I like coffee. So much so that before going to bed I look forward to the first cup of coffee that I drink before I get up – well, I get up when it’s my turn to make coffee.

I also love my Nespresso machine. I find a real, good espresso machine too much hassle at home. I’ve read with interest the story about the joys of filter coffee that appeared in this appendix last week, but I’m afraid I’ll never lose the association with the pitchers full of increasingly bad tasting coffee from my college days.

The cups that go into the machine have been bothering me for a while now. Especially since I am forced to work from home, all my coffee – six cups a day – comes from cups. An expensive way to drink coffee, but I’m willing to pay for it. The waste is less and less. Plastic cups are, of course, disastrous. Aluminum cups can be recycled, but I think prevention is better than recycling. My other half has already pointed out to me several times about the existence of refillable cups made of stainless steel.


Just when I was considering buying it, I discovered De Koffiejongens, which has been offering coffee cups on a subscription basis since 2017. Since last March, they are no longer made of aluminum and plastic, but of bioplastic made from sugar cane, maize and starch. They were specially developed by a company in Luxembourg and can be disposed of with the organic waste after use. People with a disadvantage on the labor market pack them in compact boxes that are made of at least 95 percent recycled paper, and which in turn go into largely recycled boxes that are made in such a way that an order of 60 cups fits in the letterbox. Almost all orders are delivered by bicycle or on foot.

Initially I opt for the standard subscription ‘large’, 60 cups every two weeks, just enough for a week; later I see that quantity and frequency can be increased. Interim ’emergency orders’ are possible, but the regular delivery will be postponed.

Downside: the coffee – otherwise fine and available in different varieties – is neither organic nor fair trade. Walter Morriën, one of the two men behind De Koffiejongens, says that he is striving for this, but that the supply of sustainable coffee suitable for cups is still limited, which means that continuity cannot be guaranteed. The origin of the raw materials for the cups is unknown to De Koffiejongens. Even so, my guilt about being too lazy to fill cups myself has decreased significantly.