When it comes to takeaway beverages like coffee, tea, and other popular beverages, most people rarely pay heed to the small disposable containers they come in. However, their quality, thickness, and everything in between warrant attention, especially for establishments specialising in drinks. This is because not all disposable cups are made equal, with some being sturdier than others, offering better insulation, or not requiring additional sleeves to prevent burning one's hand. The number of layers is among the primary factors behind these differences, specifically whether a cup has one wall or two. Read on to learn more about single-wall and double-wall cups, their pros and cons, and the applications they're best for.
Single-Wall Paper Cups
As their name suggests, single-walled paper cups only have a single wall or layer of high-quality, food-grade paperboard with a thickness that generally varies from 180-210 gsm. These cups are particularly suitable for cold drinks, but they can also be served with hot drinks (but only for beverages with no boiling content) for customers drinking at the location.
However, they are not ideal for serving freshly brewed tea or coffee as the cup's exterior can get uncomfortably hot due to the lack of insulation. Insufficient insulation also means that hot drinks won't stay warm for long, which can sour the customer experience. That said, some establishments get around this issue by simply doubling up two single wall cups or using a sleeve, but this approach will naturally lead to higher costs that diminish the cup's low-cost benefits.
When To Opt For Single-Wall Cups
Single-wall cups are best for:
- Serving chilled, cold, slightly warm, or room temperature beverage
- Beverages are typically consumed within 10 minutes of being served
- Establishments looking for the most eco-friendly and economical option as they use less energy and paper in production.
Double-Wall Paper Cups
In contrast, double-wall paper cups come with two layers of paperboard with a thickness of 210 gsm or greater. The extra layer provides good insulation owing to the air pocket between the interior and exterior layers, meaning these cups are better at keeping beverages warm for longer. Moreover, they can be carried around by hand comfortably, all without needing an additional sleeve.
Another benefit of double-wall cups is their improved sturdiness; the double layer doesn't easily deform when gripped tightly compared to the flimsier single-wall cups. With that said, double-wall cups may not be the best option for all coffee shops and roasters as their increased weight and additional layer lend to higher costs compared to single-wall cups.
When To Opt For Double-Wall Cups
Double-wall cups are best for:
- Serving hot beverages
- User comfort when drinking is a top priority
- Beverages generally consumed over long periods (20-30 minutes) or on the move must maintain a steady temperature throughout
Because of the additional quantity used, double-wall cups don't get soggy over time and hold all types of beverages better than single-wall cups, but at a cost.
Although both options have distinct pros and cons, keeping a combined inventory of single and double-wall cups is generally the best option for most use cases. The size of the drinks also comes into play as smaller ones are more likely to be consumed quickly, making them best served in single-wall cups, while the double-walled ones are reserved for larger-sized beverages. Be sure to check out these creative ways to repurpose your cups!
Whether you need single-walled or double-walled paper cups, Supply Smiths has what you need! Browse our extensive portfolio of food packaging solutions designed with quality and affordability in mind and guaranteed to meet your business's needs and then some. To learn more about our high-quality disposable food packaging products, feel free to browse our line of packaging supplies today!