Essay by Eric Worrall
The Green Ministry of Fun at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has scolded coffee drinkers for ignoring the climate impact of their beverage.
Here’s how your cup of coffee contributes to climate change
Published: January 6, 2023 8.04am AEDT
- Luciano Rodrigues Viana Doctorant en sciences de l’environnement, Département des sciences fondamentales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
- Charles Marty Adjunct professor, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
- Jean-François Boucher Professeur, Eco-consulting, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
- Pierre-Luc Dessureault Assistant researcher, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
Global coffee consumption has been increasing steadily for almost 30 years. With a daily average consumption of 2.7 cups of coffee per person, coffee is now Canada’s most popular drink. It is estimated that around two billion cups of coffee are consumed daily worldwide.
This demand has led to considerable diversification in the ways of preparing coffee as well, including the creation of coffee capsules. The popularity of these capsules has divided the public opinion because this method of preparation, which uses single-use individual packaging, is harmful to the environment.
The life cycle of coffee
The pollution resulting from the preparation of coffee at home is just the tip of the iceberg.
Before you can enjoy a cup of coffee, it goes through several steps, starting from the agricultural production of the coffee beans, their transport, the roasting and grinding of the beans, right up to the heating of the water for the coffee and the washing of the cups it is poured in.
These steps, common to all modes of coffee preparation, consume resources and emit greenhouse gases (GHG).
If you live in a province or country with carbon-intensive electricity production, not using the coffee maker’s hot plate and rinsing the cup with cold water can help reduce carbon footprint.
..Read more: https://theconversation.com/heres-how-your-cup-of-coffee-contributes-to-climate-change-196648
I already checked, it is not April 1st. Maybe the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi environment department has been hitting the coffee a little harder than normal.
My 5yr old espresso machine probably ticks all the boxes when it comes to emitting CO2, except for the hot plate, but it sure makes a lovely cup of coffee. I think I’ll defer giving up coffee to save the planet until after I’m dead.
The four creators of this paper obviously have far too much time on their hands which they wasted by producing this utterly pointless “research”. Virtually all human activity consumes resources and produces greenhouse gases. Even producing this paper consumed valuable resources. Think of the energy that could have been saved by not creating this paper in the first place.
such a weighty burden of research and only eight hands and up to 4 brains to do it- although being professors of eco-posturing they may be neurologically challenged -Neuron Deficiency Disorder. Was this learned treatise peer reviewed?
Hmm, Washing the cups, at least cups that need washing aren’t disposable… It could be worse.
I have one of those Keurig brewing machines with the K-cups but I use my own coffee with a refillable k-cup pod
Those pre-filled K-ups are way too expensive
Not only that, but there are only a handful of GOOD coffees that come prepackaged in them.
Although, to be fair, there may be more than I know – I haven’t bothered to look for a while since I use the refillable pods too.
Try Aldi’s good selection and price, I like the midnight dark with a splash of jim beam.
Pal review occurred over multiple bottles of chardonnay and a 4 course dinner.
Chardonnay – they had no idea the wine involved fermentation. As for the 4 course dinner – that’s another paper to guarantee grant funding.
The four creators of this paper have positions that require the creation of such papers to stay employed. More will be forthcoming. The question is whether they drink coffee during their research.
Of course they drink coffee, but they are the elites, us just peasants, so we need to be told to sacrifice.
You’re just jealous that you didn’t write a paper you got paid for.
I’m writing two papers now that could get one, or two, Nobel Prizes.
And never mind those vicious polar bears in the Arctic.
My first draft paper is titled:
“Scientists say climate change will kill your dog”
My second draft paper is titled:
“How to prevent climate change by living in your car trunk”
“How to prevent climate change by living in your car trunk”
gasoline or electric?
Trunk or frunk?
“The four creators of this paper obviously have far too much time on their hands…”
Probably due to not being able to sleep from to all the coffee they drink.
We have an effect on the environment from the moment we are conceived and perhaps before. Your parents were probably breathing hard and emitting extra CO2. Demonizing coffee is whacking at low hanging fruit. Can you think of any activity that does not produce GHGs or more importantly, actual pollution?
Just think of the environmental impact of T Rex. Come to think of it, the little black tailed deer on this island also have an effect on the environment. But these are “natural”, so they do not count.
Having driven quite a bit in Canada this truck driver knows it had to be academics coming out with this BS because for any Canadian politician to go after coffee would be political suicide. Tim Hortons rules up there, and in fact in my own coffee maker here at home as well.
When I leave the house for a two day run my thermoses and big cup are filled with Tim Hortons regular blend.
Okay, so you’re drivin’ a truck, wearin’ a Canadian tuxedo, and you hang a roger into a Timmies for a timbit and double double, then you smoke a dart, and are back on the road again, drivin’ 500 klicks, hopin’ you don’t get dinged 100 loonies for a speedin’ ticket. You’d rather be home watchin’ ice hockey dekes on TV, with a two-four and some friends, while developin’ your Molson muscles.
As you do real work, drivin’ a truck that makes the Canadian economy function, some totally worthless keener, who wears a knapsack and runners to work, and belongs on the Gong Show, writes a paper claiming climate change causes warts, and gets paid for it. A report that should be thrown down the garburator or in a garbage can. Eh?
It takes two double doubles to fill one of my thermoses. Coming back across the 401 headed for the Ambassador bridge I would always stop at a little truck stop at Comber. That is where I had the clearance documents faxed to because they charged a dollar a page less than the a little further east and because they had a Tim Hortons there.
When I got to the bridge and the US Customs officer asked me if had bought anything in Canada that I was bringing back with me. My truthful answer would be “Just a thermos of Tim Hortons coffee and a couple of maple donuts.”
Since I refused the clot shots I have not been up to Canada since COVID. However now that Canada has dropped their requirement for having taken that poison, I am now eligible to called on to do runs up there again.
If the US economy goes to crap, which I suspect it will in the next few months, there is a likelihood I will be going up again. But for now the company has so many Toyota routes to cover we salary drivers are being kept busy taking care of those that don’t get covered.
They pay us an extra $50.00 border crossing pay for going, but if I have my way, I won’t be going up there again. It is a pain in the ass!
“I think I’ll defer giving up coffee to save the planet until after I’m dead.” -Quote of the century.
What’s next, equilibrium coffee-climate sensitivity calculations?
It must be time for that first cup of coffee this morning…
“With a daily average consumption of 2.7 cups of coffee per person,”
I consume average 9 per day …
because my aim is complete destruction of the planet,
come on guys, up your game, I can’t do it alone !!!
Usually 8 to 10 according to my Mr. Coffee pot measurement on it’s side. Usually another on the way to the golf course (making more carbon en route) in season.
Just to be clear is that liquid cups or one of the variety of Starbucks offerings ranging from 12 to 32 ounces? In any case, bravo. Juan Valdez thanks you for your business.
I used to drink that or a little more, but I’m down to 4 cups at home now and in the morning only. I find I sleep better, have lower anxiety and fewer side effects but still enjoy the positives.
I like to sample typical local brews when travelling and other than not being a fan of Turkish coffee, it’s a great beverage globally. Love Brazilian and Italian styles, but most in general.
I compost my grounds when home.
I wonder what these hypocrites will go after next. Beer, wine, marijuana, food?
Never will the go against their marijuana food, pot brownie anyone?
“With a daily average consumption of 2.7 cups of coffee per person,”
Another confusing term. Babies, schoolchildren, even teenagers don’t generally drink coffee (except maybe in Brazil). So without considering demographics (eminently doable) this datum is rather useless – apples and oranges – if you try to compare Canadian consumption with that of countries in which half the population is younger than 18.
Let’s apply Empathy to this situation to determine that doing what they do, alienating other folks, gives meaning to otherwise sad and empty lives.
We all need that, we *need* a reason to do whatever we do. To ‘go on’. To ‘live’
Otherwise, vacuums are truly horrible, cold, lonely empty places
Thus, exactly the same with ‘Climate Change’, we get closer to understanding what is actually unfolding around us all.
Then maybe, via realising why their lives are empty, we get closer to a solution
(reducing emissions is Not It)
I have bog standard Italian caffetieri (gas fired!) and Lavazza
They can all jog on
Lavazza…mmmmm. I stock up when it’s on sale, speaking of which coffee is one of the worst items on the grocery store inflation scale the last year and a half.
I hate to say it, but the best deal is on Amazon.
yes due to 2 frosts in two growing seasons in the largest production areas, I pay attention to reports on coffee and have been stocking up for the last 18mths anything in 1kilo vacpacs under 20$ comes home to visit;-)
Did anybody watch The Good Place (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4955642/)? It’s a surprisingly good comedy about four recently deceased people who apparently made their way into heaven.
Spoiler alert — Nobody had made it to heaven for centuries because the rules were too complicated to follow. This article is an example — you can’t enjoy coffee anymore. You will go do climate hell if you do. You cannot enjoy life without killing the planet.
I’ve seen some of it. I got sick of Jamil’s plummy accent.
Conventional religions say you will go to hell for bad behavior
The climate loonies say Earth will become hell, if you don’t do everything they say. Big difference — No traveling or living out of a suitcase on the way to hell.
Probably will be a Nut Zero hell.
You will already be living there, in Nut Zero hell
— no fires, just blackouts.
Now, thanks to the authors of this useless study, after I finish my global-warming-causing first cup of coffee this morning, I’ll make sure to go for a sight-seeing drive in my global-warming-causing, gasoline-powered automobile. I may even bring along a second cup in the car so I can contribute in two ways. Yippeeeee!
I gotcha beat Bob. I can pour a whole big cup from thermos to cup while driving down the highway in the big truck and do so quite often.
My only complaint about my new/old Dodge Ram pickup truck is that the pull out cup holders will not hold my big travel cup. They are high up, above the radio and made for girly man coffee cups.
My mom and dad had a 30 cup coffee urn that was brewed daily. My dad kept 2 stainless steel Stanley thermos’ full for his work day…he was a Troubleman for PG&E prior to retiring.
I honestly doubt I could be a truck driver without coffee. Besides the occasional cola or Mountain Dew, Coffee is the only stimulant I use.
I’ve been studying natural product chemistry for the last couple of years and I’m just now learning about functional/medicinal mushrooms.
There is a mushroom called cordyceps militaris that contains compounds that increase blood flow to the brain and reduce fatigue. The chemical structures have similarities to caffeine. I’ll know in about a year how this compares to coffee.
Does the patient also see rainbow colors and geometric distortion?
The FBI will get you for crimes against the climate, Tisdale.
One of their three new crimes
Also the crime of “Being Donald Trump”
And the crime of “Wearing a MAGA cap”.
No one *needs* to fly.
No one *needs* an SUV.
No one *needs* that double cheeseburger.
No one *needs* that cup of coffee.
Let’s hope that last one finally pushes folks to realize that no one *needs* the academics to tell us what we need or don’t need.
Mmmmm. Double Cheeseburger.
Great now that Triple Whopper with bacon and cheese is looking a might friendly…
A triple Whopper?
One Whopper isn’t big enough for you?
What are you, 6′ 8″ and 395 lbs.?
Close in height but well under 300# though
LOL. Let’s see how long I can resist the power of my own suggestion.
Excellent point, David. One of the hallmarks of the Left is that people should only be allowed to have what they ‘need’, not what they ‘want’.
I propose deporting all US leftists to Cuba, where they will finally be happy (they hate the US).
Put them all in Hawaii. As far LEFT as the U.S. goes AND a paradise with no FF supplies
And the lefties get to decide what that need is.
The other hallmark is that the leftists get to decide what you need, and what they need.
And what they need always ends up being more.
…from each according to his ability, to each according to their needs…Trouble is who gets to determine both? Plato’s guardians?
No one needs a leftist, or any other Climate Howler !
Sheer coincidence, but I was drinking coffee when I saw this WUWT headline. Gosh – I feel guilty. Maybe a second cup of coffee would help with that – plus a few squares of dark chocolate.
With you. Cheers
I am curious. Does Starbucks get a pass? Like Drugstores they seem to be on every other block but their leftist orientation likely buys them indulgences.
I refuse to buy Starbucks, have for several years now.
Good job, it’s crap.
Kellog’s, Coke products, and Burger King are all on my boycott list.
Yes, it’s burnt.
I know it as Charbucks, the nearest one is a 70 mile roundtrip…
I used to think the burnt flavor was because the water was too hot. Then I tried some Starbucks beans and found it was the same.
And here I thought that burning the water was just a bad joke.
Well, here’s a conundrum.
“Here’s how your cup of coffee contributes to climate change”
And from the WEF
“Plant-based diets will be essential to the planet’s future, report says”
And these guys say: “At the root of the problem is cheap food. “ Ouch.
So, to recap. “Plant-based diets will be essential to the planet’s future, report says, but they don’t include tea, coffee and many other products that we like that are plant-based. “
Beef is plant based, plants are what cattle consume.
It’s time to big-up bio-magnification…
All life is plant based.
And plants are CO2 based.
CO2 is the staff of life on this planet
Except for Mother-in Laws.
They run on something else.
They run by sucking the life out of daughter-in-laws.
Meat is how we humans eat grass.
We do dry it, roll it and spark it up though
for the last 20 yrs I ditched the dripfilters and machines that cost too much always breakdown scorch the coffee etc for a far easier and excellent coffeeby simply using a thermos flask adding the required grounds and boiling water
the grounds sink- the coffee never gets bitter- lasts 12+hrs and makes 4 cups from one kettle of water
whats not to like?
I personally think instant is FAR more energy intensive from the making freezedrying then the packaging and making in usually just one or two cups from a kettles heating. grounds are excellent for gardens etc as well
I’ve been roasting our coffee for the past 15 years, it only takes about 15 minutes to do 180 gms which will wake us up for about 3 days (yeah, it’s strong(:). Run thru about 50 pounds a year, averages about $8/pound US, then brew it in a French Press – one moving part! I pour it off into a preheated thermos to stop brewing on the spent grounds.
The stupid article glosses over the economic benefits to those places which produce coffee. They are generally so poor (like Ethiopia or Yemen) that fertilizer is out of the question. But it still provides a decent income for the locals.
BTW, Fair Trade coffee should be avoided because the coops learned to sell their lowest grade beans at the highest Fair Trade price, skimmed off the extra profit and screwed the grower as well as the customer.
Dr David Reay of Edinburgh University way back in January 2010 was the pioneer of such cutting edge research I believe-
Any advances on Dr Reay in the annals of science?
You’ll drink nothing, and be happy about it.
How dare you!!!
(A) I don’t know why plastic waste keeps getting shared billing with climate change. And (B), unless I am throwing the doors and windows open to cool my house, all the heat from all my appliances is saving money on my heating-oil bill.
“I don’t know why plastic waste keeps getting shared billing with climate change. “
Human impact silly!
What about avocado and almond farming? All that water required….farming has to go…causes our global warming.
Almond milk in particular.
There is no such thing as almond “milk”. It’s almond juice.
h/t Lewis Black
Never seen an Almond Bust a Nut???
Nut farming uses a lot of water in California, home of many leftist nuts.
Don’t forget the fruits.
I have decided to give up coffee to save the planet. … Of course I don’t drink coffee, and dont like coffee, but no one has to know that. I will virtue signal to everyone I know anyway.
We are also planning to paint our front door green.
We are having an emblem made for the back of our ICE automobile that says “ELECTRIC” in really big letters, and “RADIO” is really small letters. Then we can virtue signal with our car, without the high cost and great inconvenience of “refueling” an electric car … which if charged in our neighborhood (DTE Energy) would be a 58% coal car anyway.
I tried coffee once, didn’t like it, and never tried it again.
My drug of choice is brewed in Milwaukee and not on my kitchen counter.
You truckers will have to drink my share for me.
Hey now, I think that the new Keurig “one cup at a time” coffee making systems are wasteful too.
All those little plastic cups, silly coffee blends and flavors, the machine keeping some amount of water near boiling day in and day out.
Keurig machines just make instant coffee….albeit, I hear, good instant coffee.
Whole nations in the past conquered parts of Asian to grow or trade teas.
Those tree-hugging university researchers have missed a real trick and fallen way short on the coffee alarmism scale!
As only us WUWT realists know, they could have included Decaffeinated Coffee!
One industrial process commonly used to remove caffeine is to steam the coffee beans, allow them to soften, and then let let them fall through 100 feet holding vats of pressurised CO2 @ 150psi. The ‘food grade’ CO2 used in this manufacturing process is (yes, you’ve guessed it) deliberately captured by us humans when we make ammonia. We actually make the gas to remove the caffeine. The beans are then freeze dried and made into instant granules or powder.
(Thank goodness the same researchers didn’t extend their paper to include All Man-Made Carbonated Drinks.
Oh and ‘Modified Air Packaging’ (MAP) where CO2 is injected into most food packaging to extend food life & prevent it oxidising – incl. pre-packed meat & bags of crisps (chips) . . . .
Er, The World’s entire Bread Production . . . .
Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Powder) used in snack-food industry . . . .
Biscuit, Cookie & Cracker Manufacture . . . .
All Cakes & Sponges . . . .
Yeast Extract Manufacture (Marmite) . . . .
Fermented Soya Bean for soy sauce, tofu, etc.
Air Bags in Cars, Inflatable Life Jackets . . . .
and Emergency Exit ‘Slides’ on Aircraft.)
They could have a field day.
My coffee machine also generates the number one greenhouse gas… water vapour.
I do not feel guilty.
Compare and contrast, the environmental impact of coffee vs the environmental impact of tea.
“Some ideas are so ridiculous, only an intellectual could believe them.” –George Orwell, I believe.
I think a more interesting study could focus on the climate impacts of NOT drinking coffee. I’m sure they would be horrendous.
While I don’t suggest that it should be other than an individual choice, the use of those disposable ‘capsules’ for coffee, tea, or anything else, just says to me ‘a person with more money than they know what to do with and no legitimate reason to complain about how expensive things are becoming’.
How is it going to work when a latte goes AGAINST your social credit score.
The inner-city leftists will be up in arms.
I won’t be thinking about this over my morning coffee. Waste of good coffee time.
Although I suspect that the volume of my coffee consumption, at 25 grams per day, puts me in the top 2 to 5% of the world’s coffee drinkers (somewhere behind the average Brazilian, from what I’ve read), I welcome any serious discussion of both the health and environmental effects of coffee.
But this “report” rankles by its use of vague terms such as “cups of coffee”. Shame on the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) for using such unscientific terminology. It also smacks of condescension, given that Hydro-Quebec not only produces its electricity via non carbon-intensive means (unless you count all the oil consumed in building and maintaining the dams and power lines), but even exports it to the US.
Furthermore, its shotgun blame game approach to bullying coffee drinkers is not only unfair, but counterproductive.
A productive approach would be to enumerate separately the environmental impacts of the various ways of distributing, packaging, and preparing coffee, as well as quantifying the amount, by weight, of coffee required to make a “cup” (taking account of the varying meanings of this word).
For instance, I have come to prefer making my morning coffee by freshly fine grinding my 25 grams of organic coffee beans (note the environmental and worker health advantages) and brewing them in a stainless steel Bialetti stovetop pot containing 300ml of distilled (non-negotiable for me) water. I use a simple electric blade grinder at its maximum setting to get the finest grind possible, and so produce the maximum coffee content in the brew.
Having invested a lot of time and considerable money in the search for a better grinder, I’ve come to the conclusion that the claims made for burr grinders are fraudulent.There’s no basis that I can find for the claim that blade grinders produce enough heat to scorch or burn the coffee, and my experience and that of many other reviewers is that burr grinders are not as reliable for producing fine grinds as blade grinders, but are certainly much more fragile. And last, but not least, burr grinders are devilishly harder to clean.
I do have four burr grinders I keep for power outages or camping. But am seriously searching for a decent rechargeable portable blade grinder .
Then I’ll be all set for the next Quebec ice storm, as my Bialetti brewer should work fine on a camping stove.
For the health benefits of drinking coffee, I refer the reader to the considerable data linking increased coffee consumption to greater longevity.
Update: Today I tried increasing the amount of ground coffee loaded into my “6-cup” Bialetti Mokka pot from 25 to 28 grams, as I’ve found these pots perform best when the basket is filled loosely to the brim. And 28 grams fit the bill nicely. In the name of science, I then sacrificed some hydro-electrically produced heat by pouring the resulting brew into a measuring cup to determine that it amounted to 250 ml of the original 300.
So I think it’s safe to say that the Mokka pot method of brewing uses both water and heat sparingly (brewing took about 10 minutes on a medium-low setting of my glass-topped stove)
As for the ambiguity of the word “cup” when referring to coffee consumption, I would point out that, in this case, six Mokka “cups” equal a single standard cup, a quarter of a litre.
So how can one make meaningful comparisons between the actual coffee content produced by coffees ground and brewed by different methods? There are some anecdotal data available on the caffein content produced by various combinations of grinding and brewing methods. But there is more to coffee than caffein, or people would simply take caffein pills.
One thing seems certain to me though, from years of prior filter coffee consumption – 250ml of Mokka brew contains much more coffee than the same volume of filtered coffee. One would think that with manufacturers offering coffee grinders and coffee makers at prices surpassing a thousand dollars, some solid data clarifying this situation would be available…
Capt. Kathryn Janeway
It figures that a Quebec institution would use some triviality like this to push an alarmist agenda because of all the Canadian provinces, Quebec is the most gung-ho in adopting whatever’s fashionable in environmental matters. That is, fashionable but not necessarily realistic. Quebec is the province, incidentally, that most vehemently opposes new pipelines crossing its territory to bring in Alberta fossil fuels. It would rather import them from South American and African nations with some of the worst environmental records on the planet. As well, it doesn’t mind taking the risk of an oil spill in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It also proposes to ban the sale of ICE vehicles after 2035, though as that date approaches we’ll see whether consumer protests will cause the government to change its mind.
Chicoutimi it turns out is 100 mi north of Quebec City in the absolute center of nowhere. I assume this paper is a desperate plea for help.
A long time ago a Muslim sultan tried to ban coffee. I predict this will end the same way LOL.
We’re all grateful that we don’t know anyone whose life is as miserable as the crew that did this research. If I did, I’d suggest they take advantage of Justin’s “MAID” program.
Some a hole paid for them for that study. What on earth do they drink in the morning? Study that into the ground!
Beware. Your coffee is now on the list.
There is no limit to what progressive governments are willing to deprive their subjects of.
Reasonableness is not a prerequisite.
Speaking of coffee, I’m looking forward to my next cup.