The Best Coffee Cups
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If a warm cup of coffee is necessary for you to start the day, a disposable coffee cup could be just what you need. You can take it with you on your morning commute or grab it before you leave on your road trip without worrying about washing it, storing it or losing it.
But disposable coffee cups also come in handy when you’re serving coffee to attendees and a meeting or other event. Simply set the cups on a table near the coffeepot and let people serve themselves.
There are some things to consider before buying to-go coffee cups, though. One is whether lids are included. This might not be a factor if you’re drinking the coffee in the same location where it’s being served. But if you prefer lids, some to-go cups come with them. Others don’t include the lids but allow you to purchase them separately.
You also should look at whether the coffee cup will get too warm for your hands when a hot drink is poured into them. Many are double-insulated or have a polyethylene lining for that very purpose. If they don’t offer any such protection against heat, you might need to purchase a separately-sold sleeve.
The capacity of the cup is important, as well. If you’ve used disposable coffee cups in the past, you’ve probably experienced the small, 10- or 12-ounce versions while in a professional setting. But they also come in 16- and 20-ounce sizes that can offer you a more generous amount of caffeinated beverage — and who can object to that?
Our Picks For The Top Coffee Cups
- 1. Hefty 16-Ounce Disposable Coffe Cups, 20-Pack
- 2. Comfy Package 16-Ounce White Paper Coffee Cups, 100-Pack
- 3. Dixie 12-Ounce Assorted Design Paper Coffee Cups, 156-Count
- 4. Harvest Pack 16-Ounce Double-Walled Coffee Cups, 85-Pack
- 5. TashiBox 12-Ounce White Paper Coffee Cups, 120-Pack
- 6. Amazon Basics 16-Ounce Paper Coffee Cups, 500-Count
- 7. Dixie PerfecTouch 12-Ounce Insulated Paper Coffee Cups
16-Ounce Disposable Coffe Cups, 20-Pack
With 20 16-ounce disposable cups and lids, this pack of cups featuring double-wall insulation can provide to-go coffee for one person for multiple days or serve a small group. The lids are designed to fit tightly and resist leaks. The cups are made with 40% recycled material.
No-Sleeve-Required DesignDouble-wall insulation helps keep heat inside these cups, allowing you to hold them without using a sleeve.
16-Ounce White Paper Coffee Cups, 100-Pack
You'll get 100 cups with moisture-resistant polyethylene linings and thick paper walls in this set. Lids aren't included, but the cups use standard 3.5-inch ones. Each cup has a rolled rim for strength and a temperature tolerance of up to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose from different sizes.
Leak ResistanceThese white cups feature a polyethylene lining that helps prevent leaks and moisture penetration.
12-Ounce Assorted Design Paper Coffee Cups, 156-Count
You get five fun textured designs in this set of 156 12-ounce cups, along with matching leak-resistant, snap-on lids. PerfecTouch technology helps keep liquid insulated while offering a non-slip grip. They're made from 80% plant-based material and a tree is planted for each one used.
Assorted PrintsThe assorted prints in this variety pack offer a fun way to say you're currently in the process of caffeinating.
GOURMET SHOWCASE 16-Ounce Double-Walled Coffee Cups, 85-Pack
The elegant geometric pattern makes these to-go 16-ounce coffee cups stand out. You'll get 85 double-walled cups in each package, along with tightly-fitted lids. The interior lining is food-safe and the insulation will keep your hands comfortable without requiring the use of a sleeve.
Restaurant-Quality ConstructionThe quality of these attractive and convenient insulated cups rivals what you'll find in a coffee shop.
What to Look For
- If your coffee cups come with lids, make sure they’re built to fit tightly and resist leaks. A problem with purchasing the lids and cups separately is that you might not be able to ensure the lid will fit well enough to prevent sloshes and spills.
- For those daily commutes, a reusable travel mug might be a more sustainable option. But you can also purchase disposable cups made using recycled or renewable materials.
- When you purchase to-go coffee from a café, often the cup will include a sleeve. You can buy sleeves separately, but there are plenty of disposable cups that are insulated well enough to keep the outside comfortable to the touch even with a hot beverage inside.
- Condensation can be an issue with any paper cup. Make sure the disposable cups you choose are built to resist the moisture seeping through to the outside.
- Heat tolerance can vary from one disposable cup to another. Some paper cups are more limited in terms of the temperatures they can hold than those that are insulated or lined.
- The quantity of disposable cups you purchase varies, too. If you’re buying for a large group, you’ll want to balance quantity against quality.
- Design aesthetics can also play a role in a disposable cup’s suitability. If you want to add some whimsy or class to your morning beverage, there are cups that offer that.
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You might think a cold helping of creamer would cool your coffee down, but it actually serves as an insulator. Interestingly, that cup of coffee with cream in it cools 20% slower than a cup of black coffee. Oh, it’ll still drop its temperature once you add that cream, but afterward it retains heat better.
There are multiple reasons for the slowed cool-down, which is governed by physics principles such as Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation and the Stefan-Boltzmann law. But in basic terms, black coffee tends to emit heat faster simply because of its darker color.
As if that weren’t enough, evaporation speed is affected by a simple physics concept called viscosity, referring to how thick a liquid is and how its movement properties change as a result. Thicker liquids don’t lose heat and turn into vapor as quickly as thinner ones. As you may observe yourself, adding creamer thickens the liquid, leading it to stay warm longer than the thin liquid of cream-free coffee.