Improving the drink experience, one sip at a time
There’s nothing like carrying your favorite beverage with you on the road. But after years of trying to adjust to travel drinkware, we couldn’t put our finger on why they all felt so different than the open cups we sipped from at home. At first we thought it might be the need for a different material. Until we tried a ceramic version and found it didn’t make much difference.
Then one day we realized what the problem was. It all came down to the constant banging of your nose in the lid and the annoyance of tilting your head back with every sip. From that moment forward, we decided to do something about this.
Our first solution was a complex design: a hinged flap that covered a nose-cutout area of the lid. The flap was balanced by counterweights so that it would open when the cup was tilted for sipping, then it would close again when the cup was placed upright. This worked well and looked spectacular. But fitting all the parts into the tiny space under the lid was one huge challenge. So was keeping those parts clean.
After a full year of tinkering away with this concept, we knew all the nooks and crannies under the lid. We determined, for example, that the average nose is longer than the space under the lid. And we didn’t want to make the lid taller. So making a cavity in the lid (instead of an opening flap) to accommodate the nose would not work.
Or, would it?
What if we extended the bottom of the cavity below the beverage level? It was a scary idea, going against all our instincts. Nobody would do that. But as we thought more about it, we realized the beverage already comes in contact with the lid when it splashes in the cup or when the cup is tilted for drinking.
Then, if the bottom of the cavity was small enough to fit just the tip of the nose, only a small volume of liquid would be displaced. An amount so small, there would be no overflow when the lid was installed. What’s more, the cavity would work as a baffle to reduce geyser splashes through the sip hole when the cup is jolted, reducing the need for a stopper.
Gaining confidence this could work, we ordered our first samples—and they were a huge success. But we still wanted more room for the nose. So we made the cavity even deeper and wider. Finally, we had the perfectly optimized shape. Big enough to give you plenty of breathing room, but small enough to not affect the standard functionality of the cup. Ruumi Cup was born.