Category Archives: Blog

Intelligentsia Coffee adopts the Viora Lid

Intelligentsia Coffee Cup

We are excited to share that Intelligentsia Coffee is now using the Viora Lid in all of their cafes in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Several of their wholesale coffee bean customers have made the switch to the Viora Lid as well.

As one of the founding ‘Big Three’ of the third wave coffee movement, Intelligentsia is known for sweating the details. Like the rest of our customers around the world, they recognize what a huge difference a lid can make in improving the overall experience of a cup of to-go coffee.

In a recent blog post, Intelligentsia notes, “We truly believe the Viora lid is as close to drinking out of a ceramic cup as you can get.” You can learn more about why Intelligentsia made the switch to the Viora Lid, by reading their blog here.

 

Intelligentsia Coffee Cup

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The Artisan Coffee Journey

Coffee Farm

At Viora Lid, we are passionate – some might even say fanatical – about coffee. Whether we are drinking espresso or Aeropress, cold brew or drip, we appreciate a great cup of coffee. We know that outstanding coffee is made by people who make thoughtful choices at each step of coffee’s lengthy journey from farm to cup. We created the Viora Lid so the care put into this journey won’t go unnoticed.

Whether it started in Ecuador or Ethiopia, Costa Rica or Sumatra, your coffee made a journey of thousands of miles to reach your cup. Farmers selected the best varietals for their elevation and terrain. Buyers travelled half way around the world to source beans directly from the small farms that consistently produce the highest quality beans. A roaster experimented with method, time, and temperature to bring out every nuance and flavor. The freshly roasted beans were sent – as quickly as possible – to baristas. Drawing on science and art, baristas determined which extraction process would elicit the complex and subtle flavors of those beans. They selected the grind, coffee to water ratio, temperature, and brewing time, to craft an exceptional cup of coffee.

 

Artisan Coffee Journey

 

While the last step of the journey – putting that coffee in the cup for you to enjoy on the go – seems like a small one compared to the thousands of miles the coffee has already travelled, it turns out it’s no less important. Previously, coffee purveyors only had two choices: hand you your coffee in a mug and limit your enjoyment to the café premises or use a conventional lid that lets you take your coffee on the go but limits your ability to enjoy the full flavor. With the arrival of the Viora Lid, they now have a better choice. It makes sure your coffee remains exceptional even when you carry it out the door. The artisan coffee journey is no longer just from the farm to the cup. With the Viora Lid, the journey doesn’t end until your coffee reaches your lips.

In this blog, we’ll learn from coffee purveyors that use the Viora Lid about the decisions they make at every step of the process to bring you the most enticing cup of coffee. We’ll explore how the coffee we love is so much more than it may appear, and show you why we care so deeply about experiencing coffee to its fullest.

 

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16th Annual World Barista Championship

World Barista Championships 2015

World Barista Championships 2015

The Viora Lid team is excited to attend this years World Barista Championship which is being held during the SCAA Exposition. The competition gets underway on April 9th.

We are excited for all of the competitors who represent more than 50 nations – but we will be rooting extra loudly for the 2015 US Barista Champion, Charles Babinski. Charles, from Go Get Em Tiger and G&B Coffee in Los Angeles, California is a Viora Lid customer. He’s been runner up twice for the US Barista Championships, and after winning the US championship this year, we’re hoping that Charles goes all the way to the top step of the podium at World’s this year. Go Charles!!!

If you’re not attending the SCAA event this year (or even if you are), the best place to follow the event is on Sprudge Live. The Sprudge team will provide comprehensive, live coverage as they have for many previous coffee events. We are also excited to be a sponsor of the SprudgeLive coverage of the World Barista Championships this year.

The Viora Lid wishes all of the competitors the best of luck and we hope you all enjoy the competition!

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Viora Lid at the 2015 SCAA Exposition

SCAA2015

SCAA2015

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we launched the Viora Lid at the 2014 SCAA Exposition. It’s been an exciting year for us and we’re thrilled to be back at the Seattle Convention Center for the SCAA event.

If you’re attending the event, please come visit us. We’re in booth #18011 in the North Hall near the entrance. If you can’t make it to the show, but you’re in town, you can try the Viora Lid at the following shops: Street Bean Espresso in the Belltown neighborhood, Ada’s Technical Books on Capital Hill, Sip & Ship in Ballard as well as the Sip & Ship in Greenwood. Also, the week of the show, Victrola Coffee Roasters will be using our lid in all three of their shops.

We hope to see you at the show!

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Two More Patents for the Viora Lid

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We are excited to announce that on February 10, 2015 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a broad utility patent for the design of the Viora Lid. Patent No. 8,950,623 – entitled BEVERAGE CONTAINER LID THAT PROVIDES NATURAL DRINKING EXPERIENCE – describes how the Viora Lid presents a significant improvement on the countless other to-go lids in the market. Furthermore, On February 18, 2015 the USPTO issued a design patent for the Viora Lid, Patent No. D722498.

These two new patents, together with our broad portfolio of existing design and utility patents, as well as additional pending patent applications, underscore the innovation of the Viora Lid. In a market that has been dominated by a 30 year old design, the Viora Lid improves on every important attribute: drinkability, taste, and spill prevention.

We are excited about the innovation that the Viora Lid represents – and we are excited to help our customers deliver the best possible drinking experience.

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The Viora Lid & Green Plastics

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iStock_000014779105Medium

The Viora Lid is made out of high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) – a recyclable material widely used in the food packaging industry. The vast majority of hot cup lids today are made out of HIPS. Still, we occasionally get asked why the Viora Lid is not made from a compostable plastic. The short answer is that, at least for now, compostable plastics don’t make sense for hot cup lids.

We spent years researching and testing various “green” plastics, including polylactic acid (“PLA”), Polyhydroxyalkanoate (“PHA”), and potato based plastics. PLA is the one material that has achieved some commercial success in the form of ‘compostable’ lids. However, in our testing, heat deflection temperature is a problem with PLA (the lid gets too soft when hot).  And of course, the material cost of PLA is significantly higher.

In addition, the Viora Lid is designed specifically to allow customers to enjoy the aroma of their coffee. Several of the “green” plastics that we tested introduced odors that detracted from that experience. Incidentally, odor can be a problem with HIPS too. We have done a tremendous amount of work to find a particular HIPS that is far below the detectable odor limit so that no matter how sensitive the customer’s nose, with a Viora Lid they always get to enjoy the aroma of their coffee.

But the thing that really drove us to use HIPS was the literature indicating that PLA is not actually very “green,” notwithstanding the careful marketing and research funded by PLA manufacturers. PLA uses food stock (corn; sometimes GMO corn) and takes significant energy to produce. In addition, PLA can contaminate other recycling waste streams and, unless taken to rare commercial composting facilities, can produce greenhouse gases during decomposition. In other words, PLA is suspect from an environmental perspective alone. You can find links to a few articles about PLA below.

Our highest priority remains delivering a natural drinking experience, but our ultimate goal is to make the very best lid in every respect. While we are going to market with a lid made from HIPS, we are really material agnostic and could make lids out of PLA if the case for doing so makes sense. From everything we have read, it is our sense that the real green solution will be more effective recycling once better recyclable plastics that work well for hot cup lid applications (and better recycling infrastructure) become available. For example, we are watching the expanded PET being commercialized by MicroGreen, as well as filled polypropylenes that are being developed by several companies.

Please share your thoughts on lid materials. We are always open to learning more.

Links to articles:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/corn-plastic.htm 
http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ph240/hawkes2/ 

The Viora Lid Launches at the SCAA Annual Exhibition

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SCAA Web Site Capture

The official launch of the Viora Lid will take place at the 2014 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Annual Exhibition in Seattle, Washington which runs from Friday April 25 – Sunday April 27th

The SCAA is the world’s largest coffee trade association with nearly 3,000 company members. As a network of organizations and industry professionals, its mission is to recognize, develop and promote specialty coffee by providing opportunities to make connections, gain knowledge, develop skills, grow its constituents’ businesses and define the future of specialty coffee.

Each year, the SCAA holds an event that brings together the industry, and this year there will be over ten thousand attendees from over seventy-five countries. At this year’s event, we will launch the Viora Lid and will participate in a number of different show activities:

  • You can visit our booth (#17105) on the west side of the north exhibition hall
  • The Viora Lid will be part of Best New Product competition
  • The Viora Lid will also be displayed in the New Product Showcase

Also, during the week of the event, you can try the Viora Lid on an exceptional cup of coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roaster’s 12th Avenue Café (1115 12th Avenue, https://goo.gl/maps/Gmt6O).

If you are attending the SCAA event, please stop by our booth and we’ll introduce you to the Viora Lid. If you are not able to attend the SCAA event but would still like to try the Viora Lid, email your contact information to samples@vioralid.com and we’ll send you a 10-lid sample kit.

We are looking forward to an exciting week and hope to see you there.

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