I’ve had a long-term relationship with reusable coffee cups, but we’ve only been going steady just recently.
I bought one about 8 years ago when my little boy was very little, and life was a lot less crazy. Well, it was still crazy (#mumlife), but my coffee routine was nice and chilled.
I pushed him in the buggy to our local café at whatever time we happened to be ready; took my reusable coffee cup (one of the early all-silicone models) and drank it in the park while he slept or played on the equipment and we had no other particular place to be. Aaah, those were the days 😉
Fast forward a few years and my coffee run has changed dramatically. Now my mornings start at 5am. At 6am, I’m doing a sweaty workout at F45. By 7am I’m back at home to shower, change, make breakfasts and pack heathy lunch boxes. And at 8am (ish!) it’s out the door for school drop-off with the aim to be at my desk by 9am.
So, to make things easier for me, I have been using a coffee-ordering app. It’s too easy – a few clicks on the phone before I leave the house, park outside the café, run and grab the coffee waiting for me on the counter and off I go. It’s a brilliant time-saver, and I’ve been evangelical about it (thanks Hey You App).
So for a while there, reusable coffee cups and I were ‘on a break’.
Although this routine worked well for busy mumma me, it was doing Mumma Nature no favours at all. Why?
Disposable coffee cups
Need I say more? Well, yes, just a little.
More than 1 billion of these are used and discarded every year in Australia alone.
And because of the thin plastic film inside the coffee cups, they can’t be recycled. So they’re all just clogging up landfill at an alarming rate. And releasing methane gas while they’re at it.
The bigger picture was far too important to ignore, just to save me time in the morning. And so I decided to get a reusable coffee cup. But which one?
It’s fantastic there are so many brands out there helping to fight the War on Waste. But it was so hard to choose between them. You only want to buy once (aside from my old 2008 model, which is now used by my not-so-little boy for the occasional hot chocolate).
I struggled to find comparisons and you know, that morning coffee is pretty important isn’t it? It’s a ritual. You don’t want to stuff it up. So I thought, I know, I’ll do a review!
I bought a couple, contacted a few reusable coffee cup brands to get samples and tried them all out – several times over the course of two or three weeks. Probably had a bit too much coffee haha.
Now I still use my coffee-ordering app – I just hand over my coffee cup as I press ‘send’ on the phone and enjoy the few minutes chatting to the barista, catching up on Insta, or literally just stopping and smelling the coffee.
Want to know my favourites? Yep, thought so; here are four of the best reusable coffee cups. Have a read and pick one that suits you.
Frank Green (8oz $32.95)
Frank Green is a seriously sustainable Aussie business, based in Melbourne, where all their products are designed and manufactured. A portion of profits are donated to Earth Watch.
Why I love the Frank Green coffee cup:
- This cup feels great in your hand, it’s comfy (if something can be described as comfy in your hand?)
- Love the drinking spout which has been designed for optimum coffee flow. You can also easily close it off with the push button when you’re not drinking from it. It’s lovely to drink out of. So much so, that their water bottle (with the same lid design) has become my go-to for my daily F45 sessions.
- You can ‘build’ a completely customised cup, choosing from different colour bases, lids and buttons. So many variations and super cute colours. And you can get replacement parts if necessary.
- It’s double layered, so helps to keep coffee hot without burning your hands.
- The lid screws on, so it’s really secure.
- If your local café uses CafePay, then happy days, you can top up your credit on the app and the smart chip in the lid allows a cashless payment (don’t do what I did, though and sign on to CafePay without knowing what local cafes were using it, as basically there are none near me and so I had to to get my $25 credit refunded argh!).
- The base can go in the dishwasher (not the lid, though, as it has the smartchip)
- The plastic is all PBA and nasties-free.
Did not love:
I’m completely in love with my Frank Green. There’s just one concern… My coffee currently tastes great out of this cup. Just wondering, though, if, over time, glass is better than plastic (even though this is good, reusable plastic)?
Need to do some more research, I’ll report back when I’ve figured this out haha.
JOCO (8oz $24.95)
100% plastic free, artisan–blown borosilicate glass reusable cup with award-winning design.
Why I love the JOCO coffee cup:
- The hand-blown glass is gorgeous, durable, dishwasher-proof and non-porous.
- Such a clever lid shape – it stops you squishing your nose on it when you’re drinking, plus it feels awesome to drink out of.
- The lid goes on easily and feels secure.
- Keeps your fingers cool with the wide thermal silicon sleeve.
- Loads of great colours and a beautiful overall design.
- Feels really good in your hand.
Did not love:
I actually loved everything about my JOCO.
But if you have your coffee on the run and then want to pop it in your handbag, you can’t cover/secure the spout, so things could get messy. Not a problem for me as I have mine in the car and then just take home to wash.
Earth Bottles (10oz $32.00)
Eco-award-winning double-walled heat conducting stainless steel cup with silicone lid and faux wood design on the outer.
This eco-friendly Byron Bay company isn’t just fighting the War on Waste, but also give back to the community and charities with part of their profits donated to Beyond Blue, Fifteen Trees and Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Why I love the Earth Bottle coffee cup:
- I like my coffee hot. Really hot. I order an extra hot latte and as soon as coffee starts going lukewarm, it kind of makes me want to puke…. Soooooo, the double walled stainless steel cups are THE BEST at retaining coffee heat, yay! Great for when I’m sending the hubby out to get coffee and bring home on a Sunday morning 😉 Also great for new mums who will understand how hard it is just to have a hot cup of tea or coffee sometimes.
- Hot hot hot on the inside, cool on your hands on the outside. Nice feel to the cup in your hand, too.
- Clever non-slip pad on the base of the cup.
Did not love:
The silicone lid is a little floppy and (currently anyway) has a bit of a new rubbery smell/taste. You can’t put this cup in the dishwasher, not a biggie as it only takes seconds to wash, but just saying.
KeepCup (8oz $24.00)
The ‘original’ reusable cup, these little beauties are made from tempered soda lime glass which is super durable.
Another Melbourne company that prides itself in its sustainable practices, now taking the UK and US by storm. In fact, KeepCups are sold in 65 countries worldwide, so they’re probably the biggest ‘player’ and their brand name has become synonymous with reusable coffee cups here in Oz.
Why I love the Keep Cup:
- Very clever lid design that lets you seal off the drinking spout to prevent spillages and also protects from germs when other people are handling it.
- I have the one with the plastic band (rather than cork) so you can shove it all in the dishwasher, hurray. The cork sleeves need to be removed first or just wash the whole thing by hand, lazy bones 😉
- It looks great and there are lots of different designs, materials, sizes and colour ways to choose from. So if you’re a macchiato or espresso drinker, you can get one of the little ones that’ll be perfect for your brew.
- You can get replacement parts and accessories.
Did not love:
When the coffee is hot (like mine) it can be a bit tricky for big hands (like mine!) to hold using the band only, as it’s not so wide.
Because the lid is stiff, it’s harder to get on and off without spillages, both for you and for your barista. When I bring it home to wash, I always make sure I’m super careful opening it over the sink for fear of coffee splashing up at me.
Barista’s Choice of Reusable Coffee Cup
My barista was intrigued by my multitude of reusable coffee cups and interested to see what I was bringing in every day for a few weeks. We had loads of chats about each cup’s merits.
He was torn between two. He loved the JOCO because of it’s wide mouth (easier to pour into) and quick-to-pop-on lid. But he does have to heat the glass first for my extra hot latte. He also loved the Frank Green because it’s easy for him to screw the lid on and know that no coffee is going to get spilt. So they both get his official seal of coffee bean approval.
My Personal Favourite Reusable Coffee Cup
These are the two that I found myself most wanting to take to the coffee shop every morning. Because I just loved drinking out of them the most. However, as I said, all these four are brilliant cups.
And if you like to savour your coffee at a nice leisurely pace, or someone’s getting it for you and you don’t want your coffee to be cold upon their return, go for the Earth Bottles one that keeps it hot the longest.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which brand you buy, just buy one and use it.
As KeepCup says – the best reusable is the one you use.
Save the planet, one coffee cup at a time.
Although my own relationship with the reusable coffee cup hit a regrettable rocky patch, we’re back together and more solid than ever.
I’m committed. How about you?
Join the reuse revolution.