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Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

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Post  scruffyfeathers on 3/25/2016, 7:09 pm

Used coffee grounds do store well. I mention this because there is a trick to collecting more than you actually need. 



I am not a professional gardener so I read as much as I can on the subject. Last spring I learned that coffee grounds make excellent top dressing for your rows of veggies. They are supposed to repel things like snails and slugs as well as feed your earth worms.



Starbucks give the used grounds to gardeners for free. Great. But be forewarned, coffee ground vultures circle above any given Starbucks on a regular basis during the season. I don’t get downtown all that often but when I do I would stop by Starbucks only to learn the grounds had already been picked up. It was discouraging as the only coffee grounds that made it out to my garden came from our Mr. Coffee. We simply don’t drink enough to make a viable contribution to the garden so I kept putting them in my compost pile.



While out Christmas shopping last December I thought I would treat myself to one of Starbucks highly priced, weirdly named brews in one of their special holiday red and green cup. On my side of the counter was a bucket with three large silver bags of used grounds; just sitting there. The sign said FREE but each and every customer stepped by the invitation with little or no interest.



When it was my turn at the counter I asked if I could take one of the silver bags. “Take ‘em all” was the reply. The little Brewster explained that the store policy was that they had to set them out but in the winter time they accumulate to the point that they are collected after a few days and unceremoniously tossed into the trash. I smiled: “Fear Not, little Brewster, that problem has vanished”. With that I juggled the three silver bags and my silly-assed named brew out the door.



Up until mid March I have collected more than 800 pounds of used grounds for my garden. But alas, the vultures are beginning to circle once again so my daily bounty is beginning to diminish. Here’s my point fellow gardeners, if you are not a avid coffee drinker and easily discouraged by dry runs, GO DURING THE COLD WINTER MONTHS! The rewards are phenomenal! Starbucks may not believe in Christmas, but they had surely made my Holidays Happy.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  yolos on 3/25/2016, 8:24 pm

I found a Starbucks that puts their coffee in the large clear plastic bags.  Then they set these bags in a large garbage can with a top on the garbage can.  The garbage can is sitting in the same fenced in area that their dumpster sits.  If the coffee is not picked up by the gardeners, the trash people pick it up when they empty the dumpster.  You can just drive right up next to the dumpster area and take as many plastic bags full of used coffee grounds as you wish.  Another Starbucks I used to go to had those silver bags in a small trash can inside the store.  It was always empty but if you went in around 10 am after the crowd was gone, ask at the counter and they will give you their plastic bag they keep under the counter.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 8:53 pm

I don't drink coffee but now that I am making compost, I may have to try going by starbucks to get some.

As for your nighttime bug hunts, if the culprits are hornworms, my attire of choice is shorts and t-shirt covered by a giant yellow rain poncho...

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  sanderson on 3/26/2016, 2:06 am

Scruffy, Thanks for the winter tip. Makes sense. We have 3 Starbucks near our home and summer time it is hard to beat the other gardeners.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  jimmy cee on 3/27/2016, 9:43 am

I'll walk into our local Starbucks with a hefty cloth shopping bag on my shoulder, they love to see me, as all they do is dump the grinds in the bag and I'm off. No need to meticulously fill those bags with the grinds.
True, sometimes others beat me to it, however, much better that the garbage dumpster.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  scruffyfeathers on 3/27/2016, 1:26 pm

@sanderson wrote:Scruffy,  Thanks for the winter tip.  Makes sense.  We have 3 Starbucks near our home and summer time it is hard to beat the other gardeners.

Maybe someone here can give me their opinion on the coffee grounds. I topped all my rows with a light coating of compost and then scattered a healthy supply of grounds above that. A local gardener told me I put them on too soon and should have waited until the seeds sprouted. It’s not that I doubt him, I would just like to get other opinions.

 

I still have several hundred pounds left so if need be I can sprinkle them again when they will best serve their purpose. If nothing else, this time around at least I may keep my worms happy.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  jimmy cee on 3/28/2016, 8:17 am

I have quite a pile of coffee grinds, I only use them in my compost piles as I turn them over.
I really don't think tossing on the surface of plants wil harm anything, however, I am not certain on that..many folk do and will continue.
I did read somewhere about coffee grinds are devoid of acid, given up in the brewing process, then I read there is acid is grinds...kind of confusing so I am just doing what II feel is best.

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Coffee Grounds

Post  Zmoore on 3/28/2016, 11:10 am

Nothing new, just thought this was cool.  I've been getting coffee grounds from Starbucks and have just been picking them up "in the back" in a plain plastic garbage bag.  Now they have started packaging the grounds in a fancy silver bag with a label "for gardening" and placing at the front door right where you come in.  Just kinda cool I thought.


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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  Kelejan on 3/28/2016, 11:20 am

It does their image a world of good. Very Happy 

No coffee grounds from my local Starbucks as it is located inside a Safeway store and they do not allow Starbucks to give away their used coffee grounds due to health and safety Mad

Very hard to get a regular supply in my small town.  Nothing from Subway even though I am a regular customer there; the workers started letting me have some but after three days the owner stopped it.  Boycott?

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  landarch on 3/28/2016, 11:32 am

last I checked there were over 50 Starbucks within a 30 minute drive from my house...about half are grocery or Target locations that don't give away grounds.

I have about 10 or so that I can cover on a time efficient route on Saturday or Sunday and end up with garbage bags full of grounds.  Several stores have the small sliver give-away bags up front...but I like half-full garbage bags from the locations that crank out coffee in big time volume.

And as if there weren't enough Starbucks, another just opened about two minutes from our house...low volume with silver bags out front.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  Windmere on 3/28/2016, 11:36 am

@Kelejan wrote:It does their image a world of good. Very Happy 

No coffee grounds from my local Starbucks as it is located inside a Safeway store and they do not allow Starbucks to give away their used coffee grounds due to health and safety Mad

Very hard to get a regular supply in my small town.  Nothing from Subway even though I am a regular customer there; the workers started letting me have some but after three days the owner stopped it.  Boycott?
Kelejan, that is awful!  My Starbucks (stand alone) is very happy to give me their grounds.  I just tell them three days in advance so they can accumulate some and then the call me to pick them up. 

I'm very surprised about your difficulties because most businesses want to get on the eco bandwagon.  Do you drink coffee yourself?  We drink a lot, so we can also get small supply that way.  One thing I think about though:  We drink an organic coffee from Cuba.  Also, even though Starbucks does not have "officially" organic coffee, they've told me that their coffee is pesticide free.  Hopefully that is accurate. 

You reminded me to order some from my Starbucks though.  Thanks for that.  Smile

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  Kelejan on 3/28/2016, 11:53 am

You're welcome, Windermere, for the reminder.

I also used to get veggies from our local Kootenay Market for two years, until the local Health and Safety chimed in. At least that is what they said.  I really believe it was because it was too much trouble as now the City have taken over composting and make their own and use it for themselves and now and then make some available to the likes of us. But I really like to make  my own compost from ingredients I believe I can trust.

I think that maybe from the point of Health, it was perhaps that the veggies they threw out  were in fact edible provided they were picked it over, and because some of the packages, e.g. blueberries, were only just past their sell by date and they were afraid people would eat the stuff and sue them if they became sick?

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  p14shooter on 3/28/2016, 2:05 pm

I work for a grocery chain.  Yes, there is a small health and safety reason why we do not give away our waste to individuals.  If they were to consume them (or try to sell them ((it has happened)) and something was wrong, then we are on the hook.  However a major factor is our job security.  When we start to allow people to take away for free, or next to free, then the unsavory employees will start to put the good stuff in with it hoping they will not get caught which will inevitably happen and then we have to terminate them.  That and it is too hard to control if we have multiple people coming in daily to get stuff.  We do give generously to the local food banks product that is not able to be sold, but is still good to eat.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/28/2016, 2:56 pm

Do the Dunkin Donuts give their grounds away?

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  p14shooter on 3/29/2016, 12:21 pm

is there such a thing as using to much coffee grounds in the compost or am I just being silly

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  sanderson on 3/29/2016, 9:07 pm

@plantoid wrote:Last time I went to Starbucks or possibly a  Costa place here in South Wales UK ( Most likely the final time methinks ) for a cup of disgusting tasting  very much over priced sludge
My taste buds agree with your description.

" Fantastic garden & plant pot compost  material "
            Only £ 3.50 each " 

That's about $5 .00 USD  , you guys over the pond get them for free.
Ouch

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Free Grounds.

Post  scruffyfeathers on 3/30/2016, 9:50 am

@plantoid wrote:Last time I went to Starbucks or possibly a  Costa place here in South Wales UK
Hey Plantoid,


In lieu of paying Starbucks you may be able to check with fast food places or local, but busy restaurants that serve breakfast. I have three side by side on one street. The problem is they do not separate the grounds from paper trash. Here, if I go right after the morning rush it works to my benefit with minimal trash sorting. I typically call all three first and they do set them aside but the trash sorting is still up to me. Wink

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  cpl100 on 3/30/2016, 5:20 pm

I would like to know this also.  Thanks for asking.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  sanderson on 3/30/2016, 5:36 pm

Using carbon to nitrogen ratio, coffee grounds are a 14:1, a green.  Green defined as less than 30:1.  Browns are over 30:1.  So you would need to add enough browns to bring the number to 25-20 as good, 20-30 as okay. This calculator is fun to play with.

http://klickitatcounty.org/SolidWaste/fileshtml/organics/compostCalc.htm


Last edited by sanderson on 3/31/2016, 3:39 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot to add the link)

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grounds

Post  sanderson on 3/30/2016, 5:40 pm

For coffee grounds, don't forget churches that serve coffee after services, weddings, misc. meetings.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  Cajun Cappy on 3/30/2016, 6:05 pm

I am so country boy and non garden geeky I prolly shouldn't post here but alls I know about coffee grounds is i put em in our garbage pile(I dare not call it compost) in the same place all the time.  That makes digging worms very easy since they love it.  One shovel full turns up 20 or more fat worms plenty to use to catch supper. As far as Ph or nitrogen or etc value I aint got a clue but coffee grounds are wonderful worm bait which is wonderful fish bait which is wonderful ot add to the garbage heap and the wheel goes around. Cool

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  jimmy cee on 3/31/2016, 9:07 am

@sanderson wrote:Using carbon to nitrogen ratio, coffee grounds are a 14:1, a green.  Green defined as less than 30:1.  Browns are over 30:1.  So you would need to add enough browns to bring the number to 25-20 as good, 20-30 as okay.  This calculator is fun to play with.

http://klickitatcounty.org/SolidWaste/fileshtml/organics/compostCalc.htm

Thanks for this calculator. I will be doing some intensive studying with it..
Nothing in my entire life time has ever given me such a learning challenge as this c / n mix ratio.
I do plan on mastering it, although, my compost seems to be doing nicely.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  camprn on 3/31/2016, 12:32 pm

bump

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  has55 on 3/31/2016, 1:04 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Using carbon to nitrogen ratio, coffee grounds are a 14:1, a green.  Green defined as less than 30:1.  Browns are over 30:1.  So you would need to add enough browns to bring the number to 25-20 as good, 20-30 as okay.  This calculator is fun to play with.

http://klickitatcounty.org/SolidWaste/fileshtml/organics/compostCalc.htm

Thanks for this calculator. I will be doing some intensive studying with it..
Nothing in my entire life time has ever given me such a learning challenge as this c / n mix ratio.
I do plan on mastering it, although, my compost seems to be doing nicely.
Sanderson,what a wonderful tool. JC-I agree. we'll figure it out someday--over the rainbow.

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

Post  has55 on 3/31/2016, 1:14 pm

has anyone try making compost tea from coffee ground or soaking it to get the liquid nutrients pulled out for feeding the plants?

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Re: Coffee Gounds and Coffee Ground Tea

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