Review: the KeepCup recyclable coffee cup

Every now and then a product comes along and punches you right between the eyes, POW! It is shocking, but not because of anything to do with it’s cutting edge features or zany pricing or whatever.

No, it strikes you for nothing else but it’s simplicity and the niche it fills…“Why didn’t someone do it like this earlier?”

The KeepCup is one of those products.

KeepCups - S and M

The KeepCup is based upon the simple goal of saving us from throwing our disposable coffee cups out every day, which can take up to 50 years to biodegrade. Our global daily obsession with coffee costs the environment in the form of non-biodegradeable coffee cups and lids, not to mention manufacturing and transport costs which are all embedded as an environmental cost. Most of us probably don’t even think about it. Anything we can do to minimise our footprint on this beautiful planet should be encouraged – you only need to see these photos to realise why.

I used their calculator to see what my annual impact was for my 6 take-aways a week (yes, yes, I need to get a machine – I know already!):

  • 312 cups
  • Nearly 1kg of plastic
  • 14 KeepCups worth of plastic (!!)
  • 4kg of landfill
  • 320 Megajoules of energy

Pretty sobering when you multiple that by say, 1 Billion (or even 500 million) coffees a day (some people have more, some less). Frightening really, and clearly shows you why this is a good idea. Actually it’s not a good idea, it’s a fantastically necessary idea.

In the back of my mind I’ve had a niggle about coffee cups being binned every day (in my previous guise as owner of Heresy Snowboarding I was hyper-aware of these types of things) but never really wondered why something like this didn’t exist, or indeed even sought one out.

First Thoughts
Lots of people want to help the environment and planet, so it’s up to designers and companies to make products as simple and effective to use as possible. Anything that adds burden to people’s lives, irrespective of what it does, probably won’t succeed in this increasingly time-poor world.

Great Design

What immediately struck me about the KeepCup was its simplicity and the level of thought that obviously has gone into the product and packaging. The packaging is made from recycled cardboard, and there is no plastic packaging. It has executed the low impact, easy-to-use formula very well.

Here are the goals that KeepCup have kicked with this product.

  • Looks great!
  • No plastic smell at all
  • REALLY easy to clean (a quick rinse is all that is needed)
  • Interchangeable lids across small, medium and large sizes
  • Standard sizes
  • Recyclable
  • Microwaveable, dishwasher safe, stackable, multi-use (soup, tea etc)
  • One year guarantee
  • Designed and made in Australia

If you want to see me do a backyard interview with 2 cups, check the video out below (turn your speakers up a bit).

The Details

This thing looks GOOD. Clean lines, good colours – check the site out for the zillions of combinations you can have.

Killer Design, absolutely killer. Looking at one of these things makes me want to use it.

Easy to clean!

I reckon the best thing about the design aspect of the KeepCup is it’s clean lines. Rather than screwing on and off, the lid pops on and off. This is way better, and makes cleaning an absolute breeze. I just rinse the cup out after every use – inside and out – just a quick splash. No need to get into little tight surfaces. Very easy, which means people are more likely to use it.

Additionally, these things are dishwasher-safe and microwaveable, so if you had some soup to re-heat, you can do it. Also stackable so good for cafes more than anyone else.

These cups apparently fit standard international sizes (perhaps not America’s hyper-mega-super sized coffee) so in Australia my local cafe has not given me any problems in putting my medium soy latte put in a medium cup.

The cups fit car holders, which is awesome for taking a coffee down the highway to Torquay for a surf.

The Band
All KeepCups have a rubber hand around their middle which lets your personalise your cup.

The bands are imprinted with common coffee characteristics like sugars (number of), milk type, coffee type and strength and so on.

The silicone bands can be branded (best to email KeepCup directly) by cafes and companies and so on which also is another awesome aspect.

Wrap Up
Pretty much, if you love coffee, drink it a bit, and care about this planet, you ought to check these guys out.

An incredible idea, and beautifully executed. Even the best idea poorly executed is worth zip, so I am really happy these guys nailed the execution, including their website which is just so nice to browse on.

Overall? I give this a 10/10 – brilliant idea, great execution, and a great physical and online UI/UX (user interface/user experience) experience.

Ok, and seriously? Don’t feed your KeepCup Nescafe. It will probably and totally blow up in your face.*

*Ok it’s not going to blow up. Just don’t put Nescafe in it.

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