Evolution of an Icon
KeepCup created and continues to lead the global shift toward eliminating single-use plastic in favour of reusable coffee cups. Their products are recognised around the globe and have become an iconic symbol of good design. In 2020, KeepCup engaged Cobalt to develop a new premium range of cups with the aim to keep drinks hotter for longer.
The solution was Thermal – a range of dual wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel cups that keep drinks hot for over 1 hour and cold for 6. Stainless steel was an obvious material choice; its durability, thermal retention and purity of taste are among the reasons why it is ideal for crafting into a reusable drinks vessel. Stainless steel is also 100% recyclable, remains stain and odour free and does not readily degrade over time – unlike its plastic counterpart.
The thermal range was designed to ensure compatibility with existing KeepCup lids to ensure compatibility for users with existing cups, while ensuring a leak-proof, sealed unit once assembled. A range of three sizes was developed to meet barista standard heights and volumes and ergonomic outer shape, while incorporating the distinctive visual design elements to ensure these products fit seamlessly into the KeepCup product family.
Dual wall, vacuum insulated stainless steel construction with press fit, sealed lid keeps drinks hotter for longer but reducing heat loss and thermal transfer.
Thermal integrates unique KeepCup design elements such as ergonomic tapered form, iconic circular band and KeepCup standard moulded plastic lid with rotating plug.
This new range is distinctly KeepCup, building on the strong design legacy of existing products while creating a new, unique identity that fits seamlessly within the KeepCup product family.
Thermal was designed to ensure compatibility to KeepCup’s existing over moulded press-fit lid, to allow lids to be interchangeable across KeepCup’s product range without sacrifice to style or sealing performance.
Like existing KeepCup products, the Thermal range is designed in three sizes – all specified to meet standard barista sizes - cup heights and volumes.
The Team We believe good design happens by expert people working as a team.
Kate Bednarz Project Leader
We value Cobalt’s design perspective, technical expertise & their understanding of our business values.
Abigail Forsyth KeepCup Co-founder and CEO
Testing and Quality Assurance To ensure 'Thermal' met performance expectations, we tested hundreds of parameters throughout the manufacturing process
Product dimensional checks
General product dimension checks, as well as focused dimensional checks around the rim through the aid of jigs and custom, electronic measuring devices.
Leak testing to ensure cups are watertight in any condition. We tested multiple variations including lid and cup dimensional variations, hot and cold drinks and ambient temperature variations.
Product life-time cycle testing
We want to make sure our products last, this testing ensures that the KeepCup Thermal product range will remain truly re-usable.
Temperature performance evaluation
Using a custom data logger and temperature measurement set-up, we tested cups to check their how effective they were at keeping drinks hot or cold, allowing us to improve, optimise and validate the design and manufacturing process.