The coffee grounds: Insights by coffee shops

Nadia Palmieri, Ana Luísa Fernando, Alessandro Suardi, Valerio Bagnato, Roberto Pari, Walter Stefanoni, Francesco Latterini, Vincenzo Alfano, Simone Bergonzoli, Sandu Lazar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Coffee is one of the most valuable primary products in the world trade and its consumption causes the production of a lot of waste. The coffee grounds remain today a major focus to study, particularly for bioenergy purposes. Since it is possible to use coffee waste in many ways at level demand, it is also important to investigate the coffee waste at the supply level and provide important information for the development a proper supply chain Conceivably, coffee shops’ owners are the producer of such waste, their mean profile is still unknown. Therefore, in the circular economy framework, the study aims to analyze the coffee shops’ attitude towards coffee grounds use relying on a sample of Italian coffee shops and to profile an average Italian coffee shop. Data were collected by using a web-based survey administered during the period October – November 2019 in Rome and the sample was 95 coffee shops. The descriptive statistics was applied. The findings shows that 57% of the sample did not know the circular economy concept and 62% of the respondents would be available to attend formation courses about this new concept. The findings showed also a mean profile of an Italian coffee shop: It has been running for 10 years, serving 347 cups of coffee per day and producing about 2 kg per day of coffee grounds. It is interesting to underline that, on average, the coffee shop owner was willing both to sell the coffee grounds for energy purposes and to buy services or products which use the coffee grounds (as energy comes from coffee grounds use). These findings point out that people are becoming more sensitive towards coffee grounds use, considering it as a suitable alternative feedstock for energy purposes. Even if this study relies on explorative approach, the findings allowed to draw an identikit of hypothetical coffee shop that could supply the coffee grounds to industries for energy purposes. Moreover, it provides further insights in the coffee shops’ owners attitude towards coffee grounds use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1261
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event29th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, EUBCE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 26 Apr 202129 Apr 2021


  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee waste product
  • Coffee waste utilization
  • Italy


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