-scale farming families and their communities. Plus, their coffee is delicious and oftentimes given a playful, punny name—like their El Salvador Dali Blend ($14).

Reusable To-Go Cup

From CH favorite, KeepCup, this simple, clear to-go Fika cup ($24)  is made from tough soda lime glass, complete with a natural cork band to protect hands. The band is crafted in Portugal using waste product and will develop a patina with use and time. Additionally, if one part of your KeepCup breaks or wears out, replacement parts are available—so chances are you won’t have to discard the entire thing.

Images courtesy of respective brands

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