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Work - Life Balance

Posted on 25 Mar 2014 by KeepCup / 0 Comments

Every so often I give presentations about KeepCup and our start up story.
During question time I was asked, as I often am, about work life balance.  It always flummoxes me.  How can I answer that?  My gut response is partly frustration, no man is ever asked this question, then I see the search for answers on the face of the woman asking and I make some effort to answer – juggling balls, leaning in….

I enjoy a privileged position where the reward for risk and responsibility is a level of income and flexibility which means that childcare and other home help are not difficult financial decisions.  I enjoy flexibility in part because of the inflexible employment of other senior staff.

So next time I am asked how do you manage work life balance I will answer – right question, wrong gender.  Each of us need to ask our male leaders – how do you manage your work life balance?  The more often we ask, the more we highlight that work life balance is not a woman’s issue but a parental issue – it’s about families.

And to female leaders like myself – the question ought to be what are you doing to encourage a happy worklife balance for your team?  Do you:

• ensure equity between male and female reward
• encourage and facilitate workplace flexibility
• measure by performance and results
• ensure women are represented throughout the business and have equal access to promotion and training

We are doing a pretty good job, but your interest and concern prompt us to think – how can we do it better.

Coffee's up - KeepCup Brew

Posted on 18 Mar 2014 by KeepCup / 1 Comment

For the purist. KeepCup Brew.

KeepCup Brew and KeepCup Brew Limited Edition Cork are a design response to the premium specialty coffee consumer. Brew is an extension to its commuter range, a “to go” vessel that represents the highest aspirations for the liquid it contains. KeepCup Brew allows consumers to take the café experience with them. A vessel for people who are serious about their coffee ritual, as well as lovers of fine tea.

The new lid is one of the most technically difficult achievements of the Brew product, placing a hard lid over a hard cup. The new lid improves the seal and the drinking experience. It’s been a long process, but we are really thrilled with the result. It meets all the core aims of the KeepCup brand – well-proportioned design, a pleasure to use, easy to clean and to carry. We think of ourselves as a campaign supported by a product, where the best reusable is the one you use. Ours just happens to be pretty awesome.

With KeepCup Brew we hope to engage a broader audience and reignite the passion of the early adopters to commit to our core mission – reducing disposable cup waste.

One of the most handsome features of the Brew is the limited edition Cork vessel. Made in the ancient cork oak forests of Portugal, cork is light, antibacterial, biodegradable and insulates your hand from heat.

The band is beautiful to hold, and, over time it’s patina will tell the story of your use.

Features and benefits

• Fully tempered soda lime glass.

• Resistant to thermal and mechanical shock. It’s not unbreakable, but you’ll have fun trying.

• Hard lid for ease of use and drinking pleasure.

• The hard smooth surface of the lid and enlarged drinking hole allow you fully experience the aroma and texture of your beverage. Greater angle in the lid for nose clearance and improved splash proof seal.

• Same great recycling capacity as the original. But stay focused on use and reuse.

• Plug covers mouthpiece when not in use, so only your lips touch the drinking surface.

KeepCup Story

KeepCup started with a problem in a café – too many disposable cups. Every minute around the world over one million disposable cups are discarded to landfill. Existing reusables were too large to fit under the group heads of the machine and were at best utilitarian in appearance.

With no options available to resell, we saw the opportunity to design and make our own. We designed and manufactured the first barista standard reusable cup.

From a design market in Melbourne, to coffee shops in Reykjavik and design stores in Valparaiso in just under five years, KeepCup has had an amazing journey. It is a fantastic example of a business model that has had great commercial outcomes maintaining sustainability and reuse as its core purpose.

People purchase KeepCups because they love the way they look and feel, and continue doing so because they form a positive habit. For many of our customers it has been the beginning of a journey to reduce the consequences of convenience behaviour. Feel good. Do good.

The environmental footprint of our products is really important to us, so we were committed to local manufacture. In 2012 we opened a warehouse in the UK and in March 2013 we opened in Los Angeles. Local presence means that we can begin to tell a local story in these markets, local assembly and local printing dramatically reduces the environmental footprint of the business.

We urge all to join the resuse revolution and salute the reuser.

Many small acts will make a phenomenal difference.


Coffee Kids Project 2014

Posted on 10 Dec 2013 by KeepCup / 0 Comments

Coffee Kids works with families in coffee farming communities of Latin America. We have supported Coffee Kids over the years over a number of initiatives but for 2014 our team wanted to achieve a milestone goal.

So we are supporting Strengthening Family Food Security Project, run in conjunction with our partner the Coordinating Association of Rural Woman of La Paz (COMUCAP), this project will improve the food security of more than 60 families in Honduras by establishing family vegetable gardens and providing training and support for women marketing their surplus. We want our assistance to Coffee Kids to be a way of shining a light and saying thanks for the reuse efforts of our customers.

What about a 10 ounce KeepCup?

Posted on 12 Oct 2013 by KeepCup / 0 Comments

KeepCups now come in five sizes - 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 12oz and 16oz, we call them XS, SiX, S, M and L.  Part of our pitch is that we replicate internal volumes to ensure your coffee is neither too strong, nor too weak.  

We have just launched the SiX a 6oz version of the KeepCup - a stronger version of the 8oz that more accurately reflects the internal volumes of inhouse vessels - Duralex glasses or ceramic cups.  

No sooner have we done this than we are getting requests for  10oz, a stronger version of a 12oz coffee.  We are trying to create less cups not more - is there another solution?

Understanding sizes and volumes is complicated by the fact that fluid ounces can be US or Imperial and therefore convert differently to millilitres.  


Being from the an old colony, we chose an Imperial conversion for KeepCups (plus we were big Star Wars fans so we knew better than to confront the Imperial forces). The volume is less, resulting in a stronger coffee - so we think its a good result.

The images below demonstrate the differences. Here I must confess that, whilst in sporting teams I might be chosen early in the selection, I am not the go-to girl for precision, so apologies in advance if there are any errors. Andhings became slightly more complex when a young assistant came to lend a hand:

We created the KeepCups with 'ullage'.  The word comes from the practice of not filling wine barrels beyond the stopper hole, and in our instance refers to a deliberate gap between the beverage and the top of the cup.  There is an ullage marker in all KeepCups.  

You can see that as far as Imperial ounces go, our measurements are accurate and meet our prescribed fill line:

The good news is that for coffee makers taking an Imperial conversion, if you fill the 8oz KeepCup to the brim (which baristas often do), you get a 10oz coffee:

It's a little more ambiguous for the US fluid ounces.  At this point, I get to use one of the only words I remember from science at school, meniscus, referring to the convex or concave curve on the surface of a liquid when totally filled, because that's what happens when you fill 10oz of US millage in an 8oz small KeepCup.

Not so great a result with the 8oz I got from my local cafe Two Bob (thanks Spock).  My, what an impressive meniscus!

A comparison of US conversion with an 8oz disposable cup :


The conclusion?

KeepCups are awesome.  They are a workable, fun and sustainable alternative to the disposable cup.  If you want a 10oz, fill a small keepCup to the brim, if you want an 8oz fill to the line marked.

Reuse or refrain.  Salute the Reuser!

It's a kind of Magic

Posted on 24 Sep 2013 by KeepCup / 0 Comments

The specialty coffee legends of this world have been doing their job well. Many of us have developed our palate and our appetites are changing - a stronger brew, a little less milk.

In response we bring you KeepCup SiX (6oz).

Enhancing our enjoyment of great coffee. 

Same beautiful design. Same kaleidoscope of colour. 

Even lighter and easier to carry.

It’s a kind of magic.*

* Props to Mark Dundon and Freddie Mercury.