Buying Guides

KeepCup Full Review: War On Waste In Style

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No matter how much you love coffee, it’s not every day that you can enjoy your morning caffeine ritual at the comfort of your home. Whether you’re rushing to work or stopping at your favorite cafe for a takeaway while running errands, often you might be drinking your cup of joe on-the-go.

And with the growing popularity of takeaway coffee, grows the global use of takeaway coffee cups. It’s estimated that 500 billion takeaway coffee cups are produced globally every year and the majority end up in the landfill.

Luckily for all sustainably-minded coffee lovers, some companies are dedicated to solving the issue. And one of the first and most popular brands is the KeepCup.

We zoomed in on this popular reusable cup to give you an honest review as well as reveal its advantages and disadvantages. Do we like the KeepCup and would we recommend it?

The Original Reusable Cup

Because disposable coffee cups contain 5% of polyurethane plastic, it makes the composting and recycling of the cups very rare. Thus, an effort of eliminating this source of waste that we encounter almost every day does a great deal for the environment.

Such was the idea behind the creators of KeepCup, Abigail Forsyth, and her brother Jamie Forsyth in 2007 when they saw the alarming volume of cups used in their own chain of cafes in Melbourne. After trialing many reusable coffee cups and not being satisfied with any of them, they decided to make their own.

Indeed, the first Keep cups were sold to the coffee-loving Australians in an underground design market in Melbourne. Today, Keep cups are used in 65 countries all over the world.

Better For The Environment, Better For Your Wallet

Since then, many new companies selling reusable coffee cups emerged on the market, however, the KeepCup still remains the most iconic and recognizable. It has been popularised by celebrities thanks to its chic design. The KeepCup has also become a symbol for behavior change and an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

And it is not only the design that stands behind this company. According to the KeepCup website, using one of its plastic (LDPE) recyclable KeepCups for a year instead of disposable paper coffee cups will lead to :

  • 36–47% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 64–85% reduction in water use
  • 91–92% reduction in landfill. 

And since KeepCup was one of the first companies that produced travel mugs that come in barista-standard sizes and fit under the espresso head of any machine, the cafes quickly jumped on the bandwagon and started supporting the movement. Today, many cafes offer a discount on coffee when you bring your own KeepCup.

KeepCup Review

Sustainability Bonus Points

Demonstrating that sustainability is truly the driving focus of the company, they don’t stop with the coffee cups. Some of other environmentally conscious changes and efforts behind the KeepCup brand are:

  • Retail boxes are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified cardboard.
  • The insert brochures included with each KeepCup are printed on FSC certified paper.
  • They’re manufactured locally at each of our three global hubs: Australia, the UK, and the USA.
  • Their Australian office has been solar powered since 2015, and in 2019 our UK office went solar.

Keepcup Review

It’s safe to say that by using a KeepCup, you’ll do good for the world, but what about you? How would you benefit from using a KeepCup? Let’s have a closer look at some of its positive and negative points of this popular reusable coffee cup.

Materials: All About The Variety

There are a few materials to choose from when buying a KeepCup. The most basic ones are made from plastic, the most iconic ones are made of toughened glass and the latest addition is made of stainless steel and features a double wall.

Even though the glass material might sound fragile, this is not true of KeepCups. They are made of tempered soda-lime glass that is shock-resistant and can withstand high temperatures, whether that’s a long black or a hot tea.

And since it is impossible to hold a glass cup full of hot liquid, they also feature a recycled cork band (also comes in plastic) that is heat resistant and adds a nice touch to the design.

Portability: Perfect Addition To Your Travel Kit

KeepCups are travel-friendly, easy, and comfortable to hold, not too heavy or weirdly shaped and they fit into most car cup holders. And as mentioned before, the recycled cork band makes it easy to hold even when hot.

Insulation: The Main Disappointment

If you’re looking for the best reusable coffee cup that can hold your coffee hot for hours, you’re bound to be disappointed by the performance of the KeepCup. Whether it’s the stylish glass or the colorful plastic cup, it can only keep your coffee warm for about an hour, which is among the low times for a travel mug.

While KeepCups are ideal for when you want to drink coffee straight away on-the-go if you want the cup to keep the hot coffee at the same temperature for hours, it might not be the best choice.

That being said, the new thermal stainless steel models that came to the market recently promise to change this downfall. This comes at the expense of the beautiful design since the stainless steel material is more prone to scratching and not as chic as the glass version.

Design: To Match Your Style

Whether your focus is the insulation or the design will often determine whether buying a KeepCup is the right choice for you. While the traditional thermos cups perform well at keeping the liquid hot, they are often unattractive and ugly-looking.

The attractive KeepCup design makes it a popular choice for celebrities and people who care about design. You can also completely customize the color combination of each component of the cup and choose your preference of material and size. Many coffee shops also make their own KeepCups with customized branding.

Lid: Not So Leak-Proof

When it comes to looking for the best reusable coffee cup, it often comes down to the kind of lid they have. The KeepCup has a BPA-free plastic lid, which can make the coffee smells of plastic. Additionally, it is not fully splash-proof and can leak, so you cannot comfortably put it in your bag until you’ve cleaned it.

On the other hand, the drinking hole on the lid is big enough to give you a chance to smell the aroma of the coffee as well and enhance the coffee-drinking experience, which is something you don’t get from most reusable coffee cups.

KeepCup Review

Durability: Built To Last

The KeepCup is made out of tempered soda-lime glass, which makes it shock-resistant and durable. We do not recommend testing this by smashing the glass against the floor though. Just to be safe.

And even if you damage or lose some of its parts, since all of them are replaceable, you can buy them individually rather than having to buy a completely new KeepCup. So in line with their sustainable philosophy, the KeepCup doesn’t create any waste in the landfill, even when it breaks and is built to last you a long time.

Functionality: Useful And Versatile

When it comes to functionality, it seems like KeepCup creators thought of everything. Apart from being easy to use and clean, it comes with little details that add to the convenience and versatility.

It can be used for tea as well as coffee, it can be turned into a regular mug since the rim is comfortable to drink from even without the lid. It comes in the standard coffee sizes, which makes the job easier for the barista as well as allows you to choose one depending on your regular coffee order. Whether you need a 12oz for your milky latte or a compatible 6oz because you like your coffee small and strong, there’s a KeepCup size for you.

The ones without the cork band are also microwavable and dishwasher-safe and all of them can be used with a straw that fits through the lid. Reusable straw, of course.

Price: Value For Money?

The Keep Cup isn’t cheap but it also isn’t the most expensive coffee cup. The price also depends on which material you choose and we think that with its vast functionality, ease of use, and beautiful design, it is still worth the money. And when you think of the savings that you’ll get on each coffee for bringing your coffee cup, buying one is a no-brainer.

Alternatives And Competitors

Are you not convinced by the KeepCup’s features? What is the best reusable coffee cup that would match your needs and expectations?

If the insulation is the biggest selling point for you, going for a tumbler might be a good choice. While they have high functionality, they usually have a boring or ugly design.

Some of the most popular competitors are double-wall vacuum insulated Klean Kanteen reusable tumbler, Frank Green coffee cup, or a similarly-designed, but only available with plastic holders rather than cork, the Joco travel mug.

Do you need even more time to save in the morning than just drinking the coffee? Do you fancy brewing it on-the-go too? Then we recommend you look into the French Press travel mugs.

The Verdict

With the alarming amount of disposable coffee cups being produced every day and ending up in the landfill, companies like KeepCup provide a solution that lets you enjoy your morning caffeine hit on the way to work without the impact on the environment.

Apart from the sustainability features, what’s our verdict on the functionality and the whole coffee drinker’s experience of the KeepCup brew?

This attractively-designed reusable cup comes with many functional features. Our review proved that it is easy to use and clean, comfortable to hold, barista-standard sized, and durable. The main negatives are the leaky lid and very low insulation properties.

But if you want to enjoy your coffee straight away and keeping your coffee hot is not your main reason why you’re considering a reusable coffee cup, then the Keep cup might be a great choice for you.

Not giving up your daily takeaway coffee, not contributing to the waste from the disposable cups, and doing so in style? We like that.

Stay caffeinated.

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