At Happy Goat Coffee Co., we have a two-pronged approach to sustainability: environmental and economical. Throughout our operations, we’re always looking for ways to improve the income of farmers while making the process of coffee production as close to having a net-zero impact on the environment as possible. We look to accomplish this in two ways.
Coffee connoisseur and accomplished academic, Dr. Hans Jurgen Langenbhan has a bold idea: Create a zero-waste coffee production system. That means from farmers planting the beans to you swiping your credit card, all byproducts are reused to reduce the impact of coffee farming, shipping, and overall manufacturing to zero. Through the support of an international roster of like-minded individuals and local universities, Hans has developed multiple methods to cleverly reuse coffee byproducts, including:
Cascara refers to the dried husk of the coffee cherry. While often consumed regionally in different forms (including brewed tea), the sheer amount of coffee produced and the emphasis on the end product has led to much of this local delicacy becoming waste. Through working with food scientists, agricultural experts, and farmers alike, we’re helping farmers increase their income with low-cost cascara production.
Another underused part of the coffee agricultural process is the husk or silverskin as it’s often referred to. As coffee production and consumption require lots of packaging and single-use materials, the search for effective, biodegradable plastic has always been present. By using binding agents, we’re coming closer to replacing common plastics with superior biodegradable substitutes, all made from a previously underutilized byproduct.
While discovering ways to use and minimize coffee byproducts at the agricultural level is a key part of the puzzle, Dr. Hans has also turned his eyes towards the point-of-sale: How can you make a cafe zero-waste? By using binding agents with recycled coffee waste, we’re able to create materials of varying densities, thicknesses, weights, etc. that can replace many of the materials we use to construct and run our cafes.