Friday, April 8, 2011

What to Drink in the Morning?

Hello Water Lovers!

In one of my classes a few weeks ago the professor was showing us how much water goes into the foods that we eat. The was a section showing thinking about how much water goes into coffee and tea. And I figured, why not see what's less water intensive to drink in the morning, tea or coffee?

Well, I grabbed the stats from our friends at The Water Footprint Network and found (like always) some interesting numbers. For 1 cup (250 mL) of coffee it takes approximately 140 litres of water. Adding in 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of milk means another 30 litres of water. So in total that's 170 litres for a coffee. For the same amount of tea (250 mL), it takes roughly 30 litres of water. Again, adding 30 mL of milk brings the total up to 60 litres. So, in terms of water usage, I should stick to tea.

As a fun little project, I also went through and determined the approximate water usage for different Tim Horton's orders (Note: I couldn't find information for the water used to make cream, we'll just have to get by with milk in our figurative coffee. I also assumed that one serving of sugar is 2 grams, based on a quick look at different brands of sugar packets)

This morning I drank 2 cups of coffee with 2 tablespoons of milk each, the water needed to produce that was roughly 340 liters. Pretty incredible.

And because I am a huge fan of trivia, here are some fun facts:
  • It requires 120 billion cubic meters of water to produce the coffee consumed by Earth's population in one year
  • For Earth's population's annual consumption of tea, 30 billion cubic meters of water are required
  • Sugar accounts for roughly 3.4% of the global water use for crop production

That's all for now, I will be starting my water tracking tomorrow and I am very excited! I would also like to plug my new page about Water Conservation Resources! Check it out!

Cheers from the Water Warrior,



  1. It claims this was written in april, but it just got posted today... hmm.

  2. Great post, Erin. Always mindblowing to get even a tiny glimpse of the real amount of water we're using.

  3. Technically I started writing it in April, I just became very lazy and didn't finish until yesterday. And thank you Kurt!

  4. Maybe I should just drink water in the morning!