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science of coffee cup lids

The Science of Coffee Cup Lids and Its Influence on Coffee Flavor

Coffee shop owners put so much thought into creating the perfect to-go coffee experience. From beans and grinding practices to roasting and extraction, it all matters. However, many of these businesses and professionals fail to account for the science of coffee cup lids.

They tend to focus on lids that are secure and prevent messes. Some companies might only care about cost. What’s missing is how coffee cup lids can affect the drinking experience. A lot of science goes into designing a good to-go coffee lid. This post will cover some ways better designs can deliver a better coffee experience.

The Basic Science of Coffee Cup Lids

The Sipping Hole

Coffee drinkers need a hole from which they can sip the beverage. However, the size and shape of the sipping hole can make a big difference. If the hole is too big, it increases the risk of spillage. A sipping hole that is too small won’t allow enough liquid to enjoy the flavors fully. If the shape is wrong, it can also create a chugging or bubbling action when you sip.

Air Inflow

The sipping hole is only one part of the lid that helps deliver a good sip of coffee. You also need an air inlet so the liquid can flow freely. Without an air inlet, the drinker’s lips can create a vacuum over the sipping hole. With no air coming in, the liquid won’t flow well. That is one of the reasons most lids have what seems like an extra hole.


Have you ever had a coffee lid that traps overflow or spillage and keeps it on top of the lid? It serves the purpose of protecting against spills. However, it can also affect the flavor when you drink the cold coffee on the lid when you take a sip. Smarter lid designs have channels and angles that guide those little bits of coffee back into the cup. That way, it doesn’t spill or affect the coffee experience.

The Aroma

The final way a lid can affect the experience is with the aroma. Coffee isn’t just a tasting experience. It is a combination of flavors and smells working together. So many coffee lids trap the aromas inside the cup. You can’t smell it when the cup is nearby, and you can barely smell it when you take a sip. A better design is to have a larger hole for airflow. Along with improving airflow for a better sip, it will release the aromas for a complete coffee experience.

Use FoamAroma

Do you want to know more about what makes FoamAroma better than the average coffee lid? Click here to contact our team. We would be happy to discuss the science behind our lids.

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