Consumers buy more automatic-drip coffeemakers than any other small kitchen appliance, so it's no wonder they use about $400 million worth of electricity just brewing coffee every year. To make an energy-efficient but still high-voltage cup of java, start with the pot:
French press. Bodum Chambord's elegant but inexpensive model (pictured left) makes delicious coffee; the Columbia design contains the coffee in a thermal carafe to keep the beverage warm without the need for an electric hot plate.
Chemex manual drip coffeepots. This hourglass-shaped flask can use recycled paper filters. Make as little as one cup of coffee, or as many as ten.
Chef's Choice electric French press plus. This environmentally-friendly technology combines the French press and an energy-saving electric kettle in one pot.
One-cup coffeemakers. These efficient pots can brew coffee in less than a minute, eliminating the need to prepare a whole pot. Check the housewares section of Target, Wal-Mart, or your local department store.
When buying a new coffeemaker:
Consider how much coffee you consume at any given time. If you drink only one cup of coffee in the morning, and maybe one again in the evening, don't buy a machine that automatically brews eight or ten or twelve cups. You'll be wasting energy, water, coffee-and ultimately, money.
Get a carafe. Do you sip coffee sporadically through the morning or afternoon? Rather than keep a pot warm on an electric hot plate, buy a good insulated carafe to keep your "joe" hot through the end of the day.
Looking for an electric-drip appliance? Choose one that shuts off automatically.
And if you like to grind your own beans, try:
Danesco manual coffee grinder. A stainless steel grinder with a clip canister, it lets you grind coffee beans fine or coarse using no kilowatts but your own.
Wondering what kind of coffee to buy? We've already figured it out!
For more ways to green your caffeine, visit the Big Green Purse blog and website.
And for green product reviews, health and safety information, money-saving suggestions and environmental success stories, get your own copy of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, today!