Starbucks merchandise review: May 2012

There is lots of new merchandise at Starbucks!  I thought it would be fun to walk through some of the new things in the stores.  Here it goes!

By popular demand, Starbucks has finally launched dome lids and replacement straws for the cold to-go cups.  Frappuccino fans will like this!

There is a new coffee mug inspired by Three Region Blend, and it’s quite ornate, which is something I like!  I definitely have to get one of these:

For the first time ever, the to-go reusable cold cup comes in a stainless steel version.  I had a co-worker drop by my office and proudly show hers off the first day it was out.  I know many customers will  love this:

There is a whole new series of city mugs!  These are the “local relief” mugs; obviously it is “relief” referring to the definition found in “that’s a nice relief map,” not “what a relief that the coffee is done brewing!” 😉  My understanding is that a number of cities have these but since they’re new, I’m not familiar with other cities or designs yet.  I think it’s kind of cool to offer another way to collect local mugs.  The Seattle one appears to mesh the Space Needle, Mount Rainier, and it looks like the Starbucks headquarters, all into one design.  I think I will have to get one.  The name of the city is written also on the interior of the cup, though I don’t think you can see that in this photo:

Yet another new item is the recycled glass cold drink cups.  They say Starbucks down one side of them, and on the other side of them there are lines with very small letters that say, “s,” “t,” and, “g.”  The letters stand for (as is obvious) “short,” tall,” and, “grande,” and so delineate the beverage size fill line.  I hope I’ve explained that okay!  Anyway, I like the look of the recycled glass ware, and enjoyed the mugs that had said “16” on them, and so I definitely like these too:

And last but not least, there are few new ceramic ware items, including a “chubby” mug:

Thank you very much to Mindi who volunteered her store for photos of all the above merchandise, and who walked me through a tour of all things new and exciting on the merchandise wall!


Last but not least, I want to mention an exciting item currently available exclusively at the Starbucks located at 1912 Pike Place.  It is a reusable cold cup with the first logo on it and even better, currently when you buy one of these cups, Starbucks will donate $2.00 to the Pike Place Market Foundation.  Here are the cups:

I have to point out the back side of the cup.  The cup has boxes on it just like the standard boxes for marking up one’s drink, but also includes an extra box.  Notice at the bottom that “first store” is checked off!  That’s  a great touch!

These cups have a removable cardboard attachment which talks about the donation to the Market:

If you are wondering about the pig on top, it’s not a capricious animal choice! 😉 The pig is sort of unofficially the mascot of the market.  1912 Pike Place has their own pig too, and his name is “Pork and Beans.”  Be sure to look for the pig when you visit the store:

Hope you enjoyed this merchandise tour!

Related Posts


  • Pencil to Paper

    Loved this post! I’m pretty obsessed with Starbucks merch, and I’m a huge fan of posts like these. So fun! I’m so excited the dome lids are in stores now! And I can’t wait to grab one of the stainless steel cold cups! Awesome. And on the Pike Place cold cup, I agree—love the First Store touch! 😀
    Again, great post! Now to go buy some of these… 😉

  • CD

    Gee, just when I was done buying resuable cold cups because they were always breaking, they come out with an awesome looking stainless one! And this recycled glass offering is even better than their previous ones. Thanks for the update Melody!

  • purple1

    Interesting to see this merchandise on your blog because I have seen it in the stores, but some of the displays are just so jumbled you cannot really appreciate the new merchandise. And I have learned that not all new merchandise is in every store. Seems kind of odd to me.

  • Nathan

    I am loving the new local relief mugs, can’t wait till they come to my store in Atlanta! I also wish they would sell first logo items at all stores, I know many people would buy them.

  • Rebecca

    Oooooh – like this post! Obvs, I’ve seen some of these, but I didn’t know about the Pike Place cup, and I haven’t seen the relief mugs yet (none here on Vancouver Island that I know about!)

    @purple1 – every store has a ‘size’ designation when it comes to new merch. It is based on 1) store sales, 2) the physical size of the store and 3) whether or not it is a drive-through. It is my understanding that each district has at least one ‘grande’ store (the one that gets ALL the new merch), so if you ask the SM, they should be able to tell you which one that is. To generalize, you’ll want to visit a large, fairly busy, non-drivethrough, and they should be able to offer you the biggest variety of merch, as well as have the best chance of ordering more :)

  • Kimmy

    I wonder just how many of these exact we’ll get over here in our UK stores next week as part of the merchandise when all of our new Summer 2012 launch starts, if any at all, lol! I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed though! ^^

  • Supersteives

    Have to say I love the New 3Regions Mug. My local Sbux had these mugs almost 2 weeks ago. This is a heads up for “DUDES” A guy can actually get his hands in the handle…It’s a little bigger than a lot of the mugs have been lately. I stopped buying them simply because I could get my hands in the handle. This one fits! Kind of a simple tribal pattern (reminds me of something you could pick up at the Tiki Room gift shop @ Disneyland sorta retro Tiki) & a big opening. Found out my dog likes it too because I came into the den and found my dog streched across my chair and front feet on the end table with his nose burried in my cup finishing up my coffee ……UUUuuuuugggggh LOL.
    The Stainless Steel tumbler I picked up last week & have been the envy of everybody that has seen it. My only concern is the stainless straw. Will they sell extras like the green ones for the clear tumblers if they get damaged or lost?
    Bottom line I am so stoked about the cups & mugs lately. For a long time, they seemed to be plain and un inspired…NOT SO RIGHT NOW.
    P.S. also my local just got the raspberry swirl poundcake loaf w/cream cheese icing top back again…I loved it and to my surprise there it was again. Not sure if everybody has had this all along but if not give it a try….Super Moist and sweet but not too much and makes a great pairing with the 3 Regions blend. Makes it taste better!

  • Hayley

    Love the post on the new merchandise!! I was lucky enough to get a 1912 Pike Place Cold cup awhile ago…I think it’s that same except for the cardboard pig. I like the new ceramic offereings, I haven’t seen the ceramic chubby mug though. I hope I do, and that it’s microwave safe. That was a downfall I noticed with the ‘to-go’ ceramic mug, is that it is not microwave safe. I really like that they introduced the cold cups with the dome lid option this year. And that the cold cups are back to being one piece and not removable like last years….I just am not a fan of that big rubber seal.

    Does anyone from or in Hawaii know if they introduced new HI cold cups?!?! The last time I was there they had the old logo ones that said “Aloha from Hawaii’ written on the back. I absolutely love it!! Now, with the new logo, I would like to know if HI got new specialty cold cups again!!

  • Melody

    @Kimmy – You probably have some really great mugs and tumblers in the UK that we don’t have here!
    @superstevies – I definitely think the mugs and tumblers are improving. Though if you really look at how incredible the mugs of the 1990s and early 2000s were, we’ve got a ways to go. I have a number of old articles about mugs, and I need to do more. This old post has one of my favorite tumblers in it: The 1996 design was so bold and brave (see purple-toned Christmas tumbler) –

  • Suzanne C

    I never met a mug I didn’t like!

  • CD

    @Supersteives – you can get stainless steel straws from (use Melody’s link) and sometimes Target.

    As for the stainless cold tumbler, I went to get one yesterday, but it’s hand wash only. I wish Starbucks would go the extra distance and offer machine washable merchandise.

  • Mindi

    It was good to chat with you over the merch last week, Melody! And thanks for the shout out! Hope you’re getting to know all the new partners at my store and that they’re taking care of you — we’re having an influx right now. See you around!

  • Melody

    Mindi – Thank you again! I still need to come in and definitely buy a 3 Region Mug. I notice that the stainless steel cold up is definitely selling. :)


    Love the new stuff. Would love to thank Melody for her kindness. I am leaning towards the metal cold mug. anyone have one? DOES IT SWEAT AT ALL? would love buying one, but want amug that is walled in enough that it doesn’t sweat.

  • Johari

    I want to go to there.

    I must have that 1912 Pike Place cold cup.

    @Tim – It looks like the description on the sign says that it is double walled.

  • Diele

    I adore the Pike Place cold cups. :)

  • Steve

    I love the relief mugs. I wanted them so bad that I posted a request on Facebook and a friend in San Francisco took the time to find me one from there. It took a few tries but she found it and the new SF-themed gift card. We are trying to coordinate the exchange now. I also won an ebay auction this weekend for the Los Angeles mug and gift card. With shipping it came to $27 and change. I have some family in the LA-area but I don’t think they would have gone through the trouble for me if they had to try multiple stores.
    I really like the Pike Place cold cup but I haven’t seen it on eBay yet.

  • margaret anderson

    Trying to locate some of the Three Regions white and gold coffee mugs. All of a sudden they are gone. Live in Santa Cruz, Calif.

  • Brad Bitzer

    I’m slightly confused. Why would an iced cup have “short’ as an option? Or is this something that I never knew I could order? (Honestly, I am a venti/trenta kinda boy, but my parents would love a short frap.)

  • Melody

    @BradBitzer – There is no “short” iced cup in the US. (I have heard that Japan actually does offer that.) Did you glace at the “first store” marking and read it as “short”?

  • Claudine

    The relief mug is the craze now for Starbucks merchandise collectors in the Philippines. Not sure if they have Seattle already but SF, LA, Prague, Paris, London are being exchanged left and right with other collectors on those locations.

    As for China, we don’t have any relief items yet. Icon mugs for Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Ningbo are already available. :) I wish Starbucks in Beijing will have a Starbucks merchandise store where you can get all types of merchandise. I’m pretty sure I’ll be one of their regular customers hoarding those merchandise for my collector friends.

  • David

    Claudine pretty much nailed the new mug series. In addition to Seattle, SF, LA, Prague, Paris, London, the only other cities that I’m aware of that have a new relief mug are Amsterdam, Boston, and NYC. NYC also had a variant of it (same skyline relief design, but the cup was a different shape) two years ago.

Leave a Comment


Join the mailing list to receive a weekly email with new posts: