We all know that there are many types of coffee machines on the market, as diverse as they are oriented towards all kinds of publics and pockets. And the need for a sustainable economy and environmental awareness is becoming more and more latent in our society.
So when we go to buy our coffee machine, it is worth thinking about whether we can do our bit for the future of the planet. Which is the most ecological coffee machine today? Are they all the same, or are there more “environmentally friendly” models than others?
When we talk about ecological coffee machines, the first thing we must consider is that there are two variables to consider: the durability and sustainability of the coffee maker and that of the coffee we use as raw material.
What do we mean by an eco-friendly coffee machine in 2023?
If we refer to the energy sustainability of our coffee machines, it is clear that the most ecological coffee machines will always be the ones that consume the least. In other words: the manual coffee machines. Any other conventional coffee machine will use electricity, which does not interest us in ecological terms.
Taking into account these premises, we find several types of coffee machines that comply with them, and that could be considered the most ecological coffee machines fairly in the market:
As you can see, all of them can be used without electricity consumption. Logically, not all these machines are used to make the same type of coffee. Suppose you are looking for an excellent ecological espresso machine. In that case, you can buy a Moka pot, but with these, you have to be accurate with the grinding and preparation of your espresso.
Suppose we want to go one step further, strictly speaking. In that case, the traditional Italian and Neapolitan coffee machines have to be put on the kitchen cooker to heat them. The coffee goes up, so they also consume electricity. In this sense, any of the other types of coffee machines would drink less (although in some you will have to use hot water; boiled previously on your own, so you will be in the same).
In absolute terms, our winning candidate as the world’s greenest coffee maker 2022 would be any cold brew coffee maker model because it neither uses electricity nor requires hot water to operate. But of course, it’s a very particular type of coffee that not everyone is used to.
- Hario Cold Brew Coffee Pot Mizudashi 1000ml, 1 liters, Brown, Large
- Asobu Portable Cold Brew Coffee Maker, Double Walled Vacuum Insulated
Do environment friendly espresso machines exist?
Well, it’s not the usual thing because most of the coffee makers we have recommended before do not use electricity and make their coffee by infusion (not by pressure), but… in ecological terms, there are some options for espresso lovers.
These include the Presso ecological coffee machine, Rok Espresso, the Flair coffee machine and the Aerobie Aeropress. Except for the latter, all the others are now discontinued or very difficult to find.
These machines allow you to make espresso coffee, and they do not consume energy, as they can only run on hot water from the tap. A reasonably ecological solution if you want to enjoy espresso without kicking the planet.
Can a pod coffee machine be eco-friendly?
Pod coffee machines are among the least environmentally friendly types of coffee machines there are, for two main reasons:
- Firstly, they need electrical power to operate, so they will always consume more than a manual one.
- And secondly, the use of hard pods generates a much higher amount of waste and residue than traditional coffee machines using ground coffee.
The first point is difficult to solve, but on the second, we can give you three alternatives, if not to eliminate it, then at least to relieve it.
- The first is to use compostable pods, which still have a useful life after use.
- The second is to use refillable pods, filled with organic coffee. More laborious, but in the long run also cleaner and cheaper.
- The third way is to educate ourselves as much as possible about the recycling of used capsules, by reading literature such as the article we have just linked to you.
The last alternative: A DIY ecological coffee machine
The ultimate in environmentalism, and an alternative so sustainable that no industrial model can ever match it, is to make your own recycled wood coffee maker, following the instructions in this video and showing off a bit of do-it-yourself skill.
As we see in the video, the final result is pretty cool. This is a drip cone or chorreador like Costa Ricans use daily. All you have to do is put ground coffee and pour hot water over it, and the laws of physics do their work.