Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fresh Find | ceramic New York Coffee Cup

I have an obsessive fascination with the iconic New York Coffee Cup. Any time I spot one on the streets of New York, I light up and immediately have to say, "OMG -- New York coffee cup!" Law & Order and street food vendors tend to enable my vocal habit. I remember visions of it as a little girl, when I would visit my mom's New York City workplace. She'd pick up rounds of coffee for her colleagues, and most times, they were served inside these ubiquitous yet iconic cups. Since then, I've been forever entranced with them, mostly because it reminds me of the days of my youth.

Originally named "The Anthora cup," the original (and now iconic) "We Are Happy To Serve You" paper coffee cup was introduced in 1963 by designer Leslie Buck for the Sherri Cup Company in Connecticut. Its design was Grecian-inspired, with a tesselating meander spanning the circumference of the cup's top and bottom. At each side was a drawing of an amphora, a Greek vase, from where the name "Anthora" came to be as a result of Mr. Buck's Eastern European accent. The font in which "We Are Happy To Serve You" is inscribed further perpetuates the Grecian motif behind the cup's existence. The reason behind the creation of this cup, you ask? Mr. Buck's company, Sherri, was determined to penetrate New York's hot-cup market. As many of the city's diners were owned by Greeks, Mr. Buck brilliantly came up with the idea of a "Classical cup" in the colors of the Greek flag (blue and white), which became an instant success. Today, as Margalit Fox of The New York Times put it, "though the Anthora no longer dominates the urban landscape as it once did, it can still be found at diners, delis and food carts citywide, a squat, stalwart island in a sea of tall, grande and venti."

Now, you can forever honor the late Mr. Buck, his memory, and his beloved creation in a more permanent, less fleeting form -- a ceramic cup which mimics what he has bestowed upon caffeine fiends and warm beverage lovers alike. The environmentally-minded design group, Exceptionlab, in conjunction with the Sweetheart Cup Company, Inc. and Aid to Artisans, converted the design from disposable to permanent. This ceramic New York Coffee Cup was designed by Graham Hill.

This has been sitting on my wishlist for an eternity -- will need to pick it up one of these days for sure!

ExceptionLab by Graham Hill
ceramic New York Coffee Cup
Price point: $12 each, here at ExceptionLab


  1. how interesting! I had no idea! such a great post!


  2. Thanks, Aarean! I'm a huge fan of your blog, too :) thanks for stopping by!



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