Most beverage stir sticks are disposable. In fact that’s what I was looking for this summer, those narrow, double “straws” that you see in every office, or waiting room that serves coffee. But I couldn’t find them! I suspect that I would have needed to order them from an office or food supply catalog. I didn’t have the time to do that.
Ordinarily, I hate disposable items- why generate even more waste? But I was in charge of cooking for a good-sized group of people for a week, and serving the food in the woods. Some compromise to my ideals had to be made. But... no disposable stir sticks.
What I did find is these Franmara Beverage Stirrers, on one of those racks clipped to the regular shelves. Of course, I suspect that they are selling these as disposables, but they are sturdy enough that you can re-use them, lots of times.
I know, you are wondering what on earth there is to say about a stick of plastic! I’m here to tell you.
For starters, the crew of guys that I was feeding actually recognized (for the most part), without being told, that these should go in the dirty dish receptacle rather than the trash. I only had to recover a couple from the garbage, and after I said something, no more were tossed out. That tells me either (1) I was serving an exceptionally observant and thoughtful group of men, or (2) they look solid enough to inspire saving. You decide!
Franmara Beverage Stirrers come in bright party colors. Each stick is translucent. There are four neon colors: orange, green, yellow, and blue. That makes them fit into festive-occasion decor, and they are a little easier to spot if you set one down somewhere.
Each stick is 6.5 inches long (longer than the “coffee-stand” kind), 1/4 inch wide and 1/16 inch thick. One of the men actually commented that he liked them because they were easier for someone with large hands to hold on to.
They have a small knob at one end, which means that they actually will make something happen, if you are trying to mix slightly lumpy cocoa mix into hot water, for example.
They are inexpensive enough that if a few are discarded or broken, it’s not a major crisis. The ones I bought cost just over a penny per stir stick. (Pack of 30 for $3.49)
Not one broke all week! I washed the used ones each night in hot, soapy water with a bit of Clorox added. They didn’t fade, and the plastic didn’t seem to become brittle from the bleach.
Much to my surprise, the Franmara company is quite well-known. They have been making barware and accessories since 1970, and carry a full line of products... almost all of them more significant than stir sticks. They do not sell directly to the public, but their products are available through many distributors and retailers.
Made in China