Julian Lechner

Making coffee cups out of coffee grounds


What becomes of all those coffee grounds is a question beginning to concern more and more people. We’re wondering why now, given the tons of coffee we drink in Germany alone: one million tons of coffee beans are ground into powder every year. That means each person consumes 148 liters of coffee per year.

In Italy, of course, the issue is of entirely different proportions. There Julian Lechner studied product design and gave a lot of thought to coffee grounds.

His idea, simple, well-meaning and tasteful: coffee cups made of coffee grounds and sugar. Julian dries the coffee grounds, cooks them down to a syrup and pours it into silicon molds. The result is a classically handsome espresso cup, coffee-colored.

There are cups made of bioplastics instead of sugar, which makes them non-perishable and even dishwasher-safe. Very stylish. More alluring, however, is the fleeting variation: drinking the coffee cup, too. With every serving of hot coffee the sweet coffee cup dissolves a bit more, sweetening your coffee in the process. It will eventually wear thin to the point of breaking. Until then you can enjoy without worries.


1. How did you come to your profession? Whose fault is it?

Both of my parents are gardeners and landscape planners.

Planting, building and transforming always played a role.

So I couldn’t help but to face everyday life with transformation.

2. Who would you like to observe the universe with, and why?

If I were permitted to select a very illustrious round, Kepler, Darwin and Humboldt would be the absolute dream team. Kepler would vividly describe the influence of the sun on the planets as Darwin familiarizes the erudite Humboldt with his dynamic understanding of nature. And I would graciously eavesdrop.

3. Which restaurant would you choose to show your love to a person?

I’d go for a prolonged evening of wine and fine fare at Da Baffi.

4. And what would be your choice, if you wanted to impress someone?

Smuggling a picnic into Klunkerkranich and proudly showcasing Berlin from the parking garage.

5. Are we humans gardeners of a Garden of Eden, bacteria in a body or parasites on a dying host?

Our host isn’t doing so well. Alongside many beneficiaries, it’s infested with all kinds of pests. Time is bound to lighten the load, allowing for something like a lush Garden of Eden to flourish again.

6. If you had to choose: Would you rather cease to be or continue living as a plant or an animal for some time? If yes, which one?

A shrewd animal is the raven. If you look at mythology these birds have very unusual solutions up their sleeves for numerous problems. I think that’s great. I could warm up to that for a while.


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