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German company Kaffeeform combines dried coffee grounds and biopolymer to create stylish-looking coffee cups and saucers that are not only durable and dishwasher-safe, but even smell a bit like coffee.

一家名为Kaffeeform的德国公司通过混合咖啡渣和生物高聚物,发明了一种新潮时尚的咖啡杯和咖啡碟。这种咖啡杯套装不仅耐用,还可以用洗碗机清洗,闻起来甚至还带有淡淡的咖啡香。

For every cup of coffee you brew, about two tablespoons of grounds wind up in the trash. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but just think about the millions of coffees consumed around the world every single day, and you’ll start to see the problem. Sure, some of those coffee grounds are recycled as fertilizer or beauty products like face masks, but most of it ends up at landfills. It was while contemplating this issue that German product designer Julian Lechner came up with a radical new and sustainable way of recycling coffee grounds – turning them into tableware.

当你每泡一杯咖啡时,都会剩下两大匙的咖啡渣。虽然看似剩下的量很少,但是当每天全世界消费数百万杯咖啡时,带来的问题就不容小觑了。的确,一些咖啡渣被回收利用作为肥料或是面膜类的美容产品,但是大多数的咖啡渣都被丢进了垃圾堆。德国一位产品设计师朱利恩·理奇耐在考虑这个问题时,萌生了一个大胆新奇的、可持续回收咖啡渣的方法——将其变为咖啡杯具。

Lechner first came up with the idea of using coffee grounds to create eco-friendly crockery while attending university in the Italian city of Bolzano. “We were always drinking coffee at university,” he remembers. “Before classes, after classes, meeting friends, hanging out at espresso bars—all the time. And that’s how I started to wonder, What happens to all that coffee? It was all just getting thrown away.” He began consulting with his professors about ways of using coffee grounds to create a solid material, but it took him years to actually come up with a viable solution.

理奇耐在意大利波尔扎诺上大学时提出了一个设想——利用咖啡渣做环保陶器。他回忆说:“我们在大学每天都喝咖啡,上课前,下课后,跟朋友聚会时,泡咖啡吧时……无时无刻不在喝咖啡。所以我就开始思考,这些剩下的咖啡渣就只能被丢掉吗?”他开始和他的教授们讨论如何把这些咖啡渣变成坚固的材料,但是他们花了几年才找到一个可行的办法。

“We tried binding with a lot of different things,” Julian Lechner told VICE Munchies. “We even tried sugar. That was close, but basically it was a candy cup. It just kept dissolving after being used three times.” The whole point was to make the material durable, so it was back to the drawing board for him and his partners at a German research institute. Finally, after many failed experiments, long nights and liters of coffee, they came up with a mix of coffee grounds wood grains and a biopolymer of cellulose, lignin, and natural resins that seemed to behave the way Julian had envisioned it when he first embarked on his quest.

“我们试着用不同的粘着剂,甚至尝试过用糖。”朱利恩·理奇耐在Vice Munchines(一档美食节目)上称,“虽然材料很接近咖啡渣,但是做出来基本上是一只‘糖杯’,而且用了三次之后就融化了。” 让原料变得更坚固耐用是最核心的问题,所以他和他的伙伴们又在德国一所研究所从头开始钻研。他们做了无数个失败的试验,熬了无数个漫漫长夜,在试验中用掉了无数升咖啡渣后,最后终于创造了梦寐以求的材料,这种材料由咖啡渣、木料、纤维素和木质素等生物高聚物材料以及天然树脂混合而成。

“The moment of knowing the cup would actually stand was super-exciting,” he recalls. “After such a long time, you have to really believe in an idea and that it can eventually work. It was overwhelming to drink that first coffee out of the cup. It proved to be totally worth the wait.” And the fact that his creation has proven commercially successful is just the icing on the cake. Kaffeeform coffee cups and saucers are now present in ten shops across Europe, and the company can hardly keep up with demand, regularly selling out of its stock online. And they’ve only been in business for a year.

理奇耐回忆说,当得知这种杯子不会融化,可以坚挺地放置时,他欣喜若狂。“研究了这么长时间,你就必须得相信这个想法是可行的,而且它最终可以实现。当我喝到用这种杯子泡出来的第一杯咖啡时,心情百感交集。这么久的等待没有白费。”锦上添花的是,他的发明还取得了商业成功,带来了经济效益。现在欧洲有十家实体店出售Kaffeeform 咖啡杯具,但是仍然供不应求,公司的网店隔一段时间就会卖断货,而他们才刚营业一年。

“It basically all happened through word of mouth,” Lechner says about the success of his company. “It’s amazing to think of some of the places where orders have come from. A lot of individuals, but also a café in Saudi Arabia, Ritz Carlton Toronto, and the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo to sell in their museum [gift shop].”

理奇耐谈到公司的成功时说道:“咖啡杯具的销售基本上是靠口碑的。”订单来自不同的地方,有的地方真的太出人意外了。有许多单独的客户购买,也有来自沙特阿拉伯的咖啡店和多伦多丽嘉酒店的订单,甚至连诺贝尔和平奖的颁发地奥斯陆的博物馆都在出售Kaffeeform咖啡杯具。

Kaffeeform will soon launch a larger line of coffee grounds cups for cappuccino, and is also working on a travel mug. But those are just short-term plans, as Lechner hopes to one day use recycled coffee grounds to create all sort of useful stuff. “What’s next? I’d love to see if we could one day create sheets,” he says. “Perhaps they could later be used for furniture in cafés and restaurants.”

Kaffeeform公司很快将大量生产一款专门泡卡布奇诺的咖啡杯,同时它也可以作为旅行杯。但是这些都是短期计划,理奇耐希望未来能够用可循环咖啡渣创造出各种实用物品。“下一个是什么呢?我想试试看用它能不能做床单。”他说道,”或许有一天咖啡渣能够用来做咖啡馆和餐馆的家具呢。”

图文来源:中国日报英语点津

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