graphic design + illustration

a (pretty) cup of joe

by Grace Bonney

i wish more coffee houses invested in pretty take-out coffee cups. these clever cups were designed by for in philly. too cute to pass up. have a cute local cup to share? send an email and i’ll post the results here. i’ve heard some shops in chicago have great custom cups…

[i’ll be back at 1 with 2 new posts]

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  • It’s a cup, lighten up Eco-patrol. Of course we’d all use ceramic mugs if they were provided but let us talk about cups if we want. Always spoiling the fun with rants about never buying ANYTHING.

    Also, won’t you use more water if you have to wash you cup out all the time? Seems like neither is particularly eco unless they biodegrade..


  • My cafe uses ecoware — plain white — with a stamp. The cup biodegrades in something like 60 days. It’s minimal and while perhaps not a work of art, it’s definitely well thought out.

  • Trisha, no one was getting out of hand with their comments. I’m constantly annoyed by everyone’s inability to listen to any sort of criticism around here. If anyone ever brings up any sort of alternative point of view, they’re shouted down as being “mean”.

    What “Eco Patrol” was saying is valid, and was NOT mean-spirited. I think that you need to lighten up instead.

  • Trisha–I understand your sentiment but agree with the others… it’s about time things are cute AND responsible. Things don’t change much if you simply wait for what you’re provided. Plus, conservation has nothing to do with warranted use. Rinsing a cup could never be a “waste” of water…

  • If it was about a cup it’d be one thing–check this out from Starbuck’s own web site:

    Cup: Reusing and Recycling
    Starbucks offers a $0.10 discount to customers who bring in their own mugs to our stores. Customers used their own mugs 13.5 million times, preventing 586,800 pounds of paper waste from reaching landfills.

  • I wish more coffee houses and their patrons would invest in pretty reusable coffee cups and mugs.

    I tried to research the cost of reusable vs. throwaway paper cups. I couldn’t find anything specific comparing the two. What I did find is that starbucks alone uses almost 2billion disposable cups a year. paper cups are made from trees. You need water and fossil fuels to turn those trees into paper and transport them to their destined coffee shop. Then you need all those garbage cans filled with throw away cups to be picked up and dumped at a landfill. Yes, it’s usually a landfill because of something having to do with the glue used to make the cup.

    Most of this I learned from sites that were promoting plastic and styrofoam cups as having less of an environmental impact than paper. Why not just learn a new routine and use your own mug?

  • wow. i just wanted to express my excitement to see such a trademark philly coffee shop featured on this blog. but now that i see this conversation…

    to be fair to the last drop, many of their patrons do enjoy their coffees in re-usable mugs, mostly because its the kind of neighborhood coffee shop where people order a coffee and then hang out for a while chatting with other people from the neighborhood. and besides, i think everyone can agree that the cup is well designed. jeez.

  • If I don’t have my own cup with me when I visit a coffee shop, I usually re-use the paper cup until it falls apart. I win.

  • Those are quite pretty, Grace, and reminded me of Full City coffee on the lower east side. Personally don’t love their coffee, but it’s the only independent coffee place down there (ie yuppie cafe), and their cups are really pretty. It’s on grand street. I think you’ll like it. Happy Holidays! Sincerely,
    Christina Gregory

  • Intelligentsia in Chicago used to use cool re-usable mugs but now they have standard vanilla white. However, their take-away cups are pretty fancy.

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