Claim: Here’s How Your Cup of Coffee Contributes to Climate Change

Scientists say that wasting coffee and water while making a cup of coffee has a larger carbon footprint than using coffee capsules. (Unsplash)

Luciano Rodrigues Viana, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC); Charles Marty, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC); Jean-François Boucher, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), and Pierre-Luc Dessureault, 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.

As researchers working on assessing the environmental impacts of products and services, we often discuss coffee’s carbon footprint.

We decided to study the carbon footprint of several techniques used to prepare coffee at home, and it turns out that coffee capsules aren’t the biggest carbon culprits.

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).

To adequately compare the carbon footprint of several coffee preparation methods, it is important to consider their entire life cycle: from the production of coffee, through the manufacture of packaging and machinery, to the preparation of coffee and the waste produced.

Comparing four coffee preparation methods

We decided to study this further and conducted an extensive literature review on the subject. We then measured the carbon footprint of coffee by comparing four methods of preparing 280 millilitres of coffee, namely:

1) Traditional filter coffee (25 grams of coffee)

2) Encapsulated filter coffee (14 grams of coffee)

3) Brewed coffee (French press) (17 grams of coffee)

4) Soluble coffee (12 grams of coffee), also known as instant coffee

Our analysis clearly showed that traditional filter coffee has the highest carbon footprint, mainly because a greater quantity of coffee powder is used to produce the amount of coffee. This process also consumes more electricity to heat the water and keep it warm.

A bar chart showing carbon footprint across the life cycle of coffee preparation of different coffee forms and brewing methods
The carbon footprint generated across the life cycle of coffee, preparation of different coffee forms and brewing methods. (Luciano Rodrigues Viana). Author provided.

When consumers use the recommended amounts of coffee and water, soluble coffee appears to be the most environmentally friendly option. This is due to the low amount of soluble coffee used per cup, the kettle’s lower electricity consumption compared to a coffee maker and the absence of organic waste to be treated.

On the other hand, when consumers use a 20 per cent surplus of coffee and heat twice the water needed (which is often the case), coffee capsules seem to be the best option. Why? Because the capsules allow you to optimize the amount of coffee and water per consumption.

Compared to traditional filter coffee, drinking a capsule filter coffee (280 ml) saves between 11 and 13 grams of coffee. Producing 11 grams of Arabica coffee in Brazil emits about 59 grams of CO2e (CO2 equivalent). This value is much higher than the 27 grams of CO2e emitted for manufacturing of coffee capsules and sending the generated waste to a landfill. These figures give an idea of the importance of avoiding overusing and wasting coffee.

Coffee production

Regardless of the type of coffee preparation, coffee production is the most GHG-emitting phase. It contributed to around 40 per cent to 80 per cent of the total emission. There are many reasons for this.

A coffee plantation
The process of coffee production is a major contributor of coffee’s carbon footprint because of the intensive irrigation, fertilization systems and pesticides adopted. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

The coffee plant is a small stunted tree or shrub that was traditionally grown in the shade of the forest canopy. The modernization of the sector led to the transformation of many coffee plantations into vast fields that were fully exposed to the sun. This added the need for intensive irrigation, fertilization systems and the use of pesticides.

This mechanization, irrigation and use of nitrous oxide-emitting fertilizers — the production of which requires large quantities of natural gas — greatly contribute to coffee’s carbon footprint.

Reducing coffee’s carbon footprint

At the consumer level, beyond reducing coffee consumption, avoiding wasting coffee and water is the most effective way to reduce the carbon footprint of traditional, brewed and soluble coffees.

Coffee capsules avoid the overuse of coffee and water. However, the convenience of capsule machines can lead consumers to double their coffee consumption, thus making this environmental advantage redundant. Consumers should also be aware of the capsule recycling options in the city where they live to avoid it getting sent to a landfill instead of a recycling facility. Better yet, they should switch to reusable capsules.

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.

The electricity used to wash a cup of coffee in Alberta, a high-carbon electricity production province, emits more carbon (29 grams CO2e) than producing a coffee capsule and sending it to landfill (27 grams CO2e). In Québec, thanks to hydroelectricity, washing your cup in a dishwasher has a negligible impact (0.7 grams of CO2e per cup).

By the way, don’t forget to fill your dishwasher!

Shared responsibilities

Limiting your contribution to climate change requires an adapted diet, and coffee is no exception. Choosing a mode of coffee preparation that emits less GHGs and moderating your consumption are part of the solution.

However, more than half of the carbon footprint of coffee comes from the steps taken by coffee producers and suppliers. They must take action to reduce the environmental and social impacts of coffee production.

Our research reveals that assessments based on a life cycle analysis, or the holistic vision, of products like coffee make it possible to challenge our intuitive reasoning, which is sometimes misleading. So instead of avoiding products based on speculation, we need to take a holistic look at our own consumption habits. Change begins at home.

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), and Pierre-Luc Dessureault, Assistant researcher, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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January 21, 2023 6:19 am

Now do cannabis.

Bill Abell
Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2023 6:29 am

My guess is that they were doing cannabis when they wrote this drivel.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Abell
January 21, 2023 1:15 pm

Here’s how drinking water contributes to climate change
Here’s how eating farmed food contributes to climate change
Here’s how having $ex contributes to climate change
Here’s how bathing contributes to climate change
Here’s how flying to Davos contributes to climate change
Here’s how attending COPs contribute to climate change
Here’s how hunting meat contributes to climate change
Here’s how supporting other countries contributes to climate change
Here’s how drinking beer contributes to climate change
Here’s how consuming fiber contributes to climate change

Here’s how breathing contributes to climate change
Here’s how dying contributes to climate change

Last edited 17 days ago by Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2023 8:32 am

No doubt, and good God, do they HAVE to light up the second they leave a restaurant? I don’t want to smell it, at least with drunks, I don’t have to taste what they’re drinking.

Reply to  max
January 21, 2023 9:06 am

I live in the democratic utopia of Colorado, where marijuana can be smelled not quite everywhere.

Our homeless population exploded about a decade ago, perhaps coincidentally with mail-in voting. Very disturbingly, several libraries within the Denver/Boulder corridor had to close recently because of methamphetamine contamination.

I wonder whether psychedelics, which are being legalized, will make things appear better. The natural environment here is still spectacular, though the influx of Californians is overpopulating the Front Range and ruining local and state government.

While our libraries are contaminated with drugs, they also expose children to pornography, and the leftists worry about the carbon footprint of coffee.

Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2023 9:57 am

Sure! Now?

David Dibbell
January 21, 2023 6:24 am

No. I will purchase and prepare my coffee, rinse my cup, and consume what I please without even the slightest thought of CO2e.
There. I said it.

Reply to  David Dibbell
January 21, 2023 7:02 am

Our very friendly ethics enforcement officers will be along for a very friendly word and offer some corrective advice regarding your attitudes.. We know where you live, obviously.

David Dibbell
Reply to  climatereason
January 21, 2023 7:04 am

To welcome the visitors, I will make a fresh pot. Extra strong. 🙂

Last edited 17 days ago by David Dibbell
Reply to  David Dibbell
January 21, 2023 8:09 am

Make sure you supply some biscuits, cookies, cake or other treat freshly made on your gas stove or oven. No need to be rude after all. 🙂

Bryan A
Reply to  SMC
January 21, 2023 1:18 pm

Use disposable cups, paper plates, plastic stirrers and plastic forks

Reply to  Bryan A
January 24, 2023 5:06 pm

Old somewhat funny story.

Back in the 80s when the US and USSR traded drill crews and scientists to test the yields of each others underground nuke tests, the US group had all their own food, etc. and of course has Styrofoam cups for coffee. When a Russian had a chance to get a cup, they always took several cups, since they could not get them in the USSR.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  David Dibbell
January 21, 2023 10:34 am

Me and my friends Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson will be happy to great them.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 21, 2023 11:04 am

Good friends, I definitely agree. But, I prefer to pal around with Mr. Colt or Mr. Browning.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  SMC
January 22, 2023 4:10 am

Ahh, verging on my point above on greeting the fed at the door.

My doorman is Herr Heckler Koch

Reply to  David Dibbell
January 24, 2023 4:50 pm

Make sure you get out your 40 year old perk coffee pot to make THEIR coffee.

Don’t bother to clean it first, the dust and bugs will just add fiber and protein.

And use very few grounds and perk it for an extra long time (on your gas cooktop) to get it just right.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  climatereason
January 22, 2023 4:08 am

There used to be common advice on how to greet the fed at the door. Now censor-bots prevent stating such.

Reply to  David Dibbell
January 21, 2023 10:09 am

And if you offer cream…oh the humanity

Paul Hurley
Reply to  Wharfplank
January 21, 2023 1:09 pm

Offering sugar will send them into a tizzy. Unless it’s carbon free sugar, of course.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Paul Hurley
January 22, 2023 8:27 am

That carbon-free sugar just won’t caramelize for some reason.

Rich Davis
Reply to  David Dibbell
January 22, 2023 8:24 am

I’m on cup #4, prepared using the optimum CO2-producing drip filter method.

Why don’t they grow their coffee in Québec I wonder? Should have warmed up to Colombian or Brazilian climate by now, non? Think of all the transportation-caused emissions that could be avoided by using only fine Québécois beans!

Last edited 16 days ago by Rich Davis
David Kamakaris
January 21, 2023 6:25 am

“Claim: Here’s How Your Cup of Coffee Contributes to Climate Change”
Tough shit!

Reply to  David Kamakaris
January 21, 2023 7:09 pm

They say my 7 cups of coffee contributes to “Climate Change” like it’s a bad thing.
I very much want to generate CO2. It’s plant food!

January 21, 2023 6:34 am

“Claim: Here’s How Your Cup of Coffee Contributes to Climate Change”

Each and every day – even doing nothing – I emit Carbon dioxide, and like most people that’s ~1 kg per day. We just help make it available to plants in a quid pro quo for Oxygen and food.

I take a cafetiere and load it up with lavazza. It goes onto the gas stove until done.

This is life, what the loons are about is the antithesis of life. But then, I’m sure we all know that.

Last edited 17 days ago by strativarius
Reply to  strativarius
January 21, 2023 7:04 am

Everything we do has a consequence. I wonder if those who would actually take this article seriously are the same people driving distinctly un-green and unethical Electric Vehicles?


January 21, 2023 6:36 am

The first thing I noticed in this article is the “research” was done by academics, who assumed(that word should be a clue as to their state of mind) their is such a condition as “climate change”. And, that man and the many processes of modern day life are responsible for the dreaded “crisis” touted by the left as destroying the planet. These are the same sort of folks, over educated and cocooned in their ivory towers of the education system, who can’t seem to notice the plethora of evidence which proves that the “crisis” does not exist. It is all a fairytale meant to scare the masses to rely more and more on government and the elites to solve imaginary problems.
The research of CO2 effects on the planet is out there on the internet. Simply put, those areas where there is more warming of the planet’s atmosphere life is abundant and comfortable. Its where coffee is grown, as well as other crops which are seeming to be doing rather well with any supposed increase in CO2 levels. If they exist at all.
For me, I prefer warm weather over frigid conditions. If the nuts on the left want to limit CO2, I suggest they live at either poles provided by mother nature and see what they discover. That includes the academics who continue to berate the rest of us for wanting to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like a fine cup of java whenever we want it. Without giving thought to the insanity of the leftists. Let them give it up first, along with anything provided by the evil “fossil fuel” in any of its many forms. Show how life can be lived, naked, freezing, walking everywhere, and eating bugs or whatever they can scrounge up from the frozen ground. They won’t do it cuz they know they have lied all along about “climate(insert the buzzword of the moment here)” and the evils of modern living. For decades its been a lie, and most of them know it.
Just sayin’.

Neil Lock
Reply to  guidvce4
January 21, 2023 8:17 am

Yes, those that wish political policies on others deserve to be subjected to the policies they support. Those that want “nett zero” should have to live nett zero. Those that want to force others to eat bugs should have to eat bugs, and nothing else. And those that fear global warming should be moved to Siberia or Alaska, where they can be safe from it.

Reply to  Neil Lock
January 24, 2023 5:21 pm

And lets give a time frame for how long THEY must live their policies before WE must.

Lets say, 10 years to start. They must be Vegan, wear no FF or animal derived clothing. Any mineral derived products must have been produced with only HUMAN power and solar reflective concentrator type heat production for refining.

Etc. etc. and by the end of 10 years, there will be no more of THEM, so we won’t need to worry about OUR conversion.

BTW, the FIRST shall be Bill Gates and all his family. George Soros, Zukerburg, Kerry, Gore, Mann, etc. etc.

And just to make it fun, put them north (or south) of the Arctic (or Antarctic) circle, IN THE WINTER.

Anyone want to bet on 10 DAYS? 10 hours?

And we might as well, in the northern hemisphere, put them near polar bear feeding grounds. Don’t want any of their carbon going to waste.

John Shewchuk
January 21, 2023 6:41 am

Very funny. Two days ago I gave a talk to the local gun club called “Gun Control and Climate Change” with a 2nd talk scheduled next week ( The gun club is so big (well over 2,500) they have to have 2 meetings each month so everyone has a chance to attend. In my talk, I use the same ridiculous article about Coffee and Climate Change and how EXPERTS excel in pushing junk science — and the audience loved it. Believe it or not, the UN actually claims that small arms contribute to global warming. Climate insanity abounds in the UN and the media.

Reply to  John Shewchuk
January 21, 2023 7:29 am

odd. up until this point, I thought their primary concern was how small arms reduced the human carbon footprint.

Reply to  heme212
January 21, 2023 8:52 am

I guess it all depends on the scam du jour.

Reply to  John Shewchuk
January 21, 2023 9:09 am

John Shewchuk! I don’t belong to your gun club, but I would like to hear your talk. Is there a recording (audio or video) available?

Last edited 17 days ago by Cam_S
John Shewchuk
Reply to  Cam_S
January 21, 2023 9:44 am

So far there are no recordings of my talks — up to 60 so far. You don’t need to be a member to attend the Gun Club (but only members can win prizes) … This talk will also be given at other clubs in the future, including the Villages Weather Club …

John Shewchuk
Reply to  Cam_S
January 21, 2023 11:32 am

Let me know if you’d like a copy of my PowerPoint slides. Just contact me via my Weather Club site … Note that the slides won’t have the dialogue that goes along with the slides.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  John Shewchuk
January 21, 2023 10:09 am

Well I’ve got fairly long arms so I’m ok then 🙂

January 21, 2023 7:10 am

“Here’s How Your Cup of Coffee Contributes to Climate Change”
I don’t care.

I see they don’t compare “your cup of coffee” to whatever the alternative is. People will eat/drink something each morning. Tea? Water? Juice? Milk?

Reply to  BobM
January 21, 2023 8:11 am

Beer, wine, bourbon…

Reply to  SMC
January 21, 2023 8:37 am

Jack Daniels. It’s after 3 o’clock somewhere…

Rich Davis
Reply to  BobM
January 22, 2023 8:35 am

Duh, you should be limiting yourself to the rainwater barrel.

And drink it at ambient temperature. That could be problematic in Québec, being as it’s still -3c at 11:30am in Québec City.

Peta of Newark
January 21, 2023 7:24 am

Some fine day, these people will find themselves under a similar spotlight and they will shrivel, burn and vanish like wood-lice do under a propane roofing torch.

January 21, 2023 7:26 am

Starbucks is about to buy the (wind) farm.

Reply to  heme212
January 21, 2023 11:45 am

I have to admit that I would find it amusing if Starbucks went out of business due to green coffee phobia.

Reply to  heme212
January 21, 2023 12:31 pm

Goodness, I hope not. I’m not sure I want to be around my gorgeous ex-fiancée (thank you Mr. Eschenbach) if Starbucks goes out of business. I might find myself on the front line of the next insurrection, just so I can get a little domestic peace.

John Aqua
January 21, 2023 7:31 am

On my second cup and 0.7 cups to go.

Thomas Finegan
January 21, 2023 7:33 am

There’s also that slightly more than a kilogram of CO2 we exhale each day. Perhaps shallow breathing will allow us a cup in the morning.

January 21, 2023 8:08 am

From a coffee lover’s perspective, 25 grams (about .9 oz) of coffee would make 280 ml (~1.1 cups) of very, very strong coffee. I use 25 grams for 4 cups, and it’s plenty strong. I got that “recipe” from a coffee plantation I visited in Hawaii. (Please don’t excoriate me for the GHG I used to get there!)

Reply to  GregInHouston
January 21, 2023 11:19 am

The 25 gram was used for filter brewed coffee. The paper filter absorbs a lot of the coffee phenolics (flavor which is greatly affected by the roast profile itself) so you need more to even approach the taste of a French Press. The Bodum scoop I use is about 8 grams of beans and the 1 L press uses 6 scoops, we let it brew @200F for 6 minutes before plunging, then immediately pour off into a preheated thermos.
I’ve been roasting coffee for about 15 years and can’t stand the expensive capsule junk.
The best electric brewer I’ve experienced is the Technivorm, which makes a decent cup if you use a gold screen instead of a paper filter.

Reply to  Yirgach
January 21, 2023 3:37 pm

I prefer the “Cowboy Coffee” method
One scoop of ground coffee,
in one cup of water
bring to boil
let grounds settle
and pour into your favorite mug…

Reply to  morton
January 21, 2023 6:58 pm

If it tastes good, it is good.

Tom Johnson
Reply to  morton
January 21, 2023 7:02 pm

My grandmother used a similar method, but in a much larger quantity. She had a very large steel coffee pot, the kind with a speckled ceramic coating. It seemed to be a at least a couple of gallons. She would fill it with water, bring it to a boil, and then throw in the coffee grounds. She would then break an egg into the pot, to ‘settle the grounds’, and then stir it a little bit. It made many cups.

Reply to  Yirgach
January 22, 2023 7:10 am

Thanks for that info, Yirgach. There are so many variables to a good cup…. beans’ provenance, roasting method, storage, grinding method & grind courseness, that comparisons are difficult. I tried a permanent gold filter, but because I like a fine grind, it gave me murky coffee.

January 21, 2023 8:30 am

Maybe they should investigate the process required to make instant coffee. Remember the freeze-dried coffee commercials?

Reply to  schmoozer
January 21, 2023 8:33 am

Here it is, how to make instant coffee. 50%!!

Mike McMillan
Reply to  schmoozer
January 21, 2023 8:56 am

Thanks. Interesting site. The second video on the page is the one for instant coffee.

Reply to  schmoozer
January 21, 2023 6:01 pm

Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the Nestlé instant coffee story/infomercial.

But on looking over the site, I found some serious credibility problems, aside from the omnipresent lobbying for Nestlé, amazon, expensive grinders, etc., such as this excerpt from an article about the pros and cons of grinding your own beans vs using preground coffee:

The Pros and Cons of Coffee Beans….
There are a few distinct advantages to buying coffee beans over ground coffee.

  • Coffee beans have a longer shelf life than ground coffee. This is because the natural oils in coffee beans help to preserve them for longer periods of time.

ConsWhile there are several advantages to coffee beans, there are also a few drawbacks.
Coffee beans can go stale more quickly than ground coffee. This is because the natural oils in coffee beans cause them to go rancid more quickly…..

It seems to me that a “passionate” coffee guru of ten years’ standing should at least take the time to proofread the advice he copies and pastes onto his website.

Reply to  otropogo
January 22, 2023 6:16 am

Green coffee beans last for at least 6 months. Roasted whole beans have a shelf life of about 1 week, for fresh ground beans the shelf life is measured in hours. I have to laugh at the price of coffee in the markets, green beans are 1/3 the price and it only takes 15 minutes to roast.

Reply to  Yirgach
January 22, 2023 9:39 am

The roasted beans I get seem to do pretty well for a bit over 2 weeks. No idea if they would go longer, they’re gone by then. I grind daily for use.

The main thing I’ve seen that helps keep them decent is to make sure you keep them tightly sealed.

Reply to  Tony_G
January 22, 2023 12:31 pm

Good for you on the daily grind!
Some of the better roasters package their beans in bags with a one-way valve and a resealable closure. The beans have to outgas after roasting which can take a day or two. I just use 1 pint glass canning jars and leave the lid a bit loose. Mine never last more than a week anyway.

Last edited 16 days ago by Yirgach
Reply to  Yirgach
January 22, 2023 8:09 pm

Please define what you mean by shelf life.

I buy roasted beans by the kilogram, and it takes me about a month to use up that amount. I keep the beans in the refrigerator after opening the bag, and haven’t noticed any deterioration in taste over than period. I also buy several 1Kg bags at a time, and haven’t noticed any difference between those brewed within the first month after purchase, and those used several months later.

I’ve never seen green coffee beans, and don’t know where to look for them. I’ve used three brands of coffee beans, Kicking Horse, Lavazza, and President’s Choice, all organic. And IIRC their best before dates ranged from 10 to 24 months into the future.

The Lavazza beans I have currently were bought last Spring, IIRC, and are labeled “best before 09/30/23”, the PC Organics beans were bought about a month ago, and their stated “BB” date is November 29, 2023.

So I’m puzzled by your statement, especially since I’ve had coffee prepared and served in the building where Kicking Horse Coffee was roasted and shipped out. I would have expected the barristas to have shared such important information with the clients.

But if it’s as easy and economical to obtain good green beans and get better coffee than is available from any pre-roasted beans by roasting them yourself, I’d like to know how to do it and perhaps give it a try.

Could you direct me to some public sites that provide all the necessary information?

January 21, 2023 8:30 am

Still no report on Davos and a hundred private jets, though. FunnyI bet one flight in one jet does more “harm” than a year’s worth of coffee for the average person.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  max
January 21, 2023 9:11 am

“than a year’s worth of coffee for the average person.”

The fuel used by one jet for one flight can be measured in tons, so I would think that the “harm” from one flight would be equal to the “harm” for a year’s worth of coffee for quite a large number of people.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  max
January 21, 2023 9:28 am

They are busy working on their epic study of how prostitution affects climate change.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 21, 2023 12:14 pm

The conclusion is that it helps to cool the atmosphere… or maybe that’s the result of the drugs inhaled at the same time.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 22, 2023 8:51 am

They can’t publish until they collect enough data, natuurlijk.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  max
January 21, 2023 12:13 pm

There is… Greta admitted to using all of them. See the Rebel News video on the Greta/BBC thread.

Dodgy Geezer
January 21, 2023 8:32 am

Tell us again how flying to an IPCC conference contributes to Global Warming…

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
January 21, 2023 9:52 am

Well, I’m sure they’re not serving coffee. XD

January 21, 2023 8:36 am

‘We’re desperately in need of work!’ writes scientists examining the carbon footprint of everything.

January 21, 2023 9:05 am

For global warming activists, it was the worse thing EVER when man invented fire.

David Albert
January 21, 2023 9:11 am

I just revisited a video by Murray Salby ( that shows that the warming we have seen could not have been caused by a constantly rising metric like CO2. He also uses first principles to demonstrate that human CO2 could only be less than 5% of atmospheric CO2.
This coffee article reminds me that vaporizing about carbon footprint is wasted air.

Pat Frank
January 21, 2023 9:37 am

What is the carbon footprint of academics who conduct useless research and produce meritless papers?

Anyone want to give that a go?

January 21, 2023 10:07 am

I’m a black or green tea guy since September 25th, 2013, the day I quit smoking.

John Oliver
January 21, 2023 10:28 am

At some point this house of insanity is going to crumble. In the mean time? Think of it as an investment opportunity in all the things needed to keep us living in “realville” going.

Gary Pearse
January 21, 2023 11:53 am

I can take even more joy in my coffee now that I realize I’m greening the planet, stimulating plankton growth – the base of the ocean food chain, contributing to bumper crops, expanding wildlife habitat (Bengal tiger has reversed decline and pop growth up 30%in a decade, exploding numbers of polar bears, penguins, ……). I’ve termed it “Expanding my Green Footprint”.

Hmmm… since the West has been responsible for about 60% the total Green Footprint, which has expanded earth greenery 40% over 40yrs, this works out to … an individual Westerner’s green footprint of 25,000 m² !!!! Yoiks, I believe I’m owed a giant sum for climate reparations!

January 21, 2023 12:09 pm

According to their “research” I have a number of problems. They say a kettle will use less power than a filter coffee maker. Perhaps on making that first cup, but my coffee maker makes as many as 5.5 big mugs full, and once it’s made it sits on a non heated plate because the pot is a thermos. Each time you need another cup of soluble coffee on goes the kettle again.

They speak of the organic waste of filters and coffee to be treated. I know many like ourselves who compost and use that to beautify our gardens.

They seems to assume you wash your cup after each cup of coffee, our two mugs go in the dishwasher after consuming the entire pot.

So… I use a bit more coffee my way than trying to enjoy that awful soluble type so what! Besides I live in a province which has 97% hydropower.

Joe Gordon
January 21, 2023 12:27 pm

At some point, we have to suspect that universities no longer produce scientists and administrators are simply running ChatGPT to generate this stuff.

January 21, 2023 12:37 pm

Another fine example of academics with nothing to do trying to appear relevant (to whom). Also demonstrates that “some things are so ludicrous that only am intellectual would believe them.”

Richard M
January 21, 2023 12:52 pm

This is why carbon is the boogeyman. You can tie almost anything to carbon emissions and claim damage to mother Earth..

Carbon emissions have almost zero impact on the climate. Too many skeptics still accept this nonsense in varying degrees. You see it all the time. Don’t accept any of this false premise. It’s based on pseudo-science. Go from there.

January 21, 2023 1:06 pm

The publication of this ridiculous drivel has probably caused more carbon emissions than all of the coffee I’ll drink this month.

I hope they’ll be taking it further by flying their team to COP257 or whatever conference in some exotic location to lecture the world on their horrendous coffee consumption.

Robert B
January 21, 2023 1:14 pm

What are the chances that Al Gore guzzles half a dozen double shots of kopi luwak before boarding his jet every morning?

Elliot W
January 21, 2023 1:21 pm

My coffee prep will affect my Social Credit Score???
Hmm, didn’t China and East Germany hire people to report on household social transgressions? Could this be one of those “new green jobs” govts keep talking about?

John the Econ
January 21, 2023 1:52 pm

Progressives like drinking coffee, so don’t expect to see any movement to have it outlawed. (This is why the gas stove ban backfired in near realtime) They mostly only seek to outlaw things that they think conservatives mostly consume.

January 21, 2023 2:33 pm

Since CO2 levels are at near-record lows, and since CO2 is essential for life, including the lives of coffee plants, I will continue to enjoy as much damned coffee as I want (before 4 pm), comforted by the knowledge that with every cup I’m doing my part to save the world.

January 21, 2023 2:33 pm

What a bunch of crackpots, they need to immediately be defunded.

Neil Jordan
January 21, 2023 2:36 pm

They left out three coffee preparation methods:
Cowboy coffee – boil the grounds until a horseshoe floats.
Logger coffee – boil the grounds until an iron splitting wedge floats.
Railroad coffee – boil the grounds until a steel tie plate floats.

January 21, 2023 3:08 pm


First and foremost, there IS NO CLIMATE EMERGENCY, and this no need to be concerned about carbon or greenhouse gases, the so-called “carbon footprint” of ordinary activities. They claim that our choice of food “… requires an adapted diet, and coffee is no exception.” Malarkey! EAT BUGS, professors! I’m not adapting my diet to suit your tyrannical urges.

These people are utter lunatics, and they do not even know how ordinary people make coffee. A Keurig coffee pod has 0.33 ounces of coffee to brew a single cup of coffee. A drip coffee maker uses only about 0.11 ounces per cup. With a can of Folgers Colombian coffee, each cup costs me 3 cents/cup, while a large box of Keurig K-cups is anywhere from 40 to 75 cents/cup. Money is the great integrater, incorporating the entire production and delivery cycle, so don’t try to claim that K-cups are more environmentally friendly when they cost from 15 to 25 times as much per cup. If they want to do anything, they should try and convince people on purely economic grounds that it is foolish to spend $5 for a cup of Java at Starbucks or Dutch Brothers, 150 times the cost of home-brewed Folgers, not counting the engine idle time waiting at the drive-thru and the mountains of single-use trash that results. But if that is what people want to buy and they have the money to do it, then do it. Buzz off you pseudo-academic fools!

And how much did they get paid for this inane research?

January 21, 2023 3:34 pm
January 21, 2023 5:08 pm

The pollution resulting from the preparation of coffee at home is just the tip of the iceberg.

No pollution from our coffee.

The ground beans end up in the compost. The cardboard from the bean boxes goes into the recycling bin and cardboard is one thing that gets recycled in Australia. The milk container goes into recycling and uncertain where it ends up. However the plastic is biodegradable. It disappears after exposure to sunlight after a couple of years.

January 21, 2023 5:43 pm

“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”

So how much has “global coffee consumption” increased in “almost 30 years”? And what was Canadian coffee consumption per capita before it reached 2.7 cups? The format of this introduction seems more like advertising or propaganda than a scientific report.

In fact, it contains no data whatsoever.”Cups” is a meaningless term when one is comparing the amount of coffee being consumed. Why? Because a “cup” (ie 8 fluid ounces or 0.25L) of brewed coffee can require the use of widely varying amounts of coffee, depending on the processing.

The authors seem oblivious to the vagueness of the data they have presented, and to the arbitrariness of the brewing options they have selected to compare.

The article’s link for  extensive literature review takes one to a single 2017 report comparing only three brewing methods:

drip filter
french press

And while wandering off into the field of the environmental impact of the cultivation of this crop, the authors neglect entirely the enivronmental benefits of a) organic coffee cultivation, and b) consumption of coffee beans vs preground or instant coffee (ie. support for small-scale and labour-intensive production).

And only these oversights allow them to declare instant coffee and coffee in pods to be the clear first and second place winners “environmentally”..

With respect to the cited superiority of instant coffee, there’s no way to know how much raw coffee was used to produce the finished powder, and though widely varying, estimates as to its caffein content seem to suggest that a cup of instant has much less of that substance than a cup of filter coffee. Assuming most coffee drinkers will continue to consume it primarily for its caffein content, switching to instant coffee will not necessarily reduce the amount of raw coffee consumed.

And filter coffee seems to provide only half the caffein content from the same amount of coffee grounds as Moka Pot coffee. So maybe organically grown, home-ground, Moka Pot coffee should be the environmentalist’s choice.

Conclusion: if this UQAC “study” was not financially supported by Nestlé, Nespresso, et al, the reason for its publication is a mystery…

Last edited 16 days ago by otropogo
Reply to  otropogo
January 22, 2023 9:28 am


Another problem with “cup” is that although the technical definition may be 8oz, very few people actually use that when referring to a cup of coffee.

As for instant coffee, the one I’ve tried that I could stand the flavor of, I had to use 4x the suggested amount to get any flavor from it. I doubt they considered that.

January 21, 2023 7:21 pm

Cue the climate changers refusing coffee on the plane jetting to COP umpteenth. Cold beer thanks as we all need to make sacrifices for Gaia.

Richard Greene
January 22, 2023 1:11 am

To save the Earth, I would be willing to never drink another cup of coffee for the rest of my life, for a small fee of $20 … I actually don’t drink coffee, and don’t even like the taste of anything with a coffee flavor, so I am willing to accept $20 which I will spend on iced tea.

If there is money to be made for saving the planet, I want a piece of the action.

I would also be willing to paint my front door green, if that would earn a fee.

And I will place an “ELECTRIC” emblem on the back of my ICE Toyota Camry as a virtue signal, if someone would pay for it.

My next door neighbor has solar panels on his roof. I’d be willing to put fake solar panes on my roof to virtue signal, but on the north side of the roof where people can see them from the street. His are on the south side of his roof to face the sun.

The same neighbor has Michigan license plate on his Prius that says “OilsGone”,, that seems silly. I might get a license plate that says:
“I Love CO2”

Last edited 16 days ago by Richard Greene
January 22, 2023 8:29 am

Obviousy the author has no idea how instant coffee is made. The process probably uses more energy than any other kind, but it is in a factory, not at home. Anyway the whole article is climate change porn of the worst kind.

January 23, 2023 6:02 pm

I suspect that Ziltoid, the omniscient, may be behind this!

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