Shopping for disposable coffee cups for your café? Disposable coffee cups are essential for any coffee shop, helping you to offer to-go beverages for your customers and increase your sales to people that want to enjoy your drinks but don’t have the time to dine in.
Like any other essential business item, the type of disposable cups you choose for your coffee shop can have a significant impact on your business. Pick high quality, reliable cups and you’ll get great results; opt for cheaper, lower quality cups and you could have unhappy customers.
Likewise, high-quality disposable coffee accessories such as sleeves, carriers, and lids are just as important for your business, helping you keep customers happy and enjoy spills, leaks and other inconveniences.
As trivial as these things might seem, they’re a surprisingly big deal -- from cups to lids, using higher-than-average quality disposable items can set your café apart from the competition and help you establish yourself as a premium, desirable brand.
Below, we’ve listed the key features that you should look for when buying disposable cups and other items for your coffee shop -- from materials to design -- to help you make sure you only ever use the very best for your business.
Disposable coffee cups come in a variety of sizes, meaning you’ll want to select several options for your business.
Generally, you’ll want to choose disposable cups in a small, medium and large size to suit your different drink options. Most cafés use an eight or 10-ounce cup for their “small” coffee drinks, a 12-ounce cup for their “regular” size and a 16-ounce cup for “large” beverages.
Do you offer an “extra-large” serving size? If so, it’s worth including some 20-ounce disposable cups in your order to cater to customers in need of an extra-large serving.
In addition to these sizes, it’s also best to look for small disposable cups for single and double servings of espresso. Most cafés use four-ounce cups for these purposes, as they offer more than enough space for a double shot of espresso without feeling overly large.
Finally, if you offer iced versions of your coffee drinks or smoothies, it’s essential to purchase a range of plastic smoothie cups, as well as lids.
Low-quality disposable coffee cups are often made from thin, weak paper that warps, weakens and breaks when exposed to hot temperatures. The end result is a higher risk of your hot coffee drinks leaking or spilling onto customers, creating a significant liability for your business.
When you’re comparing disposable coffee cups, look for cups that are made using high-quality materials. For hot beverages, the typical material of choice for disposable cups is PE paper -- a form of paper that’s coated with a thin layer of polyethylene.
Polyethylene is a form of plastic. When it’s applied to paper, it protects the integrity of the paper and reduces the risk of hot materials -- for example, a hot cup of coffee -- from weakening the paper and causing leaks to develop. In short, it’s a stronger, more reliable form of paper.
For hot beverages, it’s essential that you use PE paper instead of traditional paper cups (such as those used for cold beverages and/or water dispensers), as PE paper has a far lower risk of causing leaks, becoming soggy or breaking under the weight of a beverage.
For cold drinks, the most common option is to use disposable plastic cups. Plastic cups tend to offer a better grip for cold drinks (unlike paper cups, they typically don’t become slippery when wet). They also don’t become damp and soggy when filled with cold liquids.
Most plastic cups are made from polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic. This light, durable form of plastic is eco-friendly (it’s completely recyclable) and makes it easy for your customers to enjoy your iced beverages.
Because PET plastic cups are clear, they’re also great for showcasing unique-looking drinks, from blended coffee drinks to shakes, smoothies, and teas.
Cup sleeves (or cup jackets) are also an important consideration for any café. As always, the key factor to look for in a set of cup sleeves is quality materials -- ideally, you’ll want to opt for thick PE paper or corrugated cardboard.
Both of these materials provide optimal insulation from the warmth of a hot beverage, all while giving you the opportunity to promote your business through a customized design.
Finally, every café needs a range of cup carriers. Ideally, it’s best to have both plastic carriers (for plastic beverage containers, such as smoothie cups) and cardboard cup carriers (for hot beverages, such as hot coffee), to keep all of your options covered.
Do you need disposable cups, cup sleeves, carriers and other items for your café? We offer a large range of high quality, customizable café supplies, with a huge variety of sizes and design options for you to choose from.