Simple solution to a big problem

Our cups make it easy to communicate exactly how much room a barista should leave for cream, or how much cream to add before adding coffee. Now it’s easy to add cream, or leave room for cream.

The waste

It takes approximately 2500 gallons of fresh water to produce one pound of coffee beans (Water Footprint Network). By the time coffee reaches the consumer, 1000 ounces (7.8 gallons) of fresh water will have been used to produce a single ounce of brewed coffee; yet millions of people dump their coffee in the garbage to make room for cream.

To put things into perspective, let’s say you make room for a single ounce of coffee every day. After factoring all the water required to grow and process the coffee, you effectively waste over 2,800 gallons of fresh water every year; and, you’re not alone. There are millions of people making room for cream every day in the United States.

“…with room for 3, please.”

add cream or leave room for cream

Dispensing comparison

To better understand the logic, imagine three customers each order a coffee in a local cafe. Customer A prefers 1 ounce of cream, customer B prefers 3 ounces of milk, and customer C prefers 2 ounces of cream. To make room for milk and cream they pour 1-, 3-, and 2 ounces of coffee in the garbage, respectively. In this example the cafe dispenses a total of 24 ounces of coffee, and wastes 6 ounces.

Conventional dispensing

With the R4 System, customers A, B, and C order their coffee with room for 1, 3, and 2, respectively. The cafe dispenses a total of 18 ounces; and the 6 ounces of saved coffee are now available to the next customer in line.

R4 enhanced dispensing

Make room for change

An average coffee shop will experience around 2 gallons of waste per day, which adds up to more than 700 gallons of hot coffee per year. The global impact is approximately 800,000 gallons of water waste per coffee shop, per year. That’s anything but trivial and totally avoidable. Nationwide adoption of the R4 System will save billions of gallons of water and other precious resources every year. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

Contact us about using our cups in your business.

coffee drop

SF Beta Campaign a success is proud to announce the successful beta test of the R4 System. Baristas and customers found the R4 System-enhanced hot cups easy to understand and a pleasure to use. “It’s great to see my favorite coffee shop be a part of something so innovative. It’s so obvious; why hasn’t someone thought of this before?” asks Kin Jung, a regular customer at Crossroads Cafe. “Ideas like this have a tendency to change the world.” If initial customer response is any indication, the R4 System should find its way into coffee shops nationwide.

To-go cups are typically served filled to the brim, which is fine for customers who prefer their coffee black, but leaves millions of milk and cream lovers with no choice but to dump a few ounces of hot coffee in the garbage. Just stand by the condiment bar at any coffee shop and one thing becomes clear, there is room for improvement in the way coffee is dispensed. By eliminating the need for customers to “make room” for milk or cream, retailers can reduce wasted coffee and appeal to those customers who choose retailers that demonstrate sustainable business practices. In fact, nationwide adoption of the R4 System could reduce the environmental impact of the entire coffee industry, which is facing soaring coffee-bean prices.

Watch a video of real customers making room for cream:

“This is a great example of an overlooked problem that has existed for years in the foodservice industry, and which has wide-ranging ramifications and low consumer awareness. We think the R4 System will change the way people order coffee, what to expect from retailers, and will also save precious resources,” said Allen King, president of Excellent Packaging & Supply. “Unlike other sustainable solutions, Room For brand hot cups are the first cups to conserve coffee, which makes them a different shade of green. We are delighted to partner with Sector Labs on this project, which broadens the range of sustainable solutions we can offer coffee merchants that are focused on sustainability.”

“The practice of ‘making room’ seems trivial, but it takes significant resources to produce and transport coffee across the globe. By the time coffee reaches the customer, about 2,500 gallons of fresh water will have been used to produce a single pound of coffee beans,” says Daniel Kokin, president of Sector Labs. “The R4 System eliminates the need for customers to waste coffee by giving them a better way to order, and unlike other sustainable solutions, we encourage the conservation of what goes into the cup. The R4 System is the ideal solution because it simply adds a level of precision to what customers already do and there’s no compromise or hidden costs — just a more efficient use of resources.”