At Last: A Coffee Brewer That Grows Mushrooms!

You can do the responsible thing and take your coffee grounds outside, then add them to compost or just mix with soil. Or you can take it a step further and design a coffeemaker that proliferates while it percolates, like Colombian designers Adrián Pérez and Mauricio Carvajal did. Their prototype, the HIFA, is equal parts French press and mushroom farm. With food waste and self-sufficiency in mind, Pérez and Carvajal are taking the multitasking kitchen gadget to the next level.

The model nourishes mushroom spores with spent coffee grounds (the pH of which is comparable to normal soil/decomposing organic material) and provides vents for oxygen flow and humidity dispersal. The result: edible mushrooms growing in the same vessel where you brew your morning cup. Will the resulting 'shrooms provide an uplifting buzz or retain any coffee flavor? Nope, but studies have shown that mushrooms cultivated in coffee grounds do grow more quickly than their soil-grown counterparts thanks in part to the caffeine content.

Check out the whole process at Yanko Design, and to those who say, "Well, why not cultivate something in there that actually goes with coffee?" we offer you this recipe and a satisfied smirk.