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 models that are more “environmentally friendly” than others?
When we talk about ecological coffee machines, the first thing we must take into account is that there are two variables to consider: the durability and sustainability of the machine, and that of the coffee we use as raw material.
What do we mean by an eco-friendly coffee machine in 2020?
If we refer to the energy sustainability of our coffee machine, 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, and that 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 fairly the most ecological coffee machines in the market:
- French coffee machines
- Italian coffee machines (Moka pots)
- Neapolitan coffee machines
- Pour-over coffee machines, or drip cones
- Cold Brew Coffee Makers
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. If you are looking for an excellent organic espresso machine, you can buy a moka pot, but with these ones you have to be accurate with the grinding and preparation of your espresso.
If we want to go one step further, strictly speaking, the traditional Italian and Neapolitan coffee machines have to be put on the kitchen cooker to heat them and the coffee goes up, so they also consume electricity. In this sense, any of the other types of coffee machines would consume 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 2020 would be any model of cold brew coffee maker, because it neither uses electricity nor does it require hot water to operate. But of course, it’s a very particular type of coffee that not everyone is used to.
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.
We can mention among them the eco-friendly coffee maker of La Pavoni, The Lever Espresso Machine, the Flair coffee maker, or the Aerobie Aeropress. Except for this last one, all the others are already out of stock or very difficult to get.
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 an 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.
The final result, as we see in the video, is pretty cool. This is a drip cone or chorreador like the ones that 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.