« | Home | »

5 Peculiar Alternative Uses for Coffee

Topics: Lifestyle & Culture | Add A CommentBy admin | February 25, 2013

Kopi Lewak is soooo 2004. Here are five alternative uses for coffee that you may not have heard about. The last item may be NSFW, if putting coffee in your bum is not safe where you work.

Too Much Coffee Cat is always
on the lookout for clever
alternative uses for coffee.

As a result of the great coffee connoisseur explosion of the last decade, it seems everyone has become something of a coffee expert. This means that everyone probably also knows all the cool alternative uses for coffee, from gardening, to pest control, to air freshening. If you don’t know all of them, just search “alternative uses for coffee“; the same exact list seems to have been cut-and-pasted ten thousand times in a caffeine-induced re-blogging frenzy in an attempt to rank in Google for that search phrase. You also can’t impress people any more by sharing trivia like how Beethoven counted out 60 coffee beans each day (which probably explains the more frantic passages of his 9th symphony), or shock them with the fact that another alternative use for coffee is to eat and poop the beans, a use that is only exceeded in its peculiarity by the fact that you can buy the resulting beans on Amazon for four hundred bucks a pound. Oh. And make coffee with them. Although I find it a little annoying that guests will no longer drink the coffee I serve them unless I tell them the story of its organic source and artisanal roaster, there has been at least one positive side effect of this coffee snob explosion – I haven’t heard anyone say “expresso” for at least three years. So anyway, if you’ve carried this trend to its logical conclusion – i.e., the shade grown, hand-harvested, Kopi Lewak cold brew made with beans that were hand-roasted one at a time by virgins in Tuvalu and topped with a foam made from Siberian white tiger milk and flash frozen with liquid nitrogen, you may think your work is done, and that there is nothing more to learn. And you would be wrong. Below we’ve rounded up five more peculiar uses for coffee that you may not have heard of. You may want to skip the last one if you’re planning to eat soon, or if you have a mouthful of coffee that you might spew over your computer keyboard or mobile device.

Coffee CarThe Carpuccino The Carpuccino is a 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco that has an EPM (espressos per mile) rating of 56. That probably explains why coffee hasn’t ended our dependency on foreign oil; although an avid coffee drinker like you or I might consume 56 shots of coffee without moving more than a mile, we might expect more from a car. Even if you only had a twenty-mile round trip commute each day, that’s 1120 espressos. At typical Starbucks prices, this would set you back about 1500 bucks. If you can figure out how to order, that is. I’ve never mastered the whole “twenty is bigger than big” thing, myself.
Robot CoffeeRobot Coffee Hand Only the caffeine-addled brain of an MIT engineer could have conceived of the the robot coffee hand. Imagine the poor soul tossing and turning all night, wondering how to improve the clumsy grip of robotic hands, and the “eureka” moment of their deranged insomnia, when they become convinced that a balloon filled with coffee is the solution. When you’re a genius of this caliber, it’s hard to make friends, which is why they then proceeded to teach it how to play darts.
BiorefineryMaking Plastic Because, you know, the world needs more plastic, right? Oh wait. It’s bioplastic. This is actually kind of cool. Apparently researchers in Hong Kong are exploring methods for recycling the region’s annual 4,500 tons of spent coffee grounds into everything from plastics, to medicine, to laundry detergents. Which would definitely put a new spin on the proverbial Chinese laundry service. Would you like those shirts regular? Or decaf?
Caffeine Addicted GermsFeed Your Pet Germs It seems that addicts like us aren’t the only creatures who can survive on caffeine alone. Researchers have identified a microbe called Pseudomonas putida that thrives specifically on caffeine. This may not seem like an especially useful trait for anyone except impoverished entrepreneurs or hard working computer programmers, but the byproducts from breaking down caffeine are natural building blocks for drugs that can be used to treat asthma, improve blood flow, and stabilize heart arrhythmias. These compounds are hard to produce in the lab, so using the bacteria’s unique enzymes could aid with pharmaceutical production.
Coffee EnemaThe Coffee Enema Look, we don’t make this stuff up, we just report it. But what can we say about coffee enemas that hasn’t already been said? Not much. Except that we haven’t tried one, and have no immediate plans to do so. But the branding is pretty much ready to go.