Viora Lid stealthily improves the takeaway coffee experience


May 20, 2014

Viora Lid is a new type of takeaway coffee lid designed to mimic the experience of drinking from a ceramic cup

Viora Lid is a new type of takeaway coffee lid designed to mimic the experience of drinking from a ceramic cup

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A company called Vaporpath, which is unsurprisingly based in Seattle, thinks it has the solution for all of our coffee-drinking woes. It has developed the Viora Lid, a new kind of plastic lid designed to fit on the top of traditional takeaway coffee cups.

One of the most disappointing parts of buying any takeaway coffee is the cheap lid on the cup. The dark liquid inside has just cost you at least a few dollars, but the coffee shop has unfailingly scrimped on the quality of the drinking vessel.

Several things mark Viora Lid as being different from the norm, all of which are a result of its unique angular design. Most importantly, Vaporpath claims the design of Viora Lid makes spills much less likely. The stealth aircraft-like angles direct any spilled liquid back into the cup rather than allowing it to splash onto the person carrying or drinking from the cup.

The actual drinking experience is also changed, with Viora Lid designed to mimic a ceramic cup. This is achieved by the coffee draining into an upper well before reaching your mouth, preventing the blind tipping that often leads to burnt lips or tongues. This well also allows the aroma of the coffee to reach your olfactory glands, reportedly making the whole act of drinking more satisfying.

One failing of Viora Lid is the material it's made from, with Vaporpath opting for high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) rather than greener plastics. The company explains this is due to a combination of costs, heat deflection issues, and the introduction of odors when using compostable materials.

Viora Lid was recently unveiled at the trade show of the Speciality Coffee Association of America. It is now being marketed to specialty coffee shops, who are more likely than the big chains to pay the extra few cents being charged for each lid, which are, after all, designed to be thrown away. Interested parties can request pricing details and/or sample kits from the Viora website.

The video below shows a splash test between Viora Lid and a conventional takeaway coffee lid.

Source: Viora Lid

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

What I do is push the tab into the coffee not fold it back. It acts like a baffle. That's what I learned from a friend who learned it from a Newfie

Jamie Lill

The risk is half the fun of drinking takeaway coffee!

The Skud

the selling point isn't the spill factor - it's going to be the drinking experience. If this really prevents the hotter than hell tongue tip burns experienced in the first few tentative sips of coffee, then it's a winner in my book - and add in some actual aroma and its time to print money! Only downside I can see is how tight the patent is on this thing, and whether Starmucks can simply develop its own version.


Thinks this is a great idea, but I still pour my coffee into my own travel mug, hand them back the cup and go. I am familiar with its 'sloshing' properties, don't advertise where I bought my coffee, and don't add to the solid waste stream.

Jeffrey Edwards

Attempt at humor:

We slowly tilt the coffee cup toward fearful lips and tongue, carefully trying to judge how close the coffee is to reaching the tiny little opening, which I swear morphs into the shape of knowing and evil grin the closer the coffee gets. This is at first an exercise in judging weight transfer, right? We think we will be able to feel when the coffee is closer to that punishing little orifice, but as we lose confidence in this approach, sensing the coffee must be near, given that we are 12 seconds into the tilt, we switch to our slurping technique; sucking in air in a nice focused stream so we get just a few little bubbles worth from which we can judge just how hot it is. This doesn't work as well with lids though - we've lost all sense of how close the coffee is and we are now sucking in air faster and faster, almost panicked - where is that damned coffee?? Finally, just as we are getting light headed and running out of lung capacity, we hit a pothole and burn both lips, our tongue, and stain that crisp white shirt that was making us feel so fresh and smart.

It's about time someone addressed the disposable coffee cup lid!


@ Jeffrey - Hate to break it to you but you are adding to the solid waste stream. Do you really think that they rinse out and reuse your cup simply because your poured your coffee into your own cup?

Congratulations. You've contributed to the problem while believing that you are helping to solve the problem.


@ Jeremy - Maybe giving them your travel mug when you place your order might be an option if they allow that and if it's small enough to fit under their valves. ?

Mia H

Do not fret too much over the styrene material choice. First, this is a relatively simple and non toxic plastic and second, over time newer methods of making various plastics are being devised. If these were simple problems they would have solved already, so chill a bit. Make good use of whatever materials, plastics or whatever, that you use. The waste stream issue is gigantic and disposable coffee cups & lids are a trivial part. Using styrene for lids is a good way of perceiving the whole but do not become overwrought. Also, for my part when I traveled on Army business I typically had only one uniform with me. So, very early on I took to cutting a small cross slot and inserting a straw. Maybe not so much aroma but definitely no spills at highway speeds.


If this stops burned tongues and enhances taste, it is a big improvement. I suspect the cup will be taken home for later use, especially where children live. Less spills are good but the least concern for adults.

Don Duncan
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