I’ve known for a long time now that there is a sizable swath of people out there looking to go plastic free in their day-to-day lives. In many cases it’s almost impossible to buy products that contain no plastic but little by little many of them are finding ways to separate themselves from this ever-present material.
What I didn’t realize is that this group of people is becoming very common – it’s growing every day. In fact my own sister made an off-hand remark to me a few weeks back about her and her husbands efforts to avoid any and all plastic if there was a reasonable alternative.
Looking at my own life I even see hints of anti-plastic – I didn’t even realize it until I looked closely. Although I’ve never attempted to stay away from plastic entirely I do tend to like more natural products. I gravitate towards wood and upholstery, metals, and other natural materials. Plastic tends to make me feel like I’m getting something cheap – I don’t want that if I can avoid it.
In any event I know that many coffee addicts out there are in a constant search for quality coffee products that contain no plastic of any kind.
Some people simply don’t want to have plastic in their lives to make a statement or to live by a certain code but many coffee aficionados sometimes look to avoid plastic for no other reason that taste. In many cases, especially int hose with good pallates, plastic can impart a small disappointing flavor to coffee. To get the best flavor many coffee drinkers try to avoid it as well as aluminum which can impart a slight metallic taste to the coffee.
Unfortunately for years and years it’s been all but impossible to find a drip coffee maker with no plastic parts of any kind. There are some coffee makers that use very little plastic but in all cases the water (or coffee) at some point goes through or over a plastic part. To really go non-plastic you have to look to coffee makers that are a little more interesting and less “normal”.
To the joy of true coffee lovers the redeeming attribute of virtually all of these “no plastic” coffee makers is that they almost all make better quality coffee than standard drip coffee machines – even those that cost hundreds of dollars.
Below I’ve listed a large number of the best coffee makers that have no plastic parts of any kind. Some are made of ceramic, some steel, others glass. All require a bit more effort than drip machines but they are well worth the effort in quality of brew and also for the lack of plastic pieces. 🙂
TOMC’s List Of Non-Plastic Coffee Makers
Ceramic Coffee Drip Cone Brewer
by Bee House
This is a 1-2 cup coffee dripper that sits right on top of your coffee mug. It’s made of pure ceramic only. To use it you boil water on the stove and then slowly pour the water through the coffee grounds in the dripper (with paper filter) directly into your mug.
What’s awesome about this is that because you’re pouring water that has been boiled it is much more likely to be hot enough to get the best flavor extraction possible. Many drip coffee makers do not get hot enough to bring out the best flavor characteristics of the best coffees. Also, it’s dishwasher safe and cheaper than virtually in coffee machine you’ll ever come across.
Chemex carafe brewers are cool to look at but incredibly simple to use. They are blown glass in the shape of an hour glass. The narrow neck (the middle of the hours glass) is reinforced with a wooden band and leather strap. This has nothing to do with the brewing but ads strength and style to the coffee maker.
The Chemex is another pour-over coffee maker. You boil water and then pour it over grind sitting in a cone filter on the top of the Chemex. The difference here is that you can brew more than a single coffee mug at a time. You can also use branded Chemex cone filters to fit the cone perfectly thereby slowing the steeping and producing a more flavorful brew.
In some ways this is like a french press as water steeps in the coffee grind for a few minutes while it brews and drips into the beaker but it produces a drip coffee texture as much of the oils and “mud” do not get through the paper filter.
Frieling Polished Stainless French Press
Of all the non-plastic coffee makers out there the french press is probably the most common. Traditionally hot water (just shy of boiling) is placed in the carafe with course coffee grounds. The water steeps and then four minutes later the plunger presses the grind to the bottom of the carafe leaving noting but filtered coffee full of flavorful oils to be poured into your cup.
Unfortunately most stainless steel french presses somehow manage to put plastic parts into their design – with the exception of this thermal double walled press pot by Frieling. It brews 36oz of coffee at a time and has no plastic parts anywhere on the unit. The walls in double wall insulated so it will keep your coffee hot longer than single wall glass units.
I prefer french press coffee because I don’t like filtering out the coffee oils through paper filters but to each his own. This one is the most expensive coffee maker on this page but even still it is my favorite.
In the future I’ll add quality alternatives to this list. There are others but they are all similar in form and function to those listed already.
If ever comes a time when a manufacturer finally opts to build a consumer automatic drip coffee maker with no plastic parts (or at least no plastic parts that contact water) I’ll add it to this list but as of today there are no mass produced drip coffee makers made.
One day maybe, but not yet.