Coffee is an important part of everyday life for many Australian’s, whether you are enjoying a cup at home, out with friends or colleagues or having that all important coffee meeting. What is easily overlooked is the impact that all this delicious coffee is having on our environment. For those keep cup converts, you know what I am talking about. Those oh so convenient disposable coffee cups often contain plastic which does not break down or biodegrade. After plastic bottles, coffee cups are the second largest contributor to litter waste, we use 1 billion disposable cups each year in Australia.
Often the recyclability of cups will depend on the recycling facilities of your local area, so they may still end up in landfill. Compostable cups are great; however, we have few industrial composting facilities in Australia so most of these cups still enter landfill.
Here are a few things you can do to help reduce the amount of takeaway coffee or tea cups entering landfill:
- Avoid takeaway – drink your coffee at home, or have a sit-down coffee in the café
- Bring your own reusable cup
- Say no to a lid – if you don’t need one ask for the coffee without a lid
- Where possible use a sustainable cup made from eco-friendly managed plantation paper board and make sure you separate the lid when you’re done
We are here to help you find the prefect reusable coffee mug so you can enjoy your coffee guilt free and in a more sustainable way. Whether you are after the Rolls Royce of coffee cups or something simple that gets the job done, we have you covered.
Are reusable cups better for the environment?
While making sustainable switches, it is important to be aware of greenwashing. Is your reusable coffee cup really making a difference? Or is it just another trend?
Manufacturers of plastic cups point that it takes less resources to make them. However, eco-friendly keep cups are made to last. They do not lead to waste management problems. After you have used your sustainable coffee mug a number of times ( for example, 15-30 times), each use after that point is better for the environment.
By making this switch, we can encourage lesser production of disposables.
There are a number of ways to judge whether your favourite cuppa is bringing change.
- Packaging: In Australia, 1.9 million tonnes of packaging ends up in landfills each year. It is important for businesses to minimise unnecessary plastic wraps. Many eco-cup brands offer compostable packaging.
- Availability of recycling options: Some brands offer to recycle your reusables on your behalf. This is a good option for those who don’t live near recycling centres.
- Raw Material: Many mugs are greenwashed as sustainable. Be sure to check how much percent of plastic is used, if any.
What material coffee cup is the best?
Travel cups are made from different types of materials. Each of them has their pros and cons.
- Ceramic Coffee Cups: Ceramic cups have a smooth finish. They don’t retain or impart flavours of drinks and are easy to clean. If you are not looking for a takeaway cup, these are good to be used at homes. They don’t retain temperature for a long time like stainless steel mugs.
- Insulated Coffee Mugs: Coffee cups made from food grade stainless steel are perfect for on the go coffee. They can be used to store both hot and cold drinks. A quality mug will not chip or break easily. They are durable and made to last. However, cleaning them can be a hassle depending on the brand. Some of them are not microwave and dishwasher safe. You will also have to pay attention to the instruction manual.
- Glass Coffee Cups: Glass mugs are visually aesthetic. Just like ceramic mugs, they are stain and odour resistant. The downside is that they can break easily. They also don’t maintain the temperature as well as insulated ones.
What is the safest cup material?
Stainless steel cups made from quality, food grade material are non-porous. It does not leach harmful chemicals into our drinks. These non-toxic cups are versatile. They can work as food jars and smoothie tumblers as well.
Glass is another safe material. However, it can break easily.
What mug material keeps coffee hot for the longest time?
Stain-resistant mugs come in different kinds of insulation. All of them retain heat better than glass and ceramic tea-cups.
- Single Walled Insulation: Single walled coffee cups do not maintain temperature as long as vacuum sealed cups. As they only have one wall, the cup can be hot to touch. If you tend to drink your coffee fast, these are a worth considering. They are also less expensive than others.
- Double Walled Insulation: The two walls of the cups will ensure a better insulation. They keep the coffee hot for longer. Often double walled and vacuum seal are considered same. But it really comes down to the brand. Sometimes, the two walls are made from different materials without any space between them.
- Airtight Insulation: Vacuum insulated cups have a layer of vacuum or space between the two walls. This significantly reduces heat transfer. Such cups are great while traveling.
How much caffeine in a cup of coffee?
The amount of caffeine in a coffee cup depends on many factors. There is no universal cup-size used. On an average, you can expect 90mg-100mg of caffeine in an average cup. Some other factors that define the amount of caffeine are-type of brew, coffee beans used, roasting method and so on.
What brands offer large size coffee cups?
- Cheeki: The 450ml capacity mugs by Cheeki are perfect to carry caffeinated drinks on trips. The insulation retains drink temperature for up to 8-12 hours. The rubber base gives the cup additional strength. The 360 degree ease of drinking is a cherry on top!
- Frank Green: Frank Green’s largest cup comes with a capacity of 475ml. The Frank Green Ceramic Reusable Cup has triple walled vacuum insulation. The protective base and coating on the cup ensure durability. The one push lid makes the cup completely spill safe.
- Avanti: The Glass Go Cup holds about 475ml liquid. Borosilicate glass is known for being lightweight and strong. The cup is perfect to take to cafes for refills. The silicone hand grip will protect your hand against the heat. Enjoy your americanos and macchiatos with Avanti’s BPA free mug.
- Thermos: Thermos’s Work Series brings a jumbo coffee mug with a capacity of 590ml. The cup features a double wall foam insulation. The handle on the mug makes it easy to carry to work and looks great on the worktable.
Here is the list of some of best environmentally friendly coffee cups
Huskee Cups ($16-$22)
These cups have really taken off since launching and you have probably seen these around in cafes. The HuskeeCup has been engineered for cafés to help them phase out single use takeaway cups and switch to a cup exchange system. They are made of a biopolymer which recycles the coffee husks which are a by-product of coffee processing.
- Repurpose waste: the innovative design makes something previously seen as waste into something useful. What is more eco than that!
- Stackable: the cups are easily stackable which is perfect for cafés and also those with limited space at home.
- Dishwasher safe: these cups are very durable and designed to be washed several times a day.
- Chip and heat resistant: the unique fins design make the cups very difficult to chip and they keep your coffee hot for longer than a takeaway cup.
- BPA free: the cup is non-toxic and free from BPA
- Lids design: the lids are universal and work on any size cup, they also double as saucers.
- Price: for the durability and feel these cups are a good price at $20 for the largest cup you are getting a good deal.
- Colours: the cups only come in 2 colours natural or charcoal, however this is because they do not use any dyes just a natural husk colour or one with charcoal pigment.
- Feel: they feel like a heavier version of a plastic cup and have quite a thick rim so those who love the clean feel of glass or ceramic may not like it.
Frank Green Reusable Cups ($34 -$47)
Made and designed in Australia, Frank Green Coffe cups are high-quality reusable cup that looks great and keeps your coffee hot, Frank Green is worth a look. They have 3 different styles of cup, all of which have a lot going for them.
- Available in various sizes: small (175 ml capacity), regular (295 ml capacity) and large (475 ml capacity)
- Spill proof: they have a convenient one hand push button design for easy drinking on the go and are spill proof.
- Retains drink temperature: the newer ceramic cup is triple walled with vacuum insulated to keep your coffee hot or cold for hours. The ceramic inner lining is designed to ensure that you get the purest flavour from your coffee. The traditional cup is double-walled stainless steel.
- Odour and stain resistant: for those coffee connoisseurs, the stain and odour resistant lining ensures you get the most out of your brew.
- BPA Free: the cups are all BPA free, FDA & EU approved safe materials can be recycled at the end of their life
- Fully customisable: you can opt for one of the stunning solid colour cups or opt for a personalised mug and choose the colours of your lid, button and base.
- Durable: these cups are made to last and withstand dropping and the daily grind so your investment will be worth it.
- Dishwasher safe lid: easy to clean lid is safe to put on the top rack of your dishwasher, you will need to hand wash the cup.
- Price: Starting at $32.95 + shipping for the smallest size original cup, you can end up paying over $50 for your cup. You are paying for quality, but it is not cheap.
- Size: due to the additional layers of insulation you may feel that you are getting less coffee and more cup, as cafes charge based on the size of the cup this may mean you pay the same amount for less coffee.
- Lid: the opening for drinking the coffee is quite small, beware of hot drinks as the insulation will keep your drink hotter for longer.
- Washing: the lids are dishwasher safe, however the stainless steel and ceramic bases are hand wash only which can be a deal breaker for some.
Cheeki Coffee Cups ($39-$44)
Cheeki is an Australian brand from Sydney’s Northern Beaches which specialises in reusable stainless-steel products. They have a range of coffee cups and mugs in is a variety of shapes and sizes. We will be assessing the 350ml and 450ml coffee mugs:
- One click leak-proof lid: their innovative lid design allows for 360 degree drinking and a lid which won’t leak and can be opened easily from one hand.
- Car cup holder friendly: fits easily inside your car cup holder for easy on the go drinking, perfect for you daily commute.
- Insulated: new triple wall vacuum insulation and copper lock technology keeps your coffee hot for up to 8 hours or cold for up to 12 hours.
- Condensation free and cool to touch: due to the insulation you will not get any condensation and the cups will be cool to touch even when containing hot contents.
- BPA Free: these cups are made with insulated stainless steel and the lids are BPA free.
- Rubber base: soft rubber base for extra stability and durability.
- Hard to clean: Although the cup lid comes apart easily for cleaning, you will need to handwash it, there is also a silicone inner seal which can get residue build up over time.
- Pop up lid functionality: Pop lids are subject to constant wear and tear and will likely need to be replaced after a period.
- Drinking challenges: due to the insulation and style of the lid, it can be hard to tell how hot your coffee is and you may burn yourself.
- Pain chipping issue: Paint on these coffee cups is easily chipped when expose to hot water or if put in dishwasher.
Freskko Cup ($34-$39)
- Slip resistant base: for added stability these cups have a slip resistant base to reduce the risk of spills.
- Lockable screw on lid: enjoy the security of a lockable screw in lid which is spill proof when closed.
- Easy to drink design: this cup is designed to be a new and improved version of the original takeaway cup, which has the easy to drink lid with a click close cover.
- Made with the barista in mind: these cups fit perfectly under standard coffee machines and have the measurement lines inside for baristas.
- Cup Holder friendly: fit easily in standard cup holders.
- Scratch Resistant: high quality scratch resistant body.
- BPA Free: these cups are made with insulated stainless steel and the lid is BPA free.
- Not dishwasher safe: these cups need to be washed by hand.
- Only 2 size options: for those who enjoy and expresso or piccolo the 8oz cup is the smallest size so this may not be the best option for you.
- Hard to clean mouthpiece: you may need to invest in a straw cleaning brush to clean the mouthpiece to ensure you don’t get any residue build up.
Joco Cups ($26-$29)Joco Cups are hand crafted from borosilicate glass and are available in a range of sizes from 4oz – 16oz. They have a medical grade silicone lid and grip band for easy cleaning and handling.
- Handcrafted quality: the borosilicate glass is artisan blow, lightweight and strong, offering a quality feel that makes for a good drinking experience.
- Lid options: 3 of the sizes have a newly designed utility lid which allows thicker liquids like smoothies or juices to flow freely, they are also compatible with a straw making the cup more versatile.
- Plastic free design: these cups are totally free of plastic which we love! They are certified non-toxic and BPA free.
- Ergonomic design: the lid is made to avoid any splashing and has a dome shape so you can easily drink without needing to tilt your head.
- Clean: the cups have a clean feel with non-porous and antibacterial materials they offer stain and odour resistance making these glass cups a worthy investment.
- Price point: considering the quality of these cups they are surprisingly affordable, at $29.95 for a 12oz size this is a steal!
- Breakable: although these cups are made of quality glass they are still glass and will break if dropped from a height onto a hard surface.
- Width: as they are made from glass these cups have a heavier feel and are wide rather than tall which means they can be tricker to hold than an insulated stainless steel or huskee cup.
Many with think of this brand as one of the Original reusable coffee cups in Australia. The KeepCup started out in 2009 with a plastic reusable cup but has since branched out into glass and insulated stainless-steel cups.
- Lid design: this lid design is easy to drink from and a offers solid click when fastened to help you know when the lid is secure.
- Spare parts: The components of the cups are removable and available for purchase separately which means you can make the cup last a long time and minimise the need to purchase a new cup.
- Easy grip band: The cup comes with a silicone or cork band which protects you hand from the hot content and makes the cup easier to hold.
- Dishwasher safe: the original and glass versions of the cup without the cork band are dishwasher safe, all the lids are dishwasher safe.
- Barista standard sizes: all the cups are designed to fit barista coffee machines and are easy to use for Baristas.
- Transparency: Keep Cup tells you what is in each component of your cup so you can understand all the materials which go into your cup.
- Swivel part of lid: there is a swivel close clip on the lid which can bend loose over time causing the cup to leak.
- Hard to hold: the glass and plastic versions of the cup can be hot to hold even with the silicone or cork band, the cups are also quite wide which can be tricky for those with small hands.
- Colours: the designs aren’t for everyone, so you may struggle to find a cup design that’s really you.
Luvin Life Bamboo Eco Travel Mug ($11.95)
If you are looking for something lightweight and fun the bamboo travel coffee cup by Luvin Life comes in a range of fun patterns and are great for on the go.
- Designs: available in 10 different patterns you are sure to stand out from the crowd with these funky styles.
- Lightweight: weighing only 180g for a 14oz cup they are extremely easy to carry with you.
- Dishwasher safe: easy to clean, just pop in the dishwasher or hand wash.
- BPA free: made with BPA and phthalate free bamboo fibre reinforced with melamine resin combines with a silicone lid and band for easy grip
- Durable: these cups are solid and built to withstand daily wear and tear
- Size: they are only available in 1 size which may be too big for some at 430ml capacity
- Not leak proof: the lid is a silicone version of a traditional takeaway cup lid so it will leak if tipped on its side.
- Biodegradable: these cups claim to be biodegradable however they are not certified to breakdown in home or industrial composting so how to dispose of them remains unclear.
Sttoke Ceramic and Stainless Steel Cup ($49-$54)
Sttoke brings us a creative cup with a mix of ceramic and stainless steel. The cup has become widely popular due to its innovative design. It is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of a ceramic and steel mug.
- Sizes: Sttoke Cermaic and Stainless Steel Cup is offered in two sizes of 227ml and 340 ml.
- Design: The ergonomic design ensures that the cup is comfy to hold. It fits most cup holders easily.
- Double Walled Heat Retention: Your coffee will remain hot for as long as 3 hours and cold for 6.
- Non-Stick Lining: The cup is lined with premium quality ceramic. It uses the Greblon coating. It is a non-stick coating that is manufactured in Germany. The coating is used in different cookware. This ensures that no smell is retained by the cup.
- Colours: The cup is offered in many colours and designs.
- Spill Proof Lid: The lid comes with the protection of a rubber grip. This locks the sliding hole. The design ensures minimum spills.
- Price: Priced at $49 for the smallest size, you can end up paying a lot including the shipping charges. But the cup is definitely worth the price as it combines the properties of stainless steel and ceramic.
- Cleaning Difficulties: Residue can build up around the lid. The cups are not dishwasher safe.
Project Pargo Insulated Coffee Mugs ($37-$39)
The founders of Project Pargo are actively engaged with those in poverty stricken areas. With the sale of every product, water filters are purchased and installed in areas that don’t have access to cleaning drinking water.
- Different Sizes Available: The coffee keep cups are available in 354ml and 235 ml.
- Barista Friendly: Both the sizes have a barista friendly line of 8oz and 6oz respectively. This makes them great for a trip to the café.
- Travel Friendly: The idea of the cup originated on the wheels. The cup is designed to be spill proof and durable.
- Vacuum insulation: The double walled airtight seal ensures that drinks remain hot for 6 hours and cold for as long as 12 hours.
- 18/8 Stainless Steel: The drinks cup is made from high quality material. It’s stain and odour resistant. This makes the cup suitable for other drinks like beer, smoothies etc.
- No chipping: The protective coating on the outside dismisses chances of chipping.
- Not Dishwasher Safe: The cups need to be handwashed only.
- Leaking Lid: Although the cups are leakproof, the silicone seal of the lid can occasionally unmount. In that case, the contents may leak.
Avanti Go Insulation Coffee Cups ($15-$26)
Avanti is a common name among Australian homes. Among their wide range of homeware, Avanti’s range of GO Cups is one of their best. Their stainless steel mugs feature artistic prints. You are sure to find something that appeals to your aesthetic.
- Variety of Materials: The takeaway drinks cup is available in stainless steel and glass.
- Premium Grade Material: The glass coffee cups are made from hand blown borosilicate glass. The classic range is made from food-safe steel.
- Different sizes: Avanti Cups are available in small and big sizes. The capacity ranges between 280ml to 473ml.
- Fun Colours and Patterns: The Stainless Steel drinking cups are offered in many colours and patterns. You have a lot of exciting options to choose from.
- Vacuum Heat Protection: The 360 GO Cups and Classic Steel Mugs have a two-walled insulation. Your drinks can retain their temperature to 6 hours.
- Barista Lining: The 360-degree cups have an internal barista marking for ease of use!
- Easy Cleaning: The Glass reusable cups are dishwasher safe. However, the metal ones need to be handwashed only.
- Price: The cups are affordable, starting from $15.
- Leaking Issue: The Avanti 360 coffee mugs are designed for easy drinking from all sides. However, their silicone seal can loosen over time. You may notice spillage in that case.
- Time Consuming Cleaning: Only borosilicate cups are dishwasher safe. You need to disassemble the lid and hand wash the stainless steel cups.
W&P Porter Ceramic Mug ($25)
Porter Ceramic Mugs have a visual appeal. The pastel colour range is worth gushing about. Not only do these look great, but they also serve their purpose right to the core.
- Wide range of colours: W&P’s mugs offer exciting range of colours. From pastel pink to matte finished black- you have loads to choose from!
- Protective Silicone Sleeve: The ceramic mug is wrapped in a protective silicone shield.
- Non-toxic: The ceramic mug does not harbour germs and is free from harmful chemicals. The silicone sleeve is made from LFGB certified silicon. Whereas the plastic lid is BPA free.
- No leaching: The good quality ceramic does not hold soap in its crevices. This means that no soapy flavour is imparted in your drink.
- Plastic Lid: The lid is made from plastic which can be a bummer for some.
- One size available: Only 12oz capacity mugs are in stock at the moment.
- Breakable: Ceramic mugs can break easily. You need to be careful while handling them.
Chilly’s Cups ($35-$43)
Under their partnership with Refill, for every Chilly mug sold, $18 is donated to combat the plastic crisis.
- Different sizes: Dual sizes of 340ml and 500ml available.
- Food safe steel: High grade 304 stainless steel is used in the cup.
- Recyclable packaging: The cup is wrapped in re-cyclable material.
- Gradient colours: The Chilly Reusable Cups are available in beautiful gradient shades as well as in solid colours.
- 2-Walled Insulation Technology: The insulation keeps the cup cool to touch. Chances of slipping from hands are reduced as it is condensation free.
- Not Dishwasher Friendly: Hand wash the cups after use. The lids on the other hand are dishwasher safe.
- Retains smell: The stainless steel preserves the flavour of the drink. You cannot leave them uncleaned for long.
Not suitable for travelling: The drinking hole in the lid can not be closed. This can mean spilling while in the car. Avoid carrying them in bags too.
The most important things to keep in mind when choosing the right cup for you the size, what material you prefer to drink from, how you want to clean the mug and whether you want an insulated cup of not. We hope this blog has helped you to find the best coffee cups Australia has to offer.