The Reusable Cup–

In March 2022 Starbucks unveiled a plan to continue reducing the use of single-use cups: I say “continue” because pre-pandemic reusable cups, and incentives for using reusable cups, were already in place. That being said, Starbucks has encountered challenges, and continues to do so, as they attempt to increase sustainability.

It is is interesting that in a world and culture that lauds sustainability, picking the most sustainable coffee cup option has proven difficult. Starbucks never reached their initial benchmark goal, but in all fairness reusable things were a hard sell if not outright banned due to the pandemic. Some of their troubles were out of their control.

Starbucks–to be clear–needs to, and understand they need to, go beyond just making reusable cups available, or providing a 10 cent discount to encourage people to act more sustainably.

I wonder if the reusable cup were plain, and did not have the logo, and it was mandatory in-house, would that help?

If Starbucks remove the branding, not only would the company save on added print and design costs, but it would remove the sentiments associated with carrying around the brand. There is something about holding name-brand (whatever) for many people, including Starbucks fans . . . but is Starbucks willing to go *that far*.

Are they willing to trade-in something normal, like a plain green cup, and just focus on being sustainable? It would demonstrate true commitment to the cause . . .

Or, is branding of special-order reusable cups part of the marketing, and that marketing (and I assume those profits) more important, just as important, as being “sustainable”? Is Starbucks aware and afraid that people, if given the option, will choose, or naturally choose, their branded disposable cup?

In local and small business coffee shops, there are often no disposable cup options in-house. It makes sense: you’re staying here, why do you need a disposable cup? I always wondered what the cost-benefit analysis comparison was–after all, the reusable cup needs to be properly washed and stored–but if the goal is ditching the disposable cup, then why not make it a rule and routine to provide real cups for those dining in?

It is admirable that Starbucks has not given up; however, it is just as much about environmental concerns as it is about image concerns, if not more so–they have vested interests in this campaign, let’s be real here.

Regardless, as they play with options and ideas all over the world, I look forward to the ripple effect at other major coffee chains, and the new collection of reusable mugs I will carry with me to each 😉

Coffee & the environment

The environment is our collective responsibility.

We need to make sure we dispose of things properly (i.e. prescription drugs, oil, batteries, etc.). We need to make sure we use everything to its potential–don’t just throw that pair of shoes out because it’s out of style! Keep them, keep using them, they still work. We need to consider what we do now, that is wasteful or problematic, that we can slowly and eventually change — and this is where coffee comes in.

Coffee is a delightful habit, but it can also negatively impact the environment. Every little change adds up in our individual lives, and if each individual makes a few small changes, we can have a big impact. So what does that look like for the average caffeinated individual?

  • Reuse iced coffee plastic containers. I refill mine with iced coffee from home or turn them into my water container.
  • Bring your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop.
  • Decline the plastic drink stopper.
  • Re-purpose coffee grounds–compost, soaps, candles, etc.
  • Reuse and re-purpose coffee filters.
  • Forgo Keurig pods and use the reusable pod with your own coffee grounds.
  • Go into the coffee shop, don’t use the drive-thru.
  • Reuse coffee bags — upcycle. Sew them into purses or totes (or, give them to someone who can sew them into purses and totes 😉)
  • Reuse coffee cups — the cups are made for coffee, and sturdy, why not give them another go?
  • Reuse/re-purpose coffee cans — they are strong containers! If you have no need for them, find an art teacher, they can definitely use them!

These are just a few ideas and suggestions. If we all chose a couple of things to upcycle, re-use, re-purpose, imagine how much we could stop going to landfills. If we all stopped idling in our cars, imagine how much gas (and money) we’d saved, and how much cleaner our air could be. If we all shared our best practices, and implement just a few, we could change the course of history–and still enjoy our coffee, win-win y’all, win-win.

Coffee — and a slide

Drink your coffee. Go down the slide.

New Ground coffee is opening shop in London — and the shop features a giant slide. Yes, like the kind in a playground.

I have never tasted their coffee, but I would be willing to say that the ambiance, at the very least, would be a whole lot of fun. And, as if the slide and laughter of those sliding down aren’t enough, New Ground is invested in decreasing recidivism and supporting the community at large. They train and hire ex-offenders to work for them. They give people a second chance–and any organization that believes in people, that allows them to re-enter the world with work and a chance to start over positively, that’s the kind of organization I want to promote and support. Next time I’m in London, I know what coffee I’ll be sipping first.

Global Locations: Starbucks Reserve

  • Milan, Italy
  • New York City, USA
  • Seattle, USA
  • Shanghai, China
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • . . . in the works: Chicago, USA

Some time ago I wrote about the merits of the Starbucks Reserve in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. I received some feedback on the piece–mostly pertaining to other locations. As a result, I decided to look up other Reserves.

I knew that Reserves were rare, but I did not realize how rare these Reserve Roastery locations actually are–just 5 currently operating in the whole world!

Some people have to visit the 7 Wonders of the World, some people want to visit every baseball stadium in the USA, some people want to touch every continent. I support any and all travel goals. I support multiple travel goals–so I’m offering another one: visit every Starbucks Reserve Roastery in the world, and if they add a few more, that’s just a few more places to explore and a few more cities to visit!

Who’s with me? Where to next? ✈️🧳


Caffeinated Idea

So, there are beer flights–a presentation of small glasses, each glass is filled with a variety of beers to sample.

Wonderful idea. Excellent experience. I highly recommend it.

Now, how does this apply to coffee?

Well, with the advent of so many milks to add to your coffee, what if there were coffee/milk flights?

Caffeinated Idea: Coffee & Milk Flight

  • One type of coffee poured into four glasses.
  • Each of those four glasses has a different milk added.

A coffee & milk flight allows the coffee drinker to sample, taste, comment, and decide which milk goes best with their coffee.

What do you think? Could this work? Could this be a thing?


Caffeinated Idea

I recently had quite of bit of dental work — five teeth were involved and three sick days.

In this time, as I texted and tweeted, I realized there was no toothache emoji.

Therefore, my caffeinated idea: an emoji that has a toothache–swollen cheek, sad face, maybe a tear.

Someone get on this.


Caffeinated Idea

I love dipping chocolate chip cookies in coffee.

I hate when those same cookies break and fall into my coffee. My coffee still tastes great, maybe a bit better with coffee bits, but just a thought:

What if my cookies were injected with coffee?

Picture it: a shot of coffee in your cookie!

I feel like this is a pretty nifty idea. I just don’t know how to make it happen . . .

Caffeinated Ideas

So the tagline reads: Coffee Shops & Caffeinated Ideas.

Someone asked, where are the ideas? Well, I posted them, as they came to me, on the Twitter. It felt like the right place to put them. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it adds to the overall brand of Cups and Comments.

However, if I don’t say where they are, how would you have known?

From now on, I will make sure to include them here. While I still plan to put them first on the Twitter–you can follow me @cups_comments –I will make sure to periodically post them here too.

For your reference here are all of my caffeinated ideas so far (March 2018-April 2018)–at times unrelated to coffee, but definitely sparked after the coffee kicked in.

Caffeinated Ideas:

  • March 20, 2018: Caffeinated Idea: What if coffee was named like sushi?
    • Me: Yes, I’d like a screaming orgasm with almond milk please.
    • Barista: Would you like whipped cream on top?
    • Me: Absolutely 😘
  • March 21, 2018: Today was my double-star day but here’s a caffeinated idea: What if I could choose my double-star day? Like maybe during the month of my birthday? … it’s next month, just saying. 😉☕️
  • March 24, 2018: Caffeinated Idea: Cadbury Creme Egg flavored coffee ☕️ — it could be a great spring flavor!
  • March 25, 2018: Caffeinated Idea: all dating sites should have a filter to let men know when they look normal v. when they look like a serial killer.
  • March 28, 2018: Caffeinated Idea: Let’s create a culture where we buy each other coffee at a cafe, just like we buy someone a drink at a bar . . . A new and BETTER way to flirt . . .
  • March 31, 2018: Caffeinated Idea: since it is the season of spring breaks, I think should give extra bonus stars for getting coffee in more than one state 😉☕️
  • April 4, 2018: Caffeinated Idea: Coffee walk in the morning . . . Wine walk at night —same day, same location, one price: Make. It. Happen.
  • April 17, 2018: Caffeinated Idea: online dating forum – “KissandKaffeinate”
    • Concept: where all the hot baristas, and the patrons that drool over them (and their drinks), come together for more than just the love of coffee 😉

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