Collecting Starbucks city mugs from around the world: episode #2 [Open Thread]

In January of this year I wrote a short blog post about collecting Starbucks city mugs. Six months later, my collection has grown a little, and so it’s time for a sequel to that first blog post.  For those who don’t recall the first episode of collecting city mugs, here it is:

Collecting Starbucks City Mugs

Let me clarify, I have not traveled around this country and around the world to these exotic places.  The truth of the matter is that there will be a number of you reading this blog who will say, “oh I sent Melody that mug!”  All I can really do is thank all the many wonderful people who made this blog post possible.

The black and white city mug requires an explanation.  That black and white mug IS part of the Starbucks city mug despite that it doesn’t look like the others.  It represents the Ruhrgebiet region of Germany where the major city of “Essen” is located.  The region is also called “Kohlenpott” or just “Pott” as in a “pot of coal.”  Starbucks produced very few of these mugs and it was sold in a few stores throughout these region.  The major historic industry was coal mining, and I have heard that nowadays there are many museums and sites featuring coal mining exhibits and information.  This mug truly is a part of the city mug collection but was produced as a black and white mug to give it a rugged and dirty look, representing the coal mining industry.  The image on the mug is supposed to represent a large coal mine.  I included one photo with the packaging so that it is more obvious that this really is part of the city mug collection.

The mug from Indonesia was sent to me from a blog reader in Jakarta. Thank you again! I feel like I should say that over and over again.  For those readers who are twitterers too, you can follow Starbucks Indonesia on twitter here.  The Starbucks Indonesia profile tweets in both Indonesian and English.

I pour a lot of hours each week into this blog, and it’s made much easier by the help I get from readers.  I never expect surprise mugs in the mail but I appreciate it!  Though if readers do have unique ideas for blog posts, tips on new stores or new food items, fabulous pictures of stores to show off (where they have the legal right to share the picture without a copyright infringement), I WELCOME emails about all of those topics and more. My email address is

These mugs are beautiful so I have some trouble picking out a favorite.  What’s your favorite?

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  • denise r.

    I LOVE the idea of city mugs, and also these normal sz ones. I have one of those HUGE ones from Portland. I like it alot but is too big for just coffee, for me. It has a little list on one side of “City of Portland” and then a ‘metropolitan profile’, lists incorp. date (1851), elevation, avg rainfall etc.
    Melody, something screwy with gettiing pics from my camera to pc… when (HOPEFULLY) I figure it out, I will send a pic of this to you…or maybe you already have it. ??? skyscape on one side and this info o the other. (from2006)

  • Donna

    I love the city mugs. I wish I had bought hawaii and london mugs when I was in both places, I asked my starbucks store manager if she could order some and she said only in groups of four and just for the US. I guess I have to do some traveling soon. My local store has NYC mugs, but I dont find them very attractive, guess that’s because I have always lived here.

  • Lindsey

    I vote for the Charlotte one, pretty!

  • Sebastian

    Great blog post, Melody!!
    Collecting Starbucks Mugs definetely is one of my favorite activities around the company.

    I have about 50 Mugs now and it’s getting more and more…people are sending me those, or I buy’em on eBay, but that can be really expensive. I love travelling, that’s how I also got a lot. My next trip to Amsterdam in a few days will hopefully get me their city mug, it looks great!

    I stock them up all together in my room and it looks simply GORGEOUS! This is art, real and good art by Starbucks.

    There are those 2 *big* series…I like the new Icon series better than the old ones. The amazing colors and pictures on it make them so nice. And it’s still a great gift, even for the non-coffee-drinkers of your friends…

    I just don’t understand one thing: How does Starbucks organize that all?! There are new Mugs coming nearly every week in the world…who designs them all and how is it all done by the company? That would interest me…and why do some countries like Saudi-Arabia still have the old series?! Who decides which city gets Mugs and which not? Questions over questions…

    I can recommend a very good website about people collecting those mugs…I go there a lot!

  • QueenCatia

    Love the pics! Love the idea of city mugs…I need a Houston mug stat!

  • darkkatpouncing

    Totally keep on with your mug collection updates :) I went the route of collecting tumblers and have been considering collecting the mugs both for the size (I like A LOT of coffee in the A.M.) And for the designs :) The mugs coming out now are more interesting to me than they were 10years ago…I wonder if they do studies for their design concepts to see what people gravitate toward. I do have to say I feel their branding is very well done :)

  • stsai01

    That’s a neat collection. The Vancouver mug is similar to the Edmonton one but is mainly forest haha. We also have another type of mug which is white and the design is blue, it shows downtown Vancouver and has statistics of Vancouver (annual rainfall, year it became a city etc.) 😀

  • Adrienne

    These ARE cool. Maybe I can just integrate my collection of the old city mugs with blue writing and the facts on the back into the new style. Sigh. But I do like these!

  • Nob

    I do not collect City Mug, but it is pleasant to watch plural City Mugs. And City Mugs threatens an owner. “Collect more cups!”. The temptation is dangerous.
    When the growth of your collection continues, you have to buy stadium for that. Oh…dangerous temptation…

    This is my favorite mug.

  • Sebastian

    “When the growth of your collection continues, you have to buy stadium for that. Oh…dangerous temptation…”
    You totally got it!! That is the thing…I already make my family crazy with my Mug-addiction…my dad always mocks me and asks if I “wasted” my money again for ceramic…damn…:!

  • Brendan206

    I love the Edmonton mug! How many Americans even know where Edmonton is? It’s a neat little nod to Alberta’s second-largest city, and one in which Starbucks appears to have a fairly strong presence. Very cool.

  • Jacky Cheng

    this is so cool! while i don’t collect items myself, my mom is always looking for sets and series of various kitchenware. i can definitely see the allure! how did you actually get bloggers to send you the mugs?? (i would feel like a spammer if i asked around for anything…)

  • camspi

    Awesome mugs. The Indonesian one is beautiful. Where is the Charlotte one supposed to be from? Do all cities named Charlotte have a Charlotte mug???

  • Karl Dahlquist

    I believe I have only had 2 of these mugs, but they were of a previous design. I have read that Annie Y-S collects Starbucks mugs…so perhaps she will read this and post something! 8^)

  • Nob

    Yes, there is Mug which came to my room from Germany. The Mug tempts me every day. Thank you. lol
    Your room will lose a bed by cups soon. You have to buy a new apartment. I sympathize with your dad. LOL
    Also, Melody’s office may lose a desk by cups soon.

  • purple1

    There are not any neat mugs in any of the SB around me. Too bad. I love the CityMug and Charlotte mugs.

  • LatteRose

    I rather like the surfer dude on the Orange County one. The Pott one is interesting.
    Cool collection!

  • Cabarista

    Love the edmonton and charlotte mugs! I have a little collection going myself already! People buy them for me, what can I say. You don’t have a straight up “Canada” one yet, do you?

  • purple1

    My daughter just got a Toronto Canada mug and it is really nice! Too bad there are not more mugs in my area!

  • @TheChattyMomma

    I love your collection. I’ll have to look around this area to see if I can add to it! 😉

  • TweetingQuill

    I’ve been collecting Starbucks mugs but not the ones with the country/city names. This is a great collection you have here. Brilliant idea! Keep ’em going. 😉

  • HB

    Hi Melody… Great mugs! I linked to your page on my site about Starbucks Mugs. I’m always looking for sites showing Starbucks collections!

  • Kenny Lin

    I have Taiwan and Singapore mugs for trade.

  • Chris

    @ Kenny Lin…

    Where you from? I have an Indonesia mug and Kuala Lumpur.

    Do you like to exchange either one for the Taiwan mug?

  • Teddyp

    I have been collecting the city mugs for 8 yes now. I have over 200 of them from all over the world. There are many I want but ever think I will travel there. I live in Chicago and I don’t have the Chicago one yet. Does anyone know if there is a website that I can purchase mug from all over the world?

  • Melody

    Teddyp, thanks for commenting. There is no such website – the closest thing is eBay. It’s funny, but I think that if Starbucks ran a site where you could just order an ‘Icon Mug’ or ‘Destination Mug’ (often called as such because many on the mugs are places that are not cities) it would take away from how special they are – because they’re hard to collect.

    And I have thought that someone could make a business buying and selling these mugs! One of the most common kinds of emails I get when people use the Contact Me form, isn’t even a polite “Hi my name is … and I realize you run a fan site but by chance do you have for sale …?” no, no, no, I get lots of short one line emails that say, “Where can i buy an xyz mug?” or “Please send me a Pike Place Mug/ Seattle Mug …” — If only I had a dollar for each of those emails. I try to reply back a polite email which essentially refers the person to eBay.

    200 sounds like a great collection of them! Congrats! I think I have about 30 of them! My most rare icon mugs are probably the Potts (black and grey in design) city mug for Germany, the Aruba mug (a friend went on a cruise there!), or the Indonesia mug.

    Which one is your favorite of your 200?

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