How To Choose the Right Paper Cup Size for Your Business

Australians love coffee with over three quarters of the population indulging in at least one coffee a day. Despite Australia not being a large producer of coffee beans, we consume almost 120 million kilos of coffee each year.

Importance Of Choosing the Right Paper Cup Size

In the past decade, Australia’s importation of coffee has more than doubled showing us that coffee culture in the country is still growing. Considering this, how important is cup size when it comes to serving your customers their morning brew?

In a country where there are more than 50,000 cafes and restaurants, all of which will have their own way of making and serving their coffees, developing the perfect takeaway coffee is the key to standing out. This mission begins with choosing the right paper cup sizes for your coffee shop.

Sizes of Disposable Paper Cups

One of the most common mistakes when it comes to choosing the perfect paper cup sizes for your business is not understanding which size suits specific coffee types. Knowing what cup sizes work better can prevent packaging waste, stop from over-ordering and save space.

4oz Cups (110ml)

Mistakenly thought to be the smallest size a coffee shop offers, the 4 oz cup is typically only used for espresso shots, piccolo lattes, short macchiatos or even babycinos. They are also the perfect size for product sampling.

6oz Cups (220ml)

This size is sometimes used as a small in coffee shops as opposed to the more commonly used 8oz cup. The 6 oz cup works well for coffee portioning, especially in artisan coffee shops. These shops use a smaller cup size as this will create a stronger flavour for something like a flat white, which typically has a higher ratio of milk to coffee.   

8oz Cups (236mL)

8 oz cups are mostly used for a small or regular coffee. This size works well for customers as it is not too small and not too large. A lot of people prefer to purchase an 8 oz coffee as it works great for flat whites and cappuccinos because the volume of milk doesn’t disrupt the strong coffee flavour. This cup is also great to offer for specialty coffees like a long macchiato which only consists of a double espresso shot, some froth and a few teaspoons of milk.

10oz Cups (285ml)

10 oz cups were specifically designed to fit under the nozzles of a coffee machine and are often used as a regular or medium size. These cups are perfect for holding coffees and tea but if offering an 8 oz cup, the similar looking 10 oz may confuse customers about what size to buy.

12oz Cups (400ml)

This size is traditionally used as a medium takeaway beverage cup and is typically considered the most popular paper cup size. The 12 oz cup can also be used for some cold beverages that don’t require extra toppings like iced americanos and iced lattes.

16oz Cups (475ml)

This is the largest cup used across cafes and restaurants for hot drinks. This size can also be used for cold drinks like iced coffees as there is more space to fit ice cream and whipped cream. The 16oz cup could even work for milkshakes and smoothies which are normally offered in larger sized disposable paper cups. It has the same diameter as a 12 oz cup, meaning you don’t have to source a different sized lid for this cup and this size can fit under the nozzles of most coffee machines.

This size is a great addition if you would like to broaden your coffee size range and is generally good for those who want their hot drinks to last longer throughout their day.

What to Consider When Choosing the Cup Size                      

There are a lot of practical things to consider when choosing cup sizes for your business. Using the wrong sizes can affect the flavour of your coffee as it can change the milk to coffee ratio. Each kind of coffee has a different ratio and is better suited to specific sizes. Understanding what size works best for different kinds of coffee will help you with ordering your cup sizes.

For instance, the ideal size for a cappuccino is an 8oz disposable cup as the ratio is equal parts coffee, milk and froth. The 8oz cup is also the best size for a flat white coffee as the smaller size gives the coffee a stronger flavour. A latte is best suited to a 12 or 16 oz takeaway coffee cup as the milk to coffee ration is 1:3 with only 1cm of froth.

Having the option for larger sizes will also give you the ability to customise your customers hot drinks. Say they want to add flavoured syrups or extra froth, you can offer a larger size so that the flavours are still balanced with the strength of the coffee. Alternatively, you may find a customer wants a weaker coffee, having a range of coffee cup sizes allows you to offer them something like a flat white in a larger cup, which will be weaker due to the lack of froth and amount of milk.

Something else to consider when picking your disposable coffee cups is matching the sizes for your hot beverages to your dine-in sizes. If you have three sizes for dine-in cups, mugs or glasses, you should have similar sized takeaway cups for consistency in the coffees you serve for both dine-in and takeaway.

Another factor in choosing the right coffee cup size range for your business is storage space. If you are limited on storage space, it makes sense to choose smaller cup sizes or a have a smaller range of cups on offer completely.

If you believe sustainability is important, you may want to source cups that use recyclable materials like kraft paper (ensuring that the lining is aqueous or bioplastic/ pla). You can also choose a range of cups that offer both double and single wall paper cups to cater to hot and cold beverages.

Tips for Selecting the Right Paper Cup Size

Here are some tips for your business when choosing the right paper cup size.

1. Branding

Business branding is an important factor to consider when sourcing the right cups for you. Being able to add your own logo to your range of paper coffee cups will increase your branding by helping your cups stand out from others.

Sustain’s White Paper cups allow you to add your brand logo to the blank cups, allowing you to promote your business in a unique and creative way. These cups are also made from renewable FSC-certified material (FSC-C117930) and are compostable, promoting sustainability to your customers.

2. Customer Focus

As you begin to select the right paper cup for your business, look at your customers and current trends in coffee Currently, iced versions of the most common coffees are trending with a 4.36% annual growth from 2016 to 2021.

Customers are also becoming more aware of their own environmental impact so ensuring that you are offering more sustainable options in your packaging will be a benefit to you, your customers and the environment.

3. Product Focus

Offering a range of cups that can include hot and cold drinks can be tricky especially if you are buying paper cups from one supplier. Finding a supplier that can offer different ranges of sizes and materials that will be used for both hot and cold drinks, like single and double wall cups, would be beneficial to you when completing stock orders. If you can source every accessory like paper straws, napkins and stirrers from one place, you may also be able to save on the cost of shipping.

With this to consider, finding a range of cups that look good, work for your product and your customers has never been so easy. The options of designs, materials and sizes are endless and finding what works for your businesses is the most important part. The coffee industry in Australia is ever-growing so being able to provide your customers with product and packaging that stands out in the saturated market is important in creating a loyal customer base.

Discover your cup size options with Bunzl Express here

Food packaging & takeaway