Is Uncoated Paper Cups Really Useful for Coffee Shops?

Is Uncoated Paper Cups Really Useful for Coffee Shops?

Are uncoated paper cups truly functional and suitable for use with drinks, even though they are less expensive and don't require coating or lining? This is undoubtedly a worry for many coffee businesses. Let's answer this question with Kimecopak in the article below.

Details of Uncoated Paper Cups

Uncoated Paper Cups, what is it?

Uncoated paper cups are disposable cups made of paper that have not been lined with a plastic or wax coating. In other words, wax, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and biodegradable coatings are not included in the category of uncoated paper cups. 

Generally used for both hot and cold liquids, they are frequently seen to be more eco-friendly than plastic or wax-coated cups.

What are uncoated Paper Cups Made Of?

Usually, one or more of the following materials are used to make uncoated paper cups:

  • Paperboard: Often used for packaging, paperboard is a thick, heavyweight paper. It is constructed by adhering several paper layers together.
  • Kraft paper: Often used for packaging, Kraft paper is a sturdy brown paper. Because of its lengthy, robust fibers, it is not easily torn.
  • Recycled paper: Paper manufactured from recycled resources, like cardboard, old newspapers, and magazines, is referred to as recycled paper. Compared to virgin paper, it is a more environmentally responsible choice.

Construction of Uncoated Paper Cups

Making uncoated paper cups is a rather easy technique. To begin, cut a sheet of kraft paper or paperboard into the desired form, such as a circle. After that, the cup's edges are rolled and adhered to create the desired cup shape. Lastly, a logo or other design may be printed on the cups.

Making uncoated paper cups are usually not expensive like coated paper cups, because it doesn’t require coating or lining.

Common Sizes and Uses of Uncoated Paper Cups

Uncoated paper cups are available in a variety of sizes and uses, just like the other paper cups. Here are a table showing sizes and uses:

Size (oz)

Typical use

3

Espresso, water

4

Hot chocolate, tea

8

Coffee, soda

12

Iced coffee, smoothies

16

Large soft drinks

20

Water

24

Ice cream

Most Outstanding Features of Uncoated Paper Cups

Without coating and lining, uncoated paper cups are considered as an eco-friendly choice for business due to the the excellent features as following:

  • Eco-friendly: Paper cups without coatings are recyclable and derived from sustainable materials like forests. Compared to plastic or wax-coated cups, which are manufactured of non-renewable resources and cannot be recycled, these are therefore a more environmentally friendly choice. It has less of an influence on the environment because it decomposes more quickly.
  • Cost-effective: Paper cups without coatings cost comparatively less than those with plastic or wax coatings. They are therefore a more cost-effective choice for both businesses and customers.
  • Disposable: Uncoated paper cups can be disposed of after use because they are disposable. This can save time and water because there is no longer a need to wash and reuse cups.

What Are the Differences Coating Paper Cups vs Uncoated Paper Cups?

The main difference between coated and uncoated paper cups is the presence of a coating on the surface of the paper. Unlike uncoated paper cups, coated paper cups have a layer of plastic or wax added. The coating helps to enhanced printability, moisture resistance, and durability. But it makes coated paper cups more difficult to recycle and less environmentally beneficial than uncoated paper cups.

Here's a table summarizing the key differences between coated and uncoated paper cups:

Feature

Coated Paper Cups

Uncoated Paper Cups

Coating

Has a thin layer of plastic or wax coating

No coating

Durability

More durable and can withstand moisture better

Less durable and may become soggy or leak when wet

Appearance

Smoother and shinier surface

Rougher and more porous surface

Printing

Prints more clearly and vividly

Prints may not be as sharp or vibrant

Cost

More expensive

Less expensive

Environmental impact

Less environmentally friendly due to the plastic or wax coating

More environmentally friendly as they can be recycled or composted

How Uncoated Paper Cups Can Hold Both Hot and Cold Drinks?

Businesses might wonder if uncoated paper cups can hold liquids without coating. However, uncoated paper cups can be used with both hot and cold drinks. Here is the table of temperature range that uncoated paper cups can withstand:  

Beverage Type

Temperature Range (°C)

Temperature Range (°F)

Hot Beverages

20-90

68-194

Cold Beverages

-10 to 20

14 to 68

 To explain, because of the combination of the paper's properties and the cups' construction, uncoated paper cups can be used with both hot and cold liquids.

  • Paper Characteristics:

Insulation: Because paper is porous, air is trapped inside, keeping liquids at the perfect temperature.

Heat Resistance: Paper can tolerate hot beverages because its cellulose fibers have a built-in resistance to heat.

  • Cup Structure:

Layered Construction: To offer strength and rigidity to retain both hot and cold liquids, multiple layers of paper are glued or heat-sealed together.

Shape: The circular shape evenly disperses heat, avoiding concentration and cup weakening.

Which Type of Drinks Is Suitable With Uncoated Paper Cups?

Nevertheless, an extensive variety of hot and cold liquids can be consumed in uncoated paper cups, such as:

  • Hot drinks: Uncoated paper cups work well with hot drinks like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate because they can tolerate high temperatures.
  • Cold drinks: Water, juice, soda, and iced tea are among the cold drinks that uncoated paper cups are appropriate for.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Although alcohol might weaken the paper and increase the likelihood of leakage, uncoated paper cups can still be used to serve alcohol. It is recommended to use paper cups that are made especially for holding alcoholic beverages if you intend to use them for uncoated paper cups.

Frequent Asked Questions

Are Uncoated Paper Cups Popular?

Yes, for both hot and cold beverages, uncoated paper cups are a popular option. They are compostable or recyclable, reasonably priced, and multipurpose. Additionally, they are thought to be more eco-friendly than cups made of plastic or wax.

How Long Can Uncoated Paper Cups Hold Drinks?

Depending on types of drinks, uncoated paper cups can hold it from 5-15 minutes. Here is a table showing the amount of time that uncoated paper cups can hold drinks:

Beverage Temperature

Approximate Time Before Leaking

Hot (over 140°F)

5-15 minutes

Warm (120-140°F)

15-30 minutes

Room temperature (70-75°F)

Several hours

Cold (below 40°F)

Several hours

Are Uncoated Paper Cups Safe to Use?

In general, food contact with the paper used in uncoated paper cups is harmless. Furthermore, food-grade adhesives were employed to bind the cups together.

Nevertheless, when using uncoated paper cups, bear the following in mind:

  • Use these just for non-microwaveable beverages. Paper cups without coatings shouldn't be microwaved. The paper may decompose and release chemicals into the beverage as a result of the microwave's heat.
  • Use them just for non-alcoholic beverages. Paper cups without coatings aren't made to handle the strong alcohol in alcoholic drinks. Alcohol may erode the paper's strength and increase the likelihood that the cups may leak.
  • Avoid using them with extremely hot liquids: Paper cups without coatings can tolerate temperatures as high as 90°C (194°F).

In brief, without coating and lining, uncoated paper cups can still work with both hot and cold drinks. Although there will be limitations and poorer heat resistance than normal paper cups, uncoated paper cups are an environmentally beneficial choice.

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