Can You Put Starbucks Cups In The Microwave? (Find Out Now!)

Can You Put Starbucks Cups in the Microwave?

Making a morning run to Starbucks can start a day off right. If you order the venti size, this coffee drink could even last you the whole day. Unfortunately, it will only stay hot for so long.

So, what do you do when your coffee drink cools off too quickly? Can you reheat your Starbucks drink in the microwave?

The disposable cups at Starbucks unfortunately are not microwave-safe. Most paper coffee cups, including those at Starbucks, are lined with plastic to make the cup more waterproof. While these cups resist the temperatures of hot coffee, they cannot resist microwave heat. Putting a Starbucks paper cup in the microwave could result in the lining melting into your drink, or the glue seam coming undone.

We’ll fill you in on why reheating a Starbucks drink in its disposable cup is not a good idea, and also let you know how you can safely reheat your coffee.

The Making of a Starbucks Cup

You may have noticed a “do not microwave” warning on a Starbucks disposable cup. Starbucks paper cups are designed to withstand the temperatures of your hot coffee, but active heating is a whole new ball of wax! While some Reddit users may choose to ignore this warning, the label was put there for a reason.

Starbucks disposable cups have a paper exterior that uses 10% recycled fibers. Just paper alone is not water-resistant enough to hold your coffee, though. To keep your hot coffee from seeping through your Starbucks cup, the cup is lined with a thin plastic coating on the inside. This waterproof polyethylene lining allows you to drink coffee out of paper.

However, it is also the reason you shouldn’t put this cup in the microwave. The plastic lining also prevents you from being able to effectively recycle your Starbucks cup. However, this is another discussion for another day.

What Happens When You Put a Paper Starbucks Cup in the Microwave

When you microwave your paper to-go cup, the lining and glue can melt and/or create dangerous toxins. In a best-case scenario, you may notice a slight plastic taste to your beverage if you microwave it. However, you could experience more serious consequences. The to-go cup can actually begin to burn in your microwave. Or, the glue that holds the seams of your cup together can disintegrate.  No one wants to end up with a lap full of hot coffee. Ouch!

What Starbucks Cups are Microwave-safe?

If you want to reheat your coffee, your to-go paper cup is out. However, many of Starbucks’ reusable cups can be microwaved. In many stores, you can even get a few cents off your order when you use a reusable cup.

Some Starbucks cups that are safe for reheating hot beverages are:

  • Hot color-changing cups
  • Ceramic mugs
  • Travel Cups
  • Glass Mugs

Not every reusable Starbucks cup is microwave-safe, however. For example, color-changing cups made for cold drinks are not microwave-safe. Check the bottom of your cup or mug before popping it into the microwave. Most cups and mugs will have a note from the manufacturer that will tell you whether or not you can microwave them. Also, remember to remove lids before microwaving your cup.

How to Reheat Starbucks Coffee in the Microwave

If you didn’t have time to drink all of your coffee before it cooled off, it is possible to reheat your coffee. Just make sure the beverage hasn’t been left in the time-temperature danger zone for too long. If your drink contains milk and has been sitting out for over 2 hours at room temperature, you may just have to count your losses and brew a new cup.

Here are some tips for reheating your Starbucks coffee and retaining as much flavor as possible:

  • Step 1: Pour your drink into a microwave-safe cup for reheating in the microwave.
  • Step 2: Set your microwave to medium-high heat.
  • Step 3: Heat your coffee drink for about 45 seconds.
  • Step 4: If your coffee is not hot enough for your taste, heat for another 30 seconds.
  • Step 5: Continue to heat using 30-second increments until your drink reaches the desired temperature.

Tips:

Don’t boil your drink

When you boil a coffee drink this can over-extract or burn your drink. Also, any milk in your drink may curdle at high temperatures. Better to go slow with the heating process and retain as much flavor as possible.

Ice is also nice

Reheating your drink may negatively affect the taste of your coffee. Instead, you can choose to plop a few ice cubes into your cup for a new take on a favorite drink. You won’t even need to change your cup for this method!

Be safe

Keep in mind that microwaved liquids can go from hot to superheated in a matter of seconds. Superheated liquid is liquid that has reached a temperature past the boiling point. On the surface, it will appear still, but when you move the cup, the liquid can explode. This can cause serious burns. To safely heat coffee in the microwave, it is best to check the heat of your drink at small intervals of time.

Related Questions

Can I microwave glass cups?

If glassware is oven-safe, it follows that it will also be microwave-safe. However, many regular glass cups are not thermo-resistant and can crack or break when exposed to heat. Also, glasses that have a gold or silver rim are not microwavable. Often the glass will have a note on the bottom saying if it is or is not microwave-safe.

Are Starbucks cups recyclable?

Most paper coffee cups, including those at Starbucks, have a plastic lining to keep the coffee inside. This means that they are not fully recyclable. In 2020, Starbucks did a trial run of Bio-PBS lined cups that could be recycled or composted. Starbucks also has plans to serve drinks reusable cups in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The customers would pay a deposit when buying their favorite beverage and the deposit would be refunded when they return the cup.

Where can I order a reusable Starbucks cup?

Starbucks no longer has an online store, but you can buy reusable cups and mugs in Starbucks stores. You can check your Starbucks app to see which cups your local store has in stock. Some stores such as Walmart and Target carry Starbucks cups both in-store and online, or you can order a cup online from Amazon.

Alex Praytor

Alex Praytor is a native Texan who got her degree in English Literature and decided to travel the globe. She finds the architecture and design of homes across cultures fascinating. In her spare time, she visits coffee shops with her family and creates projects for their own home. Alex enjoys sharing tips on how to keep repairs up to date while turning a house into a home.

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