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Coffee To Go: The KeepCup

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[Photographs courtesy of KeepCup]

Is there a viable alternative to takeout coffee cups that can satisfy both coffee drinkers and baristas? KeepCup hopes so: Check out one Australian company's "perfect" reusable cup.

Available in four sizes (and fully color-customizable on keepcup.com), this sturdy little sip-and-go container is designed not only with sustainability in mind, but also coffee craftsmanship. The short, squat shape is intended to better allow baristas to mimic to-stay quality drinks in to-go convenient vessels: The smaller versions actually fit directly under the portafilter spouts on most espresso machines, and the different size options encourage a perfect coffee-to-milk ratio for most common types of cafe beverages. An eight-ounce KeepCup, for instance, holds the perfect cappuccino; the twelve ouncer is a latte-lover's dream. There's even a large, for all that totally necessary drip coffee on especially rough mornings.

(In my opinion, you can skip the mini: If you don't have time to drink a three-swallow espresso or macchiato out of a real ceramic cup, then you probably don't have time to go to a cafe to order an espresso or a macchiato in the first place.)

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The little cuties are made of noninsulated plastic with "thermal properties similar to paper," so don't expect to let your Americano marinate at the same temperature all day: These aren't thermoses, they are waste-reducing tumblers. They're also admittedly not a reinvention of the takeout-coffee wheel. There are countless versions of basically the same thing (e.g. the "I am not a paper cup" cup, and even Mug Hug, a reusable silicone lid meant to transform your kitchen cup into an on-the-go option). Heck, everyone has gotten a travel mug from a coworker for a birthday at some point, right?

The main differences here might be a) how precious and customizable the KeepCup is, b) that there's a wide range of appropriate sizes, and c) the sheer audacity of the Earth-friendy marketing jargon the company employs. ("Compared to a disposable paper cup, KeepCup [including coffee] reduces landfill by up to 99%." Really? Intense!)

The shape and sizes alone are enough to recommend them, and the colors are a nice touch indeed. After all: If you're going to do your part to save the world, you may as well do it with a caffeinated degree of pizzazz, right?

Available from $10 at KeepCup.com.

About the author: Erin Meister trains baristas and inspires coffee-driven people for Counter Culture Coffee. She's a confident barista, an audacious eater, and a smiling runner, but she remains a Nervous Cook.

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