Getting to the office, the niggles would mount. Did I bring both the push-button lid (better for hot drinks) and the straw lid (better for cold drinks)? Had I remembered to wash both of them? And, had I washed both (reasonably intricate) parts well enough? I’d typically wait until I arrived at work before my first cup of coffee, meaning these unwanted questions were haranguing a fuzzy and caffeine-deprived mind. All too often, the answer to at least one of those questions was “no.”

You see, both this larger Frank Green cup, and some from rivals that heavily tout insulation chops, like the Chillys Series 2 cup, come with a thin metal rim around the top. Whether I was cleaning them at home or doing a speedy wipe at work if it had slipped my mind the night before, my hand would pick up nicks. A seam runs up the inside of the cup and meets the slim rim at the top, creating a skin-pinching problem when wedging your hand inside to clean. The 595 ml was the worst culprit, with its larger size requiring I delve as deep into the cup as I could, cramming my fingers in as if trying to get those last few Pringles from the bottom of a can, but, in this case, with a soggy communal sponge. Lost lids, perforated palms, and a bulked up bag—initial coffee-cup joy had given way to a daily grind. This wasn’t going to work.

For a short time, I retreated to the smaller version of Frank’s ceramic reusable cup, but with no straw option it wasn’t the convenience champ I was looking for. And the chaotic cleaning remained. Several months passed. I’d occasionally use the cup, revert to a mug, or, in poor form on my part, not use a reusable cup at all—shamefully taking whatever landfill option the coffee shop gave me.

The Size of It

Photograph: Frank Green

Then, one day, idly browsing for a new perfect container as I mulled over whether different combinations of lids would work, or whether an altogether new style of cup would be the solution, I found myself once again back on the Frank Green site. Then I saw it. The 3-in-1. An insulated holder of hot drinks, cold drinks, and canned beverages. It was the simplicity of it, clean lines, stylish colors, and no fuss. No lids to screw on, no buttons to push down, no essential accessories to remember. I wasted no time. I picked my color and placed my order.

After a thorough (and painless) clean, I got using it right away, like a kid on Christmas morning. I happily marched into the coffee shop on my way into the office, easily removed the lid, and proudly placed it on the counter: “Flat white, please.” 

The next day, I was back. Working in London, no matter the season, the Tube gets warm, so it was time for a cold option. Again, swiftly removing the lid, I requested my iced coffee. My cup was returned, and I comfortably nestled the lid on top once again. Now, though, it was time for the included straw to make its debut. I put it in the deftly designed hole. The entry point is exceedingly pleasant to drink from without a straw, but it fits the metal utensil perfectly. Though be warned: This hole is always exposed, so the 3-in-1 forbids premaking coffee to transport to work in my bag—not a big issue for my short commute though, but it could well be a dealbreaker for you.

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