With a plethora of reusable coffee cups now on the market, it can often feel like a minefield trying to pick the right one for you.So which one will you use time and again? Erin O’Connor puts 10 reusable cups – at different price points – to the test.
USP: This cup can be customised to three sizes: espresso (8oz/227ml), medio (12oz/340ml) and grande (16oz/454ml).
Leak test: Fail. When tipped upside down, hot coffee leaked through the seal between the body and lid.
What the barista says: “During a busy service, these cups could be fiddly. It’s quite easy to place too much pressure when reapplying the lid, causing the cup to collapse while full.”
Who’s it for? Those who don’t want to commit to one size of drink.
USP: Made of double-walled Tritan plastic, it’s ultrasonically welded, which prevents shattering and means the cup never absorbs odours.
Leak test: Fail. You would have to ensure your cup is completely empty before placing it in a bag – there is no seal for the mouthpiece.
What the barista says: “Feels a little like a child’s beaker, but in a good way! It’s sturdy, and it’s easy to pour into thanks to the curved bottom.”
Who’s it for? Those who want a cup that takes up less space.
Price: $22.50 AUD
USP: It’s clad in organically grown bamboo, which grows quickly and in diverse climates, making it sustainable and versatile.
Leak test: Pass. The lid doesn’t leak, although the latch could be knocked open if it catches anything in a bag.
What the barista says: “It’s quite difficult to get the lid on and off, so it wouldn’t be ideal during busy times. It does seal, but there’s a concern that the latch might wear out.”
Who’s it for? People who are always on the go.
Price: £19 for 14oz
USP: The first reusable cup to be made from recycled single-use coffee cups, the rCUP is also 100% recyclable in the UK.
Leak test: Pass. Impressively secure.
What the barista says: “This feels sturdy and is nice to pour into. Unfortunately, there’s no visual clue to know if the lid is open or closed.”
Who’s it for? Those who want their reusable cup to have already made a positive impact on the environment.
Price: From £11 for 8oz
USP: A shatterproof ceramic cup that is ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in your hand. This keeps your coffee warm for hours.
Leak test: Fail. Although the lid appeared sturdy, we still found it leaked from the sliding seal. If filled with hot coffee, it would leak out when inverted.
What the barista says: “Beautifully designed. Simple and effective.”
Who’s it for? Those who enjoy fashion as much as coffee.
Price: From $39 USD for 8oz
USP: From the designers of the Bobble bottle, Hip Cup offers a textured grip on a stylish, lightweight and shatterproof body.
Leak test: Fail. The slider will stop coffee spilling while walking, but wouldn’t prevent leakage in your bag.
What the barista says: “A lovely simplicity of design, and the ability to put the lid on and take it off easily is a bonus, especially when you’ve got a queue of people out the door.”
Who’s it for? The style-conscious on a budget.
Price: $10 AUD for 12oz
USP: A ceramic double-walled mug that simultaneously protects your hand from the heat and keeps your coffee warm for longer.
Leak test: Fail. The rubber lid doesn’t seal securely and there’s no stopper, so coffee can leak out when inverted.
What the barista says: “It fills up a lot quicker than you’d think – the cup seems bigger than 8oz it holds. It has a real handmade quality.”
Who’s it for? Those who want the feel of a proper ceramic cup.
Price: £19.99 for 8oz
USP: KeepCup is the original reusable cup for speciality coffee shops – its name is sometimes treated as synonymous with reusables.
Leak test: Fail. While the seal stopped coffee spurting out while walking, it leaked when inverted.
What the barista says: “A classic. Most of our customers come in with this. It’s reliable, and the cork provides a good grip when pouring.”
Who’s it for? The traditionalists.
Price: From £7 for 4oz
USP: The well-established Klean Kanteen gave us ClimateLock vacuum insulation.
Leak test: Fail. With this model you can’t close the lid fully, so any leftover coffee in the cup can leak out.
What the barista says: “While this model doesn’t fit under our portafilter, it is highly durable and has an incredibly good seal.”
Who’s it for? Anyone who’d like a cup that lasts a lifetime and doesn’t want to worry about it getting knocked around.
Price: From £16.95 for 8oz
USP: This cup comes with a built-in NFC chip that allows you to pay for your coffee without using a card or app.
Leak test: Pass. Zero leakage.
What the barista says: “These cups look and feel elegant, but they aren’t that nice to pour into – they’re too straight and upright.”
Who’s it for? The style-conscious and tech-savvy who prefer not to get their wallet out if they can avoid it.
Price: From £21.99 for 6oz
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