Why Can't Starbucks Offer Lids That Don't Spill? (And How Porto's Does It)

I hate Starbucks. Not because it overroasts its coffee beans, though it does, and not because I'd rather chew a jumbo roll of aluminium foil than order using the irritating, obfuscating jargon, though I would, but because I hate its cups — more specifically, the lids.

You know what I'm talking about. You get a cup of coffee and doctor it up–this is no third wave here, where it tastes good enough to drink unadulterated–and put the lid back on, and before you've even made it to a seat or to your car, the lid has spit brown liquid on you like a nauseated, caffeinated baby.


Why? Why can the largest chain of coffeeshops in the world, whose R&D budget probably exceeds the GDP of some of the countries it buys coffee from, not design a lid that keeps the coffee in?

Oh, I know what you're thinking–you're thinking of those stupid little green plugs that appeared about a year ago. You know what those are? Copouts. They come loose with the slightest pressure on the cup; at any one time, half the stores are out of them; and they don't fix the issue, anyway, because coffee leaks out around them.

Above is a photo of the coffee lid at Porto's. Notice it has a control on it, a little plastic doohickey that slides another piece of plastic back and forth. Porto's coffee doesn't spill when I stop at the Downey location in a desperate attempt to buck the traffic on the northbound 5. I don't have to make sudden, expensive and embarrassing trips to the Men's Wearhouse when I drink coffee from a Porto's cup. (The aftermath of one of the ultra-crunchy refugiados–guava-cheese strudels–is a different matter altogether.)
WHAT A CONCEPT, people! A coffee lid that works! Just another reason to not drink from the green monster. As though we needed another reason.
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