Keeping It Current: Starbucks… Really? This is a Thing?!

Now, I’ll be blunt. I used to be a barista and I don’t like Starbucks. To be more specific, I don’t like their coffee. It always tastes bitter and I need to add an obscene amount of honey just to make it drinkable. BUT, I am quite fond of Starbucks because they really are one of the more socially and economically aware companies out there. Every time I see one of their RED cups, it makes me think about the good they are trying to do by raising awareness and donating to help rid Africa of HIV/ AIDS (and also to help aid in the battle against other diseases that run rampant in Africa, like malaria and TB.) They also have this program that for every bag sold, a tree will be planted (Which I think is awesome. Who doesn’t like trees?!) So, why is Starbucks, the most popular, international coffee house and bean brand, currently under fire?


THE HORROR!!! HALLOWEEN WAS LAST MONTH!!!! (photo pulled from Starbucks website)
THE HORROR!!! HALLOWEEN WAS LAST MONTH!!!! (photo pulled from Starbucks website)

Yes. The dreaded red cup. This is Starbucks’ official holiday design for 2015. These cups are usually available between November and December and often depict a fun and festive theme that is easily associated with the holiday season. In the previous years, these depictions included:

  • a pine tree with various ornaments hanging from it; with words such a hope, love, and wish written on the ornaments
  • a snow scene with a guy exchanging a gift with another person
  • some carolers and a snowman holding their sheet music
  • a reindeer
  • other various abstract scenes that can be easily relatable to the holidays
  • And for 2015, Starbucks’ chosen design is a plain red cup with their signature green logo. It is a simple and elegant color format that is pleasing to the eye and the mind instantly associates the cup design to the holidays. The red and green color combination is the basic holiday scheme. That’s easy enough to understand.

So, why is everyone FREAKING OUT?!??!!?!?

I don’t know, but they say it’s because the cup doesn’t have “Merry Christmas” written on it, but I call bullshit. Anyone who is using this argument has obviously never been to Starbucks before during the holidays. In fact, not one holiday cup design has EVER had “Merry Christmas” on it, and why should it? Starbucks is an INTERNATIONAL company. This means that they sell coffee in places that don’t celebrate Christmas. From a business standpoint, it makes complete sense. Starbucks doesn’t want to ostracize any part of its customer base. That would be detrimental for their business. In 2014, Starbucks had stores in 63 different countries. That’s a LOT of people OUTSIDE of the U.S. In fact, Starbucks is looking at “establishing China as its largest market outside of the US (1).” When compared to the number of Starbucks in each city worldwide, the “South Korean capital [Seoul] has 284 locations, seven more locations than New York City’s 277 (1).” So, the United States isn’t Starbucks’ only demographic. Plus, it would go against their whole, “We are aware of things.” image they have built for themselves.

So what are Americans (yes, AMERICANS, because they can’t comprehend that sometimes they aren’t the center of universe, and their beliefs aren’t the only beliefs that matter) doing about this attack on Christmas? They are telling the Starbucks baristas that their names are Merry Christmas.



We’re not going to stop giving you our money! We’re not going to effectively boycott you! We’re not going to stop sharing and posting about Starbucks! We’re going to continue to go to Starbucks because we are too lazy to make our coffee ourselves, give them the wrong name *snicker*, and then post how happy we are about fooling the system on social media, smiles on our faces and all! YES! WE ARE THE SMARTEST EVER!



*long exacerbated sigh*

I just can’t. This is the kind of shit that makes the rest of the world just do one giant, global face palm. This kind of uneducated, empty social outcry over something so minuscule is everything that’s wrong with the United States. Now, I am a firm believer in fighting for a cause, but if this anger only started this year, you have no solid excuse to be mad. Where was this rage the last however many years Starbucks has been doing their holiday cups? Where? Oh, you don’t know? I’ll tell you where it was. It was probably non-existent because people were actually just enjoying their lives and drinking their awful coffee. These days, people look for the smallest things to be miserable about and then take to the internet to voice their tiny ass grievances. Really? You mad about a cup? How about you try to be mad about something that actually affects your quality of living. Like global warming, politics, the corrupt, privatized healthcare system that takes millions of dollars out of your pockets in order to fill their own, or just anything substantial. Better yet, educate yourselves before you choose to get angry about something. Anguish over this cup and what people are saying have absolutely no historical backing. In fact, if you take a chance to look outside of the United States, you’ll see that there’s a whole other world. Starbucks knows and acknowledges that whole other world. That’s probably why they’re so successful.

You Go Starbucks. Don’t pay the haters no mind. You go on and be knowledgeable and successful.

Thumbs Up!
Thumbs Up!

1) Yanofsky, David. “A Cartographic Guide to Starbucks’ Global Domination.” May 27, 2014. <;.


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