Print + Publication

Cofilter is an initiative aimed at recycling the waste produced from drinking a cup of coffee to make paper. Waste coffee grounds combined with tissues and newspaper were used to make the sheet of paper.

Since ink and paper go hand in hand, the project also explores the possibility of using coffee as a pigment to screenprint on different substrates, including the coffee paper. The technique is documented further in the form of a publication.

Making the paper

To make the coffee paper, I experimented with recycled materials such as tissues, coffee filter paper, supermarket bills and paper packaging by adding varying proportions of waste coffee grounds procured from the cafeteria.

The right proportions

The sheet with the right balance in thickness and texture was the one created by combining waste coffee grounds with tissues, newspaper and a binding agent.

Coffee as ink

Different proportions of coffee decoction were combined with a transparent screen printing base, giving rise to lighter and darker coffee inks. Since coffee is dense and sticky, a coarser mesh screen was used to allow even ink deposition. The resulting prints had a pleasant coffee aroma after drying.

Intended as a small coffee-table publication, the book describes the recipe to make your own sheet of paper using coffee waste. Along with the proportions of the materials, it illustrates the process to make it at home using household items. A sheet of the coffee paper is included in the book to serve as inspiration for the readers.

Besides the coffee paper-making process, the book talks about the history of coffee, its role in our society and highlights the amount of coffee waste generated worldwide on a daily basis.

This paper can also be used to create packaging for coffee products- a sustainable intervention aiming at zero waste that can be undertaken by cafes in the future.

View feature on Art with Intent

Project done at Willem de Kooning Academy under the guidance of Roger Teeweuns & Ginger Koons