Tuesday, April 30, 2013

KeepCup reusable coffee cup review

As a coffee addict, KeepCup has been one of the best investment I've ever made. Originating from coffee cultured Australia, this is the first barista standard reusable cup - meaning it should fit most professional espresso machines. If you drink as much coffee as I do, then this will reduce the consumption of disposable cups, of which billions are consumed and thrown away each year. Less waste = better for everyone. Released in 2011, KeepCup reusable cups has proven to be so popular that even Starbucks is getting into this whole reusable cup business.

KeepCup cups comes in four sizes: XS, S, M and L, which equates to 4oz, 8oz, 12oz and 16oz. Now I don't know about you, but I like my coffee strong, so 4oz and 8oz are perfect depending on the type of drink you like. 4oz cups are for espressos and 8oz are for milk-based espresso drinks like flat white and latte. If you like iced drinks, then either 12oz and 16oz will suit you, and I suspect these two larger cups will be popular among fans of Starbucks brand of bland coffee.
My partner's KeepCup
In fact, you don't even need to like coffee to want to own this - it is fine for any hot beverage including tea, chai latte (whatever that is) or any other trendy hot drink is at the moment. The removable rubber band allows you to highlight your drink preferences, including whether you want sugar or sweetener (or none), soy milk (ugh), low fat milk (double ugh) or your coffee decaf (triple ugh).

The awesome thing about KeepCup cups, apart from the bits about promoting sustainability, is the cheer amount of customisation possibilities. The cups are made of four separate parts, each of which are available in many colours, and which can be removed and interchangeable among the size S, M and L cup sizes (XS has a different lid, plug and band size). Bands, lids, cups and plugs can each be ordered separately as spare parts.

Now my math isn't up to scratch, but I reckon there are thousands if not tens of thousands of possible colour combinations.. If you are a brand, you can even customise the rubber band with a logo, and sell them at your own on-site coffee shop or cafe, or even as part of a giveaway (any PRs reading this should take note). Think of the possibilities. An Android or Windows Phone branded band? I would want one or each.
The plastic construction is thick and sturdy, and is solidly build. Despite its thickness, the KeepCup isn't a thermos, so it won't actually keep your drink warm for long. It is also not designed to be watertight or spill proof. Overall, the build quality is great. I've had one for a couple of months, and there are various nicks. The lid scratches easily, but these are merely cosmetic and the cup will certainly last you for a while. Unlike Starbucks' new 'disposable reusable' cups which lasts 30 days, I've read of people who are still using their original KeepCup cup a year after the initial purchase.

If you happen to live in London, the Independent Coffee Guide book contains a list of coffee shops that sells KeepCup cups. These includes Nude Espresso, Store Street Espresso, Lantana and the various Taylor St Baristas dotted around town. Prices of cups costs from £8, but discounts are available for bulk and group orders. Pricey perhaps for something that doesn't actually keep your drink warm but at least you will be assured that it will fit into most barista's machines. And you will also doing the environment a huge favour.

Happy drinking!


Dani said...

Decaf (yeah), Soya (yeah), Starbucks FTW (yeah) and yeah yeah yeah for the bland coffee!!! I didn't know my £1 starbucks mug only lasts 30 days?

Unknown said...

I don't like StarBucks. I only had it once when I was in Australia in a cafe shop with my family. We are okay with regular tea or espresso.

Finn Felton
Kopi Luwak