Think your coffee addiction is an expensive habit? You have no idea. Because it’s not just your coffee habit that costs a pretty penny — it’s all of Europe’s as well. The Europeans reportedly consume more cups of joe (though for them, it’s espresso and ristrettos) than just about anyone else in the world, with the Dutch drinking an average of 2.5 cups a day. In fact, all the top 10 coffee-consuming nations are in Europe (with the Scandinavians really taking the cake), and this habit has been an extremely long-standing one. So, too, has been the technique behind said habit.
In fact, as Quartz reports, since the first espresso machine was patented in Italy back in 1884, little has changed in the coffee-making process. And as one might imagine, the processes of the 19th century weren’t the most energy efficient. Sadly, that means that our 21st century process isn’t that efficient either — sometimes, tradition isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
But now, the European Commission is looking to address this problem. The European Union’s executive body is reportedly chipping in $1.8 million toward the creation of a modernized version of the classic espresso machine. It’s teaming up with Spanish company Iverital, which boasts 46 years of experience in the coffee maker manufacturing space. As per its EU grant application, Iverital noted that “environmentally and socially responsible coffee” could be a huge opportunity for growth, one that it’s taking the lead on.
While there’s not all that much information about what this new and improved espresso machine will be like, it seems as though lead-free materials, energy efficient insulation, and internet connectivity will all be key to the revamped version. Ultimately, the commission says, these 21st century machines could cut down on the coffee sector’s energy consumption by 3 percent over the next five years. So while coffee may not cost your wallet any less, maybe it’ll start taking a smaller toll on the planet.