Have you ever wondered what coffee roasters do with all their empty burlap coffee sacks? Since I always see stacks of full coffee bags at the roastery but never see the empty sacks I wondered this very question. I asked our head roaster, Brian, what we do with the hundreds of sacks we go through and discovered some interesting uses I would have never thought of.
Firstly, we give away most of our empty coffee bags to local people that come by and ask. We are in the business of fresh roasted gourmet coffee, not making pillows and selling them on Etsy, but that is the first use case! Though a burlap sack is not the most comfortable thing to sleep on, they make an interesting design element that adds a rustic look to any room. They could also be pulled out for the guest room when you don’t want your mother-in-law staying for an extended trip. Since they are already rectangle/square-ish, it doesn’t take a master tailor to stuff them with something soft and stitch them up. First use case gets 3 out of 5 for usability, though this may turn into 5 stars if using them for the guest bedroom works!
Next useful thing to do with burlap coffee sacks, garden bedding! Since the burlap is natural it makes a perfect weed barrier for your garden. Brian said it will break down over the years, but that is what you want in a natural recycled product. Plastic weed barrier is often ineffective and like all plastic products, will take forever to break down and pretty much never recycled. Used coffee burlap sacks are great for the garden and so is the coffee that they hold. Use your used coffee grinds mixed in with yard compost to make a super compost! Coffee grinds have high acidity as well as high nitrogen content, so they do best when mixed with leaves and other yard waste. Burlap coffee sacks in the garden gets a 5 out of 5 for usability, they prevent weeds and break down over time making them the perfect eco weed block solution.
Now for an ‘I didn’t think about that’ use for burlap coffee sacks, cooling hot horses! Horses are big animals, they are covered in hair, spend most of the day outside and almost none of them own a pool. This means they get real hot during the Summer months and have no means to cool themselves off. Well us humans have the answer, wet burlap coffee sacks that we sling over their backs, genius! Well maybe not genius, but I thought it was very nice for horse owners to use our burlap sacks to make their horses lives a little cooler. Cooling hot horses with wet burlap coffee sacks gets a 6 out of 5 for usability, bonus star because horses are pretty cool.
What else can you do with burlap coffee sacks? Pretty much anything you can do with a piece of fabric, search ‘coffee sack ideas’ and a slew of good, and potentially bad, ideas will be at your disposal. Coffee sack tote bags, reupholstered chairs, plant pots (a great idea), and window shades were some of the popular results. If you are in the Denver area and want to try your own crafty idea using burlap coffee sacks then stop by and see if we have any. If we don’t you can bet we will in the future and if you bring a picture of your horse we will save some for you!