How we make our Coconut Bowls
How it all started
Once the bamboo straws had been selling for some time, we felt confident to start looking for new products that would allow us to expand our portfolio. In Bali, it’s quite common to see piles of leftover coconut husks and shells on the side of the road waiting to be taken to the landfill, or burned. After a long-night conversation about the coconut industry in Indonesia, we wondered about the coconut shells. Some local friends explained to us that coconut bowls had been around in Bali for centuries and that all we had to do was rescue a decaying tradition. So we did. Through Srii, we met Made (her uncle), with whom we create what is now one of the best coconut bowls set on the planet!
Why Coconut Bowls?
Every year thousands of coconut shells are discarded as a byproduct of the huge coconut industry. After only using the husk for biofuel and the meat and water for food, oil, or beauty products, the coconut shells are normally discarded and often burnt, releasing a huge amount of CO2 into our atmosphere. One day, while talking to some local Balinese friends, they told us that in the old days, people used coconuts as plates, a practice that has been completely shadowed by either normal plates, or worse, plastic disposable ones.
We knew there was something to be done with all those leftover coconut shells, and we were sure we wanted to do something with them.
How to make Coconut Bowls – Bali Boo Style!
For a coconut shell to be hard enough to be used as a bowl for food, the coconuts have to be matured. We get our coconuts from the discarded coconut industry. The reclaimed coconuts are turned into bowls by cutting them down to the correct size (between 6 and 8 cm deep). We then sand them down, inside and outside, to give them that smooth and shiny feel.
To make sure everything is safe to use, we clean them one by one and polish them on the outside with organic cold-pressed coconut oil, which makes them shiny and water-repellent. That’s when we pack them with the cutlery sets inside the traditional handwoven bamboo baskets.
Please keep in mind that our Coconut Bowls are completely natural and therefore all have different markings and color. There aren’t 2 coconuts that are the same and the singularities of each of them should be seen as a characteristic of their uniqueness.
The Bamboo Basket and the Cutlery Set
As you probably already know, our coconut bowl sets also include their own cutlery sets, and come packed in a beautiful handwoven bamboo basket. We buy the wooden fork and spoon from a charming old lady that we call Ibu (mother) in a local market in Bali’s biggest city, Denpasar. She sources the forks and spoons from her village in northern Bali.
The basket that we use to package the coconut bowls is handwoven by Manik, Putu’s wife, and the women of her village in the area of Singaraja, in northern Bali. The amount of work that goes into each basket is commendable. First Manik has to take bamboo stalks and with a knife, she gently makes little strips. Then, in a very patient way, she weaves them all together by hand. The result is a piece of art that has been a tradition in Bali for centuries, and an incredibly beautiful, and plastic-free packaging for our Coconut Bowls.