Of course we love coffee! Who doesn’t? There are a lot of coffee enthusiasts out there, and the world attracts plenty of enthusiastic connoisseurs. Coffee lovers fetishize many aspects of preparation, from vintage Italian espresso machines to retro-futuristic steampunk labs.
But one piece of paraphernalia often goes uncelebrated. Yes, we’re talking about the humble coffee sleeve. The coffee sleeve or coffee cozy is generally unremarkable. They’re often made of paperboard, and some have cool designs or advertisements. And coffee sleeves are typically not much to look at.
Double Cupping Is for Chumps
But where would we be without coffee sleeves? Well, for one thing, we’d be using a lot more paper. Before the sleeve was invented, many people would double-cup their paper to-go cups to insulate their hands from the scalding liquid inside. If you’ve ever tried to hold on to hot java in a thin paper cup, then you know it can be rather uncomfortable, if not downright painful.
Polystyrene? No Way!
Rather than double cup, some vendors used to use polystyrene cups. They’re much better at trapping heat than paper, but they’re environmentally disastrous, not to mention unhealthy. They never biodegrade, and chronic exposure to polystyrene can cause depression, headaches, and impaired kidney function. Yikes!
Necessity Is the Mother of Invention
While other inventors claim to have come up with the coffee sleeve, Jay Sorenson, who named his product the Java Jacket, filed the first patent in 1993.
He had the idea for the Java Jacket a couple of years before, when he dropped a scalding cup of coffee into his lap on the way to drop his daughter off at school.
So, he decided to do something about the most dangerous part of getting joe on the go.
As an added bonus, Java Jackets keep coffee warm longer, so you have more time to enjoy your to-go coffee on the way to work.
From Humble Beginnings…
Java Jacket is still one of the best-selling coffee sleeves on the market, having sold more than 4 billion sleeves since they first started selling Java Jackets to local coffee shops out of the back of their car.
Their products are now available in a wide array of colorful designs, and you can even have Java Jackets custom printed with your logo. Plus, they’re made of recycled paper. It sure beats Styrofoam cups!
A Moment of Appreciation
If you’re a frequent to-go customer, then your best bet is to use a ceramic travel mug, which protects your hands, insulates your beverage, and can be used over and over again. For maximum enjoyment, toss a couple of Coffee Joulies in your cup.
But the next time you leave your favorite coffee mug at home, take a moment to appreciate the brilliance and simplicity of the humble coffee sleeve. It may not be the most stimulating aspect of your daily ritual, but what it lacks in aesthetic appeal, it surely makes up for in functionality.