The important part of a coffee cup is not the vessel, but the caffeinated elixir contained within — right? Tell that to everyone who angry-tweeted about Starbucks’ recently launched special edition season cups, which have the nerve to be green and not feature a single Santa Claus or snowflake. Fortunately for those people, Starbucks has promised to also introduce a red holiday cup this year, adding to what has been weeks of speculation.
If this controversy sounds familiar, that’s because it first reared its ugly head last year, when the chain released a holiday cup that was decidedly less festive than previous editions; while prior years’ designs included snowflakes, evergreen trees, and/or Christmas ornaments, the 2015 cup was a decidedly plain red ombre. Starbucks was accused by many of being “anti-Christmas,” with one especially vocal vlogger declaring the cup “symbolic of a larger war against Christianity in this country.”
A few days ago, Starbucks reignited the coffee cup-filled dumpster fire by introducing green holiday cups featuring line drawings of a diverse-looking group of humans — which the chain says represents “unity” — triggering comments on social media like, “Stop pushing your liberal bullshit and sell coffee” and accusations of “political brainwashing.”
But wait! There’s more. The coffee behemoth has now announced red holiday cups will return on November 10, accompanying the news with a promo video featuring sound bites from media coverage of last year’s cup controversy. The video — which features last year’s red cup design — concludes with a sales pitch about a BOGO holiday beverage offer that will launch simultaneously.
Will the new red cup design feature snowmen? Reindeer? A menorah? Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton embracing? Jesus himself? Or will Starbucks continue to fan the flames of outrage with a decidedly secular design? Either way, the chain knows it’s going to be selling a shitload of peppermint mochas and chestnut praline lattes.
• Starbucks Red Holiday Cups Returning November 10 [Starbucks Newsroom]
• People Are Mad Starbucks’ Green Cups Aren’t Christmas-y Enough — Again [E]
• Starbucks’ Red Cup Controversy, Explained [E]
• All Starbucks Coverage [E]