Sustainability is undoubtedly the buzz word in the coffee shop industry at the moment - and rightly so! 

With increasing pressure from consumers to become responsible environmental players, coffee shops are looking at the possible ways they can reduce their impact. From cups right through to where they source their coffee. 

We’re passionate about inspiring the industry as a whole to do more and even produced a comprehensive report on the energy consumption of our espresso machines earlier this year to start a conversation in the machine sector.

We equally know it can be hard to work out where to start, so we wanted to share five simple hacks baristas can adopt TODAY to start having an effect on their environmental impact.


1. BE MINDFUL OF MILK

Although it can take experience to get your milk volumes spot on, if you spend a little time monitoring your milk usage you will reduce the amount of unusable milk going down the drain. Try collecting all excess milk during one service and we guarantee you’ll be amazed at how much you waste. One big tip is to be organised… try to look ahead at the ticket orders to see what you’ve got coming up and avoid wastage where possible.


2. DON’T FLUSH FOR TOO LONG

Flushing is a process all baristas should be used to doing between each shot. It is performed in order to remove any coffee ground residue. From the simple press of a button, a small quantity of water is dispensed, but did you know a 2-second flush is plenty enough time for this process? Many baristas will run an entire shots worth of water through whilst preparing their next drink. When multiplied out across a month/year, this equates to a huge amount of additional water and energy used. It could even use more of your water filter capacity unnecessarily.


3. WEIGH YOUR COFFEE

Weighing your coffee not only improves the consistency and accuracy of espressos you produce but it also enables you to make more coffee for less energy! Regularly checking your machine is dialed-in correctly for your recipes will ensure each coffee you make is delicious, as intended, so your customers won’t have any reason to be sending things back. Minimising coffee wastage is another reason why coffee weighing is good. If you weigh your coffee at every possible stage to make sure you are only using what you need, you’re going to have a positive environmental impact on the 'bean to cup' coffee journey.


4. TURN OFF GROUP HEADS

At quieter periods of the day, normally towards the latter part of the afternoon when everything starts to slow down, chances are you won’t need to have every group head on your machine ready to go as you would in your morning. Save energy by opting to use just the one group head whilst turning the others off or put them into standby mode.

All of the Sanremo Energy Efficient Machine range have the ability to turn off one group (or two in a 3 group machines) during quieter times.

Fare Bar and Canteen @CharlieMckay


5. USE YOUR CUP WARMER

How many times have you used the hot water tap on your machine as a quick fix to warm a cup before pouring your hot drink? Although this may seem like a minuscule amount of water to even consider, by the end of a day’s service this action can amount to a substantial amount of wastage and energy loss.

Most machines on the market now have built-in cup warmers designed to ensure your crockery is already warm before use to avoid the beverage cooling down too much before it reaches your customer! Cup warmers use a smaller amount of heat energy (which is usually already dissipated from the machine) and are programmable to suit your needs.



Adapting to become a more energy-efficient business is not only important, but it also has a hoard of benefits for staff, business owners and customers. Have you got any other tips you’d add to the list?

If you’re looking for more sustainable coffee shop ideas head over to our previous blog post ‘Lighten your carbon footprint’ which highlights 12 super tips for coffee shop owners.