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In-store Coffee Vending Machine for Reusable Mug Users

By installing coffee-maker machine in stores, customers who bring their own cups can skip the line, and customize their favorite brews.

Photo of Chuyi Wu
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Written by

Idea Title

Bring and Brew

Idea Summary

The problematic part of the current to-go cup is the water-proof lining, which is hard for customers to separate and trash them correctly. Instead, we hope to ultimately reduce the use of to-go cups.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

NYU Master Students

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

Alternatively, the line-skipping coffee vending machines will encourage people to bring their own cups and gradually challenging the stereotype of "to-go cup", which usually represents fast service.

Fortunately, Starbucks has already developed and distributed their vending machines in different spots, and we can see them in campus, or in some selected convenience stores which offer Starbucks branded coffee. In most of the vending machine location, one-time-use and to-go cups are usually provided for free by the machine.

However, for customers who want to use the coffee vending machine while do not have their own reusable cups, they can always purchase coffee with a reusable cup at the machine (similar to Starbucks's mobile order) and receive their coffee at the counter table.

The alternative order/delivery system prioritize customers with reusable cups and make those cups even more on the go, and therefore challenge its old stereotypes.

The screens on the coffee machine is also useful as a way to educate users with knowledge of the environmental impacts of the not-so-eco-friendly to-go cups, and emphasize the beauty and process of coffee making. Just like glasses for wine, ceramic sets for tea, the video or image elements will promote the elegance of coffee, beyond a caffeinated drink, which worth a reusable mugs/personalized bottle.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Reusable System
  • Alternative Delivery System
  • Other

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Business Model Development
  • Supply Chain
  • Product / Industrial Design and Prototyping
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Legal
  • Fundraising / Finance

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

We are current NYU Master Students with diverse background in product management, UX/UI design, graphic design, media studies and psychology.

In what city are you located?

New York City

In what country are you located?


How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Other

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Chuyi Wu thank you for sharing your team idea (don't forget to invite your team mates to the idea). I like the idea of providing a different experience that might entice people to use reusable cup. You might want to consider how to quickly test the validity of your assumptions (1. having access to this faster line will make people more likely to use the vending machine; 2. the coffee quality will be perceived as of similar quality in the vending machine as with a barista). You might want to consider providing a user experience map to help the openIDEO team and other community members understand your idea: