There are many ways to reduce your negative environmental impact through small changes in your daily habits.
If you’re one of the people who’s making an effort towards a more sustainable lifestyle, you’d likely find my guide on the top eco-friendly coffee makers useful.
I made sure to introduce a variety of energy-efficient coffee brewing devices so that you can choose the one that matches your personal requirements best.
Here you will find environmentally-friendly pour-over drippers, French press brewers, and cold brew makers, as well as espresso machines and programmable drip coffee makers.
I included eco-friendly appliances for preparing coffee at home, but some of my top picks are also suitable for office or commercial use.
So let’s dive in!
What are the Top Eco-Freindly Coffee Makers?
|1. County Line Kitchen||Cold brew coffee maker||$|
|2. Mueller||Stainless steel insulated French press||$|
|3. Hario V60 03 Wooden Set||Manual pour-over coffee maker made of wood and glass components.||$$$|
|4. GROSCHE Milano||Stainless steel stovetop coffee maker (works like a Moka pot)||$$|
|5. BUNN VP 17-1SS||Drip coffee maker with large capacity, suitable for commercial use.||$$$$$$|
|6. AeroPress||Manual single-serve coffee maker, made of durable BPA-free plastic. You can also use it to make 2 cups at a time.||$|
|7. Flair Pro 2||Manual espresso machine.||$$$|
|8. Mr. Coffee||Programmable drip coffee maker||$$|
|9. Presto||Stainless steel percolator||$$|
|10. Rancilio Silvia Pro X||Prosumer espresso machine.||$$$$$$$|
Speaking of eco-friendly ways of making coffee and energy-efficient makers and machines, we need to define what makes some brewing devices more sustainable than others.
It’s worth noting that the coffee chain is quite wide and involves complex processes, such as cultivation, processing, packaging, transport, consumption, and disposal.
The environmental impact at any point of the coffee chain varies within a wide range and depends on multiple factors.
We, consumers, don’t have control over many of said variables.
Nevertheless, you can make a difference by going for a more sustainable way to make coffee.
According to this paper, the preparation method and the coffee maker, used by the consumer, make up 30% of the overall emissions. So we could really make a difference.
For my list, I made sure to cherry-pick the most eco-friendly coffee brewing devices, based on the following main criteria:
- Durability: the longer a product lasts, the more sustainable it is.
- Energy-efficiency: reducing energy waste is a crucial part of lowering the environmental impact of your coffee maker and its carbon footprint.
- Waste generation: the less waste is produced after making a cup, the better.
I kept in mind other factors with environmental impacts, such as the amount of coffee used per cup, the amount of needed water, etc.
Click here to see the price and more photos on Amazon.
If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly way to make coffee, you should definitely consider switching to the cold brewing method.
It’s energy-efficient, as it doesn’t involve heating water, and the only waste this approach produces is the spent coffee grounds.
For these reasons, the cold brew set by County Line Kitchen is undoubtedly one of the most eco-friendly coffee makers for home use. Furthermore, it’s durable and will last for quite a while.
It comes with a stainless steel filter. In it, you should place ground coffee beans (medium-coarse grind) and let them steep in the fridge (or at room temperature) for 12 hours or so.
Once the coffee is ready, you can remove the filter and discard the grounds. This brewing method is quite forgiving, so it’s hard for you to mess things up. It results in a rich cup with a smooth flavor.
You can store the cold brew in the fridge and use it whenever you feel like having a cup. The batch of coffee will be good to use for 10 days. Just make sure you keep it well-sealed, to avoid oxidation and consequent flavor loss.
You can choose from two jar sizes: 32 ounces (~950 ml.) or 64 ounces (~1890 ml.).
As seen in the picture below, you can also get the County Line cold brew jar with a handle.
Nevertheless, I’d recommend going for the one without the handle, as it’s more durable and takes up less space in the fridge.
Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about breaking the handle. Ultimately, you’ll be investing in a product that is made from less plastic.
Keep in mind that it would take time for you to play around with the amount of coffee and water you add until you find the ideal ratio for your personal preference.
The only disadvantage of the County Line brewer is its filter capacity. It doesn’t allow you to use enough coffee grounds to prepare strong brew concentrate, as the one I recommend in my cold brew guide.
With that being said, the County Line coffee maker is convenient, easy to use, clean, and, most importantly – an eco-friendly device to make delicious coffee at home.
Furthermore, cold brew coffee is generally less acidic, so it’s perfect for those who have a more sensitive stomach.
Some consumers would even purchase two jars. Once they prepare the cold brew in one of them, they’d take out the stainless steel filter and place it in the second one. This way they’re reusing the coffee grounds to make another batch of cold brew.
This type of full-immersion coffee brewer is commonly referred to as one of the most environmentally-friendly devices for coffee making.
The stainless steel French Press by the brand Mueller is well-made, sturdy, and virtually unbreakable. Its double-wall insulation promotes heat retention and will keep your coffee hot for longer.
Furthermore, the triple-layered filter of the Mueller French Press does an impressive job of keeping the coffee grounds out of your brew.
Just make sure you use a medium-coarse grind. If you have your coffee finely ground, many coffee particles will pass through the filter while you’re pressing the plunger.
Related post: Best Coffee Grinders for French Press
Keep in mind that this brewing method produces a cup with rich flavor and a heavy body.
You may notice there’s a bit of sediment in your cup of French press coffee.
After all, there are always coffee fines that pass through the filter. So if that’s a deal-breaker for you, go for one of the other sustainable coffee makers on this list.
You can also check out my guide on how to make French press coffee to get some useful tips on how to achieve the best results.
The Mueller French press has a capacity of 34 oz. (1 liter). If that’s too much for you, and you’re looking for a smaller single-serve coffee maker that’s also sustainable, check out the 12-ounce Secura French Press. It’s made of stainless steel, and it’s durable, insulated, and it’s ideal for making 1 serving at a time.
Another advantage of the Mueller French press is that after preparing coffee with it, you only need to throw away the spent coffee grounds.
Reducing your waste and carbon footprint is essential if you’re trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
To further lower your environmental impact, you can reuse your spent coffee grounds for a different purpose and compost them.
Click here to check out its price and more photos on Amazon.
The Hario V60 03 wooden set is a great device to make flavorful coffee while keeping sustainability in mind. It’s an eco-friendly pour-over brewer that lets you have control over all brewing variables to get the best flavor out of your coffee beans.
This particular wooden set has all wood and glass components, apart from the silicone seal on the rim of the glass carafe.
As long as you’re not clumsy enough to quickly break the glass decanter and dripper, the Hario V60 will serve you for years.
To keep your wooden stand as fresh as new for as long as possible, I recommend treating it with mineral oil, such as this one by Kate Naturals. This way you will prevent damage from accidentally spilled water or coffee, since the oil repels the liquid.
Pour-over coffee makers, such as the Hario V60 produce a bright cup with a light body and balanced flavors.
The thing is that you need to put in a bit of effort to try out different brewing techniques to get the best results. For more tips, you can check out my beginner-friendly Hario V60 brewing guide with photos.
I use the size 03 dripper to make 2 cups at a time. So if you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly pour-over coffee maker for brewing more than two cups at once, the Chemex may be your better option.
Both Chemex and Hario V60 involve the usage of paper filters. Nevertheless, they’re all 100% biodegradable and compostable.
When it comes to affordability, the V60 wooden set is quite inexpensive compared to other coffee makers on this list.
Keep in mind that there are advantages to using the plastic Hario cone.
It’s better at heat retention, which improves extraction, and it’s very hard to break, especially compared to glass or ceramic alternatives. And, as previously mentioned – the longer it takes for a product to get damaged and break – the more sustainable and eco-friendly it is.
The stovetop coffee maker by Grosche is a reliable brewing device, made of stainless steel. Just like other Moka pot coffee makers, it produces a concentrated rich cup with intense flavors.
Since it’s made of high-quality materials, it’s durable and will last you for years.
Therefore it’s the more sustainable alternative to aluminum Moka pots which are harder to maintain and wear out faster.
Furthermore, you won’t be producing much waste after brewing a batch.
You’d just need to throw away the spent coffee grounds, which is a much more environmentally-friendly option, compared to using coffee pods and capsules.
The Grosche coffee maker works on induction as well, and it’s quite easy to use.
You can check out my guide on how to use a Moka pot to get detailed instructions. After all, the Grosche brewer works on the same principle as a Moka pot.
You can choose from two sizes: 6-cup and 10-cup. The 6-cup produces approximately 10 fluid ounces (300 ml.) of coffee.
If you’re used to drinking large mugs of drip coffee, this amount may seem insufficient.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that this coffee brewing method produces highly concentrated and caffeinated coffee.
It’s often used as an alternative to espresso for homemade lattes and cappuccinos. So if you’re used to adding milk to your coffee, the Grosche Milano would be the perfect pick for you.
The BUNN VP 17-1SS is a high-quality drip coffee maker that’s capable of delivering a great cup of coffee.
It’s also sturdy, easy to use, and clean. If you get it with the stainless steel filter basket – no hot water will come in contact with any plastic while brewing.
This is a main concern of consumers who are looking for a BPA-free and non-toxic coffee machine, that’s also sustainable and eco-friendly.
The BUNN VP 17-SS is one of the most frequently bought machines from my article on the best plastic-free coffee makers. So far, most of its owners are more than happy with their purchase.
After you plug it in, the machine heats up fast. Once the water is heated, it’s always ready to go and deliver delicious coffee.
The downside is that it doesn’t have an on/off switch. This means that the water heater is always running while the machine is plugged in.
This is great if you’re looking for a durable eco-friendly coffee maker for commercial use.
Nevertheless, home users don’t need the water reservoir to be kept warm at all times. This forces them to plug out the BUNN VP 17-1SS whenever they want to stop its water heating element. So you should keep that in mind, especially if you’re looking for an energy-efficient coffee maker.
With that being said, the BUNN VP 17-SS is a durable coffee maker that serves its owners for many years. Investing in a high-quality unit that will last long is undoubtedly a more environmentally-friendly alternative to getting a cheaper machine that you’ll have to replace in a couple of years.
I recommend getting the stainless steel funnel.
It’s important to mention that if you are to purchase the aforementioned steel filter basket, you may also need to get the funnel tip kit. Without it, the stainless steel funnel will flow too quickly. To be fair, I don’t understand why the funnel tip isn’t included in the stainless steel basket upgrade, but that’s how things are for now.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll have to get the carafe separately.
The heating element of the carafe has a switch, so you can turn it off whenever you like.
The BUNN 17-SS has a large capacity. With it, you can make 64 ounces (~1890 ml) of coffee at once.
This is ideal if you have a large family or if you are looking for a commercial coffee machine.
On the contrary – if you only brew a cup or two a day, the drip coffee maker by BUNN may not be the most adequate choice.
Even though the AeroPress is made of plastic, it’s undoubtedly eco-friendly because it’s virtually unbreakable, recyclable, and an overall sustainable BPA-free product.
Furthermore, it’s energy-efficient and the AeroPress brewing method doesn’t produce much waste. After using it you’ll just need to throw away the spent coffee grounds and the round paper filter. And they are fully compostable.
You can even get a stainless steel reusable filter, such as the Able Disc to further reduce your waste generation. You can check out all of my product recommendations on AeroPress filter alternatives in this post.
What makes this coffee syringe stand out is that it’s quite easy to make great-tasting coffee with it.
If you’re not that passionate about coffee and you aren’t willing to put much effort into your brewing technique, you’ll still get a nice cup of coffee.
You can check out my AeroPress brewing guide to see photos of the maker in action, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to use it.
The thing is that this manual device is mostly used as a single-serve coffee maker. Nevertheless, you can, in fact, brew two cups at a time by using the bypass method.
The AeroPress is also compact and easily portable, which makes it ideal if you want to carry it with you when you travel.
Furthermore, you can easily take this eco-friendly coffee maker to the office and use it to make delicious coffee at work.
If you decide to step up your coffee brewing game, you can look up different AeroPress recipes or play around with the brewing variables to get the best results.
This maker is truly capable of producing an exceptional cup and lets you pull the best flavors out of your coffee beans.
To make AeroPress coffee making even more eco-friendly, you can prepare a cold brew with it. This way you will avoid energy expenditure for water heating and still get a smooth cup with a nice flavor. If this provokes your interest, check out my fast cold brew AeroPress guide here.
Anyway, with all being said, if you’re looking to get a sustainable single-cup coffee maker, the AeroPress may be your best bet.
Furthermore, I’m sure you will enjoy the process of making coffee with it, as it’s very satisfying.
Related Post: Best AeroPress Accessories
Click here to check out the price and more photos on Amazon.
If you want to make espresso according to environmentally-friendly standards at home, the Flair Pro 2 manual machine may be your top choice. It’s made of high-quality materials and it’s definitely a sturdy maker, capable of producing exceptional espresso.
If getting this lever machine seems a good idea to you, consider the fact that using it involves a bit of technique.
If you don’t have experience, it will take a bit of time to get used to it. But, believe me, you can pull some great espresso shots with the Flair. In terms of quality, they will be quite similar to those that you’d get from a nice coffee shop.
It’s also worth noting that to get the best results, you will need an adequate grinder and a coffee scale to measure the coffee dose and yield.
To spare you some research time, I can recommend getting the 1Zpresso J-Max grinder for your Flari Pro 2. It’s a high-quality manual device that’s great for providing the necessary espresso-fine grind.
Click here to check out the price of the 1zpresso on Amazon.
Click here to check out the price and more photos on Amazon.
Considering its durability and affordability, the programmable coffee maker by Mr. Coffee is a drip machine that’s one of the best sustainable coffee makers. Furthermore, it’s more energy-efficient compared to other coffee makers, as once it brews coffee, it stops heating.
It comes with a thermal stainless steel carafe that keeps the coffee hot for longer. That’s why the machine doesn’t have a burner plate, which also reduces energy expenditure.
Considering how inexpensive this Mr. Coffee machine is, it’s normal that it has a lot of plastic parts. But compared to other products in its price range, it’s much sturdier and will last longer, which is why it’s the more sustainable option.
By using the drip maker by Mr. Coffee you will get to enjoy a delicious cup of Joe at home.
Of course, if you’re a passionate coffee connoisseur, you won’t be completely satisfied with the type of brew this machine produces. But if you’re that much into coffee, you already know that this type of home coffee maker is not capable of matching your sophisticated standards.
On the other hand, if you’re not that strict about your cup’s flavor notes and extraction quality, the Mr. Coffee Drip machine is a great choice. Especially if you’re on a budget, but still want to reduce your environmental impact.
Click here to check out the price and more photos on Amazon.
The Preso Percolator is made of durable stainless steel materials and will last for years.
To make coffee with it, you only need to add water to the brew chamber, ground coffee to the filter basket, and turn the machine on. The percolator will quickly brew a strong batch of coffee with bold flavor.
Even though the percolator is marketed as a 12-cup brewer, keep in mind that this doesn’t equal 12 large mugs. Even if you fill it up to the top.
The maximum yield is approximately 60 fluid ounces (~1770 ml.). You can brew fewer servings by using the basic guideline of adding 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for each cup of water.
I’d recommend going for a medium-coarse grind, especially if you are to brew without paper filters.
If the grind is too fine, a lot of coffee grounds will pass through the stainless steel filter, which isn’t ideal.
To avoid that, you can use paper filters, such as these wrap-around percolator filters by Brew Rite. They will also ease the cleaning process.
Instead of a wrap-around, you can go for disc filters. Nevertheless, they aren’t as efficient in keeping the fine grounds out of your brew.
As long as the Presto is plugged-in it will keep your coffee hot.
If you want to save on your electricity bill or reduce energy expenditure due to sustainability motives, you should unplug the brewer after you’re done with it, or use a timer switch.
A colleague of mine replaced her old Keurig with the Presto percolator and she’s more than happy with her choice.
She’s been using this stainless steel coffee maker for almost two years. She’s satisfied with the coffee’s intense flavor.
The Rancilio Silvia Pro X is a sturdy espresso machine that’s capable of producing high-quality espresso shots as those you’d get from a specialty coffee shop.
It’s an ideal investment for passionate coffee lovers who are looking for a sustainable machine that’s built to last.
The Silvia Pro espresso maker is also energy-efficient and has all the needed features a home barista would dream of.
These include a pressure gauge, a PID temperature controller, a non-pressurized portafilter, a stainless steel steaming wand for homemade lattes/cappuccinos, and a tamper.
If you’ve decided that this type of espresso machine is worth the investment, keep in mind that you should also own a high-quality grinder to pull excellent shots.
You can get a manual one, such as the Comandante or the 1zPresso, or an electric grinder, such as the Rancilio Rocky.
If you don’t know much about the world of coffee, you should be aware that there is a significant difference between an espresso made with a home-grade espresso or Nespresso machine and the one that you can get from a prosumer appliance, such as the Rancilio Silvia. You can learn more in my detailed Nespresso vs. Espresso comparison guide.
Furthermore, you should be aware that there is a learning curve when it comes to making true espresso at home.
So if you’re a beginner you’d need to spend some time improving your technique.
Are there Eco-Friendly Pod Coffee Makers?
On my list, I haven’t included pod coffee makers, such as those by the brands Keurig and Nespresso. After all, to prepare coffee with them, you need to use aluminum or plastic single-use capsules that generate a lot of waste and fill up our landfills.
Nevertheless, through my research I actually found some sources that suggest single-serve pod coffee makers can actually be a more eco-friendly alternative to, say, drip coffee machines.
According to this case study, the technology behind the pod style system may not have a greater environmental impact in comparison to other conventional coffee makers.
So if you’re insisting on using a Nespresso or Keurig machine, and still want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you could make that work.
Especially considering that many single-cup pod coffee maker models are designed and manufactured in accordance with energy-efficiency standards.
Therefore, when it comes to energy waste, they could be a more eco-friendly alternative compared to other devices.
Just make sure you put in the extra effort to recycle your pods and reduce the produced waste.
- Best Nespresso Machines: Reviewed and Compared
- Best Keurig Coffee Makers: Comparison Guide with Reviews
With that being said, keep in mind that one of the most cherished advantages of single-serve pod coffee makers is their convenience of use.
These machines let their busy owners enjoy a cup quickly and easily.
So what’s the point of owning a single-serve pod coffee maker, if you are to spend time refilling a reusable pod, or recycling a capsule after each use?
There are many ways to reduce the environmental impact of daily coffee consumption.
Choosing an eco-friendly coffee maker is just one step.
You should also take into consideration the type of coffee beans you’re using. Getting single-origin traceable coffee beans from farms that have sustainable production practices will also reduce your negative influence on the environment.
Furthermore, once you choose the best coffee maker for your personal needs, you also need to take into consideration how to enhance its energy efficiency. To cut carbon emissions make sure you don’t have your appliance running when it’s not in use.
Furthermore, you should maintain it properly, so that it lasts for as long as possible.
Feel free to share your tips on how to make coffee in an eco-friendly way or ask me a question in the comment section below.