How to reuse coffee grounds in the garden

12 Jul 2021


Waste not, want not — did you know you can reuse old coffee grounds?

That first sip of fresh coffee in the morning is a magical moment. But after inhaling the uplifting fragrance and letting the caffeine boost do its thing, what do you do with the used coffee grounds? Well, believe it or not, there are lots of ways that coffee remnants can come in handy. Read on to learn how to reuse coffee grounds and reduce waste.

You can reuse coffee grounds in the garden

Can you reuse coffee grounds?

Whether you enjoy a French press coffee, a brew from a Moka pot or a cuppa from a state-of-the-art espresso machine, you’re likely left with used coffee grounds to dispose of at the end of your drink.

Many people wash coffee remnants down the sink or throw them in the bin. However, this can just lead to clogged pipes and excessive landfill waste.

But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can utilise used coffee to keep your pipes flowing and minimise general waste. And the best part? Coffee grounds can do wonders for your garden and complexion, amongst other things!

Using coffee grounds in your garden

Coffee is full of nutrients that can help plants thrive. Here are a few ways to recycle coffee grounds and boost your garden health in an eco-conscious way.

Composting coffee grounds

An easy way to make the most of brewed coffee is to put the grounds straight into the compost. It’s good to have a variety of organic matter on your compost heap. Coffee counts as ‘green matter’ and releases micronutrients, like nitrogen, as it breaks down. Nitrogen helps produce rich compost that can benefit your plants and flowers.

Coffee grounds as fertiliser

You can also sprinkle used coffee grounds directly onto your flower beds. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for the garden. However, coffee also contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium, which can all boost garden growth. This cocktail of nutrients makes coffee grounds a fantastic slow-release fertiliser.

You can pour coffee grounds over unplanted soil before sowing seeds to provide a rich, nutrient-dense bed. For planted areas, simply scatter the coffee grounds around your seedlings or plants and let the rain help them soak in.

Save money on expensive or artificial fertilisers, reduce waste, and grow luscious plants, flowers and veggies — what’s not to love?

Feeding plants’ nutrients

As well as supporting flower beds and allotments, brewed coffee can also boost the soil in potted plants. Just add the grounds around the base of your plants. Plants that like acidic soil, such as azaleas, can particularly benefit from used coffee.

You can reuse coffee grounds for your plants

Deterring pests

If the neighbour’s cat keeps using your flower bed as a litter box, you may find that scattered coffee grounds can deter them.

Similarly, some people find that used coffee grounds keep slugs and snails at bay too. They avoid the soil containing coffee because of the caffeine levels, which can affect them negatively.

Other ideas for recycling used coffee grounds

As you can see, coffee is great for the garden. But how else can you reuse coffee grounds?


Rubbing coffee over your face might not be the first thing you consider when finishing up your latte. But used coffee grounds can be a great addition to your skincare routine. Coffee is filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to support cell regeneration, making it a brilliant anti-ageing ingredient. The caffeine content can also help reduce dark circles and bags beneath your eyes.

An easy way to apply it is to mix a bit of coconut oil into (cooled) brewed coffee grounds and stir it into a paste. Apply directly to the skin under your eyes, leave it for ten minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

Coffee makes a great face scrub


For a natural body scrub that leaves your skin smooth, soft, and slightly fragrant, try using used coffee grounds!

As with the eye treatment, you can create an effective body scrub by mixing coffee grounds with coconut oil. The texture is perfect for removing dirt and dead skin from your body. If you grind your own coffee beans, you could even experiment with the coarseness to see which exfoliates best.

Alternatively, if you want to try a ready-made version, why not give our Coffee Body Scrub a go? Infused with sweet almond oil and orange peel oil, it will leave your skin feeling supple and revitalised.

Sustainable packaging is at the heart of our products, which is why our delicious scrub comes in a reusable coffee cup, so, after use, you can enjoy a brew on the go! This cup is 75% biodegradable, in line with our plans to ensure all our packaging is recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2022. We’re constantly on the hunt for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment.


We all know that coffee is a delight to drink — whether you go for something smooth and mellow, like the Rabot Estate Cashmere Blend or something more robust, like our Rocket variety. But did you know that used coffee grinds can make a great cooking ingredient, too?

If you’ve ever tried adding cocoa powder to your chilli, you’ll know it can add an incredible depth of flavour. Coffee can do the same thing. If you’re looking for a way to recycle coffee grounds, try adding a spoonful to marinades and bolognese. Coffee can enhance the flavours in chocolate cakes and brownies, too.

Another somewhat unexpected use for coffee grounds is meat tenderisation. You can prepare meat with a coffee rub. Massage your brewed coffee beans into any cut of meat and let the acidity amplify and seal in flavour. At the same time, the coarse texture of the coffee softens the meat for a tender surface.

How to reuse coffee grounds from pods

A coffee machine is a fantastic way to get delicious drinks at the push of a button. Appliances that use coffee pods, in particular, are quick and convenient. Pods offer the perfect portion of your favourite coffee blend. However, knowing how to recycle coffee grounds from pods can be a challenge. How are you meant to scrape the used coffee out of them?

We love how pods pack in that flavour and freshness but believe that individual packaging doesn’t have to harm the environment. Ethical values are just as important as taste, so surely there’s a sustainable way to manage used coffee pods?

Enter Podcycler. Compatible with all aluminium coffee pods, including Nespresso®, the Podcycler eco-presses the capsules after use, neatly separating the coffee grounds into a dedicated chamber. A convenient, fuss-free solution that doesn’t cost the Earth. When you’re ready, you can collect the pressed coffee grounds and recycle, compost or sprinkle them in your garden.

You can reuse coffee from pods

Hotel Chocolat sustainable coffee

Sustainability is a core principle at Hotel Chocolat. With our move into the vibrant world of coffee, we wanted to make sure that we never lost that eco-conscious approach. Just as high-quality, ethical ingredients drive every aspect of our chocolate collection, Rabot Estate Coffee has been inspired by nature and grown in a sustainable manner.

From bean to cup, we want to produce deliciously satisfying coffee that treads lightly on the planet.