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Israeli App Wants to Make Your Coffee Cheaper

‘Cups’ attempts to free New Yorkers from Starbucks’ coffee clutches

Lily Wilf
April 28, 2014

Is your coffee consumption costing you more than you’d like? An Israeli app called Cups wants to change that. Slate reports that the app, which launched last week in New York City, offers coffee drinkers a monthly subscription plan for unlimited coffee at a variety of coffeeshops.

Cups was created in Tel Aviv in 2012 and expanded to Jerusalem before setting its eyes on New York. For $45 a month, you can use the app to order as much tea and basic coffee as you want from participating locations. For $85 you can drink lattes, iced coffee, and other espresso drinks. “Our goal for Manhattan,” Gilad Rotem, a co-founder of the app, told Slate, “is 200 coffee shops, which is the same number as Starbucks locations.”

Cups wouldn’t be the first Israeli app to find success in the American market—there’s the Google-purchased traffic app Waze, Viber, and ooVoo for starters—but the Cups membership-based business model is the first of its kind.

“We see Cups as a new kind of coffee shop chain,” Rotem said. “We’re uniting independent coffee shops together and giving them economics of scale and tools that they cannot get by themselves, but keeping their independent atmosphere. It’s a chain of independence.”

Could Cups become the new Waze—or, better yet, the new Starbucks? We’d drink to that.

Lily Wilf is an editorial intern at Tablet.