Paper Coffee Cups

Materials

Cup

Paper
Polystyrene (PS) AKA Styrofoam

Sleeve

Cardboard/Paperboard

Lid

Thermoplastics

These cups are the most common container coffee and espresso recipes are served in today. The cup comes with a lid and a sleeve.

The cup, lid, and sleeve are designed for single-use and carryout. For this reason, they're primarily designed to be inexpensive.

The cups and lids have an outward slope. This allows them to be stacked, which saves space for shipping and storing inventory. This indirectly reduces the overall cost of the container. Instead of having handles to hold the hot contents, they have sleeves, which are cheaper to manufacture. The sleeves are technically a modern disposable zarf.

The lid basically improves transportability. It keeps the coffee hot for longer and reduces spilling. The lids are vacuum formed plastic. This makes them cheap to manufacture in mass quantities, thin/lightweight, and still durable. You should recycle them.

Paper coffee cups have a wax coating on the inside surface to make them water tight. The seams are closed using adhesive. This adhesive is not strong enough for repeated use. If you reheat it in the microwave or refill it with hot coffee too many times, it may lose its tackiness and begin to leak or fall apart.

The cup will leak if the mouth of the plastic lid is in line with the seam of the paper.

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