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Growing Mushrooms in Coffee Grounds

Mushrooms can be great for your health, which explains their current popularity as supplements. Various species, such as oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and lion’s mane, are being consumed for their potential benefits. However, the more environmentally conscious supplement users may be concerned about plastic usage and continually buying new supplement packets. Cost may also be a concern.

Since mushrooms are fungi, they can grow almost anywhere and thrive.

Those of you will be pleased to hear about the possibility of growing mushrooms in coffee grounds. Not only is this super sustainable in terms of supplement usage, but it’s also a great way to ensure that old coffee grounds don’t go to waste.

Since mushrooms are fungi, they can grow almost anywhere and thrive, which is an excellent method for putting those green thumbs to work without too much effort. In this guide, we teach you how to grow mushrooms from coffee grounds successfully.

Growing Mushrooms in Coffee Grounds: Why Bother?

There are lots of reasons to try this method. Coffee ground mushrooms are pretty similar to anything you can buy in a store, except you get the peace of mind that everything is totally organic since you did it yourself.


Plus, this method is incredibly eco-friendly. Did you know that when you make a cup of coffee, less than 1% of the coffee biomass ends up in your cup? As a result, much of the ground coffee goes to waste – it’s a shame when you think about it!

Keen gardeners might already be aware of the benefits of using up coffee in the soil. So, next time you are about to throw away those used coffee grounds, set them aside, and consider putting them to use instead.

The way in which mushrooms grow benefits significantly from the coffee. The coffee grounds pasteurize the soil, killing off competing micro-organisms and allowing the mushrooms to flourish. They grow pretty quickly, too, saving you the trouble of waiting around!

You won’t need too much equipment, so this is a simple method that works great for those starting out in the world of cultivating. Mushrooms are also an easy crop to start with, no matter your experience level.

Whether you decide growing mushrooms in old coffee grounds is worth it for you over buying supplements online is your decision. Something different works for everyone. That said, this method is so self-sustaining and straightforward that it’s hard to find an excuse not to try it.

How to Grow Mushrooms in Coffee Grounds

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow mushrooms on coffee grounds. The process is relatively simple, so there isn’t much to worry about during this process.

What You’ll Need

  • Coffee grounds
  • Sawdust pellets
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Bags or buckets to grow in
  • Mushroom spawn
  • Rubbing alcohol for cleaning

How to Grow Mushrooms on Coffee Grounds

Step 1: Collecting Coffee and Inoculating

There are different ways to grow mushrooms, but it typically starts with inoculation. This means weighing the mushroom spawn and the coffee grounds to work out how much of each thing you will need.

You may need to collect coffee over time to get enough. Alternatively, if you live in a busy city, you may be able to gather coffee grounds from the local coffee shop. Take them an empty bucket and see if they’re willing to give you the waste.

A good ratio is for the mushroom spawn to take up 10% of the coffee weight and for the sawdust pellets to take up 20%. At this stage, some growers mix together the sawdust and coffee and wait for a few days for the white, fluffy mycelium to grow. This can feed the fungi and help it to flourish, but you can also use fresh coffee.

When you grow the mycelium in the spawn run, you will need to place the bag of coffee grounds in a warm, dark place for 1-3 weeks. When the mixture is completely white, it’s ready.

Step 2: Prepare the Container

You can use either a bucket or a large growing bag. During this step, use rubbing alcohol to wipe down your work surface, hands, and anything else that comes into contact with the mushroom spawn, since contamination can occur that will damage your crop. Break up the spawn into smaller pieces.

To prep the container properly, you’ll need to soak the corrugated cardboard sheets in water. Put down 2-3 sheets in the bottom of the container and cover the edges, then sprinkle in some mushroom spawn, then cover with coffee. Repeat this process until the container is full, then cover with a lid – feel free to leave some air gaps.

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If you’re not sure how much of each item to use, use more spawn. The more spawn there is, the less chance there is for competing bacteria.

Step 3: Growing Mushrooms

Mushrooms prefer conditions that are damp and humid, hence the soaked cardboard. Make sure to mist the grow medium regularly to ensure the conditions are wet enough. Then, place the container in a shaded or dark area.

Now, we wait. You may see mushrooms sprouting within a week, and they will double in size every day. Depending on the species of mushroom you’re growing, you can leave them to thrive and get bigger until they’re ready to harvest. On average, it takes about 2-3 weeks in total. At that point, you can harvest the mushrooms and cook with them or use them to brew tea.

The Benefits of Growing Mushrooms on Coffee Waste

There are lots of benefits to growing mushrooms in this way.


  • No need to sterilize the growing medium: Many methods require sterilization of the sawdust prior to using it to grow. However, the coffee waste is already pasteurized through the brewing process, so you can cut this bit out.
  • Easy to source coffee: Most of us drink coffee daily, so gathering it is easy. You can also get it in bulk from a local coffee shop.
  • Sustainable: Little goes to waste during this process, which is the best part of this environmentally friendly way of growing. If you want to recycle even more, you can use a large plastic bag or plastic bottle as the growing medium.
  • Easy to start: This method is quite straightforward and hard to mess up. Once you have all the things you need, all you need to do is wait!
  • Local food: By growing your own mushrooms, you cut out the middle man that’s required to grow, package, and transport your supplements. As a result, you are saving transportation and commercial growing energy. Once again, this is a super sustainable method.

Things to Avoid When Growing Mushrooms on Coffee Waste

Fungi growth requires the mycelium that forms as white powder. However, if you see green mold while growing mushrooms from coffee grounds, then it’s time to throw out the project and start again. The same is true for black mold. Experienced growers may be able to cut away the moldy parts and spray the plants with hydrogen peroxide to get rid of it.

If you see green mold while growing mushrooms, then it’s time to throw out the project and start again.

Similarly, the mushrooms may shrivel and wither if conditions are too dry. In this instance, move them to an area that is colder and damper. Dryness may also cause them to brown at the edges, which can be solved by spraying them with plenty of water over the course of an hour to rehydrate them.

Final Thoughts: Growing Mushrooms in Coffee Grounds

It’s pretty awesome that you can grow edible mushrooms at home using little more than coffee, cardboard, and a container. You can order mushroom spawn online and get started right away!

What’s more, this is a relatively simple process, and watching your fungal crop flourish is insanely fun! Let us know if you try this method by dropping a comment below – how did your mushrooms turn out?

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