Bad Redesign: Intrepid coffee drinker is forced to return his brand new (replacement) Starbucks travel mug because it’s too painful to use. “My first sip, as expected, was a little awkward. I adjusting to the vacuum seal lid. But the second sip was painful as was the third. I realized that the design of the lid thrust my upper lip directly into the stream of the hot coffee.” Weird. [NowPublic]


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  1. humphrmi says:

    This is no social crisis, just another tricky day for you.

  2. zacwight says:

    I have a mug from starbucks that creates a bubble acoss the opening where the hot drink comes out and doesn’t pop until it’s up high enough that a stream of it comes out instead of a sip. I’ve burned my tongue a couple of times because of it.

  3. Sudonum says:


  4. humphrmi says:

    @Sudonum: Exactly.

  5. MercuryPDX says:

    I marched back to the Starbucks. Hesitantly, I asked for a refund, apologizing for being a jerk but I just couldn’t drink the coffee. The barrista apologized and quickly gave me refund. I finished my coffee in a good old paper cup.

    Maybe travel mug is a bit too advanced for Ryan. May I suggest something more along the lines of a Sippy Cupâ„¢?

    But what am I going to do tomorrow morning?

    Not gonna touch this one.

  6. PDX909 says:

    What a pussy… but I think the picture of the pink travel mug was a clue.

    “but what am I going to do tomorrow morning?”

    erm.. crave even more attention?

  7. coren says:

    Not so much thrust as “I can’t figure out how to use this properly”

  8. clevershark says:

    If this is a saga, my commute must be a veritable odyssey. Perhaps I can explore it tomorrow on my blog with the same proto-alchemical prosaic marvel that this piece’s author masters.

  9. EtherealStrife says:

    “But what am I going to do tomorrow morning?”

    Grow a pair?

  10. il1lupo1970 says:

    every starbucks mug i’ve used has does the same thing. you know what i do? wait until the coffee cools off a bit. then i drink it. duh.

  11. savvy999 says:

    I had a similar experience with a hammer. Trying to hit a nail, every time I swung it up, the claw part went into my eye. Every time I swung it down, the big fat part smashed my thumb.

    Obviously poor design; I returned it.


  12. babaki says:


  13. theblackdog says:

    @savvy999: Did you strangle your son after he laughed at you when it happened?

  14. DanGarion says:

    Wow this is a cutting edge story. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you fail in news reporting, Consumerist.

  15. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    Different people have differently-shaped mouths. Mr. “But what am I going to do tomorrow morning?” should just be a brave little soldier and swing by Walgreen’s or almost any supermarket and see what they have to offer. My favorite travel cup is a MiGo that I’ve had for years; the lid has no moving parts, which makes it very easy to wash, but still does a great job of not spilling or dripping. Sadly, it seems to be out of production.

  16. SpaceCat85 says:

    There’s always time to discuss bad design…there’s just so much of it out there ;)

    The short/practically non-existent lip on that mug’s lid is the main design problem. Most of the travel mugs I’ve got have a much more pronounced lip on the lid than that one appears to have–you actually have a chance to blow on it if it’s still too hot, and tipping the cup too far accidentally won’t immediately drench you in steaming hot liquid.

    After you’ve checked the lid of a mug you want to buy, make sure you also check how well the lid seals to the cup, too, unless you want piping hot coffee/tea burbling onto your hand when you tilt it for a sip. You’d be surprised at how many travel mugs out there manage to get that part wrong, too…