Starbucks Reusable Cups – Fiasco or pure marketing genius?

What a storm was created this week in the United States with the release of special edition Starbucks Reusable Cups. With a whiz bang advertising campaign, Starbucks let people know that they could pick up their free reusable cup with any order and then use it again for their next order to get a discount for using their Starbucks Reusable Cup.

Sounds a great idea – What’s the Problem?

With any large organisation, keeping up with the times and adopting environmentally friendly practices over perceived profit will always be a winner with the consumer…..except in this case. It was reported that many of the Starbucks stores only had 25 of these free reusable cups in stock.

Now when you run a marketing campaign within any large organisation, you would like to think that you have everything in place to ensure the campaign runs smoothly. Unfortunately for the consumers, it did not and the jungle drums started beating on social media. Many Starbuck customers vented their anger on social media and rightfully so. With ordering their beverage ahead, many were expecting their morning coffee in their newly purchased Starbuck’s reusable cup. With most, that was not to be, with many consumers leaving comments a little less on the complimentary side.

Did Starbucks really stuff this campaign up?

Upon reflection, I thought to myself, hang on, these guys are professionals in this field. There is no way this would have been some stuff-up by some intern, or someone putting a few less zero’s on a purchasing order.

Starbucks, I believe have devised an absolute brilliant plan to ensure that their marketing campaign around the Starbucks Reusable Coffee Cup has the most depth it can achieve. Sure, we may peeve-off a few consumers in the first instance (and as a side note, drive sales for 1 day, which is a nice little bonus nationally), but when it was advertised yesterday by Starbucks that consumers can now purchase their special reusable cups for $2.50 and save on their purchasers through the holiday season if they bring them back in for refills, all was now forgiven by the consumer….well most anyway.

You see there is no better way to get lots of moss on a rolling stone than creating a mini-disaster by only just letting some out for free and then releasing the rest for purchase. Marketing genius.

Not only has social media got around this one, but national papers are also reporting on it. Fantastic way of saving a few dollars advertising with the print media.

Long Term…..?

Do Starbucks really care about the environment? Will the Starbucks Reusable cup become a treasured reusable cup for the consumers that they will use without fail, every time they purchase a Starbucks product. Will the consumer use their reusable Starbucks coffee cup to purchase a coffee from another coffee place.

Personally, I’m not completely sold by Starbucks move in this regard from an environmental angle. Sure, it seems on the surface that they are taking an environmentally responsible stance with the release of these reusable cups, but it reeks to me of well managed marketing campaign to drive sales over the holiday period and re-enforce their brand by having these reusable cups out in the market place.

I may be being a little cynical, but I guess, I’m just using logic. Let’s hope I’m wrong.






Best tasting Coffee Maker ? Well, that’s a good question.

In my business, people have always asked me, what is the best tasting coffee maker ? It’s a good question and one that anyone who has been in the business for a long time knows how to answer to a customer. Ultimately, it is not up to me to tell them how to drink their coffee. It is the customer’s preference on what characteristics they like in their coffee as well as the type of bean that will ultimately determine for the individual customer themselves – how best do I brew my coffee to get it to taste the best…….TO ME!

That’s why I thought it best to run through a few brewing options to help you along the path.

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Best way to make Cold Brew Coffee – from behind the Barista’s counter

Cold Brew Coffee has grown in popularity over the years as consumers explore different types of brewing methods to satisfy their tastes. There are number of cold brew methods including press and nitro infused. However, I’m going to look at the traditional method today.  

We will have a look at a few things today including, cold brew coffee ratio, best grind for cold brew coffee and preferred coffee beans for cold brew.

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Not just Keep Cups – Expanding our horizons

Keep Cups are just one way in which we can help the environment in the coffee industry. Used coffee grounds are another!

No more waste!

Owning two espresso bars, I have found over the years that after using thousands of kilos of ground coffee in the preparation of our cups of coffee, we were left with a waste of used coffee grounds. It was about time to find out alternative uses for these used grounds that could either help the environment or become a secondary use around home without having to end up in landfill.

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The Rise of the Keep Cup – Our environment needs you!

It’s official, in Australia at least the Keep Cup is here to stay and it’s use is growing. The media, specifically the ABC’s “War on Waste” series has highlighted the issues associated with disposable cups that are not recyclable, even though some are


History from an Espresso Bar.

I have personally been in the coffee industry now for 11 years. Other than the growth of the Australian public’s knowledge of coffee and the need to seek out an above average brew, the rise of Eco friendly cups has slowly taken shape over the years.

Continue reading “The Rise of the Keep Cup – Our environment needs you!”

My Purpose

Welcome to The Eco Cup. This site is all about creating sustainability through environmentally friendly actions in the coffee environment and your everyday life. Here you will find reviews and options on reusable coffee cups, other matters pertaining to alternatives to waste options in the coffee industry and I even throw in some articles on coffee brewing and coffee brewing options.

A small brief about me.

As an owner of two espresso bars named Coffee Mamma, I’ve found that over the years, the amount of takeaway coffee cups that have been purchased through my stores is astronomical.

If I multiplied mine by the number of other espresso bars and coffee shops in the world, you can only start to imagine the amount of landfill this would create.

It’s only one cup……………said a million people.

With customers taking a greater interest in helping our environment, I answer questions on a daily basis of where reusable cups can be purchased, which ones are suitable, where can they be sourced and how much do they cost. I also get a lot of inquiries regarding coffee grounds, recycling etc.

To be truly informed on this matter, I would have to do my own research, which has led me to building this site.


What is my goal?

My purpose with this site is to show everyday coffee drinkers that there is a world of possibilities regarding reusable cups, environmentally friendly cups and small changes that you can make that can help our environment. If just one person per day, starts using a reusable coffee cup, that’s one less takeaway cup that goes into landfill. And in some cases, you actually get a discount at some cafes if you bring your own vessel.

Small changes lead to bigger positive outcomes. Which is why the saying; “But it’s only one cup………said a million people”, rings home.

Here’s to working towards a cleaner earth!

All the Best.