Bring Cups: A Scientific Study
Written by Bwog Staff
You’re heading out from your dorm for the night when your friend texts you, “Hey, can you pick up some cups before you get here?” We all know the dilemma: Where do you go? What cups do you get? Bwoggers Ross Chapman, Rachel Deal, and Jenny Zhu tested out 8 different cup varieties from various MoHi stores to let you know your best options around campus. The cups were evaluated based on price, stability, size, the feel in your hand, and pong-ability.
First up…the free cups:
Ferris Cups – 4.5/5
What’s better than free cups? Good free cups. The cold drink cups you can find in Ferris Booth Commons have the stability and feel to match up against any cup on campus. They feel sturdy, and will bend nicely without crumpling or scarring. These cups have the added benefit of discretion–“No, officer, this is just iced tea from the dining hall.” The lips are a nice touch, and the mouths of the cups are almost as big as Solo cups, making them a good choice for pong. Unfortunately, you’d have to plan ahead if you wanted to supply a party with these–you can’t exactly just use a meal swipe at Ferris at 11 pm and go pick up some cups.
JJ’s Mediums – 3.5/5
It’s bold, loud, and a definitive fashion statement. From first glance, the most striking thing about this cup is the ridge design along the upper lip. Paired with a smooth exterior, the design of this cup is modern yet minimalistic, exotic yet classy. This cup is one that will catch the eyes of the party. But don’t worry, this haute couture is affordable, and in fact free at JJ’s. The only aspect in which this cup is lacking is its stability; however, its plastic material is flexible, making the cup unlikely to crack.
JJ’s Smalls – 2/5
Though free, and perhaps more stable than the other cup we tested at its size (the Dart cup), there’s no real benefit to taking this cup versus the bigger ones available at JJ’s. Save yourself the trouble and head for the large cups next to the soda machine, or save yourself the meal swipe and head to MoWil.
The cups that aren’t free:
Shoprite – 3.75/5
16 oz cups
$4.69 for 50 at Morton Williams
These cups have got it going on. At $0.08 per cup, these are easily the most economical of any viable cup options, and their location at Morton Williams is convenient for many a pre-party run. They’re a little unstable, though, and their spills could be dangerous due to their ample 16 ounce size. Additionally, the cups feel cheap and crumply, often earning ruptures and scars if in use for more than an hour, especially along the lip. However, the ridges of the cup give it a nice grip, and it’s almost the right size for a proper game of pong. If you don’t want to break the bank, these could be the cups for you.
Solo Squared – 5/5
18 oz cups
$3.19 for 20 at Appletree
These cups, in our opinion, are the crème de la crème. Beyond the cups’ stability and brand name, one Bwogger felt that these also had a certain “je ne sais quoi.” They are undeniably great for pong, and they come in various colors beyond the typical shade of red. They are twice as expensive per cup as the Shoprite ones, but if you want to give your party guests a premium experience, go for these.
Big Win – 1/5
10 oz cups
$3.49 for 18 at Rite Aid
Though these cups are branded as a “Big Win,” they are not, unfortunately, a Big Win. While this clear 10 ounce cup was quite mediocre in terms of stability, it falls on the higher end of the price spectrum at $0.19 per cup, begging the question: is it at least a good size for pong? The answer to that question: no. These cups are quite small in stature, with a mouth that does not hold up well for your favorite drinking game. In addition, the exterior feel of the cup is uncannily evocative of that of the JJ’s clear cups–which could be good or bad depending on the partygoer.
Chinet – 3/5
14 oz cups
$4.59 for 18 at Westside, but you have to scale a shelf to reach them
With the heftiest price tag of $0.26 per cup, the Chinet cups also have the most premium quality feel on this list, but they simply exist on a plane that transcends our own plane of cup-existence here at Columbia. What do you mean, you ask? These Chinet cups are for a grown-up, lovingly-planned social affair – a suit-and-tie gala or a luxurious soiree, if you will. They are not, however, built for the level of cup compression at your average packed frat rager.
We deemed the greatest issue with using these Chinet cups is its lack of a “crumple zone,” or a buffer area in which the cup can bend in the face of impact. Say someone’s sweaty back accidentally bumps into your cup–this cup is so rigid, it’ll crack right down the middle and spill liquid all over you. One Bwogger complained, “Drinking from it feels like my upper lip is being stabbed.” Indeed, the lack of a flexible rim on this cup makes it nearly impossible for pong. Use these cups only when your need for style far exceeds your need for function–and make sure to wear dark-colored clothing if you do.
Dart – 1/5
7 oz cups
$3.99 for 100 at Hamilton Deli
At first, these cups lure you in with their convenience. When your friend in EC texts you at 11:15 pm, “Bring cups,” Hamilton Deli might be right on your way to the party. Should you arrive, you would find only one type of cups on the shelf–Dart brand, 7-ounce, plastic cold cups. “Aha,” you exclaim, “I now have cups to bring!” But you don’t. These cups are unstable, and with how little they hold, partygoers will often overfill them. They feel as cheap as they are (4 cents per cup!), so it’s hard not to judge anybody that has these at their party for any but the most limited purposes. It’s not worth the convenience of stopping into Hamilton Deli just to get these uselessly small and flimsy cups. (P.S. – we tried to play pong with these cups and they fell over.)