014: Top Tip Thursday, Coffee with Mariska Nell


In this episode, I will be sharing with you some interesting facts about coffee. Like how much coffee we consume. Who is the world’s biggest coffee drinkers? We also look at the way coffee is farmed and how climate change can influence the yields and how this has an influence on coffee farmers and the sustainability and survival of your cuppa joe.  

How much coffee do you think we consume on a daily basis globally? The British Coffee Association (BCA) have found that the coffee consumption in the UK has risen drastically since 2008 where 70 million cups of coffee were consumed to a whopping 95 million cups in 2018. The US is currently the leading consumer of coffee in the world with Americans drinking 400 million cups of coffee daily. Globally we consume 2 Billion cups every single day.

Can you guess, the country with the highest consumption of coffee, per capita… It is Finland. I have listed the top 20 in the show notes. The US is at currently number 26.

The world’s 20 biggest coffee drinkers per capita according to the Telegraph.

  1. Finland – 12kg per capita per year
  2. Norway – 9.9
  3. Iceland – 9
  4. Denmark – 8.7
  5. Netherlands – 8.4
  6. Sweden – 8.2
  7. Switzerland – 7.9
  8. Belgium – 6.8
  9. Luxembourg – 6.5
  10. Canada – 6.2
  11. Bosnia and Herzegovina – 6.1
  12. Austria – 5.9
  13. Italy – 5.8
  14. Slovenia – 5.8
  15. Brazil – 5.5
  16. Germany – 5.5
  17. Greece – 5.4
  18. France – 5.1
  19. Croatia – 4.9
  20. Cyprus – 4.8

Episode Highlights

[02:02] Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world.

[02:25] Economically Sustainable. To keep up with the current coffee demand, there are around 17 million farmers globally that earn their lively hood growing coffee.

[02:54] Environmentally sustainable. Coffee flourishes in a specific soil and climate. If the weather is too hot or cold, to wet or to dry the plants are more prone to disease and yields can plummet.

[03:35] Socially sustainable. In rural communities, coffee farming is often an essential income, but the benefits of working in this industry are not very attractive to the younger people.

[04:52] Take-out coffee is probably the most convenient method of getting coffee for a lot of us, but it inevitably comes with a price tag for our wallets as well as for Mama Earth.

[05:48] A lot of these used capsules end up in a landfill. There is a variety of different capsules made from plastic to aluminium. Some can be recycled at your local facility others not.

[06:41] This method of brewing is one of the most environmentally friendly ways as you do not require a single-use filter, the only energy to brew the coffee you need, other than the boiled water is that of your hand pressing down.

[07:42] The main difference between an espresso coffee machine and a bean to cup is that the latter has an integrated coffee grinder that would allow you to place ground coffee directly into the machine and the machine will grind it as required.

[08:26] Do not throw this away. There are so many different ways that you would be able to use this, like as a pest repellent around your plants to protect them from ants, like snails and slugs.

[08:40] You can fertilise your garden, acid-loving plants like roses, love coffee.

[08:49] The coffee is not just great for the garden but your skin as well.

[09:17] Have a look at all the different options available on the market and what would work best for you and take into account how that will affect Mama Earth too.

[09:25] My final tip for today is to do what you can and feel comfortable to start with. Living a more sustainable life is a journey and not a race.

Key Take Away

“Coffee flourishes in a specific soil and climate. If the weather is too hot or cold, to wet or to dry the plants are more prone to disease and yields can plummet.” 

2 Billion cups of coffee are consumed every single day, however, this number might be affected by climate change as due to climate change weather might be to hor or too cold. There might not be as much rain than normal or there might be draught, all due to climate change and this will play a role in the amount of coffee farmed as well as the coffee’s quality. This might also lead to the coffee prices rising as the demand would still be hight but the supply of good quality coffee might be low.

About the author, Mariska

Hi and welcome! My name is Mariska. I am originally from South Africa, but now call the world my home. I am an artist, designer, environmentalist, podcast host and speaker.

I started the Mama Earth Talk podcast in 2018 to share some of the things that I learned about just how easy it can be to reduce your impact on the environment. This then quickly grew into a forum that showcases the amazing things that many people are doing to make the planet better, and further into a source of hope and inspiration for many. A few of the amazing guests include Zero Waste Queen, Bea Johnson, Claude Silver, Kathryn Kellogg and zero waste chef Max La Manna.

If you do not already I urge you to follow me and my journey on social media (@designbymariska), and to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot your own waste using the handy tips I post!

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