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The Environmental Case Against Cheap Coffee

Bad news for coffee drinkers: It turns out that those cheap coffee pots found in offices around the country are one of the biggest energy hogs in the modern workplace.

Bad news for coffee drinkers: It turns out that those cheap coffee pots found in offices around the country are one of the biggest energy hogs in the modern workplace.

Forbes reports:

In a recent analysis prepared for the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program, Ecos Consulting found that the typical coffee makers in a California office building consumes nearly twice as much energy as a normally used desktop computer annually.

Photo: Ecos

The report found that coffee makers consume about 800 kWh per year.

Ecos explained that these coffee makers do not always adjust power to “keep warm” levels but simply cycle a high‐power heating element on and off to keep the coffee at the appropriate temperature throughout the day.

Forbes doesn’t detail the solutions for this problem, though the article hints that offices may be using large commercial-variety coffee makers rather than the single-pot varieties typically fond in homes.

One solution, of course, would be to brew fresh pots only when needed, and switch off the coffee maker after each round of brewing. Not only would that strategy save energy, but a fresher pot of coffee is a more delicious wake-up call than one that’s been sitting around 3 hours.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Coffee Pods, an Instant Classic 

360 Year Old Advertisement Extolls Coffee’s Virtues 

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