Europe loves its coffee. The continent drinks more espressos, doppios, guillermos, and ristrettos than anywhere else in the world, and European nations monopolize the top 10 countries for coffee consumption. (The US, meanwhile, ranks 16th). In the top-ranking Netherlands, residents drink an average of 2.5 cups a day.
But despite its popularity, the way coffee is brewed in Europe hasn’t much changed since the first hulking espresso machine was patented in Italy in 1884. That means a lot of wasted heat, plus trace amounts of heavy metals leaching from lead piping.
The European Union is investing in fixing this: According to Politico, the European Commission announced that it will spend $1.8 million (€1.6 million) to develop a modern, efficient espresso maker with 46-year-old Spanish company Iverital. In its EU grant application, Iverital said it sees the lack of eco-minded espresso options as an opportunity, citing ”environmentally and socially responsible coffee” as one of the fastest growing segments in the market.
Details are sparse, but the company is planning to completely redesign its machines with lead-free materials, energy efficient insulation, and internet connectivity. The EU claims the new appliances could reduce energy consumption in the professional coffee sector by 3% within five years.
The image above was taken by brian and shared under a Creative Commons license on Flickr.