Starbucks' Big Invention

Starbucks splash stick

Recently I noticed that Starbucks discontinued their almond syrup but kept a surreal flavor called "Classic" readily available. I complained about them ceasing to serve breakfast sandwiches but keeping their store well stocked with copies of Cranium and baskets of stuffed bears. What I didn't realize was that Starbucks has obviously been making way for something much bigger and better then almond syrup and breakfast sandwiches, something that will revolutionize the coffee world:

The "Coffee Lid Sip Hole Plug Stopper Starbucks Lid" (or C.L.S.H.P.S.S.L. for... um... short).

This ultra clever little mass produced piece of plastic is designed to plug the tiny little two centimeter hole that you're SUPPOSED to drink your coffee from.

Well it's about time Starbucks! I can't tell you how many shirts I've ruined taking my coffee on the wild roller coaster rides at King's Dominion. I also remember my trip to California when that 8.6 on the Richter scale hit and my coffee shot out of that hole, badly burning my left eye. Then there's the case of my occasional sudden epileptic ticks—fortunately those won't be such a perilous coffee situation anymore, and it's all thanks to the thoughtful people at Starbucks.

Starbucks stir stickI know some haters out there might point out a certain conundrum involved with the logic of this little piece of plastic. For instance, those who are SO on the go that they can't drink coffee out of a two centimeter hole without spilling it probably aren't then in the position to remove a little piece of plastic from the hole in order to take a sip. But honestly, does anyone really adhere to that ten and two rule of driving anymore? Personally, I use a Zen lotus position to reduce the possibility of road rage. This makes it possible for me to steer with my knees while I hold my cell phone with my right foot and text with my left foot. My left hand holds my coffee while my right hand is free to replace the C.L.S.H.P.S.S.L. in between sips so I don't accidentally burn myself.

All I can say is thank god for cruise control... otherwise I might actually have to sit down somewhere stable to drink my hot coffee. I am totally looking forward to getting one of those Borg-like Bluetooth headsets for my cell phone... that way I can use my right foot for the brake pedal in the future, resulting in an overall lower stress level while driving.

Spills Brothers coffee
Looks like somebody's going to have an even harder time weathering the recession now.
Yes, yes, I can already hear all the whiny bleeding heart hippies out there complaining about millions of non-biodegradable pieces of plastic that will undoubtedly remain on Earth for thousands of years, but seriously, they're GREEN—I'm sure no one will ever even notice them. Plus, if you're SO interested in "Reduce/Reuse/Recycle" then you could always save it and carry it around in your pocket for your next Starbucks adventure.

Oh and for the men out there, in case you were wondering, don't worry, a punctured scrotum doesn't make you sterile, it just helps you lose a little water weight.

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The Man's picture

I am sure that the visionary who invented this useless piece of crap will be buried in the same grave as the fuck who invented new Coke. Man I need their jobs.

Xavier Holland's picture

New Coke actually should have been a really good idea. It just shows that people don't really want what they think they want.

Nathan DeGraaf's picture

Actually, the phenomenon of New Coke ended up teaching us a vluable lesson in sample size. You see, New Coke (and Pepsi) were both heavily preferred to classic coke in taste test studies, but the thing is, people don't consume coke in just a few sips. We're attracted to sweet flavors, but if it's too sweet over too long a period of time then our systems get fed up. So, though everyone chose the vile sweetness, once they were forced to experience more than a few ounces of it, they blamed coke executives, who then became the butt of the jokes of mediocre comediens for going on 20 years.

Wow. I can't believe I thought that worth telling.

Xavier Holland's picture

I actually found that really interesting. I knew that New Coke tested really well and did really poorly (it was in some book about that sort of thing), but never really knew why. I always just assumed that it was because people were really stupid.

Court Sullivan's picture

At the Coke Museum here in Atlanta, there's a whole section devoted to the corporate blunder that was New Coke. It's funny though how they spin it as a positive thing, like "This just helped us realize how much people LOVE the Classic Coke and that it will be around for millions of years!" Some people even claim that was the reverse marketing scheme from the beginning. Kind of like how people now claim that Google was behind the shitty startup search engine Cuil ( which made a gigantic PR splash a few months ago, so it would in fact help people realize how much they value Google. Just like people wonder why McDonald's advertises so much: lest you take your mind off of them for one second and try a competitor (of which there are many).

Ok, no more examples for now.

New Coke did remind people of how much the liked Coke Classic. Sales of Coca Cola "Classic" (CCC) pre-new coke were not that great, and Pepsi was winning the "cola wars." After new coke flopped and CCC was reintroduced, people who weren't buying Coke, started back....

Also, another, COMPLETELY related thing was happening at the same time......Coca-Cola was planning on replacing the sweeteners used in CCC (sucrose) with cheaper high fructose corn syrup. There is a taste difference. )Don't believe me? around passover, you can find Kosher for Passover CCC. Get some. It's worth it.) However, people can taste the difference, so they needed to get all the CCC out of the marketplace then replace with with CCC sweetened with HFCS.

KC Jayfree's picture

i thought Crystal Pepsi was cool. i don't know if i ever had it though. it sounded dangerous.

The lid stoppers are meant for people that come through the drive thru and aren't drinking it til later, so that it won't cool down.

Also, it's for people buying multiple drinks and taking them back to a group of people (say their family or coworkers) so they won't cool down and they can haul the drinks around without spilling them everywhere.

If your starbucks is putting them in every drink, then yes, they're pissing money away, but they're meant only for those who ask for them.

Actually, this might be a bit of genius in the shadows. I can't tell you how many times I've had to juggle a coffee in one hand, all the while trying to keep my (questionably clean...hey, it's NYC, gimme a break) thumb over that sippy hole while trying to get my wallet and metro card out for the subway gates. I'm kinda for this one. Ummm..well done Starbucks? :)

To add to the list of benefits of the little drink stopper, this could save me hundreds in laundry money. Think of it this way- an item of clothing that could be completely re-wearable needs to be washed every time a drop of starbucks coffee lands on it (which, in my case, is more often than desirable). So, lets say the piece of plastic costs starbucks five cents, and they have just saved me $3.50 in laundry costs, they are pretty much giving away free money.

Yes, my point is not universal, but it can be applied to many other situations.

Find a better product to complain about. Snuggies, anyone?


For the longest time I didn't even know what these things were when I saw them at Starbucks. Now that I know what they are I'm not sure what is more funny, this article or the fact that people actually use them!

Made my day!

I know this is an old read, but I just had to comment... because I actually DID splash hot Starbucks coffee out of that tiny little hole today and it went right in my eye! It's too late to call the Doc, so I was Googling what to do about a minor splash burn on the eyeball when I stumbled on this page and had a good laugh. True story. Thanks for taking my mind off my burning eyeball for a few minutes. ( Yes, I am an accident magnet. )

Ashley Garmany's picture

Andrei, I just now read this article and I must say that every single day of my life I curse Starbucks for inventing this thing. Or, as I've heard it called: "a green lady", "a plugger", "that plastic thing", "hole plug", "stopper", "[insert up and down hand gesture here]" or, as I like to call it, "the coffee tampon". But my verison hasn't quite caught on yet.

Andrei Trostel's picture

HAHA coffee tampon...I like it! It flows better than "Coffee Lid Sip Hole Plug Stopper Starbucks Lid". Weird that coffee tampon flows better. ;)

i do find that stopper quite handy actually...
but.... i am a canadian

Andrei Trostel's picture

Haha At least you can laugh about it.

Disclaimer I'm kidding of course, Canadians are great...for something.


I believe starbucks always comes up with something innovative and inspiring. Moreover their items are mostly welcome and they do care about the taste.

Andrei Trostel's picture

I believe Kunar to be a spambot who always comes up with something random and just a little off. Moreover your comments are not welcome and everyone knows spambots don't care about taste. Spambot.