Feb 10, 2013

Review: Starbucks - Reusable $1 Cup

At its most basic, Starbucks' Reusable $1 Cup is a cheap plastic cup resembling the chain's disposable paper cup.

The cup is fairly light but sturdy enough that you can't crush it without putting some real effort into it.

The max size drink for the cup is 16-ounce and there's a notched line in the cup for a 12-ounce "Tall."

The cup itself has a texture surface that is easy to grip, while the lid is a shiny smooth plastic and a thicker replica of your standard plastic coffee cup lid. Both feel pretty sturdy and fit together just right; as long as you seat it properly there doesn't seem to be any gaps for leakage. The lid is pretty easy to press onto the cup, but requires a bit more effort to pry off.

There's very little insulation with the plastic and you'll need a cup sleeve to hold a hot cup of coffee.

You can safely microwave liquids in the cup (but remember it will be hot and there's not much in the way of  insulation) and clean it in the dishwasher (but only on the top rack).

The cup and lid are both recyclable at the end of their useful lives, but only if you have the proper recycling facilities in your neighborhood.

As a bonus, the cup saves you 10 cents whenever you bring it in and order a drink from Starbucks (you can also save 10 cents by bringing in your own tumbler). Ten visits and the cup pays for itself.

They also give it a rinse with boiling water each time you bring it in before they serve your drink in it

Overall, I think Starbucks Reusable $1 cup a neat idea and much cheaper than the $9-plus price of their regular tumblers. I think the biggest problem is actually remembering to bring it with you when you go to a Starbucks. Sure, you can leave it in your car, but it might yellow in the sun.