With these timeless drinking vessels making a worldwide comeback, it seems apt to get clued in on what you may be missing out on when it comes to the many uses and benefits of copper cups. Luckily, this just so happens to be our area of expertise — read on!
In this article we discuss the following:
- Copper Cups History
- How Did they Make Copper Cups?
- What are Copper Cups Used for?
- Are Copper Cups Safe to Drink from?
- Do Copper Cups Keep Drinks Colder?
- Can You Drink Coffee Out of Copper Cups?
- Copper Cups Health Benefits
- Copper Cups Types
- Copper Cups Set
- Large Copper Cups
- Copper Coffee Cups
- Vintage Copper Cups
- Disposable Copper Cups
- Plastic Copper Cups
- Hammered Copper Cups
- Mini Copper Cups
- Cleaning Copper Cups
- Copper Cups in Dishwasher
- Are Copper Cups Dishwasher Safe?
- How to Care for Copper Cups
- Copper Cups for Sale
- Copper Cups Bulk
- Pure Copper Cups for Sale
- Where to Buy Copper Cups
- Copper Cups Near Me
- Copper Cups on Amazon
- Copper Cups at Walmart
- Copper Cups at Target
- Copper Cups on eBay
- Copper Cups on Etsy
Copper Cups History
For thousands of years (yes, thousands), copper has been a sought after vessel for the purpose of both carrying and drinking liquids. Ayurvedic-conscious yogis in India are said to have used it, as did the citizens of ancient Ireland. Drinking from real copper cups is not something that was sparked by the invention of the Moscow Mule, but rather something that humans have long enjoyed.
Copper cups for Moscow Mules have simply put these vessels more on the map in the western world. The idea to serve this famed cocktail from copper mugs was one of the best marketing strategies of the early 1900s. As history goes, John Martin (president of G.F. Heublein & Brothers) was one day paying his friend, Jack Morgan, a visit. Morgan was the owner of the Cock ’n Bull pub on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Martin was complaining of a surplus of vodka that he couldn’t move fast enough, and Morgan joined him in moaning that he had an excess stock of ginger beer that was taking up space in the basement, as well as an unnecessary amount of copper mugs that he couldn’t find a use for.
After some brainstorming, the Moscow Mule cocktail was born, and was to be exclusively drunk from copper mugs only! The stock of mugs happened to be imprinted with an image of a kicking mule, hence the name of the cocktail became a no-brainer.
How Did they Make Copper Cups?
100% copper cups come from 100% copper sheets; these vessels are very much the real thing, and are not simply regular mugs that are sprayed to look copper, like many skeptics would assume.
To make copper cups, first one needs to collect a substantial amount of discarded copper goods that can be melted down and pressed into sheet-form. Once molten-copper sheets are produced, it is relatively easy to cut mug-sized circles, and then re-heat the copper to bend and press each circle until the desired mug-depth is achieved.
Handles of copper cups are welded to the mugs after the body is complete, and then all that is left to do is give each vessel a good polish and buff.
What are Copper Cups Used for?
Oh, so many things. These days, there are a lot of people who enjoy drinking out of copper regardless of the beverage in question — even a mug of iced water can be better served in a copper mug, especially on a very hot day when ice is melting within minutes.
You see, copper mugs are naturally insulated, and they keep liquids colder for far longer than any regular glass or plastic can. So regardless of if you’re sipping on a Moscow Mule, an iced tea, or any other cold drink of your choosing, copper mugs are often the best serving option available.
This is the same reason why copper goblets can be traced back through history, as being the preferred method for serving wine at a banquet; natural cooling sensation, with every sip.
Are Copper Cups Safe to Drink from?
If you’ve read any headlines claiming “copper cups dangerous”, or “copper cups bad”… you should probably rethink some of the content you are consuming. Contrary to the clickbait, there exists no credible evidence to suggest that consuming water out of copper drinking vessels is not ultimately safe for public consumption.
Any concerns about copper cups toxic effects would come from the fact that humans are naturally susceptible to copper-poisoning simply as living beings on this complicated planet. That said, the amount of copper that one would need to enter into toxicity levels is simply not going to happen via a liquid touching a copper cup.
What’s more, human beings actually need to consume a certain amount of copper mineral daily in order for the body to function, so copper is actually very necessary.
One is far more likely to experience copper poisoning from diet, copper supplements or contaminated water sources.
Do Copper Cups Keep Drinks Colder?
Yes indeed! As mentioned, this is the major perk of drinking anything out of a copper vessel, cocktail or not. If you’re a fan of drinks that stay cold, even on the warmest of days, then any mug that can offer natural insulation is a fantastic investment.
Copper, as a substance, is incredibly easy to cool down, and very difficult to heat up. Thus, when it is met with an iced beverage, the cup will immediately drop in surface temperature, keeping the beverage 400 times cooler than glass can.
It also helps that these cups have handles, which means your body-heat won’t be transferred to the vessel through your hands, leading to a faster rate of heating of what’s inside.
Can You Drink Coffee Out of Copper Cups?
Many people like the idea of using copper drinking cups for their morning brew. Drinking coffee in copper cups is perfectly acceptable, provided the cup in question is one with a food-grade lining over the copper itself. Appropriate options include nickel, stainless steel or tin.
The reason this is necessary is simply due to the high levels of acidity found in coffee, levels that actually dissolve copper ions pretty quickly, and will cause your coffee to have an unpleasant metallic taste. While it’s not fatal to the drinker, it does spoil the coffee experience and for most aficionados this is simply not an option.
Copper Cups Health Benefits
Aside from looking objectively cooler than any other mug on the market, solid copper cups actually boast a number of positive health benefits to regular users.
The human body loves copper, in sustainable increments. A decent daily dose offers major anti-inflammatory benefits, boosted brain function and natural help with weight loss. Humans with balanced copper levels are thought to be less susceptible to carcinogenic illness such as cancers, as well as microbial infections.
There are also said to be anti-aging benefits to a daily dose of copper infused water. Copper has the ability to slow the aging process by nourishing cells that are struggling to self-regulate. There is also talk of copper being great for building stronger immune-systems, and offering fantastic antioxidant effects.
Copper Cups Types
Up until now, we’ve largely been referring to the more conventional copper mugs that were made famous by the Mule cocktail. That said, there are actually many different types of copper cups on the market these days, and one can find any shape or size to suit household needs. One can even invest in full-sized copper water bottles and jugs, if regular drinking vessels aren’t offering enough liquid capacity.
There’s something for everyone, but these are the ones we’d like to shine a spotlight on this year:
Copper Cups Set
Take it from us, the last thing you want to do when investing in a copper cup is just buying one. While it may feel like a product you just want to ‘dip your toe in’ at first, you’ll soon join the ranks of every customer ever who regrets not investing in a full set outright.
You see, copper cups slip so seamlessly into your kitchen wear, that you’ll find you start using it for everything drinkable throughout your day. Having just one mug on hand makes it very annoying when you’re not finished with your copper-charged water, but want to switch to an iced cocktail before dinner.
More than this, there is nothing worse than having guests over, and you’re the only one enjoying your drink from your new favorite mug — while everyone else is left to drink out of regular glass, imagine!
Buy the set, thank us later!
Large Copper Cups
Indian copper cups are sometimes referred to as the larger of the copper cups on the market. This comes back to the Ayurvedic tradition of storing water in a copper vessel overnight, so that one might enjoy the benefits of it first thing the next morning.
Copper cups were often made oversized, in order to cater to more family members who wanted to share in the drinking of the charged-water, but couldn’t afford individual vessels for each person. Some people actually use these large copper cups as very cute, ornamental vases for flowers and plants!
Copper Coffee Cups
It’s important to note that not all copper cups/mugs have handles, thus not all of them are suitable for the holding of hot beverages. These metals can heat up to impressive temperatures, so if you are intending to use them for something like coffee then it is essential to invest in mugs with handles.
You won’t be able to hold a handleless cup in your bare hands if it is full of piping hot coffee; the metal will take a very long time to cool to a manageable temperature.
Vintage Copper Cups
Coming across an antique copper cup that dates back to much older civilizations or communities is quite something if you’re into collectables. These mugs look very different to the ones we are used to in the cocktail world, and often they are no longer suitable for actual use and are merely good as display pieces.
Disposable Copper Cups
This term is being thrown around a lot on e-commerce platforms that are attempting to sell bulk products at rapid rates. The term itself is largely misleading; there is no such thing as disposable copper cups — at least not in the way we think about disposable cutlery and crockery in the modern world.
Technically, you can use anything once, throw it away, and call it disposable. These cups are regular copper vessels, and can last a lifetime if you treat them right. Throwing them away after one use is a marketing ploy to make consumers believe they need to keep buying more cups if they want to reap the benefits. All copper cups are reusable for years, if not decades — don’t believe the lies.
Plastic Copper Cups
Another term being used across the copper cup market is ‘plastic copper cups’. All that you need to know about this is that there is no plastic involved in the making of these vessels; they are 100% pure copper, but the terminology has proven to make the cups more appealing to parents who are looking for child-friendly drinking objects that won’t break when they hit the floor.
The word ‘plastic’ says it all: unbreakable, durable, and shatter-proof. Copper vessels are great for little ones, and perfectly safe for their daily intake of the copper mineral.
Hammered Copper Cups
Hammered copper cups refer to any drinking vessel that has an indented pattern across the surface. This means that the copper has been hammered inward to offer visually appealing dents. These particular vessels are thought to keep beverages even cooler than cups that offer a smooth surface, and should not be overlooked due to their dented facade.
More than this, hammered copper is one way of showing a buyer that they are purchasing 100% pure copper, and not a zinc alternative. If it were an alloy dupe, then the cup would show so immediately once hammered in.
Mini Copper Cups
Mini copper cups are being sold alongside giant copper pitchers, in which one can whip up a bulk amount of any beverage and serve to a myriad of guests in smaller vessels. This is a terribly cute set to give to someone who may enjoy the benefits of copper, and the mini cups alongside the pitcher makes for a great display piece on any drinks trolley or serving cabinet.
Mini copper cups are also great ways to get your little one’s involved in the copper-drinking world. A full-sized mug for mommy, and a mini-mug for baby — perfection!
Cleaning Copper Cups
Copper Cups in Dishwasher
In general, you want to avoid putting your copper cups in the dishwasher. Most brands are not dishwasher safe, due to the food-grade lining that is placed over the metal to protect the copper from decay.
Are Copper Cups Dishwasher Safe?
Placing a copper cup into your dishwasher by accident won’t render the vessel unusable, but doing so repeatedly will eventually lead to a compromised product. The seal that is placed over the copper is in place to protect both the copper itself, and the drinker (from excess exposure).
Dishwashers use harsh soaps, exceedingly high temperatures and intense washing techniques that work to break down this lining and eventually the copper itself.
It’s generally best to avoid any washing techniques that are too harsh when it comes to cleaning your copper vessels. This simply means they will last longer, and you won’t be at risk for any adverse exposure due to a compromised lining.
How to Care for Copper Cups
Given the aforementioned information, how to clean copper cups? Copper cups, and any food-grade copper product, should be hand washed in the silk, without exceptions. Always use a soft sponge (never steel wool), milk soap and warm water.
Twice-dried mugs tend to last longer than those that are left to drip dry. What does this mean? All you need to do is have two dish towels on hand once you’re finished washing your copper mug. Dry it once with the first towel, and then use the second, bone-dry towel for a second-dry… now there should be no lingering residue that could lead to a visual decay in the product.
Being the metal that it is, over time all copper will oxidize, and then soap and water will “appear” to not be doing a great job any longer.
When this time comes, give your copper mug a refreshing bath using 3 parts baking soda and 1 part vinegar. This will make a paste that you can scrub over the cup until the copper is once again gleaming. Rinse with plain water and double-dry!
Copper Cups for Sale
Copper Cups Bulk
As we mentioned earlier, if you have the opportunity to purchase a bulk set of copper cups, you should opt to do so! You can never have too many of these items; buy them as you would any other set of drinking glasses, so that they can actually take on a useful role in your homeware ecosystem. Imagine buying just one wine glass for your kitchen cabinet; Makes no sense, does it?
Another helpful point is that bulk copper is always cheaper than individual copper! Buying copper cups in bulk can sometimes see you owning a full set for what you could have paid for just a few individual vessels.
Pure Copper Cups for Sale
Whether you’re looking for copper cups Ayurvedic, or copper coffee cups… you need only make sure that it is 100% pure copper that you are dealing with at all times.
In the section below, we’re going to give you all of the insider tricks about how to tell the real from the fakes, to ensure that you are never left in the dark or sold something of lesser quality.
Where to Buy Copper Cups
Copper Cups Near Me
Today, finding copper cups near you is pretty much like finding wine glasses, tumblers and tea cups. They’re everywhere, especially in trendy homeware stores that want their customers to have access to all of the latest fads.
That said, not all sellers are coming from a place of integrity, especially since there are so many dupe alloy products on the market that can be sold for much cheaper than the real thing. The following are some places where you can easily find copper cups near you; all with very transparent customer service protocols that will help you make sure you’re buying the real thing.
Note: Always buy copper-based drinking vessels from reputable brands or stockists. If a website seems a little “off” or unprofessional, then it probably is.
Copper Cups on Amazon
Amazon is a great place to find copper cups of all different shapes and sizes. If you can think of it, Amazon probably has it, and their ranges have become increasingly more competitive thanks to the public feedback platform that tells buyers exactly what to expect from each product/seller.
Always refer to this feedback section when buying copper cups on Amazon — if a product is not 100% pure, previous customers will be there to tell you right away!
Copper Cups at Walmart
Walmart recently took to stocking copper cups as part of their homeware range. They’ve done a good job thus far of offering high quality brands at relatively affordable prices, however it does need to be said that these copper cups are not produced by Walmart directly, and are third party products simply being re-sold by the wholesale giant.
For this reason, there are often customers who report to sites like Reddit, claiming that they suspect they may have been sold zinc-based cups or other alloy mixes. Do your research before committing to any Walmart-stocked brand.
Copper Cups at Target
Just like Walmart, Target is making sure that their customers get in on the copper cup hype. They too offer a range of competitive brands at prices to suit any pocket, but also run the risk of being duped by brands claiming to be 100% pure, and not following through.
Do a bit of research on any copper cup set that you’re about to buy from Target and see what previous customers are saying.
Copper Cups on eBay
Ebay is a wonderful platform to find some of the older and more vintage copper pieces from around the world. If you’re interested in collecting copper objects that have a history to them, or simply products that are still made the old-fashioned way (like in India or other parts of Asia), then eBay is where you’re going to find them.
Again, use the public feedback sections to isolate the trustworthy sellers from those who could be taking you for a ride. eBay is great because you can have these copper products shipped pretty much anywhere, and the platform also offers a wide range of bulk-buying options through which you can receive some great discounts.
Copper Cups on Etsy
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Etsy on this buying list. As copper cups have gained in popularity in the western world, small businesses have begun popping up across the United States and Canada, in which some high quality copper vessels are being either important or locally produced.
This has added a wonderful layer to the market, and Etsy seems to have become the platform of choice for these more bespoke brands making cups and sets for more artisanal home interiors.
If you don’t mind splurging a bit more on your copper cups and pitchers, check out Etsy to see all of the latest trends and styles.