Espresso can be a great addition to your morning routine, giving you just the boost of energy you need to start your workday. Personally, I can’t imagine getting out of bed on a Monday morning without an Americano! But how much electricity is your espresso habit actually consuming?
Espresso machines use a lot of electricity. According to Energy Star, an espresso machine uses about 1000 to 1500 watts. A shot of espresso usually takes about 45 seconds to brew, so one shot would require about 0.0156kWh of energy.
This doesn’t seem like much, but espresso and coffee makers are electricity-guzzlers compared to other appliances. So if you’re wondering how espresso machines compare to other coffee brewing methods, why coffee makers use so much electricity, and how you can prepare espresso in an environmentally-friendly way, keep reading!
How much electricity does an espresso machine use compared to other appliances?
Compared to other coffee brewers
Using data sourced from Energy Star, let’s compare the electricity use of an average espresso machine to some other coffee-related appliances to see the difference:
|Drip Coffee Maker||750-1250||0.083 per pot|
|Single-Serve Coffee Maker||200-400||0.024 per cup|
|Espresso Machine||1000-1500||0.0156 per shot|
As you can see here, the espresso machine uses more electricity than other methods of coffee preparation. The most efficient is the drip coffee maker, with the single-serve paling in comparison. A single-serve coffee maker uses nearly triple the energy per cup of the drip coffee maker!
Though the above table demonstrates the kWh for simply brewing the coffee, it doesn’t take any idle or warming time into account. Of course, this can also affect electricity consumption—but we’ll talk more about that later! For now, let’s move on to other appliances.
Compared to other household appliances
|Espresso Machine||1000-1500||0.0156 per shot|
|Window AC Unit||1400||11.36 per day (8hrs use)|
|Dehumidifier||247||3 per day (12hrs use)|
The espresso machine uses about as much wattage as a window air conditioning unit. Luckily, you aren’t using your espresso machine at maximum power all the time—it only hits this threshold when actively brewing!
What about idle time?
Are you the type who leaves your espresso machine on? If you’re a heavy espresso drinker, you might want your machine to be available all the time. But how much energy does this actually use?
Marc from Whole Latte Love ran a little experiment using his espresso machine, the Profitec Pro 700. He found that the machine used 2.88kWh or 120 watts/hour while sitting idle.
That begs the question…
How much does it cost to run my espresso machine?
There are a lot of factors at play here, but we’ll give into it the best we can. Firstly, the cost of running your machine depends on several things:
- The wattage of your machine. Machines with a higher wattage will use more electricity.
- How often you’re using it. Of course, using your espresso machine more often will mean using more electricity. The machine is already at its peak consumption when heating water and actively brewing.
- Whether or not you leave it idle. If you have a major espresso habit and enjoy indulging in it throughout the day, you may leave your machine idling to save time, so you don’t need to wait for it to heat up.
- The cost of electricity in your area. This varies from place to place, so investigate what the cost of electricity is where you live. Various providers in one region may also offer different rates.
How can I determine the cost per kWh of my machine?
Let’s break this down! According to Direct Energy, electricity use is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A single kilowatt-hour is 1000 watts used over 1 hour.
So, how can you estimate your energy usage and its cost?
- Watts ÷ 1000 = Kilowatts (kW)
- Kilowatts (kW) x Hours Used = Kilowatt-Hours (kWh)
- Kilowatt-Hours (kWh) x kWh rate = Cost of Usage
Electricity rates vary depending on the region where you live. Still, you could be looking at an average of around 10 cents/kWh.
According to Eco Cost Savings, the average cost of running a coffee machine at maximum power in the United States is 20 cents per hour.
Why do espresso machines use so much electricity?
Method of brewing
Espresso is brewed by forcing hot, pressurized water through coffee grounds. This brewing method can account for the increase in the wattage of espresso machines, as the water has to be hotter and isn’t moving through the grounds through gravity alone.
Higher wattage machines can also theoretically heat up faster, accounting for increased wattage in espresso machines.
Coffee equipment, in general, uses so much electricity because heating water and holding it at that temperature requires a significant amount of energy.
According to the Department of Energy, 95% of the energy utilized by a coffee machine is used to heat water to the appropriate temperature. Therefore, any appliance that involves heating or cooling air or water will use more energy!
How can I brew espresso more efficiently?
Now that you know the cost of how much electricity your machine is using, you’re probably interested in figuring out how to run your espresso machine more efficiently.
Not only is this good for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet! So here are some quick tips to follow to get the most bang for your buck!
Turn off or unplug
Even if you’re a major espresso drinker, there are times when you don’t need your machine to be ready to go. In those cases, such as overnight or when you aren’t at home, turn off your machine!
As we’ve seen above, your espresso machine will continue to consume electricity when it’s in standby mode, so unplugging is a simple way to save energy.
Keep your machine clean
As you continue to use your machine, mineral residue from tap water is bound to build up inside it. The accumulation of this residue impedes the functionality of your machine and reduces its heating efficiency.
Repeated heating and cooling increase scale formation, so you can see how the inside of your espresso machine would be the ideal environment!
Apart from cleaning your machine regularly, using distilled water in your espresso machine can help prevent scale formation, as distilled water does not contain the minerals found in tap water.
The Home Depot recommends you descale your espresso machine once per year.
Reduce brewing temperature
Since most of the energy consumed by your machine is used for heating the water, reducing your brewing temperature can save energy.
You might even appreciate the subtle change it has on the flavor of your espresso! Experiment with it and see what works for you!
Upgrade to an energy-efficient model
There are tons of energy-efficient espresso machines on the market, and that number is only increasing. As technology develops, newer appliances become more and more efficient.
So if you’re stuck with an old model that’s consuming way too much power, it might be a good idea to upgrade!