Starbucks Holiday Red Cups Are Now Green And Here’s Why

Now that Halloween is over, this is the season for holiday beverages to be served in red cups at Starbucks, or is it? Coffee drinkers everywhere expecting to see the classic red cups of winter were in a bit of a shock to find that Starbucks offered new green cups instead. The art features artwork all done with a single line featuring a variety of people from all walks of life.

“The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our county, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO, as reported on the company’s website.

Artist Shogo Ota
Artist Shogo Ota recreating his art on a Starbucks window. [Image by Starbucks]

The artwork was created by Shogo Ota which serves “as a symbol for stitching people together as a united community.” There are 132 faces featured on each cup, many inspired by Ota’s own family and friends. Today, he was seen recreating some of his artwork on the windows of the Starbucks location in Times Square. When Ota arrived in the United States 14 years ago, he didn’t know how to speak English.

Today, he speaks for many.

“It’s kind of a weird feeling and also kind of nervous about it, too,” says Ota. “I couldn’t have imagined, didn’t imagine yet, that I could see my stuff everywhere in the States!”

However, not everyone is a fan of the new cups. People are already voicing their displeasure on Twitter with comments that range from those who are confused to others who are downright angry. Sound familiar?

Last year, Starbucks ruffled more than a few feathers when the company decided to go with a much simpler cup design that didn’t feature any of the usual Christmas-themed artwork that customers have come to expect, but the biggest critic of last year’s design was Joshua Feuerstein, a social media personality who was offended and accused Starbucks of removing “Christ” and “Christmas” from the cups.

Starbuck's 2015 holiday cup
Starbuck's 2015 holiday cups. [Image by Elaine Thompson/AP Images]

“I think in the age of political correctness we become so open-minded our brains have literally fallen out of our head,” Feuerstein said last year in a Facebook post that was titled “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus.”

Paul Batura, vice president of communications at Focus on the Family, a Christian ministry, was quick to point out that images of snowflakes and carolers were not symbols of Christmas.

“I wonder if we’re not overthinking or over analyzing this,” he said. “Christmas isn’t found in a cup or in a snowflake. Instead, it’s found in the hearts and minds of those of us who believe that God sent His only son to earth in the form of an innocent, helpless baby.”

At the time, Fox News reported that Starbucks had told them that the cups were a way to “embrace the simplicity of the season” and give coffee drinkers a “blank canvas to tell their own holiday story.”


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Now, before you get too upset with this year’s departure from Starbuck’s regular red cups, you can take solace in the new rumor that Starbucks will probably bring back the red cups in a week or two. Business Insider has reported that “DasUberSuid” posted a photo on Reddit of new red cups that were packed in cardboard boxes at a Starbucks location clearly marked, “No peeking until November 10.” and he admitted that he did indeed peek. However, a spokesperson for Starbucks refused to comment if the photo was real or not.

[Featured Image by Mark Lennihan/AP Images]