Thursday, May 6, 2010

Compost + Starbucks = Love

My compost pile loves Starbucks! A few days ago, I craved going out for a cup of coffee. I didn’t want orange-and-pink-logo coffee. I wanted something rich and flavorful, and I didn’t want to sit at my kitchen table to drink it. I wanted someone to pamper me just a tad—to make me a delicious cup of coffee, and before serving it ask: “Would you like whipped cream with that?” “Oh, yes!”

My coffee-loving daughter Chelsea and I escaped our routines and went to Starbucks. I ordered a grande café mocha and she ordered a grande iced dark cherry mocha. Starbucks wasn’t busy, so we had our choice of plush, comfortable seats. “Ah…” I leaned into the cushy armchair and even propped my feet on the coffee table. As the warm, sweet fluid touched my taste buds, I relaxed for the first time in days.
Compost figures into this equation? Of course, it does. Coffee grounds are a rich source of nitrogen and are a good substitute for manure in compost piles. (Folks often avoid composting manure because of disease-carrying organisms.) Coffee grounds also energize bacteria to help turn organic matter into finished compost.
Starbucks is well known for giving customers used coffee grounds. As my coffee was prepared, I asked if they had any grounds. The barrista apologized and said they had only a small amount; however, it would take me a month of coffee-making to amass the quantity of grounds in the bag he handed me.
Early the next day, I added the coffee grounds to my compost pile. I’m happy, and my compost pile is happy. I intend to treat myself (and my compost pile) to Starbucks more often.

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