Would you like a zarf with that?

Zarf / ظرف‎

If you bought a hot drink and were offered a zarf to go with it, would you know what that was?

According to the podcast Something Rhymes with Purple, a zarf is the cardboard sleeve that goes around a cup of hot drink so you don’t burn your fingers when holding it. Or it’s any holder for a cup without a handle.

According to Wiktionary, a zarf is “An ornamental container designed to hold a coffee cup and insulate it from the hand of the drinker.”

It comes from the Ottoman Turkish ظرف‎ (zarf), from the Arabic ظَرْف‎ (ẓarf), which has a variety of meanings, including vessel, container, receptacle, metal saucer, box, pasteboard box, purse, bag, egg cup, envelope, case or cover [source].

More information about zarfs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zarf

Modern zarfs are also known as coffee cup sleeves, coffee sleeves, coffee clutches, coffee cozies, hot cup jackets, paper zarfs, coffee collars, or cup holders. They were invented by Jay Sorensen in 1991, patented in 1995, have the trademarked name of Java Jacket and were first used in 1995 at the Seattle Coffeefest [source].

A useful word, and a great one for Scrabble.

Do you have any other names for zarfs?

One thought on “Would you like a zarf with that?

  1. In the 1970’s (in the U.S. at least) there were these disposable, cone-shaped plastic coffee cups called Solo Cozy Cups. The main body of the cup was a hard plastic receptacle for the disposal inserts, with a nice handle to hold it. Nobody called it a “zarf” but it basically served the same purpose as one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.