Review: the BYO Coffee Cup (with video)

A little while ago we reviewed the KeepCup – a re-usable, recyclable take away coffee cup.

I came across the BYO Coffee Cup in The Age newspaper and Hookturn Industries were kind enough to send me one.

Here’s the video review.

** Update 4 Feb 2010.
2 days ago, Hookturn Industries asked us to remove the video from YouTube. Presumably this is because the review contained constructive criticism intended to highlight two design features I thought could be improved to make the product better.

Although Hookturn has no legal basis upon which they can make such a request (i.e. we reviewed something in the public domain, included some personal opinion, and were very constructive), and I’d certainly be well within my rights to leave it on YouTube, and although the brand exposure from having it on YouTube would far, far outweigh a review by one person (as well as letting people make responses and video responses), we have pulled it down anyway as the hassle isn’t worth it.

The BYO Coffee Cup Review from Tim Marsh on Vimeo.

In another video, I’ll be comparing the BYO Coffee Cup and KeepCup.

The Details

This thing doesn’t look too bad at all. Clean lines, good colours – looks like a standard takeaway coffee cup.

Design Concept and Implementation
As I say in the video, there are 2 main things that can be fixed with this product: the sides made rigid, and the lid made easier to put on.

Very easy to clean though.

I’m not sure if the BYO Coffee Cup is dishwasher-safe and microwaveable, so if you had some soup to re-heat, you’d better check. It’s also stackable so good for cafes more than anyone else.

The cups look like they fit standard small cafe sizing, so pricing shouldn’t be an issue.

The cups fit car holders, so that’s cool as you head off for a road trip.

Wrap Up
A good concept, not-too-bad aesthetics. The implementation could be improved to make this a solid product.

Overall? I give this a 5/10 – it’s a good idea but needs improvement in a couple of areas that affect its practical application and user experience.

Looks good

Looks good

Easy to clean!

Easy to clean

Easy to clean

The Tricky Lid

The Tricky Lid

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12 Responses to Review: the BYO Coffee Cup (with video)

  1. George says:

    I’m kinda sad that there was a request for your video to be pulled.
    As the proud owner of a KeepCup, I have recently purchased a “BYO coffee cup” to check as a comparison.
    Hopefully I will be able to make that comparison later in the week.

    Got to love “I want press, but only if it’s good”…

  2. cafedave says:


    Thanks for putting that review together. I’ve been trying a byo-coffee-cup and a keep-cup, and though I really like the feel of the silicon, I do tend to prefer the keep-cup for its robust shape and the ability to close it.

    Do you know of any other keep-cups? I’m working on a post reviewing a few of them all in the one place.
    [rq=2132133,0,blog][/rq]VCD: My Left Eye Sees Ghosts

  3. David says:

    I like the hookturn cup, only problem is that it tastes like silicone! I have used it several times and washed it with soap too, but it still has that lingering taste. Any ideas or suggestions?

    • admin says:

      Dave, I don’t use the Hookturn product for the reasons I outline in the video review.

      My recommendation would be to get a KeepCup – you can even win one from us. Check out this link.


  4. Damo says:

    Interestingly I gave this review some “constructive criticism” and i’ve noticed that those comments have been deleted. So while you hang it on the guys at hookturn for not handling criticism you cant even handle it yourself.!!
    I’ve got a BYO i use everyday and i thought your review and how you squeezed the cup with hot coffee in it was completely over the top. I’d like to see you review a standard paper cup and squeeze it the same way and see how much “liquid you displace” !

    • Tim Marsh says:

      Hi Damo,
      thanks for the comment.

      I’ve searched for a comment by you, and can’t find one. It quite possibly could have been lost when we moved from one web host to the next. The wherespresso comment policy doesn’t provide for the deleting of comments just because they’re critical of our opinion. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and I wouldn’t delete something because someone didn’t agree with me. We only delete comments if they’re clearly trolling, flaming, or contain swearing, racism, homophobia and so on. All pretty standard and straight-forward stuff, I think most people will agree.

      Regarding your thoughts on the Hookturn product, and how we reviewed it – of course you’re entitled to your opinion. I (and others, including baristas), don’t agree with you, but that’s the beauty of informed debate.

      As I said, it’s a product that would be vastly improved if the sides were more rigid and the lid was easier to put on. I’d have a hard time arguing that a standard takeaway coffee cup wasn’t better than the BYO Coffee Cup.

      I think the true test, though, is to look for what other people are using. I see vastly more KeepCups being carried around by people than BYO Coffee Cups.

      People can read these comments, watch the video and make their own call. Some will agree, some will not, but either way, it’s all cool.

      Thanks for reading,

  5. Damo says:

    Ok look, i think the more of these kind of cups out there the better right? less paper cups and all that.

    It’s not a competition between this cup or that cup is it?. People will make their own call based on how the cup feels, looks and handles. I personally felt that when i had a Keep Cup I felt like I was drinking my morning cuppa from my 2 years olds juice mug. But, thats just me. I don’t have a website to hang it on this product or that.

    After finding the byo cup, I checked out your review and I thought it was pretty unfair and unrealistic. I find it really firm actually, especially when the lid it on. But eh, of course, squeezing it will make it squeeze. It’s silicone mate. What do you expect. Its like any cup!

    Would you hold a can of coke and squeeze it like you did the BYO? No. You’d end up with coke everywhere right.

    Would you grab a shake from Boost and squeeze it? What about a beer at the footy, nope, nope and no. Why? because your brain tells you not to squeeze it hard because its full of liquid.

    Thats why review is not accurate. As a user, i can tell you that you’d have to squueze it as hard as any of the cups above to get the coffee to spill. Especially when the lid is on, which is 99% of the time.

    I don’t blame the hookturn dudes from asking you to pull the vid personally. I found it pretty ridiculous so i can understand what they thought.

    But hey look, your just supporting one of your key advertisers right.?
    I’m a BYO fan, your clearly a Keep Cup guy and thats all cool by me too.

    • Wherespresso Coffee says:

      Hi Damo, thanks for the comment.

      I don’t want to get into an argument on the internet (it’s pointless), but there seems to be under some misunderstanding here as to the point of the review, and the basis upon which is was made.

      1 – KeepCup are not an advertiser on this site. Even if they were, it would have no material bearing on the BYO Coffee Cup review. If the cup was (in my opinion) good, I’d say so, regardless of who was advertising.
      2 – There is no competition. This was simply a comparison between two of the more publicised candidates. If people can point me in the direction of other similar products, I’d be happy to review them.
      3 – I think there is a vast difference between a Coke can and the BYO coffee cup. A Coke can is an enclosed product, carrying pre-packaged cold drink. There is no lid to put on. I also think a Coke can is materially more robust than the BYO CC. So, I think the comparison between the can of Coke, and the Boost juice, is largely irrelevant.
      4 – The Hookturn people are free to ask for the video to be pulled from YouTube. As I told them directly, I thought it was the opposite reaction they probably ought to take (e.g. take on board some constructive feedback to improve the product).
      5 – No one is saying you’d squeeze the BYO CC once you have it. You are right, it is silicon – and that was part of my original point; I don’t think silicon is robust enough in the context of a container intended to hold hot liquid, nor taking into account the difficulty some might have in putting the lid on. The reason I squeezed the BYO CC was to show how much give it had. From a baristas point of view, holding the cup, and trying to get the tricky lid on, can cause the thing to buckle – this is a point I think was made pretty clearly. That feedback is directly from a barista.

      As you say, people will absolutely make their own call on the product; this is something I have said all along. The review is simply my opinion. Some people will agree, some will not.

      As I said last time: the true test, though, is to look for what other people are using. I see vastly more KeepCups being carried around by people, and sold by coffee shops, than BYO Coffee Cups.


  6. Tim says:

    Hi George, it is, but, I’ll have a Vimeo one up very shortly (i.e. in 10 minutes).

    Cheers for the comment,


  7. Tim says:

    Hey Dave,
    no probs putting the review together, it helps people make an informed decision! In any case, people can look at the video and make their own decision.

    I’m not aware of any other re-usable cups; if you come across any, please let me know, so I can make everyone aware of it.

    Drop me a line when your review is done, I’ll see if I can fit it in somehow into the site.

    Cheers Dave!