4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves


The choices we make for our café are key to our success, some of those choices may seem insignificant in the short term, but they may provide you with more exposure in the long term, and give your cafe it’s beloved style and unique identity that everybody will fall in love for.

Today we are going to dive into one of the decisions that a café owner faces. With so many options of materials and designs to choose from, some people may feel lost on what to put their money on for the best value. That’s why we are here today; To make sure that you will make an educated decision about the 4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves you can use at your Cafe.

Also, be sure to check out “6 Coffee Shop Branding Tips” for tips on how to start your cafe shop correctly!

front of coffee shop @1nkeshihakata

What are Coffee Sleeves?

A solution most cafe owners tend to rely on for heat protection is double cupping, but that results in doubling the price per cup! This solution has proven itself to not be practical for both business owners nor their customers. The better solution to the problem is coffee sleeves!

Coffee sleeves are a cylindrical sleeve that fits snuggly around the coffee cup. They are usually made out of Kraft, Foam or plastic.

Coffee sleeves are a solution for your customers to be able to enjoy their coffee and still keep their hands cool. They provide a comfortable, sturdy, and non-slip feel, even when moving.

In other words, coffee sleeves are a necessary accessory for keeping your hands cool when holding hot beverages. Find out how you can possibly sell your own custom coffee sleeves at your coffee shop by going to “Things to Sell in a Coffee Shop Besides Coffee“.

4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves
Dosis cafe sleeve

Science Behind Coffee Sleeves

For the process of heat conduction between two substances to be efficient, it needs to have as much contact surface as possible. In addition, materials with a higher density tend to have a higher potential for transferring heat.

The idea behind coffee sleeves is to reduce heat conduction between the coffee and your hands. That can be achieved by adding an additional layer of protection, which reduces contact surface between the coffee sleeve and the hot cup of coffee.

By creating tiny air pockets between the cup and the sleeve we can considerably lower the surface of contact between the cup and the sleeve while adding an air barrier, since air has a lower density, it doesn’t transfer heat as efficiently. As a result of that, the coffee sleeve will be much cooler to the touch and more manageable to hold for longer periods of time.

4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves
orange coffee cup with sleeve

2 Reasons Why You Need Coffee Sleeves

1. Customizable To Fit Your Café’s Identity

Coffee sleeves are completely customizable to your liking. You can choose the materials that the sleeves are made of. You are also able to print your logo and message on it. Check out “10 Things to Think About When Designing a Cafe Logo” to ensure your logo is ready for promoting.

You can choose full edge-to-edge ink coverage or a minimalist approach with just a centered logo/message. There are great choices of ink out there that you are able to choose from, metallic and neon for example.

4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves
kitty coffee sleeve @explore_on_with_milan

2. Great Marketing Opportunity

Think of coffee sleeves as tiny billboards that your costumers will take with them everywhere they go— giving your business more exposure and more impressions by offering a superior, and more visible branding opportunity.

Starbucks is a prime example of great cup branding; I think everybody can recognize one of their coffee cups when they see one! You can be the local “Starbucks” of your area with your fully customized coffee sleeves!

Thinking of starting your very own coffee shop like Starbucks? Check out “How Much Does it Cost to Start a Coffee Shop“.

4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves
classic Starbucks sleeves

4 Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves

1. Kraft Corrugated Coffee Sleeves

Kraft in German means ‘strength’. Need I say more?

Kraft is quite commonly used for packaging food and beverage products due to its durable and flexible nature. 

Kraft is often coated with various materials to improve water vapor resistance and printing quality, which makes it a very good choice for printing high-quality logos.

Apart from its superiority in flexibility and strength, Kraft is 100% eco-friendly. It decomposes naturally within a few weeks, it leaves no harmful impact on the planet, it can also be recycled to be used in new packaging!

Being eco-friendly can increase your sales! And it will leave a good impression on your customers. The world is moving towards a biodegradable, recycled future and there is no shame in riding that wave.

Kraft coffee sleeve @1nkeshihakata

Types of Kraft:

Type One: Coated Unbleached Kraft CUK 

Not only CUK is extremely thin but it also has tear-resistance and it’s coated with kaolin clay-titanium dioxide coating on its surfaces to improve smoothness and make printing easier.

Type Two: Coated Recycled Board or CRB 

It is a very low-cost packaging that is ideal for instances where high tear resistance/strength is not necessary.

2. White Corrugated Coffee Sleeves

White corrugated Coffee sleeves are made out of white Kraft paper, which is 85% post-consumer paperboard. They’re constructed to have a double wall; a corrugated interior and a smooth exterior finish.

White or bleached Kraft paper is commonly in restaurants and cafes because it is economical, recyclable, biodegradable and it has a cleaner appearance than traditional Kraft paper.

In addition, white corrugated coffee sleeves give designs a chance to stand out; having a white background improves printing quality and color vibrancy. They also require less paper to produce.

What is the difference between white Kraft paper and ordinary Kraft paper? Aside from the color, the main difference between them is that traditional Kraft paper is made of wood pulp while White Kraft paper is made of bleaching wood pulp.

homemade owl coffee sleeve @kneedlesandlove

3. Kraft & White Embossed Coffee Sleeves

Embossing is the process of altering the surface of the paper by providing a three dimensional raised or recessed design effect on images, paper, and other materials. The procedure requires the use of two dies: one that is raised and one that is recessed. The dies fit into each other with the paper pressed between them, creating this distinct effect.

Embossing is employed in everyday objects, like paper napkins and business cards. The embossed effect can be also achieved with white Kraft paper.

Embossing types :

  • Blind Emboss blind embossing creates a noticeable distinct 3d effect and it doesn’t include any use of ink. It provides a clean dimensional appearance to the paper.
  • Registered Emboss process that places the embossed image in alignment with another element created with ink or with a second embossed image
  • Glazing it gives a shiny polished finish to the paper,  this process is achieved  by applying heat with extreme pressure
seasonal coffee sleeves @artgalleryfabrics

4. Kraft & White Dimpled Coffee Sleeves

As its name implies, Dimpled paper is highly embossed, dimple-profile paper, originally developed for use in protective packaging as an alternative to bubble packaging.

Constructed of high-quality Kraft paperboard, and achieves the same results by using less paper to produce. The dimpled texture enhances your customer’s coffee drinking experience; it provides superior heat insolation and a pleasant tactile grip. In addition, this type of attention-grabbing coffee sleeve offers additional style points to your café and makes sure that your marketing message will not go unnoticed.

Features of Dimpled paper :

  • Recyclable
  • Bio-degradable
  • Lightweight
  • Cost-effective

Dimpled Coffee sleeves can be made with both Traditional Kraft paper and white Kraft paper.

Disney style coffee sleeve @countryroadstitches

Every detail of your coffee shop counts including coffee sleeves, so make sure to customize them to suit your coffee shop and your targeted audience, choose the materials and the designs that fit you the best and write your message on them. Thousands of people are going to see it so make sure it leaves a good impression.

What Types of Custom Coffee Sleeves are you using in your coffee shop? Make sure to leave a comment below letting us know. Also, be sure to check out related content to improve your coffee shop like “Invaluable Restaurant Cleaning Tips You Need to Know Now” or ” How To Be A Barista 101“.

Brand My Cafe helps small & medium-sized businesses, cafes and foodservice brands grow their identity through custom coffee cups, coffee sleeves & more. Join our exclusive Facebook group Restaurant Brand Builders to brainstorm ideas with passionate other passionate owners!

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