My oh my - that's a big cup of coffee (water usage and your cup of java)


I was just reading a short article today in the economist which listed the amount of water needed to produce a few common beverages. The stats are actually something else. In particular, a single cup litre of coffee requires 1120 litres of water (this is the same volume of water as a 104cm x 104cm x 104cm cube).

Although the chart is kind of neat at the economist, I figured it might be more interesting if there was a way to translate that 1120 litres into a more curious image. Anyway, above is a work in progress, using a great tilt-shift image by Flickr user "crotaphytus" and then a superimposed Starbucks' mug (to scale with the 1120 litres in mind).

Anyway, not totally there (I tried shifting the light, blurring at appropriate spots, and even adding a shadow), but it's a start. The bigger image here looks a little better.

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Huh? A thousand liters to produce one liter (not cup) of coffee, but only 20 liters to produce one kilo of ground coffee.

I like my coffee strong, but 50 kg of grounds per liter of coffee suits me altogether too well.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 03 Mar 2009 #permalink

Is the fact that I'm craving that coffee on the beach (cool wind, sound of waves, sun on my face, drinkin' java) a problem, or intended effect?

I will happily miss the point.

Great image.

Not too bad an estimate on the picture for the cup size. By my calculations a cup interior of a little less than 4' in diameter and 3' high would hold your 1120 liters.

Since the world is world, there is no droplet in more or less.
That to say millions of hectolitres of water of rivers and rivers which are offshore going to waste?