Red cups? Yeah, right


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Transitioning from the Pumpkin Spice Latte in the fall, Starbucks wastes no time reeling their customers right into the warm, cozy holiday season. With new flavors, sweets and goodie treats, Starbucks has always been known for their holiday lattes, frappes and holiday hot chocolate fusions. But one part of Starbucks’ festive celebrations is the cups- oh yes, the RED cups.

The Red Cup controversy started back in 2013 when the Starbucks chain devoted their holiday cups to Christmas trees and ornaments. Two years later, the company changed the look of the cup to a solid, plain red to be more “do-it-yourself” of all the celebrations that take place in winter months, according to Maddy, a barista at the Polaris Fashion Place Lower Level Starbucks.

“I didn’t really hear a lot of complaints about the red cups at the stores in which I worked. The few times a customer commented on it, the only thing they said was that they didn’t understand why people wer

e making such a big fuss over it,” Starbucks Columbus Pike manager Jeffrey Hlad said.

The red cups were extremely exaggerated when being charged with excluding religions and celebrations outside of Christianity. However, the cups are meant to be seen as a symbol of winter festivities, and all the fun that the holidays bring, according to Hlad.

“The purpose of the cups is just to make people happy, and it’s something customers and Starbucks employees look forward to every year,” Hlad said.

For this upcoming holiday season, the Starbucks cups are now predominantly white, which inspires customers to draw whatever they wish on their cafe cup.

“Two years ago, when the solid red cups launched, it allowed for customers to draw on the cups. It was magical,” Hlad said.

During this uprise, only a few customers truly questioned the cups, according to barista Maddy, at the Starbucks on the Lower Level of the Polaris Fashion Place.

“A few would come up once in awhile and just be like, ‘Well why isn’t there anything on the cup?’ and I’d say, ‘It’s a make-your-own design,’” Maddy said, “but I’m not corporate so I would just tell them sorry.”

With every new season, there are new flavors to the cafe menu. Here are a few of the new concoctions that are coming this year:

  • White Chocolate Mocha

  • Chestnut Praline Chai Tea Latte

  • Toffee Almond Milk Hot Chocolate

“And of course, we have the returning favorites,” Hlad said, which are:

  • Chestnut Praline Latte

  • Caramel Brulee Latte

  • Eggnog Latte

  • Peppermint Mocha

  • Holiday Spice Latte (a returning drink from previous years)

“I like the Holiday Spice Flat White,” Maddy said, “ It gets a holiday spice powder and then it still gets the whole milk and the ____ shots like a normal flat white would.”

The new holiday white cups for this season are plain white, and they do circulate strictly around Christmas. The cold festivities have started, so pair it with a seasonal Starbucks drink!

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