Your New Garden Essential, Coffee Chaff

Your New Garden Essential, Coffee Chaff


When coffee beans are exposed to high temperatures, such as being roasted here at Detour, they lose their dried skin, which is known as chaff. It is commonly discarded with general waste and sent to landfill, resulting in an environmental impact. It is, however, an excellent addition to the garden because coffee chaff is a hydrophobic brown material that not only helps to aerate the soil but also degrades quickly in garden beds. This allows for the use of mulch for composting as well as for mulching. 

Coffee chaff compost is an easy and affordable way to get your garden off to a great start! Coffee chaff is a waste product of roasting because it is a byproduct of the roasting process. The skin is dry and scaly, and there is an outer protective layer. Chaff can be easily mixed with other compostable materials because it is light and fluffy. Not only that, but it also helps to improve soil structure and aeration, and can even help keep pests and diseases away. You will also be able to increase the fertility of your soil while increasing the growth of your vegetable plants. As a bonus, it also repels slugs and snails, which are known to be common pests in the garden.

It's time to harness the power of coffee chaff!

using coffee chaff from detour coffee in the garden earth day initative

Furthermore, it is far more environmentally friendly than coffee grounds, which are typically green and degrade much more slowly. We thought it was about time to start thinking about how to dispose of coffee chaff at the Roastery, and how we can harness its energy by sending it back into the Earth.

By choosing to collect it and redistribute it through local vendors, it gives more access for everyone in the community to utilise it free of charge. By using chaff in your garden you can feel good about giving back to the planet this weekend. 


If you don’t have an outdoor space, you can still place your chaff into indoor plants, but in smaller portions of course. We recommend beginning with small doses to ensure not over-nitrogenize your pots. Another indoor use is for chaff to be used as animal bedding, due to it being compostable – how cool is that! It’s obvious that coffee chaff is a waste product of coffee beans, but we thought even the smallest change in perspective (and a little research) can turn even trash into treasure!!


Instructions are simple:

  1. Mix chaff within top 1” of your new soil/compost mixture
  2. Cover with mulch to ensure proper coverage
  3. Water your new mixture
  4. Wait for your garden to flourish! 


Detour coffee plant coffee chaff in garden nitrogen benefits ward off slugs help garden bloom

Here is a full list of all the locations where you can pick up free coffee chaff from us this Earth Day weekend (PS don’t forget bring your own take away container – mason jars work great)

📍 Hamilton 

📍 Toronto

📍 Burlington

Detour Cafe John Street Coffee chaff earth day free initiative

We would love to hear how you’re using chaff in your gardens at home and if you’d like to see this initiative available on further dates, other areas of availability that you believe could benefit from chaff drop off, please do let us know!! You can also tag us on socials, including Instagram & TikTok @detourcoffee #makingcoffeeisfun

As a society, our goal is to minimise our carbon footprint and reduce our negative environmental impacts by making positive changes that include the reduction of our coffee waste at Detour’s Roastery.

Happy Earth Day from everyone here at Detour 🌱🌎

Happy gardening!



You are $60.00 away from FREE shipping!

Your Order

You have no items in your cart