I am not a paper cup….I am also not that convenient.

I wanted to share a comment from one of our Kickstarter Campaign backers.  bLaKtivist comment below touches on one of the main challenges of redesigning the reusable coffee cup.

“‘I’m curious to know what your thoughts are of the “I am not a paper cup” design by DCI.

While interesting because it visually mimicks the cup that you are trying to replace, it still doesn’t seem to be as functional as one might like. I used to work in a store that sold these items, and we got frequent complaints that they leaked. [Spillage is NO FUN.] But I think more importantly, these cups are also ceramic, which doesn’t make it very durable for folks constantly on the move.”

Our view is that the “I Am Not A Paper Cup” is an interesting concept. If nothing else it raises awareness around the problem, and that’s a good thing. But it doesn’t solve the bigger issue that we are looking to address, and that our Kickstarter friend also points out.  Designing something that is both practical and convenient as well as desirable in the consumers mind is what we really need to focus on.

What do you think?  What other parameters should we be thinking about when creating the design brief?

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Posted in: Research findings | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments

6 Comments to “I am not a paper cup….I am also not that convenient.”

  1. Carmen says:

    #1 Weight – Paper cups don’t carry significant additional heft.

    #2 Maintenance – Paper cups are disposable (the problem) but non-paper cups means cleaning. Which means finding a place to clean said cup or letting it get so disgustingly filthy (a former office mate’s coffee cup comes to mind) that they end up throwing the cup away and buying another one which contributes to landfills…. My feeling is that coffee drinkers will resort back to paper cups if there isn’t an easy method to clean & maintain the cup.

    #3 Cup materials: Ceramic (like the cup shown here) can heat up – the ouch factor – need for a barrier between hot cup and customers hands. The cups should have an insulated feature that keeps coffee/tea hot while not burning the customers hands. And here’s the biggie, a material that doesn’t add too much weight (#1)

    #4 Not sure on this, but some coffee shops may not allow you to use your own cup. I can see liability issues – food poisoning who to blame? was it the coffee shop or was it the customer’s maybe not so clean cup? – so the coffee shop may use a disposable cup and then you can fill your own reusable cup & product failure (hot coffee spillage) – is the coffee shop responsible for injuries resulting from customers’ faulty cup? In both of these two cases I can see a business still using the disposable cups to protect themselves from lawsuits.

    Looking forward to following the betacup project.

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  2. Xajel says:

    I bought this “I’m not a paper cup” for my on the go coffee, I used not to have any thing on the go cause of spillage problem, and here in my country there’s almost no regular non-spill paper cup except in speciallized shops like Costa-Coffe and so on which cost too much for daily coffee… and I can’t find these paper cups any where in the country

    I’m pleased with it, and as expected, this is not non-spell cup just like the regular non-spill paper cups, as it has drinking hole on the top… being a dual-walled ceramic, it is reliable and heat insulated, I can hold the cup with hot coffee inside even till the coffee get’s cold ( even thought it won’t last till that )…

    goods ??
    1- being heavier than paper cups means more stable.
    2- can be cleaned and used several times.
    3- dual-walled, so it has insulation to keep the drink hot or cold longer than paper cups.
    4- you can have some spare plastic lids, they’re available seperatly.

    problems ??
    1- outer finish of the cup quickly becomes dirty… need’s to be cleaned…
    2- plastic lid when used for first times is unpleasnt, you need to use it several times then you will get used to it…
    3- the plastic lid is another thing that becoms dirty.
    4- cleaning can be done but not with regular way of cleaning, you may need some acedic cleaning ( lemon juice is good )
    5- I hope the maker makes another lid that is used to use drinking pipes to be more anti-spillage.
    6- size and dimentions not standard with regular standard cups, so you can’t interchange them when you need to do so.
    7- not available worldwide, I live in Bahrain and I had to order it from Amazon.co.uk and that cost me a little more than double it’s price duo to shipping cost !!

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    • admin says:

      Interesting, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with this particular cup. What about carrying it around? Where do you store it when you’re on the move?

      • Xajel says:

        Thanks bro.

        I used mainly in morning for my coffee, so I keep it in the till I arrive work where I take it with me for washing.. and keep it in Work’s kitchen till I finish the work ( and to let it dry )… every weekend I wash it using acedic cleaners to make it cleaner…

        rarely I use it other than that, always for the car, much better than regular cups which spill too much…

        If the place I’m going doesn’t have water to clean the cup, I just keep it in the car till I return home, no problem with this as I don’t take too much…

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  3. Nicole says:

    I purchased the “i’m not a paper cup” because it is MOST like the disposable cups, it didnt try to look fancy with boring chrome and black. there is no science to drinking it, i dont have to flip a lid open, slide something open or apply suction. Also, there are no crappy handles and it’s the perfect size…. fits in every single cup holder. Does it keep my coffee scorching hot for a long period …. no. but it is simple and reusable. I agree with Xagel’s pro’s and con’s about the product too.

  4. rusbravo says:

    I ordered two MIGO mugs form amazon when my first one broke : http://vb.ly/j7k

    I liked it because it’s huge (20 oz) and microwavable so I could reheat the morning coffee if I got busy and forgot to drink it. The 1st one I had was great, the latest ones have a problem where the lid doesn’t seat firmly and can pop off if you put your thumb wrong. The injection molding tool must have worn out or something.

    my dad likes stainless steel mugs because they last longer, he’s a contractor and tends to leave his coffee on the hood of the truck and then runs over his mugs.

    I hate the mugs that have a thick wall for insulation, if i’m going to carry around a large mug (and pay for a large coffee) I want a large mug worth of liquid. I hate the mugs that look big and only have a size medium cup of volume inside.

    one thing about paper cups is that it’s not clear that they can be recycled, some places won’t let you recycle paper that has touched food, some won’t let you recycle paper with wax on it (like milk cartons or Dixie cups) I wonder if a double walled blow molded PET cup that can be thrown in the plastic recycle bin would be a better option than paper, I wonder if the cost could be kept down to be competitive with paper?

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