It’s estimated that 500 million coffee cups are discarded every year in Australia. That’s a massive landfill problem. Disposable coffee cups may seem pretty innocuous, but most cups are non-biodegradable because of the plastic coatings used to help make them water tight, and of course they have plastic lids. That means they never breakdown, and are non-recyclable.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give up coffee, though. Grab yourself a reusable cup, and you can use it anywhere, any time.
I’ve been testing four different reusable coffee cups to find out which one is the best. Here are the four that I’ve been testing:
- Ecobud Double Glass Wall Coffee Cup
- KeepCup original
- Cheeki Coffee Mug
- Onya Reusable Coffee Cup
Ecobud Double Glass Wall Coffee Cup
I really wanted to like these. I love the idea of a glass coffee cup, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
Borosilicate glass means no chemical nasties leaching into your coffee and it won’t hold flavours. The lid is glass, too, so you don’t get flavour contamination in the spout. The silicone band means that it doesn’t slip out of your hands. It’s easy to clean, because you can shove the whole lot in the dishwasher.
I broke two of these. There’s just not enough protection around the glass. The first one broke when I dropped it on an office chair, and it hit the metal leg and smashed. That’s fair enough, accidents happen. The second one broke in the dishwasher, though. There was no rough handling, as far as I could see. I loaded it in like I do my everyday drinking glasses, but somehow it cracked. Two in two weeks says to me that the glass just isn’t strong enough.
These would be so much better if they had a silicone sleeve that protected more of the glass, not just the middle.
The slim design also meant that it rocked around in my cup holder in the car. Not the end of the world, but if you’re like me and drink your coffee on the go, it’s a bit of a nuisance.
KeepCups were one of the first reusable coffee cups to hit the market, and they’re still immensely popular.
Lots of great, customisable colours. BPA free and made from safe plastics. I love the lid that slides away to reveal both the spout and the air hole.
The lid on mine started leaking within about two weeks. When I checked the website, KeepCup says that “even minor abrasion to the rim of the cup or lid seal area will compromise the seal.” It does also say that you can put it on the top rack of the dishwasher, and I guess that’s where mine got the ‘minor abrasion’. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s annoying.
I do find that it doesn’t keep your drink hot for very long, which is okay for me as I don’t like my drinks scalding, and I usually drink them pretty quickly. But if you wanted to keep your drink hot until you got to work, you might find this a problem.
My other problem with these is that the plastic makes your coffee taste, well, plasticky. Yes, you can soak them in bicarb soda and the plastic flavour goes away for a while, but who can be bothered doing that every other day?
And finally – plastic. The KeepCup is made of polypropylene, which is considered a safe plastic, the lid from LDPE #4 (also considered to be safe), the plug is a polyethylene polymer called TPU (also safe), and the thermal band is made from silicone (also safe, even though it’s not touching the drink). But … I try to avoid plastic as much as possible, so even though the KeepCup is okay, it’s never going to be my favourite simply because of the plastic.
Cheeki Coffee Mug
My favourite, hands down. I love these, and have been using them for years at home. We even use them as small food containers, because they keep everything so hot!
It’s made from unlined, double walled stainless steel, so it keeps your coffee hot (and I mean HOT), without burning your hands, and it doesn’t taint the flavour of your drink. The lids are made of polypropylene, which is a safe plastic.
I love the lids on the mug. They’re round, and they pop up and down so that you can drink from any side. Pop them down and they don’t leak. Really, truly, they don’t leak, even if you dump the mug with dregs into the bottom of your handbag. That’s impressive.
They’re a standard size, so you can take them to a cafe, and they’re slim enough to fit into the cup holders of my car and not slide around.
You can’t put them in the dishwasher, but if you’re a bit slack and don’t do the dishes for a couple of days, the three day old coffee dregs still come off easily, and don’t leave any taste to spoil your next drink.
Other than the fact that it keeps your coffee too hot, and I’m not sure that’s a problem, or that you can’t put them in the dishwasher, or that they don’t warm your hands on a cold winter’s day, I can’t find any so far. I love it.
Onya Reusable Coffee Cup
I like how it feels in my hand, and I like that it looks like a regular coffee cup. It’s made from food grade silicone. Silicone is a safe, non leaching alternative to plastic, so this is a good choice, especially if you’re looking for unbreakable.
This is a great choice if you want a reusable alternative to your standard paper coffee cup.
This is my favourite coffee cup for looks and how it feels in your hand. The silicone is non slip and easy to hold. It’s a regular size, so you’ll get a refill easily at your local coffee shop.
It’s not non-spill. Just like a regular takeaway coffee cup, if you tip it, it will spill.
It won’t keep your drink hot for a long time (but like I said, great if you just want to replace throwaway paper cups!).
So, that’s my take on reusable coffee cups. Which is your favourite? Share in the comments below.