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The coffee experiment: growing barley seeds in coffee capsules

Posted on June 26, 2017

This is a very fun experiment to do with the kids to see if it matters what soil your plants grow in and a great way to upcycle your used coffee capsules. In this experiment we will see what happens when barley seeds are growing in coffee, in potting soil and in a mixture of that.

You will need:

  • 9 used coffee capsules (at least).
  • Barley seeds or any other quick growing, low maintenance seeds.
  • A cup of potting soil.
  • Mixing bowl or tub.
  • Old spoon.
  • Water.
  • Tray.


    1. Peel the foil off the capsules and throw in the recycling.
    2. Put the coffee from the capsule in the mixing bowl

    3. Rinse the capsules once emptied.

    4. Add a little bit of water to the coffee in the mixing bowl. Be careful not to add too much.

    5. Fill three capsules about 2/3 with coffee.

    6. Sprinkle a few seeds on the coffee.

    7. Cover them with more coffee to the edge.

    8. Repeat the same process, using potting soil in the next three capsules.

    9. Lastly, mix equal parts coffee and potting soil for your last three capsules.


    I had to wait a week but after that I could sure see the difference. Turns out it’s not just us humans who love a good cup of coffee!

    If you do this with your kids, don’t spoil the expected outcome.