Travel coffee mugs are my thing. Whether I’m having coffee or tea, making it at home or buying it on the run, sitting with friends or sitting in class; you can be pretty sure that I’ve got my hot beverage in a reusable travel mug. I always feel a little rush of green-machine ecofriendlyness when I hand over my empty mug and a 5 dollar bill and get back a creamy latte and some change; so you can imagine my horror when I learned that traditional travel mugs don’t really do anything to help the environment.
One day I was horrified when I noticed a server pouring the black coffee I ordered into a paper cup before transferring it over to my travel mug and then a barista friend of mine clued me in to the cold hard truth. Apparently, because most travel mugs don’t fit under the nozzle of the espresso machine; baristas all over the world make our drinks in paper cups before pouring them into our travel mugs. These cups then get thrown away.
My world started crashing down around me and my head started to spin as I calculated all of the cups I’ve wasted over the years without even knowing it. I thought all was lost, that is, until I discovered the KeepCup.
KeepCups claim to be the world’s first barista standard reusable coffee cups and I, for one, believe them. They are an amazing product and here’s some proof:
Range of sizes: The KeepCup comes in sizes ranging from 4oz. to 16oz., which is kind of amazing. I have the small and medium (that would be a short and a tall if you only speak Starbucks) and they totally meet my needs. Another plus to this sizing scheme is you can bring them anywhere in the world and be guaranteed that the local café won’t scoff at the size of your cup.
Totally Customizable: If you order your KeepCup directly from the company (and why wouldn’t you) you have the option of customizing the colors, which is kind of amazing, and, if you’re in a rush or not feeling very creative you can also pick from a range of predesigned cups.
They don’t leak: I should probably amend that to “mine haven’t leaked yet” nothing is absolute but I’ve both knocked mine over and shoved them in a bag and everything’s been fine.
They are BPA free: Hoooray!
They don’t take up much room: These bad boys are seriously packable. On my first long term trip abroad I didn’t bring a travel mug with me and I seriously regretted it. On my second long term trip abroad I tried to bring a travel mug and it took up way too much space in my bag. If I had had a KeepCup then I wouldn’t have had any trouble. KeepCups are strong and don’t take up much room. Although I probably wouldn’t put one in my carry on, I wouldn’t hesitate to put it in my checked bag.
To be fair there are few cons to go along with these amazing reasons for my love of KeepCups:
They can be hard to close: Before I got my KeepCup I assumed the lid would be difficult to use because you press it on (instead of twisting it closed like most travel mugs). I was pleasently surprised to learn that it's not only very easy to use, but also hasn't caused me to spill my coffee once. The problem comes from the plug. It works well to keep my coffee from spilling but can be difficult to twist for regular use.
You have to order them online: There are shops that carry the KeepCup all over the world but I couldn’t find any retailers near where I am right now, Los Angeles, California. I really wanted to add the KeepCup to my travel mug arsenal so I did my best to shelve my notorious impatience.
If you’re in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, or a handful of other places around the world you can just walk into a shop and pick up a KeepCup, so it really isn’t an issue for everyone.
They’re plastic: It should be noted that KeepCups are made of plastic. But (and this is a big but) so are those “paper” cups from coffee houses. I’d rather keep one plastic KeepCup for a few years than go through hundreds of disposable cups. Also, according to the website, when you’re done with the KeepCup, it can be recycled.