I've heard of compost tea from John Kohler, and have an excess of swamp water at home, but can't exactly transport much of it well to the community garden, so I was wondering if I could make "bog coffee" from table scraps, coffee, and water I've let sit for at least a day to evaporate chemicals.

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    What’s swamp or bog coffee?
    – dakab
    May 18, 2016 at 4:34
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    the purported benefits of compost tea come from the bacteria and fungi in compost. You're not starting with compost. May 18, 2016 at 4:35
  • aren't kitchen scraps and coffee grounds by default what you start compost with? May 18, 2016 at 5:56
  • Biological matter + composting bacteria + temperature + oxygen + dirt + weeks=> compost May 18, 2016 at 9:43
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    @blackthumb By the same logic, you could try making a sandwich out of a flour-water paste.
    – Stephie
    May 18, 2016 at 9:43

1 Answer 1


The idea of compost or manure "tea" is to extract the nutritients from the compost into the water.

Those nutritients were made available in the compost by various life forms from worms to bacteria and fungi digesting the scraps and "pooping out" the broken down materials. That's the definition of "composting".

If you steep kitchen scraps in water, you will get some kind of "soup", but not the nutrition-rich compost tea you are looking for - simply because you didn't compost them.

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    And as it anaerobically rots, you'll get a terrible stench, attracting all sorts of unsavory insect life. May 18, 2016 at 9:40
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    @GrahamChiu Right, forgot about the practical aspects. <pinches nostrils>
    – Stephie
    May 18, 2016 at 9:42
  • @GrahamChiu So what would you do to enrich the soil on the cheap? May 18, 2016 at 17:41
  • If you don't want a compost pile, you can do sheet composting which just means digging the coffee grounds, and other vegetable matter directly into the ground. May 18, 2016 at 20:28

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