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Step aside, pumpkin spice!
Starbucks is cashing in early on Christmas — ahem, the holidays — yet again with the release of its reusable red holiday cups and special holiday-themed beverages. The merry mugs and festive flavors dropped Thursday at Starbucks outlets across the US and Canada.
Inspired by seasonal wrapping paper, the coffee chain wanted “coming to Starbucks to be like uncovering a present,” Jen Quotson, vice president of Starbucks Creative, said in a press release. In accordance, the Starbucks’ cups come in four Yuletide designs: Polka Dots (red cup with green spots), Merry Dance (white cup striped bearing the words “Merry” in huge red letters), Merry Stripes (green cup crisscrossed with “Merry coffee”) and Candy Cane Stripes (a candy-cane-patterned cup spangled with the Starbucks logo and name).
And the makeover’s not limited to the jolly java jugs’ exterior. Starbucks took to Twitter to announce new holiday drinks, including Eggnog, Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate, Caramel Brulee Latte and Chestnut Praline Latte. You can pair these with either their new turkey and stuffing panini or the gingerbread loaf for a poor man’s Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, much to the coffee Twitterati’s chagrin, the exalted Gingerbread Latte will not be returning this year.
Of course, the star attraction is the free, limited-edition reusable red cup bearing the greeting “Merry Coffee,” which is available to coffee fiends who order a holiday beverage. Even better, customers who return their holiday cup to a US or Canadian Starbucks branch after 2 p.m., from Nov. 7 through Jan. 6 will get 50 cents off their beverage.
Although seemingly innocuous, the Starbucks holiday tradition stirs up annual controversy. Many Twitter users criticized the macchiato merchant for refusing to use the word “Christmas” on cups, despite the holders being blatantly Yuletide-themed.
“I’m gonna get a jump start on the Starbucks holiday cup drama by saying that ‘Merry Coffee’ is the silliest slogan I have ever heard,” scoffed one Twitter grinch.
Many associate omitting the holiday’s name with the “war on Christmas,” which has seen everything from Santa bans to celebrities reworking classic Christmas carols to make them more “woke.”Our president, for one, refuses to walk on eggnog shells. Trump famously Tweeted two years ago, “People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!”