Many see the seasonal Starbucks red cups as the unofficial launch of the holiday season — and that time is finally here. On Friday, Nov. 6, the chain will get fans in the seasonal spirit with the annual release of its holiday cups.
In a year when many traditions have been altered, this one is remaining the same, as the chain is launching four new cup designs: Ribbon, Dot, Sparkle and Brand Wrap.
The Ribbon design has ribbons of green and a jolly red wrapped like a cozy holiday sweater, with the classic mermaid crown, tail and scales subtlety woven in. This design is also seen on the collectable red cup this year. The Dot design has stripes swirl around a field of green with fun polka dots, instructing the cupholder to “carry the merry.”
There’s also the Sparkle design, a red cup with cutout shapes in green like that include fun holiday ornaments, and Brand Wrap, which features a ribbon design with the Starbucks logo woven in.
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The Starbucks seasonal holiday cups have quite a timeline of change behind them, with a series of controversies over what is on the surface a rather simple cup design.
In 2015, the chain was accused of waging a “war on Christmas” when they released plain red cups rather than festive holiday designs. In 2016, when they tried to launch cups that promoted unity through diversity, they were accused of attacking Christian values. And while some years, like 2017, were less controversial —like the adult coloring book-themed cups — these cups are always sure to be noticed.
Returning this holiday season will be traditional favorites like Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulee Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte and Eggnog Latte. And if those don't satisfy your sweet tooth enough, there’s also a new Cranberry Orange Scone, and Sugar Plum Danish, Cranberry Bliss Bar, Snowman Cookie and Snowman Cake Pop will all be returning.
To celebrate the arrival of the holiday season, Starbucks is giving a free collectible red holiday cup to any customer who orders one of the seasonal holiday beverages on Nov. 6 at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S.
And for those who aren't ready to visit café locations yet, Starbucks’ Christmas Blend whole-bean coffee and K-cups are also available to brew and enjoy right at home — meaning, everyone can get a little taste of holiday cheer in their mug.