The Coffee you drink twice – Kaffeeform

Kaffeeform is a company founded in 2015 in Berlin, Germany. They are famous for collecting the leftover coffee grounds from neighboring cafes and restaurants to convert them into drinkable coffee mugs and cups. The company currently has 5 employees including their founder and CEO, Julian.

We are fortunate enough to have had the chance to interview Anika Paulus so we can get a deeper understanding about the company and their unique idea. 

Interviewee: Anika Paulus, Head of Communications at Kaffeeform. 

1. Could you give us a quick description of your business?

Kaffeeform is a sustainable material made from used coffee grounds and other renewable resources. The product range currently includes coffee cups for Espresso, Cappuccino, and Latte cups as well as the award-winning Weducer™ Cup for coffee on the go. All cups are exceptionally durable, light, and have a mild coffee scent. 

2. What inspired you? / How or where did you get the idea or concept for your business?

 Our founder, Julian Lechner, spent parts of his product design studies in Bozen and naturally there were many cups of coffee involved. So he started to wonder: What happens to all the waste, the used coffee grounds? Can’t there be a way to further use this alleged waste, this resource? With coffee consumption being high around the globe and continually increasing, this thought never left him. He started to experiment with the material coffee grounds, and 3 years later he found the formula to the new material – made from coffee grounds and other plant-based, renewable materials, and Kaffeeform was born. 

3. What was the company’s mission in its original outset?

It is at the core of our heart and business that we use alleged waste material and only other renewable components. Using waste to create something new, that lasts.

4. Where and how to get your coffee grounds for production?

We collect them from Berlin based roasteries and partners as e.g. a co-working space, together with a bike messenger collective. 

5. Does the type of coffee ground affect the production, are some coffee grounds better than others?

We make sure that the coffee grounds are from a good source, that is why we work e.g. with specialty coffee roasteries where we know they emphasize fair payment and work closely with the farmers. And sure, the type of coffee used has effects. Each batch is a bit different in color, but we make sure each batch has the same quality and structure needed. 

6. Does the coffee ground have to be from Espresso Machines or can it be from filtered ones?

We prefer to use the ones from espresso machines as they are finer and thus better to build a dense structure.

7 .Do you advertise your company, if so how?

Very rarely. We do some trade shows and events, but mostly focus on building and growing our company through our amazing community and network, which we do on our own channels and social media.

8. What is the main attribute to the company’s success? 

We were the first and only ones to have the idea and to produce the cups made from coffee grounds. It shows the concept idea of circular design and economy so well – drinking a coffee, using the coffee grounds to make a cup from that you again drink coffee. It just makes so much sense! 

9. Do you feel operating from Berlin has its advantages?

Yes. Berlin is a great city when it comes to bringing initially sounding crazy ideas to life! There is so much creativity and creative freedom in the city, and of course a by now huge coffee scene. 

10. What is the company’s goals?

We want to change the perspective on ressources, and to reshape consumer habits. To offer options and inspire people to integrate sustainability into their everyday lives and make conscious consumer decisions. To promote reusing products and raw materials; better to opt for multi-use than throwaway products, because every decision has consequences. 

11. What makes Kaffeeform unique?

Kaffeeform combines design and aesthetics with sustainability and conservation of resources. Particularly the award-winning Weducer™ cup shows how form and function can pave the way for sustainability in everyday life.

12. What did it mean to Kaffeeform to win the “Red-Dot” award?

That was a great honour, especially because the Jury pointed out how our idea and material innovations is an important nod in right direction in the future. How we use an valuable but often neglected resource, how we think in sustainable circles.

13. What made the founder choose this type of business?

He had a great idea and saw the potential it had, and the need for it. He believed in it, from the bottom of his heart. And he followed his instinct and never gave up.

14. Do you know why customers pick your product over competitors? 

Our competitors are other reusable cups, but we fight for the same cause. So any reusable cup is a great choice. But ours is very lightweight, durable, and long lasting, and then there is the smell of coffee and the story behind it.

15. Do you have any advice for other individuals who want to excel in the coffee market? Consider environmental, sustainable and social aspects. Do things you are convinced of, truly, and do not follow short time trends. If you have a truly good idea, believe in it and yourself

Anika Paulus

Head of Comunication

We want to ask you some personal question not as head of Kaffeeform but as a coffee lover: 

1. What is your favorite origin of Coffee?

 Often it’s from Columbian origin, but I tend to be more open towards any regions and roasts and follow the recommendations of my roaster or barista

2. What is your favorite cup of coffee?

A soft yet complex cup of hand brewed filter coffee.

3. When do you drink your favorite cups of coffee? & how often?

The first in the morning is the best – preferably taking my time, with a newspaper. Or the afternoon coffee in the sun, with a book. For me, it’s important to take your time to enjoy it.

4. Do you have a favorite café or barista in Berlin?

 There are so many great ones and you should discover them all 🙂

5. Would you recommend Berlin to another Coffee lover? If so where should they go?

Totally! The scene is Berlin is so good and still growing and growing, we have amazing roasteries and coffee shops here. We have been working with ​Oslo

Kaffeebar ​ from the start, and you find our cups at ​Isla Berlin, ​ a great zero waste coffee shop. We love coffee from ​Kaffee 9 ​ , ​Elephant Coffee ​ , ​Fjord ​ . And many many more. Make sure to check out the Berlin Batch Initiative, kicked of this year at Berlin Coffee Festival – a great project and an important step in a good and sustainable future for coffee.

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