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Who Invented the Coffee Lid?

The coffee lid does not get a lot of attention unless you are about to pour hot coffee over yourself. Despite being integrated into today’s life, the coffee lid is easy to overlook. Regardless, its design is quite complicated. But who invented the coffee lid? Read on for more details about its invention.

coffee lid

The History of the Coffee Lid

The first known patent for the design of an insulated and disposable coffee lid and cup dates back to 1953. The design was patented in the U.S by Delbert E. Phinney. His design featured a peel-type coffee lid. The lid included a section that could be lifted open with a fingernail, thereby creating a hole through which you can drink the coffee.

However, the drink-through coffee lid design only took off decades later. Drive-in and other to-go customers always wanted to drink hot coffee while traveling. They could use flat, opaque plastic lids that came with hot coffee drinks. You would rip a hole through the plastic lid to drink coffee out of the cup. Although these lids worked, they were not very convenient. As a result, designers and investors started making lids that were specially designed for drinking hot coffee on the go.

Scotch Specht, an architect, and Louise Harpman, a designer, enhanced the design of the coffee lid further. They came up with coffee lids that prevent coffee from spilling, especially when drinking from a coffee cup while on the go. The two designed the first-ever drink-through coffee lids. Their coffee lids require peeling small sections of a flat thermoformed polystyrene lid.


Role of Tiny Second Hole on a Coffee Lid

coffee lid second tiny hole

Most coffee lids have two holes: one larger hole for drinking coffee and a second tiny hole. The tiny hole is punched into the lid to improve your drinking experience. Essentially, if a liquid flows out through a single hole pierced through a closed container, a vacuum is created, making it hard to suck out the liquid. To make a liquid flow regularly and less splashy, a small hole is created on the lid to allow air into the container. Thus, there is no vacuum created when sucking out the coffee.



So who invented the coffee lid? History shows that the first-ever coffee lid design was patented in the U.S by Delbert E. Phinney in 1953. The design behind the coffee lid has been improved over the years to make it more efficient to drink coffee from coffee cups, especially while on the go. Thus, you do not have to worry about coffee spilling on you like it would when drinking from an open mug.



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