Coffee Facts Friday: Cup ‘O Batteries

   When I think of batteries I think of bunnies, and cars, and the house I lived in off the grid in Colorado. I never equated coffee with batteries until today, National Battery Day.  (Happy Birthday Count Volta!) Today I learned that there is a car charger that doubles as a to-go cup imitator (
A power inverter styled after a coffee cup
Brilliant, unless in a moment of near-sighted, pre-caffeine non-alertness one tries to take a sip from it, the subsequent shock causing the driver to careen the car into the left hand turn lane, and into the path of a hyper-jolted trucker who’d been on the Nebraska interstate since 4a.m. sipping his joe.
…hopefully there is a coffee bar in Heaven, with maybe Raphael in an ethereal loin cloth as the barista…
 Back down on earth, there is another coffee battery idea via a visionary.  
 At the 2010 Venice Design Week Mischer Traxler found a way to recycle spent Nespresso capsules (the likes of which currently spend their retirement in landfills). He made batteries out of old coffee grounds, Nespresso’s aluminum capsules (anode), strips of copper (cathode), and salt water (electrolyte). His award-winning concept included 700 used espresso pods to make 17 batteries, each powering a small clock.  
(Image: Mischar Traxler)
Genius, except as Lloyd Alter of questions: what is the scientific value of the coffee here, is this “phony environmentalism?” Possibly. Is the clock practical? Maybe if it were an alarm clock. No matter, it’s just an idea. The point is caffeinated creativity. And oddly enough, creativity is best served when one takes time to “recharge their batteries,”  – a practice often accompanied by travel, nature, and a cup of coffee. Now, for a little down time…where’s that Raphael with my cappuccino?
(Footnote to Nespresso users: A Dutch company, CoffeeDuck, makes a compatible, refillable stainless steel capsule that are available practically everywhere online.)

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