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In 2021, most of us are trying to find ways to decrease the amount of waste we’re creating, as well as do our part in slowing down global warming and environmental degradation. You only need to walk past a bin near a busy train station in the morning to see it filled to the brim with disposable coffee cups, each of which can take up to thirty years to decompose. And when you think of how many cups are used across the UK every single day, that can feel a bit scary.
Investing in a good quality reusable coffee cup will encourage you to ditch the disposable in a way that’s easy and has a barely noticeable impact on your day to day life.
You won’t even have to give up your cafe coffee!
Just hand the barista your reusable cup and they’ll give you your same beloved brew, just in a more eco-friendly vessel.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not a reusable coffee cup is worth the investment, we’ve answered the most common questions, as well as rounded up the 12 best cups you can buy in the UK.
Are reusable coffee cups good for the environment?
Although they look like they’re made from cardboard and paper, disposable coffee cups contain plastics that don’t break down and are therefore bad for the environment.
In fact, they are almost as bad as plastic bottles when it comes to litter waste.
Are reusable coffee cups hygienic?
Yes. While some cafes won’t allow you to use reusable coffee cups if they don’t appear clean, this is because if you get sick from a coffee you have from their establishment they may be liable, even if the illness was caused by contamination from the cup.
In order to make sure you’re using your keep cup as hygienically as possible, make sure you’re properly washing and drying it between uses and not just drinking your coffee and stowing the cup away in your bag for its next use.
How often you need to wash the cup differs from brand to brand and person to person.
However, the general consensus is that you should be giving it a thorough wash at least once a week, and rinsing it out with water after every use.
You should never be leaving your coffee residue to build up, because not only will it make the cup harder to clean, but the build-up of bacteria could upset your stomach.
Do reusable coffee cups leak everywhere?
This depends on the kind of cup you get. Some are designed like regular coffee cups, with an opening to drink through and a fairly loosely fitted lid.
In these instances, it would not be safe to put these in your backpack and run for the train, as you’ll end up drenching everything inside with your espresso.
But there are some that have been designed to be sturdy enough to be leak-proof and can be safely put into your bag without fear of it spilling everywhere.
If that’s the kind of cup you’re after, you need to ensure you buy one that advertises itself as ‘leakproof’ because you can’t just assume.
Do reusable coffee cups keep coffee warm?
Again, some do – but not all.
Some cups have built-in temperature control and are able to keep your coffee piping hot for hours at a time – perfect for if you like to pre-make your coffee before a commute.
However, not all reusable coffee cups have this feature, and many don’t keep it warm any longer than a regular mug or disposable cup would.
What is the best material for a reusable coffee cup?
There are many different types of materials that can be utilised to make your reusable coffee cup.
The most popular are ceramic, bamboo, stainless steel, and glass.
Most people tend to stay away from plastics and silicone as it isn’t as environmentally friendly as these other materials – but there are some on the market if that’s what you prefer.
What size reusable coffee cup should you get?
This depends on what you plan on using your reusable coffee cup for. If you like to travel light and have a thing for Piccolos – you only need something small.
But if you like to chug your caffeine by the gallon and have room in your bag for something bigger, you’d be better off investing in a large coffee cup that can keep up with you.
What is the best reusable coffee cup to buy in the UK?
Reusable coffee cups come in an array of materials, sizes, shapes, and designs to suit all kinds of needs and lifestyles.
For that reason, we’ve rounded up the 12 best reusable coffee cups in the UK for you to choose from.
Best glass reusable coffee cup
KeepCup is such an iconic brand many people refer to all reusable cups as keep cups – the brand revolutionized the way we talk about these kinds of cups.
You only need to use this KeepCup 24 times before it has a lower impact than disposable cups, which is only just over three weeks if you have a daily coffee habit – and if you take care of this cup it should last you for many years.
This cup has been designed to be used with a coffee maker, sitting under the coffee machine group heads to keep extraction and crema intact so you can still enjoy barista-quality coffee.
The cup has been designed to be drunk on the go, with a splash-proof lid that has enough room for your nose and a body that fits comfortably in your hand.
Material: Glass cup with cork band
Best bamboo reusable coffee cup
Airee Fairee Reusable Coffee Cup
Made entirely from organic bamboo fibre, this reusable coffee cup is completely biodegradable.
The silicone band that protects your hand from the heat is not biodegradable, but if you use the cup continuously it is still more environmentally friendly than a disposable cup.
Never drip coffee down your shirt again with the drip-proof life that can be clasped shut to prevent any leakage or spillage.
Material: Bamboo cup with silicone band
Best stainless steel reusable coffee cup
Bru Reusable Coffee Cup
This sleek, modern-looking keep cup comes in seven eye-catching colours.
If you want a stainless steel cup that’s going to keep your coffee piping hot for hours, this is a good bet.
It can keep drinks hot for up to four hours and cold for up to 12. It also keeps the temperature regulated without affecting the outside of the cup, so the outside won’t get overheated or uncomfortable to hold.
The bru cup is made from 100 percent recyclable material and plastic-free packaging so you can be sure it’s eco-friendly and sustainably made.
Material: Stainless steel
Best ceramic reusable coffee cup
Porter Mug Reusable Coffee Cup
This chic, aesthetically pleasing ceramic reusable coffee cup is both dishwasher and microwave safe and is a high-quality, long-lasting replacement to despicable or plastic coffee mugs.
As this cup has been made from the same ceramic material as your at-home coffee mug, it adds a touch of home comfort to your commute coffee stop.
Material: Ceramic and silicone
Best reusable coffee cup with lid
This travel-safe reusable coffee cup comes with a non-slip sleeve and a detachable lid that clamps shut to prevent spillage and makes it easily portable.
The genius, non-slip sleeve sits on top of the glass cup so it can sit safely and comfortably in your hand.
Best reusable coffee cup for travel
Newdora Reusable Coffee Cup
This reusable cup is ideal for travel because it isn’t just good for coffee – it’s good for cocktails too.
The fun, marble print design and double-walled thermal control helps keep your drink at the desired temperature for hours at a time, perfect for jam-packed travel days and drinking on the go.
Material: Stainless steel
Best personalised reusable coffee cup
Sunflowers Era. Personalised Travel Mug
Once you start using reusable coffee cups you might notice them continuously disappearing as your housemates or family start wanting to try it out for themselves.
Make sure you’re marking your territory by getting one like this insulated stainless steel reusable coffee cup that you can get personalised with your name or a fun design so there’s never any doubt who the owner is.
Material: stainless steel
Best collapsible reusable coffee cup
HUNU Collapsible Coffee Cup
If you’re someone who likes to travel light, you might not have room in your bag for a big reusable keep cup which (despite the best of intentions) could lead to you forgetting it at home more often than not which negates the purpose.
This genius collapsible cup folds flat so that it’s pocket-sized and will easily be able to fit into a small purse or large wallet without taking up much space, but will fold out big enough to fit a cup of coffee into it.
Best reusable coffee cup with straw
Umi Stainless Steel Coffee Cup
We all know coffee stains the teeth, but there is a way you can enjoy coffee without incurring these stains – drink it through a straw.
If you’re making the move to reusable coffee cups you don’t want to be using disposable straws, so this handy cup from Umi comes with a reusable straw with a lid so you can be extra eco-friendly.
Material: Stainless steel
Best leak-proof reusable coffee cup
Farruto Insulated Coffee Mug
This double-layered, stainless steel reusable coffee cup uses a vacuum seal design to ensure the coffee stays hot while making sure none gets out and leaks.
If you have too many things in your hands and you want to pop the coffee into your bag, you can do so with peace of mind as the 100 percent leak-proof design ensures none will seep out of the cup.
Material: Stainless steel
Best small reusable coffee cup
KeepCup Brew small
An extra small version of the original KeepCup, this version takes up less space in your bag while giving you the same eco-friendly benefits of the cult favourite original design.
Best large reusable coffee cup
Stainless Steel Travel Mug
Real caffeine addicts know one cup is never enough, and this reusable cup has enough room for 700ml of the good stuff.
Coming in seven pastel colours, the bright tumblers are double-walled and insulated so your drink will stay at the perfect temperature for hours at a time.
Material: Stainless steel
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