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What is the Bueno Movement? How We're Unlocking Coffee's Full Potential

Written in collaboration with Heather Grant

Kaffe Bueno Cycle. Illustration by: Kaffe Bueno

What do you think of when you hear the word coffee? The drink that gets you up in the morning? The one you sip whilst chatting with a friend? Or perhaps the thing you rely on to beat the afternoon slump?

It’s no secret that coffee has a global grip on us. In 2021, over 10 billion kilos of coffee. were consumed worldwide. But what many people don’t realise is that when you make a brew, less than 1% of coffee’s healthy compounds are used. The other 99% has, for centuries, been mistakenly treated as waste.

Not anymore.

Coffee is more than a beverage and at Kaffe Bueno it is our mission to bring its full potential into the limelight. That’s why we utilise coffee by-products – such as spent coffee grounds – to produce ingredients for personal care products, nutraceuticals, and functional foods and drinks.

Our aim isn’t to add to the pile of ‘must-have’ products and fleeting fads in the world of health and wellbeing. We’re here to challenge the way things are done, answer consumer pain points, and shake up the industry by replacing synthetics and petrochemicals with natural and sustainable alternatives which don't compromise in performance. By doing so, we’re able to promote a circular mindset and a more conscious attitude towards what was once considered waste, while making everyday products safer and better for planet and people.

Welcome to The Bueno Movement.


  • Unlocking coffee’s health potential

  • Finding beauty in coffee

  • Stirring up the status quo

Unlocking coffee’s full health potential

Coffee is an underdog. Historically, it’s been greatly underestimated and underutilised. It’s even been wrongly labelled as ‘unhealthy’. Now, a growing body of research is demonstrating the health-promoting compounds lying inside this little bean.

Coffee is a highly bioactive plant filled with antioxidants, fatty acids, proteins, sugars, and many more molecules beneficial for human health. It’s associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some Cancers, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. When it comes to personal care, it’s been found to help reduce dermatitis and cellulite, protect against UV rays, promote healthy skin ageing, and stimulate hair growth. And that’s only the beginning.

All these compounds are still present in the spent coffee grounds; the bits we throw away. It's a powerhouse resource the world shamelessly allows to go to waste. That’s why we upcycle coffee and use it to its full capacity.

What do we mean by "upcycling coffee"?

We break down coffee grounds into their molecular building blocks and use these to produce higher value ingredients aimed at solving health, skin, nutritional, industrial, and cosmetics problems.

Photo by: Kaffe Bueno

Finding Beauty in coffee

By refusing to overlook coffee’s potential, we’re able to find the beauty in the bean and build on its benefits. We’ve formulated ingredients that can be used in a wide variety of personal care products:

Photo by: Kaffe Bueno
  • KAFFOIL™ is an upcycled coffee extract that can be used in face oils and serums, hair care products, hand creams, soaps, sunscreens, and face creams.

  • KAFFIBRE™ is an upcycled active coffee powder that can be used in scrubs, masks, soaps, cleansers, and exfoliators.

  • KAFFAGE™ is an upcycled coffee active that can be used in self-tanners, BB creams, and tinted moisturisers.

  • KAFFAIR™ is an active upcycled hair care ingredient that can be used in shampoos and conditioners, hair masks, and scalp treatments.

  • KA-ZUN™ is an upcycled mineral UV filter that can be used in sunscreens, bronzers, and after-sun care.

After much research and development, we’ve found that these ingredients bring out the best in coffee for everyday consumers. More than that, they address consumers’ pain points and needs.

Stirring up the status quo

We get it. Health and wellbeing trends come and go. Ingredients are deemed as ‘must-haves’ and then ditched the next time something new comes along.

In an effort to make coffee mean more than that, we work hard to address deep issues in the personal care, nutraceuticals, food & beverage, and biomaterials industries. We look for problems, their roots, and existing solutions. We ask why things are done and how they could be done better. We innovate, using coffee as a platform and resource to create and scale solutions.

Let's talk concrete examples, and move away from the fluff talk.

Let’s start with ethical and environmental concerns. Argan oil, for example, is a trending hair care product that can only be sourced in one small region in Morocco, putting pressure on the land and labourers. We’ve found KAFFOIL™ to be more effective than Argan oil for reducing hair breakage, strengthening hair, and enhancing shine. And it does it all in a much more sustainable way.

Inclusivity is another top priority for consumers. Where mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide which leaves a white or ‘ashy’ layer on darker skin tones, KA-ZUN coats the molecule, boosting its SPF and preventing the white-cast effect. Read more here.

Then there’s the rise in conscious consumerism, toxic chemicals in formulas, the demand for multi-purpose products, and transportation pollution – all issues we recognise and address through our products.

Now, remember your perception of coffee at the start of this article? In doing all of this, we’re stopping your brew from becoming waste and making it work for you in a number of new ways.

And that’s The Bueno Movement.

KAFFOIL. Photo by: Kaffe Bueno

Contact us here you would like to learn more about our Bueno Movement.


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