Introduction: How to Drink Your Coffee "Trucker-Style"

Picture of How to Drink Your Coffee "Trucker-Style"

No, we don't mean how to drink your coffee with one hand while yakkin' into your CB with the other; This is a brilliant way to set up your to-go paper coffee cup to reduce the likelihood of a spill. This was shown to me by a trucker in a Tim Hortons in Hamilton, ON. For those of you unfamiliar with Hamilton, it has the highest density of donut/coffee shops in the entire world... These folks KNOW how to drink their coffee!

Step 1: Identify the Parts of the Cup

Picture of Identify the Parts of the Cup

Ok, in order to drink your coffee trucker-style, you need a cup that has a pull-up tab in the lid. Cups that just have a small opening (like a Starbucks cup) won't work for this, but that's ok. How many truckers do you see ordering a grande-non-fat-with-whip-yadda-yadda at the local coffee bar? None! That's right, bars are for beer and stronger things, coffee comes from a coffee shop!

My examples use a Tim Hortons cup (for some reason they have dropped the apostrophe...), but I have used this technique on many other brands of coffee cup. The pull-up tab is that thing in the lid that you normally pull up, bend back and then snap onto a little ridge in the middle of the lid. You can see how it is normally used the third photo.

We're going to use this tab to create a spill baffle so that bumps on the road (or walking, etc) are less likely to cause a spill.

Step 2: Pull Up the Tab!

Picture of Pull Up the Tab!

Kind of self explanatory, pull up the tab (don't tear it off or push it back like you normally might)!

Step 3: A Little Cup-a-gami

Picture of A Little Cup-a-gami

Ok, instead of pulling the tab and bending it back, push it down into the cup. This is easiest to do if you use one hand to lift off the front of the cup, and your other to push the tab into the cup. You don't want to flex the tab too much, because you want to have it's springiness hold it against the front of the cup.

Step 4: Time to Enjoy Your Coffee, Trucker-style!

Picture of Time to Enjoy Your Coffee, Trucker-style!

Now replace the lid and you're ready to go! When you take a sip, the coffee flows around the sides of the tab, but most spills are blocked by the tab.

Once you've done this a couple of times, you'll be able to do the cup-a-gami step in one smooth motion. People in line will look on in awe at your mad-coffee skillz!


mbecks (author)2013-06-12

I love that this trick has an instructable. Your getting a like from me.

dollgrownup (author)2012-01-13

Awesome that you posted this. My husband and I have been doing that for years and we often tell many people to try it. It's definitely saved me many times when I've grabbed a coffee and dashed to make it to the bus/subway.

Buskieboy (author)2010-07-19

Funny, I've never seen this and I go to "Timmy's * " all the time.  Great idea though, I'll definitely have to give it a go.

*-Timmy's is all you need to say for Canadian's.  We'll know immediately what it means!  LOL

fredellarby (author)Buskieboy2012-01-11

Or just say "coffee"; anything else, you need to specify.

Buskieboy (author)fredellarby2012-01-12

I'd have to agree there. I remember a time when it used to mean
Country Style, Coffee Time or Bakers Dozen, but they've all been
beaten down!
What ever did happen to Country Style? They were all that and
a bag of chips back in the 80's.....

FruitbytheFace (author)Buskieboy2011-09-14

Lol thats true

PKM (author)2008-05-18

I haven't seen the cups with a tab (too many coffee bars) but the way I was taught to do this was take off the lid and put it in the cup sideways- that was for trains, though, where they assume you have some sort of table or tray.

aliampolizzi (author)PKM2012-01-08

lol yeah then you can have coffee sloshing out of both sides wooo!

shockr (author)2008-11-07

My wife breathed Starbucks, until she moved to Canada with me. She's now addicted to Tim Hortons... XL (Single Single). Damn that's a lot of coffee!

roboguy (author)shockr2008-11-07

One of their secrets is that they salt their coffee! I thought that it was the weirdest thing, but when I mentioned it while visiting my folks, my mom mentioned that her mom used to put a pinch of salt in with the grounds when she brewed coffee. It's not enough to taste, but it enhances the flavour of coffee the same way that it does for other foods/drinks. That, and they make one hell of a donut :D

imshanedulong (author)roboguy2010-04-23

So THATS what they do! I'm still gonna go there, but I'll remember that when I brew coffee!

codongolev (author)2010-04-03


too bad I just decided on coffee abstinence for a week. I switched to tea, and then I'm switching to decaf tea on wednesday. that way I can go back to feeling the full "benefits" of a caffeine hit.

it only takes 2-5 days of full caffeine avoidance to eliminate tolerance. I thought that was interesting.

bumpus (author)2008-05-19

I love tim hortans, too bad they dont have them in the states...

R4Man18 (author)bumpus2008-08-20

I too have seen many TH around my town (no shops other than ones in the mall)

bustedit (author)bumpus2008-08-12

oh yeah they do! i live in mass, but 20 minutes away in connecticut they have em!

bumpus (author)bustedit2008-08-12

I heard they are quite abundant up in the NE states.. Did you know Hamilton Ontario has the highest concentration of donut shops in the world?

roboguy (author)bumpus2008-08-12

Yes, I lived there for four years while I did my engineering undergrad. Tim Hortons was much appreciated! That's also the home to the very first Tim Hortons, which is considered a historic site in the city!

bumpus (author)roboguy2008-08-12

Indeed it is!

macthulhu (author)bumpus2008-05-19

I don't know where in PA you live, but western NY has 'em. 2 in Jamestown, 1 in Lakewood, 1 in Fredonia, piles of them in Buffalo. Tim Horton is my copilot. (you can buy the coffee by the pound too...)

DAND (author)2008-08-17

I use to work at a Tim Hortons. I have seen people do that, lol I'll have a XL Triple-Triple, that will be $1.64

mackamitsu (author)2008-08-11

Thats the next best thing to transfering it to your travel mug. A nify trick to keep your cup holder from collecting a buildup of coffee, is to line it with a small coffee lid that hasn't had the tab pulled. It isn't perfect though, but it makes cleanup a lot easier in the truck.

xrobevansx (author)2008-05-18

From your title I was expecting: Pour coffee (optional)Add cream and/or sugar to taste Add crank. Stir. Enjoy. But I was pleasantly surprised by your instructable! Nice!

That was exactly what I said in my head when I saw the title

Sir, my brother was a trucker, I have friends who are truckers, and what you said, made coffee shoot out of my nose. ;-)

Glad to be of service!

mikeasaurus (author)2008-05-19

"Tim Hortons transcends coffee. Expand your mind and eat the sour creme doughnut.." ..wha...? who said that?!

Brennn10 (author)2008-05-18

Neat little trick. Next time I get a coffee, I will have to try this out.

shop dweller (author)2008-05-18

Ah! The magic catalyst of all creativity.

alaskanbychoice (author)2008-05-18

I drive truck and the tab thing will burn your mouth, if you hit a bump. Better yet take the lid and poke small holes in the opposite side from the tab, ( a ink pen will work )then you can sip the coffee through the small holes and not burn your mouth.

roboguy (author)alaskanbychoice2008-05-18

I think that this would create the same problem that I have with Starbucks style cups (those that have just a little hole to drink from). If the coffee sloshes in the cup and the wave hits the hole (which usually happens when you are just about to take a sip), the hole acts like a nozzle and shoots a jet of hot coffee at the top of your mouth. Ouch! Of course, your the truck driver, so I trust that you know what you're talking about :)

killerjackalope (author)2008-05-18

I assumed that was how these worked when I first got to them...then again, worked alongside truckers for three years..;

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