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  • Transcriber: TED Translators admin Reviewer: Camille Martínez

  • You never give it any thought,

  • and there are billions of them out there,

  • but the amount of design and passion and creativity

  • that goes into this little disc is remarkable.

  • [Small thing.]

  • [Big idea.]

  • The coffee cup lid is a lid for your coffee cup.

  • It snaps on.

  • It has an opening.

  • You've got lids with a little latch that opens and closes.

  • You've got ones that are in creative shapes.

  • Coffee cup lids have their own vocabulary.

  • People talk about the "peripheral skirts,"

  • the "press-in dimples," the "fragrance outlets,"

  • the "slosh factor."

  • But you need these words,

  • because so much thought and innovation

  • goes into these coffee cup lids.

  • Our society is just more and more mobile.

  • Everything is on the move.

  • The good part: it's convenient.

  • You can drink coffee anywhere, you don't have the stay in the diner.

  • It can be in the subway. You can be walking.

  • The bad part is, it's harder to savor a coffee

  • when you're taking it on the road.

  • The first patent for a lid on a cup

  • was in 1934,

  • but it was for cold beverages.

  • And in 1950, this guy named James Reifsnyder

  • invented the first snap-on lid.

  • But it didn't have an opening for drinking.

  • In the '60s there was this huge cultural shift,

  • where people started drinking coffee on the move.

  • And 7-Eleven was the first to sell coffee to go.

  • And then came this revolution in 1967.

  • A man named Alan Frank invented a lid

  • that you could peel a tab off,

  • like in the shape of a guitar pick,

  • and drink it from there.

  • In 1975, another big advance:

  • you could peel back a tab and attach it to the lid itself.

  • So, more and more people started drinking coffee on the go.

  • In 1984, a watershed moment in the history of coffee cup lids:

  • the birth of the traveler lid.

  • And it is iconic -- you've seen it a million times.

  • And it solved a whole host of problems.

  • It's designed so that you don't splash your face,

  • because it's higher than any of the other ones.

  • And it's got this protruding rim,

  • so it slightly cools the coffee before it hits your lips.

  • It's got a small depression in the center for your nose,

  • so you can really get in there and get maximum aroma.

  • It's got this tiny air hole that lets the steam out

  • and stops it from creating a vacuum.

  • This is one of those objects where you just don't notice it

  • until it dribbles on your lap.

  • So I think the coffee cup lid will just continue to evolve,

  • and you're going to see a move away from single-use plastic lids

  • to lids that are a little more sustainable.

  • We're not going to stop moving.

  • We're not going to stop drinking coffee.

  • And I think that's what these coffee lid engineers are trying to do,

  • is to make it so that the experience of taking it on the road

  • is as good as sitting in a restaurant, drinking from a ceramic cup.

  • Because, you know, coffee is serious business.

Transcriber: TED Translators admin Reviewer: Camille Martínez

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The evolution of the coffee cup lid | Small Thing Big Idea, a TED series

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/06
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