Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. For some of us, it’s a prerequisite for productive work. All total, over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day, mostly in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Many of us enjoy this daily ritual without much thought as to where the beans came from or how they were produced and processed.
Given the economic, social, and environmental footprint of this widely traded commodity — the second-most valuable export of developing countries — we may consider aspects of the supply side of coffee before indulging.
The global average water footprint of eight ounces of coffee is 34 gallons. Most of this is used during washing the beans, which are actually seeds that are removed from cherry fruits produced by the coffee tree.