One easy, eco-friendly swap you can make in the kitchen is going with a plastic-free coffee maker. Along with to-go cups, lids, coffee filters, pods, capsules, plastic coffee makers aren't great for the earth. Reducing your plastic use on the daily is a noble feat, no doubt (so many things are plastic, we get it!). One painless way to do that is by replacing your coffee maker with a plastic-free one (and ideally removing plastics from everything else you use to make coffee, like your mugs and filters).
"If you're taking your coffee to go in the morning, but it's not a [reusable] to-go cup, 90% of single-use coffee cups actually end up in landfills. That's a huge amount of waste that is created and isn't recycled," says Lea D’Auriol, founder of Oceanic Global. Another surprising place where people can generate a lot of waste is with coffee filters since according to D'Auriol, bleached filters can't be composted. Once you factor in coffee pods with plastic or even the aluminum ones (which often have plastic linings, according to D'Auriol) you can generate a lot of waste. But that's that the only factor to consider, since from a health perspective, researchers are still trying to find out how consuming plastic (as a by-product of using products with plastic) could be negatively affecting us.
"83 percent of all drinking water worldwide is actually contaminated with plastics," says D'Auriol, who mentions that it's estimated that we're eating a credit card's amount of plastic per week. "And especially when you're using hot liquids, plastic actually sheds a lot quicker and at a higher rate. So anytime that you're using something like coffee and it's coming through a plastic appliance, there will be some level of shedding that takes place and that's coming into your body and you're not able to get rid of it," she says.
Ready to ditch the plastic? Here are the best plastic-free coffee makers on the internet, and some are vetted by D'Auriol herself.
The best plastic-free coffee makers
Whenever I walk into a coffee shop and see a Chemex or two on the counter, I know I’m in good hands. IMO, Chemex is the gold standard of pour-over coffee, not to mention that the brewers are completely plastic-free. D’Auriol is also a fan of these since they are made of glass. The brand sells a 100 percent glass version, as well as the traditional style with cork accents. Both look sleek on a countertop and don’t take up a ton of space. Tip: Be sure to get the natural/unbleached filters since they can be composted, unlike the white, bleached ones.
If espresso is your thing, this stovetop espresso maker is easier on the planet (and your wallet) than single-use espresso pod machines. All you need to do is add water and ground coffee to the machine, and place it on your stovetop burner to make your espresso. Add some frothed milk and your daily latte stop can happen in your kitchen instead of down the street.
D’Auriol is a fan of this French press since it’s made with stainless steel and has no plastic parts. The Frieling is a bit of an investment, but what sets it apart (other than the zero-plastic) is the double-wall insulation so your coffee stays hot longer. There’s nothing worse than making a perfect cup of French press coffee, walking away for like one minute to switch the laundry, and then being left with a carafe of cold joe. No more with this coffee maker.
Don’t be fooled by the title on this coffee pot—even though it’s technically designed for camping in mind, you can totally use it in your kitchen on the stove. But if you are into camping, then it’s a win-win, since it’s also A-OK to use on a campfire. This coffee pot is built for camping and the outdoors, so it’s pretty sturdy. But in case something does happen to it, it comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee.
Make a tasty cup of coffee while taking up minimal space in your kitchen with this pour-over. The pour-over cup acts like a filter—all you need to do is place it over your mug, add your favorite ground coffee, and pour hot water over it. If you’d like a simple pour-over style coffee maker that’s perfect for one person and fits easily in your kitchen cabinet, this is it.
You can ditch all paper filters for good and do the environment another solid by using this coffee set. It comes with a glass coffee pot, reusable stainless filter, stainless coffee scoop, and a bamboo tray to store it all. The pot makes up to 4 or 7-oz cups of coffee at a time, BTW, so you can impress your roommate, significant other, or family with your pour-over making skills.
Did you know your French press can also make tea? It’s another reason to have a French press hanging around, since you can use it for more than just coffee. Just add your loose leaf tea, and brew like you would coffee, or steep it as long as you like. This one from Cafe De Chateu has over 24,000 reviews and a solid 4.5- star rating.
With over 24,000 and a solid 5-star rating (yes, really), you can’t go wrong with this stainless steel French press. If you’re really into making French press coffee and want to play around with different tastes, try adding extra screens to the filter (it comes with three). According to the product description, the more screens you add, the more refined the taste.
This stovetop coffeemaker has a permanent filter basket, which is again, a win for waste-free living. Also, never having to remember to buy coffee filters again sounds nice. This polished stainless steel model will also look extra cute perched on your stovetop.
Make espresso in four easy steps with this stovetop espresso maker. According to the brand, it makes traditional Italian-style espresso and Cuban-style coffee. It comes in four different colors, and a range of sizes—from single cup to a bigger 12-cup model.
Similar to a stovetop coffee percolator, this Presto 12-cup stainless coffee maker makes coffee in about a minute and keeps it hot, thanks to its electric power. Since this one requires a plug-in, you won’t be able to take it camping, but if you need to make a lot of coffee—and fast—this one does the job. It’s also one of the top coffee makers on Amazon, with a 4.5-star review and over 13,000 rave reviews.
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