Exploring the benefits of ripple wall takeaway cups

Janice Kanniah
June 10, 2022
Exploring the benefits of ripple wall takeaway cups

Temperature is a variable that can have profound effects on a person’s enjoyment of a specialty coffee. 

Coffee roasters can control temperature during extraction or brewing by using intelligent espresso machines and temperature-controlled kettles. However, the cup in which the coffee is served matters, especially for takeaway orders.

The choice of takeaway cup has the potential to change the way a specialty coffee tastes by retaining its brewing temperature or accelerating its cooling. This is where cup additions and modifications such as double walls, lids, and ripples may help.

Ripple wall takeaway cups are often mistaken for an aesthetic design choice instead of a functional feature. However, the ripple can help preserve a coffee’s temperature for longer, and by extension, ensure customers enjoy it as intended.

Read on to find out more about the benefits of investing in ripple wall takeaway coffee cups. 

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Black recyclable takeaway coffee cup with s ripple wall design and white lid.

What are ripple wall takeaway cups?

Rising environmental concerns around plastic materials have prompted single-use plastic bans around the world, leading to a gradual phasing out of styrofoam and plastic disposables altogether.

As a result, many roasters and cafés are using sustainable alternatives for takeaway orders, such as paper cups. 

However, as paper is a poor heat insulator, most businesses are turning to double-walled cups to serve in and adding cup sleeves to ensure it is comfortable for consumers to hold. 

Ripple wall takeaway cups consist of a standard paper cup with an outer layer made from corrugated cardboard. This layer gives the cup its signature ripple effect. The gap between the two layers creates a cushion of air, or barrier, that helps retain the cup’s heat. 

Further, the ridges of the cups insulate the cup by slowing its heat loss. This eliminates the need for a cup sleeve, allowing the customers to hold it comfortably throughout their drinking experience. 

The ripple on the cup can run vertically, horizontally, or in an s-shape, and the surface is easy to brand and print on. 

The manufacturing process of these types of cups is quite straightforward, as ripple wall cups are essentially a cup within a cup. 

A paper roll is branded, corrugated, and then cut into ripple outer fan sheets, which are then glued onto a single-walled paper cup.

White Caucasian hand with leather wrist watch strap holding a brown recyclable takeaway coffee cup with s ripple wall design with black lid.

The benefits of using ripple wall takeaway cups

Investing in ripple wall takeaway coffee cups can offer several benefits for roasters and café owners. 

Preserves coffee temperature

When coffee is poured into a serving cup of any kind, it instantly starts to cool down. This cooling is further impacted by the heat transferred to the inner cup, the heat conduction of the material, and the heat transfer to the outer cup.

Ripple wall cups are made from corrugated cardboard, which comprises three levels of heavy paper with a fluted middle layer. This helps improve the cup’s insulation properties by trapping air between each layer.

This helps to extend the time it takes for heat to transfer from the hot drink outwards. Keeping coffee at the ideal temperature is essential, as research shows ‌it has a dramatic effect on customer’s perceptions of aroma and flavour.

Decreases chances of accidents 

While uncommon, paper cups may weaken and crumble, creating the potential for burns. Furthermore, they may be too hot to hold without the addition of a cup sleeve.

Conversely, ripple wall cups are much sturdier than a typical double-walled cup. In some cases, they may have similar strength qualities as wood, as their flutes align vertically to strengthen each layer.

More so, the multiple layers mean ripple wall cups are less likely to leak at the seams, which can be an issue with single-walled cups.

Better for the planet 

Recent studies show bio-based disposable cups such as those made from paper and cardboard use fewer fossil fuels than single-use plastics made from polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

As a result, more paper takeaway cups are being lined with bioplastics instead of plastic. This has helped make the cups biodegradable, and in turn, more sustainable. 

These bioplastics include materials such as polylactic acid (PLA), which is produced by allowing bacteria to ferment natural starches like corn and sugar cane into hydroxy acids.

A PLA coating has no odour or aftertaste as it is resistant to high temperatures, as well as the fatty acids found in drinks that contain milk.

Reduces coffee waste

Coffee that gets cold is often discarded because reheating can lead to it releasing more of its astringent and bitter volatile organic compounds, resulting in an unpleasant flavour.

Investing in ripple wall takeaway cups can keep the coffee drinkable for longer, reducing drink wastage and increasing customer satisfaction. 

Reduces costs

Often, using single walled cups means roasters and café owners have to invest in cups and sleeves of various sizes.

However, moving to ripple wall cups means businesses can do away with sleeves, and purchase a single type of cup in each required size.

White recyclable takeaway coffee cp with multicoloured s ripple wall design and black lid.

What to consider before switching to ripple wall takeaway cups

Before roasters and café owners invest in ripple wall cups, it is important to consider the impact this switch can have on the environment.

While paper cups are better for the environment, this is dependent on the cups being recycled correctly. If not, they often end up in landfills or require incineration. 

Roasters can facilitate the disposal of cups by indicating which recycling bin they need to go in. This can be printed directly on the cup. 

Additionally, it is important to remember that cups with bioplastic coatings may not be suitable for recycling with paper or plastic. Roasters can then direct customers to local dedication collection and recycling points for these cups. 

Alternatively, roasters and café owners can encourage customers to return their empty cups by offering discounts. This helps ensure the cups are properly recycled and do not end up polluting the local area. 

Making the move to sustainable ripple wall takeaway cups can be a seamless process when they are sourced from an experienced coffee packaging supplier. 

At MTPak Coffee, we can help you through every step of the process, from designing your cup on the outside to having it printed and delivered in a range of sizes.

We offer 100% compostable takeaway cups in three different sizes: 8oz, 16oz, and 24oz. Made from PLA and kraft paper, they can be customised with your branding to help showcase your business and the quality of your coffee.

Our design team uses sustainable water-based inks that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and are highly resistant to abrasion, heat, and water. They are also compostable and easy to remove for recycling.

For more information on sustainable takeaway coffee cups, contact our team.

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