Czech university students have created edible coffee cups to cut down on waste

This crunchy cup stands up to hot liquids and is designed as an alternative to disposable coffee cups.

Ify Nsoha

Written by Ify Nsoha
Published on 16.03.2021 15:44 (updated on 16.03.2021)

A pair of university students from Prague have invented edible cups as a unique way to save the environment. 

NEWTON College students Zuzana Zvěřová and Miroslav Myrončuk, both 22 years old, were inspired to make a difference after realizing the number of disposable cups they used every day. “These edible cups are a product that makes our planet a better place to live,” the young entrepreneurs write on their website.

Founders of Jedlý Kelímek, Zuzana and Miroslav (photo: Facebook/@jedly.kelimek)
Founders of Jedlý Kelímek, Zuzana and Miroslav (photo: Facebook/@jedly.kelimek)

“We thought about what could motivate people to save the planet,” Zuzana Zvěřová told Novinky.cz. “Then we realized that most people like biscuits with their coffee. What could be a better motivation than food?”

After about a year of searching and testing the right ingredients they have been able to develop a recipe for making cups made of dough that can be eaten after use. 

"We had a lot of trial and error as we made all sorts of dough combinations at home. We tried candy dough, muffin dough, pancake dough, everything possible.” Zvěřová said “Then we had to connect with the Food Research Institute Prague and Czech Technical Univeristy, where they helped us with the development of the recipe and machinery.”

One of the most unique aspects of these cups lies in the fact that they can hold hot drinks. Myroslav Myrončuk told Novinky that these cups are made for both cold and hot drinks, and said that it's best to eat them within 45 minutes when they are “freshly crispy”. 

source: Jedlý Kelímek gallery
source: Jedlý Kelímek gallery

He also added that the cups can hold hot drinks for about 12 hours without any negative effects. The cups are vegan, made entirely from natural ingredients. Currently those being produced are 110 ml, but larger ones are being prepared for the future. They also plan to make dessert flavors (which can be used with coffee) and salty cups to go with beer. 

"Our cup is mostly used in the café industry, we also offer it to catering companies, where there is a large sale of disposable consumer goods," said Myrončuk.

The duo originally intended for these cups to be used at festivals, but the Covid crisis temporarily brought the plan to a halt. However, the cups are being used in cafés around the Czech Republic, such as in Hradec Králové. Prague locations include Choco Café at Betlémské náměstí, Deserterie at Náměstí Míru, and Svačím zdravě. Other cafés using Jedlý Kelímek's edible cups are listed here. The price of one cup is about CZK 7. 

"Our goal is for everyone to have an alternative, whether they want to have an edible cup in the café or want coffee from a plastic cup,” Zvěrová said. “For everyone to have an option means that there are as few allergens as possible, that the price is as low as possible and that our cups are all over the world.”