Friday, March 28, 2008

A Reusable Coffee Mug - Easy As 1-2-3

I’ve heard (seen?) a lot of confusion on different blogs/comment/forums* about using a reusable coffee mug at a coffee shop. As someone who frequents the coffee shop QUITE regularly (They recognize me by my mug; and last time, veteran barista told newbie, “She brings her own cup” as newbie reached to grab me a disposable cup.), I can speak with some authority on this matter.

Here’s a little “how to” for using your own coffee mug at a coffee shop.

1. Get a reusable mug – avoid plastic if you can; it’ll last longer and not affect the taste of your delicious coffee (or tea or hot chocolate!)
2. Measure how much liquid your mug can hold, so you can order coffee at the shop. Mine’s a tall (12 oz), FYI.
3. Bring clean travel or ceramic mug with you to coffee shop (this means don’t forget it at work the night before!)
4. When you order, show them your coffee mug and say, for example, “I’ll have a 12 oz Highlander Grogg in this.”
5. Make sure to unscrew the top from the mug if it has one and hand them the cup part. There are some reports that at Starbucks they put the lid in a plastic disposable lid so it doesn’t touch the counter. So just keep it yourself!
6. Enjoy your coffee and the fact that there is a little less waste because of you.

I’ve heard people complain that Starbuck baristas sometimes mark your drink on a disposable cup and then throw it away – they’ve created new post-it note stickers to help avoid this, but it’s possible they could be out of stickers or just hate trees or something. Most times when I go to Starbucks, the cashier just verbally tells the barista what my order is as he hands her my cup. (Though now I normally go to the local coffee shop – so there is never any cup writing). If you’ve experienced the wasted cup phenomenon, maybe just casually mention something about not wanting to waste cup?– or just order plain coffee so no marking is required!

* Hey, I spend a lot of time, online, what can I say? Yesterday my husband sent me this article. Maybe he was passively trying to stage an intervention?


  1. Hi Ashley!
    I just found your blog via Carmen's. I really enjoyed going through your archives. You have some great viewpoints on "going green." I'll definitely be back!

  2. I feel the same way!! I'm a coffee addict.. I always keep a mug at school instead of throwing out paper/styrofoam cups!!

  3. I've never liked the look or bulk of travel mugs, so I've never managed to use one for more than a week or two. I have high hopes for this one, though: It's a ceramic mug with a silicone top, designed to look like a disposable. Great post -- Got here via Allie's!


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