They arrived on November 4th in stores all over the world, brightening up counters with their colorful festive designs. The Starbucks Holiday Cups 2021 are here!
The cups arrive to herald the holiday season, and they bring with them festive favorites like the Peppermint Mocha, and Caramel Brulee Latte. And some new creations for this year, such as the Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte as the first nondairy holiday coffee drink!
The Starbucks Holiday Cups for 2021:
This year’s holiday cup design is actually 4 different designs, each inspired by a different aspect of the holiday season.
Each has a gift tag on the back and plays with the usual colors of red, green, and white, with a little lilac added in for a playful delicate touch. Introducing - your new favorite beverage containers!
With sparkles and glitter grain, this design is inspired by the perfectly wrapped gift. And it’s the perfect accompaniment to your snowman cookie on a chilly winter’s morning.
White and glittery lilac ribbons decorate this cup, inspired by the end of a present wrapping session when the floor is covered in discarded colorful ribbons. Enjoy a reminder of your messy gift-wrapping style with a Toasted White Chocolate Mocha.
With green letters spelling out “STARBUCKS”, and twinkling stars hiding amongst the ribbons, this delicate design is the epitome of a starry night. Indulge your festive spirit with the new reindeer cake pop.
Candy cane stripes of green, red, and lilac with white striped of “STARBUCKS” lettering make up this cup dedicated to the sweet peppermint treat. And it’s best served with a Peppermint Mocha for those with a sweet tooth!
The history of the Starbucks Holiday Cup
Starbucks’ aim for this year’s holiday cup was to make the holiday season feel warm, magical, and inclusive. But the company works hard with their annual designs to evoke the feeling of the season.
The tradition of the Starbucks Holiday Cup started way back in 1997 with jeweled colors and hand-drawn swirls. They’re something of a collectors’ item now if you have them stashed away.
But it wasn’t until 1999 that the traditional red cups made an appearance. The candy-apple color came to become synonymous with Starbucks and the holiday season being on its way.
Different designs followed every year, with increasing interest from customers.
By the time we got to 2015, it seemed Starbucks could do no wrong, but the plain state of the 2015 cup cause huge controversy, with some critics feeling the coffee chain was trying to sanitize Christmas. The following year the cups had additional festive images.
In 2020 the company jumped on the eco bandwagon and introduced a reusable option for their seasonal customers. Fast forward to this month, and the 4 different cup designs are glittery, delicate and fun, just what we need after too long locked down.
The Top 10 Starbucks Holiday Cups
- 1997 The first Starbucks Holiday Cup: The introduction of holiday cups saw 4 options in jeweled colors to bring in the holiday season. They all featured hand-drawn swirls and were seriously cute!
- 2010 The Modern Cup: This was the year things got a little less twee and a little more modern, with a graphic carol singer on a snowy backdrop.
- 2015 The Controversial Cup: This plain red cup with the green Starbucks badge caused all sorts of problems. But I like it for its simplicity.
- 2019 The Collection: This year saw 5 designs instead of the 1 everyone was used to. Each one felt super-Christmassy with graphic writing and a cool vibe.
- 1999 The Red Cup: This was the first year that we got to see the traditional Starbucks candy-red cup, complete with hand-drawn doodles to evoke Christmas.
- 2007 The Anniversary Cup: For the 10th anniversary of the Starbucks Holiday Cup, the company’s designers were treated to a classic snowy ice-skating scene. Vintage Winter.
- 2020 The Reusable Cup: As well as 5 stripy designs that looked a little like sweaters, this was the year Starbucks introduced a reusable Holiday Cup, making eco-warriors out there very happy!
- 2001 The Stripy Cup: Designed to look like a present this cup went retro with old-fashioned stamps and green and red ribbon. Very classy.
- 2021 The Glittery Cup: Our new arrivals, the sparkly lilac cups are my new favorite. Perfect for dreaming of a magical Christmas.
- 2017 The DIY Cup: The first white Holiday Cup from Starbucks, 2017 gave us all the opportunity to design our own cup, with a color-me-in version in red and white.
We love this year’s Starbucks Holiday Cups, and we hope you do too. Head to your nearest store, and perhaps add something sweet and caramel-y to get you in the holiday spirit!