KeepCup launched in 2009. Its plastic and glass vessels now retail worldwide, but they’re still manufactured in Victoria. The tempered glass version I tested looks great and seals tight, retaining heat nicely. A rubber or cork band protects your fingers from heat and the glass is comfortable to drink from sans lid. You can design your own cup via the website and match it to your personal colour palette, mood or outfit. Perfect for just about anyone.
2. Frank Green
This is the only cup I’d confidently toss in my backpack without fear of flavouring my laptop with latte. The lid screws down and a spring-loaded opening locks liquid in. The mechanism takes some effort to clean but meant Frank Green performed well in the heat test. If you leave your wallet at the office, use the built-in Paywave function to settle up. That’s right, Frank Green holds coffee and cash. Highly recommended for cyclists, commuters and those who travel light.
3. Pottery for the Planet
These cups are hand-moulded in Queensland by ceramicist Renton Bishopric for a rustic, coastal vibe. As well as reducing paper-cup waste on land, they also support the removal of trash from our oceans – a cut from each sale goes to the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Bishopric throws a range of designs, pairing each with a silicone lid. A Planet Cup is worth holding onto. They’re beautiful as everyday cups for home, not just for taking on the road.
This one is straight from a Kubrick sci-fi. The sleek stainless steel and lightweight ceramic silhouette is shatterproof, has a rubber base for stability and the lid slides from open to sealed as silently as an airlock. It’s also the most temperature-stable of any cup I tested, making it good for road trippers and slow sippers. The only negative is a surge created when you tilt it to drink, which caught me by surprise more than once. Perfect for the console of your Tesla.
No frills, fewer spills. These curves are “barista designed” to cradle your coffee (presumably so it mixes evenly with milk) and made in Australia from medical-grade, recyclable Tritan plastic. You can write on the exterior of the double-wall design, so your order won’t accidentally wind up with someone else. The hard plastic top is comfortable to drink from and fits snugly. For those who appreciate simplicity, or find themselves fumbly first thing.
Ceramicist Katherine Mahoney and barista Stephen Dyer’s earthenware reusables“reflect the subtle hues and textures of the urban landscape of Australia”. Each is handmade in Sydney and fitted with a silicon lid and felt cuff. The two-tone, matte-finish vessels are less hard-wearing than other brands, but their fragility is part of their beauty. One to carry with care, a Claycup is ideal for short walks between the coffeeshop and the workplace.
Sol cups are simple, colourful and practical. The hand-blown glass body is durable and easy to clean, but not the most effective insulator. I’ve never been a fan of puckering up to a silicone drinking spout, so the generic lid (the same used by Pottery for the Planet and others) is a put off. The Sol Pouch – a waterproof carrybag to protect against travel leakage – is a neat add-on, but I’d sooner put my faith in a tightly sealable lid such as Frank Green’s.
Sol and Joco cups are so similar, they’re practically twins. Both are single-walled glass with silicone heat wraps and caps – though Joco’s sports a more dapper quiff. It finished last in the heat-retention test.If you’re looking for a fashionable (and affordable) option, there’s a Joco colour to match every beach towel, lipstick or desktop. The company also supports marine preservation by donating to not-for-profit organisation Take 3 for the Sea.
9. An actual cup
Maybe the answer has been staring us in the face all along. Cafes already serve coffee in high-quality, eco-friendly cups that can’t be forgotten at home. And you don’t have to wash them yourself after you’re done drinking. Best of all, they get you away from your desk, car or couch to engage with the other people in your city. Are we really all that pressed for time? C’mon – do the unthinkable, and drink in.