Starbucks Holiday Cups Return November 2

The 2023 Starbucks holiday drinks will be served in four different cup designs.

Remember the year when the Starbucks holiday cup was just a plain ol' red cup with the Starbucks logo and everyone got mad about it? That was ridiculous, and the outrage was in large part politically motivated, but it did highlight just how much curiosity and excitement the coffee-drinking public reserves for these annual announcements, with enthusiasts treating each new design like a high-profile merch drop. The day has come once again: Starbucks has unveiled its 2023 holiday cup designs, and they'll be available starting November 2 along with the entire holiday food and drink menu.

Starbucks’ holiday menu for 2023

There aren't a ton of new developments in Starbucks' 2023 holiday menu, but there is one new drink making its debut: the Iced Gingerbread Chai Oatmilk Latte, which Starbucks alternately describes as "warm," "cozy," "creamy," "unique," and "festive." And if you live near a shop that serves Oleato—the coffee with olive oil in it, remember?—those locations will also be offering the Oleato Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte.

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Here are the returning items rounding out the 2023 holiday lineup:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Caramel Brulée Latte
  • Chestnut Praline Latte
  • Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte
  • Cranberry Bliss Bar
  • Gingerbread Loaf
  • Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop
  • Snowman Cookie
  • Sugar Plum Cheese Danish
  • All in all, nothing too surprising here. Best case scenario, that Oleato Gingerbread creation tastes something like a rich olive oil cake, but it's unclear how olive oil and oatmilk will play together in a Starbucks cup.

    Speaking of cups....

Starbucks’ new holiday cup designs

This year's holiday cup designs come in five varieties: Party Plaid, Peppermint Swirl, Ribbon Spool, and Bauble Wrap, plus a Frosted Bauble design for the cold cups.

Looking over past years' designs, it doesn't appear that the cups have gone plaid before—an excellent choice for evoking holiday imagery. Designer Bridget Shilling explains that the classic pattern was given some "added geometric sensibility for elevated flair."

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The Bauble Wrap and Ribbon Spool designs, meanwhile, are produced slightly off-kilter at an angle, so as to appear more "joyful and a bit imperfect." I gotta say, the effect works on me—my eye was drawn immediately to the ribbon spool cup, which looks like an even more dynamic version of Starbucks' 2020 holiday designs.

In fact, if you think 2023's cups look particularly dashing, that could be because Starbucks is no longer being overly precious about its holiday color palette. Along with the signature red and green hues of past years, there's a twist of magenta this year that helps make each color pop a little bit more. None of this fully quells the sting of not being offered the Butter Caramel Mille-Feuille Latte here in the States, but it's definitely a start.

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