Monday, June 2, 2014

Caribou Coffee Gardening Soap - step-by-step photos

I was in our local Caribou Coffee, buying a much needed Mint Condition,
when I spotted this near the checkout.
Ahh....what perfect inspiration for a new batch of herbal soap!
I'd like to create something special to use on my hands, and perhaps all over, after spending an afternoon working out in the garden.  I'm one of those people who start off wearing garden gloves, but always end up slipping them off for one reason or another. I need a scrubby bar of soap, and coffee grounds I know, will be perfect.  Look closely, I love that the label says, "Even your garden needs coffee after a long slumber. These free used coffee grounds will wake your plants up with essential elements they need!"

So my daughter and I left Caribou not only with our coffees, but with a special package of gardening coffee grounds to sprinkle in the garden and more importantly, stir into a batch of soap.

Here's a look at the finished bars of Caribou Coffee Gardening Soap. Most of the flowers in my garden are pink, so this is a perfect color combination for me. And the scent is amazing. It's a blend I created using berry vanilla and adding a bit of strawberry to bring out and enhance the berry notes more.
Following are all the how-tos and step-by-step photos.

I couldn't wait to get home and get started. First, I measured out Cocoa Butter.

Next up was weighing the Coconut Oil. Coconut is my favorite oil. I use it in each and every batch of soap we make because of the fantastic bubbles it helps to create.

 I weighed out a small slice of coffee butter. What's coffe butter you say?  It's a blend of coconut oil and coffee seed oil (coffea arabica seed oil) and smells just like a cup of coffee.

And some pure unrefined Shea Butter.  I love Shea Butter on my skin!
I added some Olive Oil to the mix and then melted all the oils together.

Then I set aside the melted oils to cool, while I prepared the water and lye mixture.

 It's important to measure the water.  It's more exact.

After measuring the lye flakes out on the scale, I carry them outside and add them into the weighed water.  I like to do this outdoors, even during our freezing cold Minnesota winter months.  That way, all of the fumes created when the lye dissolves into the water are not inside my house, but outside.

After the lye water had cooled some outside, I bring it in and add it to the melted oils.

This is what the soap batch looks like as I'm stirring.

Sorting through and getting the coffee grounds ready - looking for any stray beans.

Adding the finely ground Caribou Coffee beans.

Stirring the Caribou grounds and some berry vanilla scent into the soap.

Getting the mold ready by lining it with freezer paper.  This makes the soap easier to unmold.

Pouring the first layer of coffee soap into the mold.

Getting the second layer ready!  I colored it with a touch of bright berry and scented it with strawberry and berry vanilla - yum!  This smells delicious.
Adding the second part to the mold and then swirling it with a spatula.

Perfect!  It's all ready to cover and set aside for 24 hours.

I unmolded the soap after 24 hours. It looks good, smells wonderful and is ready to cut into logs.

Soap logs ready to cut into bars. I like the swirls already but know they will look even better when they are cut into bars.

Happy Gardening!
Christine Kennedy


  1. Great article and pictures. Thank you!

  2. This was great! Your soap turned out beautiful, I'd bet it smells amazing too!

    -Kris C.