It’s 2012. Over 50% of Americans (roughly 150 million people) over the age of 18 drink coffee every day. On average, U.S. coffee drinkers consume 3.1 cups of coffee daily. That’s over 400 million cups of coffee consumed per day, making the U.S. the leading consumer of coffee in the world. And yet, despite all of the drink’s popularity and the number of people who chose to buy on the fly rather than brew at home, the design of the disposable coffee lid is lacking… or so I thought.
Let’s take a look at what I perceive to be the “original” hot beverage lid (above left). It fits snuggly to the cup, is recyclable, and is designed to fit a variety of cup sizes. Seems great, right? But put that cup in your car’s cup holder or even try to walk down the street with it and you get hot coffee all over everything. Liquid bounces out of that little hole no matter how hard you try to keep it in. No good. Next, the lid with the tab (above right). The beverage is fully concealed and nothing leaks out. Super. But once you open that tab to take a sip there is no turning back. Another scalding burn. Another sticky center console. Not a happy morning.
And then – a breakthrough. A few months ago I discovered what I now know is the Solo Hot Cup Traveler’s Plus Open & Close lid. It has an easy sliding tab that allows you to open AND close that little opening in the lid as many times as you want! Open tab. Blow on coffee. Close tab. Walk from coffee shop to work. Open tab. Sip. Close tab to keep coffee warm. Open tab. Sip again. This practice can be repeated endlessly throughout your day to suit your coffee drinking needs.
It’s really amazing. So simple. So brilliant. Something I wish I would have encountered years ago (or thought of myself). The only sad part is that I have only been served coffee enclosed with this lid once. One time only. And I haven’t seen it since. A little poking around on the Internet revealed that this design has been available since 2003, yet it hasn’t caught on.
Anyone want to help build demand and start a revolution with me?