Coffee Chaff

At ecoGrounds we are constantly researching strategies to lessen our environmental impact. We believe that coffee should be sustainable while still tasting great. At our roasting facility in Sacramento we make every effort to repurpose or recycle any waste that we create. One of the recurring waste byproducts of roasting that we repurpose is coffee chaff. Before coffee beans are roasted they contain about 11% internal moisture, if you look at a green (unroasted) coffee bean next to a roasted one you will notice the green bean is much smaller and has a thin skin, called silverskin or chaff.

The heat of the roasting process converts the internal moisture into steam causing the skin to heat up and the bean to expand. When roasting is completed the chaff falls off and is removed from the roaster. Like coffee, chaff contains a high nitrogen content which makes it a valuable product for environmental purposes, and each roast produces about 3.2 pounds of chaff. As part of our commitment to consciously great coffee we have found a way to recycle the chaff from every roast instead of tossing it into the dumpster. Since 2008 we have partnered with a company called Reconserve that converts bulk food waste materials into animal feed and who’s guiding philosophy is: recycle, reprocess, resource conservation. Reconserve picks the chaff up from our roasting facility in Sacramento, blends it with other bakery byproducts, and produces a feed supplement for dairy cows. We currently produce about 4,000 pounds of chaff each month, this means since 2008 we have recycled about 320,000 pounds of chaff into feed for cattle. We take our commitment to sustainability seriously and make sure that we are constantly evaluating every step of our process to see where we can make improvements. When you purchase ecoGrounds coffees we want you to know you are choosing a high quality coffee that has a positive impact on the environment and global community.