Edible coffee cups to replace disposable cups

Everyone knows that disposable coffee cups are bad, but when you forget your reusable cup, you really don’t have a choice – it’s been that way until now.

As reusable coffee cups took a backseat during the Covid pandemic due to the risk of infection, the development of an even more sustainable beverage container was brewing.

The invention of edible coffee cups, while not exactly a new concept, has been perfected by Melbourne-based Good Edi, which started supplying coffee to boutique cafes about a year ago.

One of the company’s 50 customers is Adelaide-based family business The Coffee Bean Shop, which this week launched 8-ounce edible cups in Central Market and Welland.

The cups, which have a volume similar to a “regular” outlet coffee size, have been wildly popular in the few days they’ve been available, owner Frank Mitolo told news.com.au.

“People are very aware of the green movement. The response has been phenomenal,” Mitolo said.

He said that, like his business, his customers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their consumption.

“The response has been huge, really positive. There is certainly a demand for it,” Mr. Mitolo said.

“They are completely biodegradable. If you don’t eat it, you can throw it away and it will break.”

He suspected that as retailers and consumers gained momentum, the price of $1.50 a cup would likely come down.

Customers are now buying edible cups that can be served with chocolate or Biscoff frosting, he said.

He predicted that edible cups would become “the norm” in the coming years, especially if the price falls below the dollar.

Mr. Mitolo was also looking forward to developing a lid with edible containers, not suitable for people planning to drink coffee while driving.

Although reusable cups pose less of a threat to the planet than conventional plastic-lined cups, they still place the responsibility for cleanliness on cafe workers.

Consumers also tended to forget to bring their own cups, leaving disposable cups – some sold as biodegradable or recyclable – as the default natural choice.

Melbourne-based Good Edi, founded by Katherine Hutchins and Anio Rahebi, has shipped over 80,000 cups since launching last June.

The response from retailers across the country has exceeded the duo’s expectations, Ms Raheby told news.com.au.

“We thought it would be well received, but not to the point where we always have backorders and that waiting times could be quite long,” Ms Raheby said.

The edible cups are made from oats, grains, flour, bran, water, coconut oil, salt and sugar, and the small size has 100 calories and the average is 130.

“They are very nutritious, full of fiber and vitamin B,” Ms Raheby said, adding that the cups taste a bit like a less sweet waffle cone.

During the development phase, Ms. Raheby and Ms. Hutchins wanted to make sure that the cup would not spoil the taste of the coffee it would contain.

The cups retain their structural integrity for up to eight hours after being filled with liquid.

“We wanted to create a solution that was really sustainable and also very human friendly, and the only waste-free option we could think of was something that could be eaten,” said Ms Rahebi.

Originally published as Melbourne company fights disposable coffee cups