Frank Green’s 3-in-1 is the only cup you’ll need

I do not have particularly extreme demands on a reusable cup. I am not a hiker. I am not a camper. I am not a cyclist. It’s not really one trip mug i want. I’m not even a coffee connoisseur. But I appreciate adaptability – as a fan of both hot and cold coffee – and convenience. For the legion of you like me then – the “normal” caffeine consumers – let me introduce you to the glorious Frank Green 3-in-1 Insulated Cup Holder ($40). It’s the secret sauce, the Goldilocks cup…it’s just right.

Now I must confess that before I got to the 3-in-1 it was another Frank Green product – the Reusable bottle of 595 ml– that was the closest thing to my ideal favorite ship. I was sure I had come across the brand for me, with colorful options and strong materials touted along with a focus on adaptability. I had indeed found the right cupmaker for me, but not yet the right product.

Put a lid on it

The Frank Green reusable bottle was robust with strong insulation, and I thought it would be just what I was looking for. Only after a lot of commuting did the problems come to light. Before I hit the road, for example, it wasn’t easy to find space in my bag, which was usually already packed with tech to review. Mine shoulder bag of your choice even had an inviting slot for a cup to snuggle into, but Frank’s larger option was, well, too big.

Problems would pile up on the way to the office. 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 them both? And had I washed both (fairly complicated) parts well enough? Usually I waited until I got to work for my first cup of coffee, which meant these unwanted questions occupied a hazy and decaffeinated mind. All too often, the answer to at least one of those questions has been “no.”

You see, both this bigger Frank Green cup and some of rivals that hunt heavy isolation 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 quick sweep at work if I hadn’t thought about it the night before, my hand would pick up nicks. A seam runs along the inside of the cup and meets the thin rim at the top, creating a pinching problem when you push your hand in to clean. The 595ml was the biggest culprit, with its larger size I had to dip as deep into the cup as possible and cram my fingers in like trying to get those last few Pringles out of the bottom of a can, but in this case, with a soggy common sponge. Lost lids, perforated palms and a full bag – the initial pleasure in a coffee cup had given way to a daily grind. This was not 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 continued. Several months passed. I occasionally used the cup, turned to a mug, or, in bad shape on my part, didn’t use a reusable cup at all – embarrassingly, I took the dumpster option the coffee shop gave me.

Its size

Photo: Frank Groen

Then one day, idly searching for a new perfect container while wondering if different combinations of lids would work, or if an entirely new style of cup would be the answer, I found myself back on the Frank Green site. Then I saw it. The 3-in-1. An insulated container for hot drinks, cold drinks, and canned drinks. It was the simplicity of it, clean lines, stylish colors and no frills. No lids to screw on, no buttons to push down, no essential accessories to remember. I wasted no time. I chose my color and placed my order.

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