Here's When You Can Expect Starbucks' Red Cups To Make A Triumphant Return

For some, the end of summer is the autumnal equinox. For others, it's when they see the first Spirit Halloween open its doors for the year. And for others, it's when Starbucks brings pumpkin spice drinks back on the menu. For those who are over pumpkin spice, Starbucks has some other fall flavors to enjoy. This year, pumpkin spice made its appearance at Starbucks on August 30.

A similar thing happens to signal the start of the holiday season. Stores start putting up decorations, and Starbucks starts serving drinks like the peppermint mocha —and the drinks are served in the now-iconic red cups. It was 25 years ago that Starbucks launched the first holiday red cup. It was actually more of a purplish-red with a pattern of swirls and holly leaves with coffee beans on them, and the cup's designer Sandy Nelson said the design was hand-picked by CEO Howard Schultz. Two years later in 1999, the cup color got updated to the red that so many know and love. And each day, we're closer to knowing the 2022 cup design — each year's cup is different — here's when you can expect it.

Rumor has it November 7 is the big day for the Starbucks red cup

Drumroll, please! Starbucks red cup lovers — circle November 7 on your calendars, according to and Best Coffee Recipes. If you want to get your hands on one of those red cups, you'll need to order one of the Starbucks Signature Holiday Drinks. In 2021, those included sugar cookie almond milk latte, toasted white chocolate mocha, caramel brulee latte, and, of course, peppermint mocha. The 2022 winter drinks may come out a few days before the red cups; according to Let's Eat Cake, the launch for holiday drinks is rumored to be on November 2.

Each year, the cups have different designs. It all started with just one design for the holiday season, but in recent years, there are multiple designs. In the last four years, there have been four designs, but in 2016, there were 13 different designs, all chosen from a customer competition (via E! News). There was big drama, for some, in 2015 when the cup was simply red with the Starbucks logo in green.

Some years, the Starbucks holiday cup causes an uproar

The 2015 Starbucks holiday cup in a subtle ombre red caused an uproar for some on the right who called it "a war on Christmas," according to The Washington Post. Donald Trump, among others, floated the idea of a boycott of the coffee chain over the 2015 red cups, per Business Insider. In a response to the idea of boycotting Starbucks over the cup design was the #ItsJustACup trend online. In a press release for the 2015 cup, before people had a chance to publicly respond, Starbucks VP of Design & Content said the simplicity of the design was the whole point, noting "This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories" (via The Washington Post).

Some got mad in 2017 when the holiday cup was predominantly green, others got mad in 2018 when the cup seemingly featured two people of the same gender holding hands — only the hands were visible, per Eater. Only time will tell if the 2022 cups cause any uproar.