Friday, August 22, 2014

Making Peat Pots Out Of Used Coffee Grounds

We all see them if we use social media.

How to make your life so much better with life hacks. 

There are dozens of websites dedicated to them.  

This particular one caught my eye.  I drink a lot of coffee.  I was throwing the grounds out into the garden for extra fertilizer and that worked.  My front yard smelled of a rich blend of Central American coffee beans for a while.

The trick with this is once you have finished brewing your coffee, spread the used grounds out on a plate and allow them to air dry.  The end result is that you'll have the grounds about the consistency of dry beach sand. 

You know, like the coffee grounds before you used them.

The benefit of this is that if you are arts and crafts inclined or have children around, it's a great activity for a rainy day, and the mix was rather interesting to work with.  A very tactile clay.

Here is how I did it.


  • 150 grams or 5.5 ounces by weight of dry coffee grounds.
  • 150 grams or 5.5 ounces by weight of flour - about a cup.
  • 208 ml or 7 ounces of water - More Or Less.

Yes, my American Readers, I use a gram scale.  The measurements tend to be more accurate that way, but this is not a fussy recipe at all.


  • In a large bowl, add your dry used coffee grounds and flour.  
  • Mix them by hand until they are evenly mixed and smooth.
  • Add the water one ounce at a time to the coffee flour mix.
  • Knead the mixture until all of the water has incorporated itself into the mix and the "dough" sticks together without cracking and without being sticky.
  • The result you are going after is a modeling clay consistency.

Forming the Peat Pots:

  • Find a pot the size you are looking to form.
  • Wrap the pot or glass in aluminium foil so that you may slide the formed pot off cleanly once they have baked.
  • Start with around 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough and begin to work the dough until the outside of the pot has been covered to a desired thickness.  
  • Yes, it is vague, you will need to judge for yourself, the approximate thickness is that of a piece of corrugated cardboard.
  • If there are cracks, it would be best to remove the dough and re-form the pot since this would indicate that it is most likely too thin.
  • My picture shows pots that were made a bit thickly but that won't matter since the pots will eventually be buried.
  • Form a water drainage hole in the bottom by sticking your finger through the "dough" until it makes contact with the form pot beneath.
  • Give the bottom of the pots a flat spot so they don't roll around by pressing the formed pot down on a level surface.

Firing the Peat Pots:

  • Place the pots on their forms on a lined cookie sheet.
  • Preheat the oven to 250F or around 120C - Or So.  My oven is not accurate.
  • Slide the pots on their sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 3 Hours.
  • The finished pots will firm up and cure while cooling but should be firm on the outside when you remove them from the oven.
  • The house will smell like a mixture of coffee, bread, and "earthy".

When the Peat Pots are cooled:

  • Remove the Peat Pots and allow to cool fully.
  • Slide the pots off of the form and remove the aluminium foil.  
  • My foil tried to stick to the inside but I was able to remove the foil by twisting it off from the inside of the pots.
  • Use as you would any other peat pot.

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