Using Paper Cups for Hot Drinks
A common question we frequently get asked which cups we would recommend to our customers; this is a tricky question as it depends on the heat of drink dd cup
you intend to use. We stock a wide range of items from single-wall plain paper cups, to our latest triple wall ‘Ultimate’ hot cups. The primary difference is the insulating properties of the specific cup type.
Our Plain White or Mocha Single wall hot cups are perfect for warm drinks; however piping hot coffee would perhaps be rather uncomfortable to hold without the use of a cup sleeve (available separately). Due to their single-wall construction there is no additional layer to insulate the heat of the beverage.
Double wall and hot ripple cups are specifically designed to withstand much high tempuratures, the dual layers work in a similar way to a thermos flask; trapping air and isolating the customer’s hand from hot drinks. In addition to this, the extra cup strength is ideally suited to ‘coffee on the go’.
With different high street coffee chains and drinks providers favouring different disposable cup materials, it is interesting to find out which is the most effective insulator. Perhaps the most appropriate way to discuss the insulating properties of a paper cup is to compare it with another frequently used takeaway cups, such as the common expanded polystyrene type. This can be done by carrying out a simple test to show whether the polystyrene or paper version kept the liquid it contained hotter for the greatest length of time.
Paper cups vs Polystyrene cups
The heat retention test involves putting 200 ml of very hot water into a polystyrene cup and the same amount into a paper hot drink cup to find out which is the better insulator. For a wider comparison, you could also introduce a plastic cup into the equation to reveal how its insulation properties measure up. We all know each of these hot cups will provide a specific level of insulation, but this test will help show which is the best way to keep liquids warm.
How to Test the temperature
You can use a thermometer to test the temperature of the liquid. Taking a temperature reading every minute for at least ten minutes, then again around 20 minutes and 30 minutes, will help to show whether the paper cup is indeed the best insulator. You can record these readings as a graph if you wish to make the results clearer.