starbucks holiday cups

Starbucks Holiday Cup Designs Through the Years

November 5, 2022
3 mins read

The coffee chain just launched its 2022 holiday menu

Did you know that Starbucks is celebrating their 25th anniversary of bringing out a specially designed holiday cup for the season?

If you are a Starbucks fan, you probably find yourself eagerly awaiting the new holiday cup design each year. It’s just another fun way to celebrate the holiday season.

When you can order a peppermint mocha or chestnut praline latte and have it served up in a gift-wrapped style cup, it gives you all of the warm holiday feels. This is a perfect way to start a day of Christmas shopping or tree trimming.

Over the past 25 years, there have been so many great designs featured. Although almost all of the designs were on red backgrounds, did you know during the first couple of years (starting in 1997!), purple was the color of choice? 

Besides the iconic red color, we have seen all kinds of designs that feature hand drawings, playful graphics and elegant touches.

There was even a design that customers could color in themselves. You never know what you are going to find as you look closely through each year’s design!

Starbucks Holiday Cup Designs Through the Years

1997 Jewel Tones

1997 starbucks cup

We are used to seeing the Starbucks holiday cups in shades of red, but the first year started with this fun purple design along with three other jewel-toned hues of magenta, sapphire and emerald. They all featured fun swirls and holly leaves.

1998 Elegance

1998 starbucks cup

The purple color was continued in 1998 with this deeper elegant shade featuring intricate snowflakes.

See also Starbucks introduces new beverages and food to usher in 2021

1999 Iconic Red

1999 Starbucks cup

Red cups were first introduced in 1999 and featured a playful design made up of black line drawings of winter fun. The red was so popular and would become the anticipated tradition. 

2000 “Coffeetown”

2000 starbucks cup

The theme for Y2K was “Coffeetown” and included a Christmas village made up of homey coffee pot drawings.

2001 Gift-Wrapped Design

2001 Starbucks cup

Since 2001 was the year that Starbucks introduced their gift cards, the cup was designed to also look like a gift-wrapped package.

2002 Whimsical Snowflakes

2002 starbucks holiday cup

The year that the peppermint mocha was introduced, the holiday cup featured whimsical white drawings of snowflakes and candles.

2003 Subtle Shadow Design

2003 starbucks christmas cup

The red background of this design featured subtle shadows of snowflakes, cups and dancers that made the white stars really pop.

2004 Tied Up In A Bow

2004 starbucks holiday cup

A red background with white hand-drawn snowflakes tied up this year’s design nicely.

2005 Nostalgic Design

2005 starbucks cup

A nostalgic design that reminds us that “it only happens once a year.” The cup featured woodcut-style drawings and a string of holiday lights wrapped around the bottom of the cup. 

2006 Silhouetted Design

2006 starbucks holiday cup

A group of white silhouetted characters, in a traditional holiday scene, lined the bottom of this nostalgic holiday cup.

2007 Winter Scene

2007 Starbucks cup

This design brought back just a little of that original purple with a fun winter scene of ice skaters gliding across a frozen pond.

2008 Woodland Holiday Cup

2008 Starbucks holiday cup

The background of this festive cup looked like a knitted sweater and featured a white hand-drawn woodland scene that included a reindeer and a Christmas dove.

2009 Ornaments Cup

2009 Starbucks cup

This cup was all decked out like a Christmas tree. The white ornaments featured the words hope, wish, love, joy, light and peace.

See also How to get free coffee on National Coffee Day at Dunkin’, Starbucks, Dunkin, Krispy and more

2010 Catching Snowflakes Design

2010 Starbucks cup

A winter scene of holiday characters catching snowflakes.

2011 Sledding Design

2011 Starbucks holiday cup

In 2011, three designs featured various winter holiday scenes including sledding, caroling and ice skating.

2012 Snowman Design

2012 starbucks snowman cup

2012 featured a design series of holiday character close-ups. All of the designs had accents of blue and gold against the red background.

2013 Vintage Holiday Design

2013 starbucks cup

A pretty and nostalgic design that featured vintage ornaments, candy and holly leaves, with touches of elegant gold.

2014 “Let There Be Bright”

2014 starbucks cup

Rays of light were featured on the design of this holiday cup with a theme of “let there be bright.”

2015 Ombre Design

2015 starbucks cup

Look closely at this subtle ombre design. The darker red at the bottom transitions up to a more orange-red. 

2016 Customer Created Designs

2016 starbucks cup

In 2016, Starbucks featured designs that were created by customers from six different countries around the world. There were 13 hand-drawn designs featured in all. All of the designs were highlighted in white against a red background.

2017 Color It Design

2017 starbucks cup

A fun twist on this holiday design is that it could be colored in by the customer. What better therapy than a coloring activity while enjoying your favorite Christmas blend?

2018 Holidays Past Designs

2018 starbucks cup

There were four designs featured in 2018 that were reminiscent of holidays past. The designs included bold stripes in vintage colors, a stem of coffee cherries, a star and a flame. 

2019 Polka Dots

2019 starbucks cup

Cheerful green dots against a red background were just one of the design features of a series of four designs. The other designs featured letters that bounced around the cup spelling out holiday greetings such as “merry coffee.”

See also How much do Starbucks holiday drinks cost this year?

2020 Ribbon Design

This holiday design had the look of ribbons or washi tape wrapped around the cup in colorfully patterned stripes.

2021 Graphic Stripes

This design of graphic stripes had a retro feel and also brought in a shade of soft lilac from that very first holiday cup design.

2022 Red and Mint

This year is the 20th anniversary of the famous peppermint mocha. The mint green accent to the cup design is perfect for celebrating that delicious drink.

The Washington Inquirer Editor

20 years in media business

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