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Filtered coffee has more contamination than coffee in capsules

Filtered coffee has more contamination than coffee in capsules

A study conducted at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC) revealed that filter coffee is more polluting than coffee in pods.

A team of researchers came to this conclusion by comparing the greenhouse gases released from all the steps that lead to consuming a cup of filter, brewed (French press), capsule, and soluble (instant) coffee.

“By far the bulk of the impacts in terms of greenhouse gases is attributed to what happens in the production of the coffee bean itself,” explains UQAC researcher and professor Jean-François Boucher.

So coffee pods and soluble coffee stand out because their preparation uses the perfect amount for making coffee, unlike filter coffee which requires more.

According to the researcher, these results are surprising, because when the public thinks about the environmental impact of capsules, they generally do so according to what they can perceive.

“We see only the tip of the iceberg,” he said. It is the visible part of our coffee consumption that is eloquent with the use of capsules that often have to be discarded or better recycled. The big advantage of a capsule, just like soluble coffee, is that you take the perfect amount of coffee into the capsule, so you don’t take more than you need.”

However, the calculations in this study are based on a single 280ml cup of coffee.

“There is a share that goes to the consumer, so if we consume more coffee associated with methods that are, in principle, optimal, we have just sacrificed the advantage,” the professor asserts.

The expert calls on the public to take these data into account when preparing their own caffeinated drinks in order to reduce their impact on the environment.

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He concludes, “If we prefer filtered coffee, let’s be careful about the amount of coffee we put in it, and perhaps switch to a type of coffee that requires less during consumption.”