What to Do With Coffee Bean Chaff

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Coffee bean chaff is removed during the roasting process

Coffee bean chaff is a waste product of the roasting process of coffee beans. The chaff is green pieces of skin or hull that come off in different ways depending upon the type of roasting process used. Chaff is usually considered a nuisance to be dealt with, but can also be utilized for good once it is removed from the roasted coffee beans. Organic gardeners have discovered the benefits of coffee bean chaff and have been using it for years to benefit their gardens.



Many organic gardeners utilize coffee bean chaff as an additional supplement to compost. Chaff is also mixed in with mulch. It's a great choice because it would normally just be thrown away after coffee has been ground and all of the chaff is removed. Whether getting it from someone else who would normally be throwing it away, or from your own personal coffee bean roasting waste process, it is an excellent way to find a free nutritional supplement for your garden. Adding coffee bean chaff to your garden also helps to ward off harmful slugs and snails, reducing the damage they would typically create for your plant life.


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Coffee bean chaff, like ground coffee beans, adds extremely helpful nutrients, the main component of which is nitrogen, to compound and mulch mixtures. The chaff can be utilized with most any type of plant life that you would be using compound or mulch mixes with. It is especially good for speeding the growth of vegetables. Tomatoes respond particularly well to the addition of coffee bean chaff to the mulch mixture used with tomato plants.



While using coffee bean chaff for your garden can be very beneficial, you must be careful not to overuse it. A concentration that is too high in chaff in your mulch, compost or soil will serve to block water absorption from your soil and plant life. This is because when it becomes wet it becomes very sticky and acts as a sheet against both water and air for the plants it surrounds and the soil and compound that it is mixed in. As long as you make sure to use only a low percentage of the actual chaff in your compost or mulch, it should not cause this problem.



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