Are You a Sustainable Coffee Snob? Check Out These 8 Eco-Friendly Coffee Makers

Unfortunately, approximately 99.75 percent of paper coffee cups with plastic linings can’t even be recycled, as per BBC.

Bianca Piazza - Author

Mar. 19 2024, Published 12:41 p.m. ET

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Moments after the alarm blares (and nine minutes later when it awakens us yet again), our tired bodies crave coffee. Before we even wipe the crust from our eyes, we're either thinking about pouring a mug of home jitter juice from your run-of-the-mill kitchen coffeemaker, or running to our favorite coffee shop. Both options are often not so eco-friendly.

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Regarding paper coffee filters, the single-use factor might as well cancel out that you're still using that Dunder Mifflin mug you got in 2010. According to Perfect Daily Grind, many coffee filters are bleached with chlorine or oxygen. Both varieties involve chemical processing and, therefore, waste products. As the sustainable coffee filter brand Coffee Sock mentioned, paper filters decompose quite slowly, contributing to methane emissions in landfills.

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It's no secret that single-use plastic coffee cups are cluttering landfills and destroying our planet. According to the International Coffee Organization, about 600 billion disposable paper and plastic coffee cups are used around the world annually, with 50 billion paper coffee cups with lids being tossed in the U.S.

Here are the best eco-friendly coffee-makers for a zero- to low-waste cup of high octane a.m. brew.

Polypropylene and polystyrene pollute our planet and our health via the release of microplastics, so coffee waste is a major problem. We could discuss the ethics and environmental destruction of the coffee bean industry itself, but we'd be here all day.

So, for now, we'd like to provide you java enthusiasts with a list of eco-friendly options for at-home brewing.

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Bialetti Moka Espress

In 1933, Luigi De Ponti designed and developed the now-iconic stovetop coffee maker for Alfonso Bialetti, an aluminum machinist and designer. Today, Bialetti's Art Deco-style moka pot is a staple in Italian households, as it revolutionized the coffee-making process, using pressure instead of gravity. Made of "100 percent recyclable" aluminum (there's also a stainless steel version), moka pots don't require filters. So, if you compost your coffee grounds, you've got delicious zero-waste coffee. Bravo!

Shop Now — $40

Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter

Not only are pour-over coffee makers adorable, but they also allow for control in terms of temperature and ground saturation. Made of dishwasher-safe, non-porous borosilicate glass, Bodum's pour-over coffee maker comes with a permanent stainless steel mesh filter that brings out the natural aromatic oils of the grounds. These flavors are typically trapped in wasteful paper filters.

Shop Now — $19.99
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AeroPress Original Coffee & Espresso Maker

At the top of Ethical Consumer's list of sustainable coffee makers is the AeroPress Original Coffee & Espresso Maker, which combines immersion, aeration, and pressure for a simple yet sophisticated cuppa. The uber-portable BPA-free device allows for customizable coffee-making and features a filtration system. While you can use AeroPress's flat, compostable paper filters, we recommend taking the extra step and opting for the brand's stainless steel reusable filter!

Shop Now — $39.95

illy Easy Coffee Machine

Illy, a Certified B Corporation, offers a more sustainable pod coffee maker, the Easy Coffee Machine. Illy's E.S.E. espresso pods are plastic-free and compostable, making them an eco-friendly version of the wasteful K-Cup.

Amazon reviewer Christian Lee gave the machine a fabulous review: "The engineering of this machine adds brewing pressure to the coffee to produce amazing shots and double shots of espresso (with a beautiful crema layer)." The user also noted that water distribution and temperature are customizable.

Shop Now — $249
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Cofil Fuji Ceramic Coffee Filter Dripper

Japanese company Cofil's Fuji Ceramic Coffee Filter Dripper is probably the most unique product on our list. It's a filter and a dripper in one—no paper filters needed! The micro holes in the porous ceramic vessel (which has been a Japanese tradition for over 400 years) allow the beans' oils to pass through while still removing impurities in water, as noted by the brand. Additionally, the brand claims the "far-infrared effect of ceramics" creates a delicious yet mild brew.

Shop Now —  $40.18

GROSCHE Melbourne Premium French Press Coffee & Tea Maker

Perfect for coffee or tea, the GROSCHE Melbourne Premium French Press is made of heatproof borosilicate glass, bamboo, cork, and stainless steel. Like a few others on our list, this French press requires no electricity or filter, and the brand relayed that it's BPA- and lead-free.

GROSCHE, a Certified B Corporation, provides safe drinking water for those in need via its Safe Water Project, installing biosand water filters in developing areas.

Shop Now — $39.99
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Smeg Retro Style Coffee Maker

Feeling fancy? Smeg's 50s-inspired coffee maker is not only beautiful and ready to make its debut on your Instagram page, but it's also low on plastic. The machine is mostly metal, including a glass carafe and a reusable mesh filter. With an "aroma intensity selector," digital LED display, and auto-start function, the Retro Style Coffee Maker is a vintage-style drip machine from the future.

As noted by Sustainable Jungle, Smeg prioritizes renewable energy and "recovers or recycles" 95 percent of waste produced.

Shop Now — $229.95

County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker

This mega Mason jar contraption from Wisconsin-based family-owned business County Line Kitchen keeps things simple. As mentioned by Wired, the County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker features a 2-quart jar and a stainless steel filter basket (use coarse ground). It's perfect for anyone looking to make a lot of coffee at once—like, a lot of coffee. You'll save some money, save some plastic, and save some trees while happily shaking with a cold brew high.

Shop Now — $29.99
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