Saturday 18 May 2024
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GaeaStar’s 100% plastic-free clay cups debut in Verve Coffee Roasters cafés

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – GaeaStar, the San Francisco and Berlin-based technology company creating clay vessels to break our dependency on single-use plastic, is announcing the beginning of its pilot production phase and the evolution of its partnership with California-based Verve Coffee Roasters. Made of regionally sourced clay, plus water and salt, GaeaStar products are 100% plastic-free and represent a new category of multi-use, zero-waste clay cups.

Inspired by 5,000-year-old clay cups known as “Kuhlars,” GaeaStar presents a modern-day twist by combining ancient Indian cultural practice with a proprietary ultra-fast additive manufacturing (3D printing) process to produce eggshell-thin cups. GaeaStar vessels are challenging the traditional nature of to-go cups and introducing a new product category between single-use and reusable cups.

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Consumers can enjoy an elevated experience with their GaeaStar cups multiple times, with the cups being designed for reuse, or they can use them just once for on-the-go convenience. Because the cups are made from three natural ingredients from the Earth, they can be discarded in the normal trash guilt-free as they will disintegrate into dust.

Challenging the status quo of modern supply chains, GaeaStar sources all materials locally and distributes products to local customers via a decentralized manufacturing strategy. The company’s ultimate goal is a fully local, hub and spoke model by printing cups at the place of consumption. By eliminating the environmental cost of global shipping, GaeaStar to-go ceramics offer a holistic approach to reducing our impact on the Earth.


As part of its mission to craft the future of coffee, Verve signed a partnership with GaeaStar in early 2023 with the commitment to offer the clay cups in Verve cafés. After months of working together to fine-tune the prototype and train staff, GaeaStar clay vessels are now being offered at select Verve locations in Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles. Customers at these cafés can opt to have their beverages served in a 12-ounce GaeaStar cup for an additional $2. Verve customers can choose whether to discard the cup or benefit from a discount on future drinks when they bring the cup back, encouraging reuse.

500 billion single-use coffee cups are discarded globally every year, but just 1% are actually recycled – leaving the rest to pile up in our landfills or spill into our waterways. In addition to the environmental harm they cause, consumers are wary of microplastics leaching into their everyday coffee. By sourcing raw materials from the Earth, GaeaStar eliminates the need to recycle and plastic waste.

“As we progress into pilot production with Verve Coffee Roasters, we’re not just sharing a product, but an ethos of sustainability and innovation that enhances the coffee experience. We are committed to reducing single-use plastic waste while also enriching the coffee-drinking experience,” said Sanjeev Mankotia, Founder and CEO of GaeaStar. “We’re introducing a new standard for plastic alternatives that don’t sacrifice design, function or beauty. While we’re proud that GaeaStar cups are more sustainable, we’re confident that Verve customers will choose our product because they enjoy the experience.”

After generating high product interest in Europe and the US after a series of pop-up events, GaeaStar raised capital in early 2023 and brought its operations to the U.S. late last year, the startup opened its first U.S.-based manufacturing center in the San Francisco Bay Area which is where the product supplied to Verve will be developed and will allow GaeaStar to support other hospitality businesses in the US.

“Our partnership with GaeaStar has the potential to transform the future of to-go coffee. We know it’s not always convenient for customers to bring their own cup, so this is the perfect solution, enabling elevated in-cafe experiences with the convenience of to-go, and without the guilt of takeaway packaging,” said Colby Barr, CEO and co-founder of Verve Coffee Roasters. “Verve has always focused on crafting the future of coffee, and that means protecting its future – including being incredibly mindful of our impact on the environment. We’re excited to offer our customers a new way to enjoy their cup of coffee that brings quality, sustainability, and an elevated experience together.”


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