Product Story: Chemist Cup

A long time ago on a couch far, far away...

Since childhood I have been a voracious consumer of fantasy and science fiction movies. Summer in north Florida is analogous to winter in Minnesota-- there are periods that you just stay inside to avoid the brutality of the weather, so I watched a lot of bad (and many great) movies on cable or rented from Turtle's Video. My mind would start to wander from the plot and I would look closely at all of the items in a room, whether in a castle, cantina, or space station. These set dressings have always been a source of design inspiration for me.

Rewatching Star Wars: A New Hope a few years ago, I was struck by the scene early on where Luke is having dinner with his aunt and uncle. The cup and pitcher they use is a masterpiece of set dressing- ignorable, just like a real every-day cup is, but on closer examination, the details are striking. Semi-transparent, beat up; well loved and well used. 
Luke and his aunt and uncle sharing a meal

Ready for its close up...

I always think of how our pieces would look in a scene in a movie. I think the Chemist Cup has many of the qualities that would make them stand out- simple but odd, and your brain tries to place it’s origin. Is it overstock from a lab supply? A piece of PVC jerry-rigged into looking like a cup the day of shooting?

The Chemist Cup is the sort of thing you might find in a spaceship’s wet bar or in a shadowy alchemist’s den. Aesthetics aside, its compact cylindrical form fits perfectly in your hand and keeps a chilled cocktail cold or a cup of tea hot.

The Chemist Cup has slowly become the beverage workhorse of our kitchen— use it for your first cup of coffee, an afternoon chai, that 5 PM mixed drink, and your bedside water cup. The shape of the Chemist Cup is reminiscent of historic labware and early medieval pottery beakers. The 9 oz. size makes sure your beverage doesn’t get cold before you finish it (or your cocktail watered down).

Bitter, Delicious, Italian

I will be very honest: ceramic is not always the perfect vessel for drinks, especially for alcoholic beverages. But for a complex, herbal liqueur, ceramic is perfect. It captures that feeling of antiquity and alchemy when used for a concoction that could be brewed by a witch or a mad scientist. Italian liqueurs and bitter digestifs fit the bill. Campari, Fernet Branca, Sardinian mirto, Amaros… I haven’t met one I don’t love. My favorite way to have it is on the rocks or neat-- which the Chemist Cup is great for-- or as a summer refresher, a half shot of Campari and heavy pour of seltzer water over ice. My wife and I add olives to this, which may be idiosyncratic, but we do not judge so please, don’t judge us. - Mark Warren, Creative Director and Co-founder