Our Kinds is testing reusable coffee cup lids to make them doable for everyone in the community, with The Corner Store regular, Megan Crust, being our first lid adopter. We sat down with her to talk about her experience.
We believe in the power of people-driven solutions, which is why we are trialling different reusable lid prototypes in the community before rolling them out at large. After all, it's not a solution if it creates a different problem for someone. Bumps are inevitable and almost necessary on the road to success—but we are here to find the solutions together!
When we started on our goal to make the single-use coffee cup redundant, we offered a reusable cup without a lid. Many of the Our Kinds staff and café regulars that we interviewed said that they preferred to avoid the lid altogether, so it was the perfect way to cut down waste. We thought, 'let’s not offer a lid in the first place!'
This has worked for many of our customers. People have noted that it is nice to see the barista's latte art, the milk remains silky, the coffee tastes better, and they get some of the luxury of a dine-in coffee even while they are on the go.
However, there were others for whom the lid was an essential—people who didn’t have the time each morning to sit down and drink their coffee, people who popped in on their way elsewhere and wanted to keep their beverages warm, and people who simply preferred the lid. If lids are a necessity for some, then how can we create a long-term solution?
That’s when Megan Crust became our first lid adopter!
Megan loved their usable aspect and tried the lidless option a couple of times but had some reservations and was great enough to approach Hamish (co-founder of Our Kinds and owner of The Corner Store) with her concerns. Hamish took all this onboard and decided to set her up as our official first trial of the prototype 1 reusable personal lid.
This was a couple of months ago now, and we decided to touch base and get her feedback on how the trial is going.
How long have you been going to The Corner Store and how do you know Hamish?
I go to The Corner Store every morning to get my coffee and I have done for well over a year now. We always have a chat and he’s a very positive person.
As a regular, what was it like when they switched over to the reusable cups?
I pop in there because it’s close to home and the coffee is good, but I don’t work close to there. So I don’t sit down and drink the coffee there, that’s not my morning ritual—I need to get a coffee and go. When they swapped to reusable cups, I was supportive of the concept, but there were no lids. When I was driving to work, I was terrified that I was going to come to a stop, spill it, and end up with coffee all over the car. I tried it a couple of times, but I ended up saying to Hamish, ‘look, I’m supportive but this isn’t really working for me because I have to drive 20 minutes to work.’
How did you get the first lid?
Coincidentally, I think he’d already been thinking about it. He had this bamboo lid that’s just a lid, no hole—you have to take it off to drink your coffee. He said ‘I've got this prototype. Do you want to give it a go and see if it alleviates the problem?’ And so I did! He added that he'd like to know what I thought about it and whether it worked for me, and naturally if it solved the problem.
How did you go with it?
I used it for quite some weeks and then the feedback that I gave (as the first user of prototype 1) was that it solved the fear of spilling, but because it was just a lid, adding a handle or something on the top would make it easier to pull on and off the coffee cup. Also, when you’re using a lid, they can't fill the coffee up as much.
Have you ever left it at home?
It's been quite good; Hamish has told me I'm quite the model customer! [Editor’s note: Megan has absolutely been the model customer throughout the duration of the lid trial] Well, what happens is by the time I get to work, I've drunk the coffee. So, I just leave it sitting in the cup holder. This way, I don't forget it, and I can just take it back in the next morning.
How does it compare to the takeaway coffee lid?
On a disposable cup, the lid sits on tight, and you can drink it on the go. I think that really works well. But I think this is a good step for getting rid of it. I mean, I believe they've saved tens of thousands of disposable cups and lids by doing this, it's just a tweak, just getting used to something—that's all.
How do you feel about the trial process?
I do think it's really important. Because if solutions can't work for people in their daily life and make it as easy or easier to do whatever the activity is, then people won't do it!
Megan has been an integral part of getting our first lid prototype off the ground. We'd like to thank her for her feedback and guidance and look forward to delivering her all our future prototypes!
Our bamboo lids are now available for purchase at participating Our Kinds cafés for $9.95.
They’re yours to keep, and the sleek design is meant to easily fit in a pocket or purse so you can rush off with your coffee and not worry about leaving a trail of drips in your wake.
We’re looking for lid feedback before we design our own, when we will experiment with different materials and artworks inspired by feedback from our diverse and growing Our Kinds movement.
If you’d like to learn more, get in contact with us through our socials or email us at email@example.com.
Are you a café owner keen to shift to reusable cups and lids in the lead into the Plastics Plan regulation? Western Australia has the most ambitious Plastics Plan in Australia with regulations applicable to single-use hot cups active from January 2023. The Our Kinds system enables compliance with the Plastics Plan regulation for single use hot cups and saves money for cafés.