Nothing says it's the holiday season more than Starbucks signature holiday cups. Once November hits, coffee-lovers flock to stores to get a taste of seasonal concoctions like peppermint mocha and caramel brulée lattes served in a beautiful and whimsical holiday cup design. And while Starbucks has been under scrutiny for its cups in the past (hello 2015), each year Starbucks designs its cups to highlight the joy of the holiday season.
The infamous red cups haven't always been the case. In fact, the first two years the coffee chain released new holiday cups they were purple and burgundy. It wasn't until 1999 Starbucks creative studio decided to go with its signature candy-apple red. Let's take a look back at the 20 years of Starbucks holiday cups.
The first of many Starbucks holiday cups actually came in four colors: magenta, sapphire, emerald and amethyst. Swirls and coffee beans was the design for the year.
In 1998, Starbucks invited customers to "embrace the warmth" with this burgundy cup topped with snowflakes.
The first red cup appears in 1999 along with black stick drawings of cars, skates, and other doodles in this trending holiday campaign.
It's the new millennium and Starbucks introduces the world to gingerbread lattes poured in cups decorated with coffee and pot houses.
2001 brings a minimalist red cup which depicts a wrapped gift. It's also the holiday season which debuted white chocolate mochas and the official Starbucks card.
Starbucks begins to introduce their signature white line drawings in 2002. Snowflakes, doves, and candles are the star of this holiday cup.
In 2003 Starbucks uses darker shades of red to mimic shadows in the snow. A few snowflakes and stars bring a pop of color to the cup.
Using a bow underneath the Starbucks logo, the 2004 red design of the cups feels like a wreath on a door.
2005's cup features white lights just below the rim of the Starbucks cup making it seems as if the cup is a lightly decorated house.
In 2006, customers would receive their holiday drinks in this cup decorated with white cut-outs of people playing instruments and singing.
10 years ago customers were invited to "Pass the Cheer", with this cup adorned with an ice skating scene.
This 2008 cup looked cozy with the overlay of a thick knitted sweater. Doves, deer and pine trees were featured in the design as well.
The infamous Caramel Brulée Latte was first introduced up in this decorated christmas tree cup in 2009.
2010 brought us this modern cup showcasing holiday characters catching snowflakes.
A dog riding on a sled with his owner makes this cup fun and festive in 2011.
A winking snowman takes center stage on Starbucks 2012 cup design.
Starbucks seasonal cups are becoming more popular, with customers getting ready for the holiday season. This red cup topped with gold accents feels upscale.
Minimal in design, the theme for the 2014 holiday season is "Let there be bright".
In 2015 social media stirred a controversy about these two-toned red cups insisting that the coffee giant were removing Christmas designs and waging a war on Christmas.
The holiday cups in 2016 featured customer-created designs from six different countries. Each design was white against a red background.
This year's holiday cups are pushing boundaries once again. Executive creative director Leanne Fremar states the company invites all of its customers to "color in the holidays in a way that's meaningful to them."
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