(slightly) Greener Way of Brewing Coffee





Introduction: (slightly) Greener Way of Brewing Coffee

I found something at the grocery store that I thought was pretty cool. It's a little plastic one-cup coffee maker.

I suppose it will take less energy, or it will at least be cleaner, to use a gas stove instead of an electric one because most electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants and gas releases far fewer toxins than coal does. Also, electricity costs a bit more than gas, but only by a few cents.

In any case, you may not want to buy an electric coffee maker for $30 so here is a solution that only costs $2 to $5.

First, you'll need to buy one of these fancy plastic coffee makers. I found mine in a grocery store.
Other than that, you need:
#2 coffee filters
a coffee cup
a tea kettle (or something to boil water in)

Step 1: Step 1

First thing you need to do is fill your kettle with water and boil it.

Step 2: Step 2

While the water is boiling, pull out a #2 coffee filter and fold those weird edges that make it hard to fit in to the coffee maker. Then, all you need to do is put the proper amount of coffee in the filter.

My electric coffee maker makes 10 cups and takes 2 scoops of coffee to fill the whole thing. So one cup of coffee is equivalent to 1/10 of two scoops of coffee or 1/5 of one scoop of coffee. That is a little bit complicated and I don't have a measuring spoon that small. So I just put 1 scoop of coffee in and store the grounds to make 4 cups of coffee later.

Step 3: Step 3

now, once your water gets hot enough, just pour it through the filter and watch it go. You'll probably have to keep pouring until the cup is full.

Now you can enjoy your fresh cupa joe!

And if you have some friends over, just move the coffee maker to a couple other cups.



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    16 Discussions

    an even greener way to brew coffee is with a stove percolator or french press. it elimnates the necessity for paper filters.

    2 replies

    I just got a french press from a thrift store a couple of months ago. I love it! Although, I may be using it wrong. I'm putting two Tbsp of coffee in it and it only makes one cup. Am I using too much coffee? I'm worried that I may be wasting it...Well, if it weren't Aldi brand coffee, I would worry about wasting it.

    An even GREENER way is cold brewed coffee. If you like iced coffee or don't mind a nice cup of cool coffee, try the cold brew. All you do is fill a mason jar about ⅓ of the way up with coffee grounds, and the rest with water. Cover the jar and put it in the fridge overnight. It's brilliant! You don't get the fats and acids (See that oil slick in the glare in that cup of coffee above?), so it's not as bitter. It may taste a bit weak at first but after a few cups of it you really get the full flavor of it all. I just learned about it!

    i have no counter space in my new studio apt so i bought a stove-top percolator and love it so far.

    If you're dwelling on your morning coffee making to go green, I have to argue that you're being pennywise but pound foolish.

    2 replies

    Yeah, your right. But at least it's one less thing to contribute to my electric bill. I guess the greenest form of coffee brewing is to not even buy coffee.

    Being a tea purist I hate advising people to boil water in the microwave, but in this case it does make sense. Your microwave is probably 700-800 watts and will boil a single cup of water in a minute or two. An electric hob is over a thousand watts and will take longer (and therefore much more energy) because it heats the room and the kettle as well as the water. Gas is even less efficient in its use of energy, but as you said it's cheaper.

    I have a 12 cup coffee maker, and make coffee once every 5 days. It sits for 5 days without getting too bitter. Usually, I just drink room temperature coffee. Far 'greener' than boiling water for every single serving you drink.

    1 reply

    but heating water over a stove is a lot less efficient than the electric water heater in coffee machines. eco-wise and money-wise. get a french press and heat water in an electric kettle, better yet, just cold brew it (mix coffee+cold water overnight), and strain it through your new french press for awesome iced coffee.

    5 replies

    How to control the thickness of the cold-brewing coffee? I can't stand too much caffeine, will sitting overnight makes the coffee too strong?

    I just use the standard amount for the french press, it could use more though.

    Cold brew is usually made strong, like a coffee extract. Then you add water to it as needed for your tastes. Also works good for making cold coffee drinks, milk & coffee, etc... We generally keep some in the fridge at all times.

    Seconded on the cold-brewing. Nothing easier than dumping grounds into a giant pot of cold water and letting it sit around.