The Starbucks Red Cups Are Finally Here—Here’s How To Get One For Free

updated Nov 6, 2020
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Credit: Starbucks

If I were to ask you when it’s appropriate to begin listening to holiday music, chances are you’ll have a pretty hard opinion on the matter. Are you an “only the day after Thanksgiving, and not a second before” kind of person? Or do you wait until the clock strikes 12:01 AM on November 1 to turn up the holiday tunes? (If you are among the people who believe in throwing “Christmas in July” parties and sing along to Mariah Carey’s holiday album in April, please know I see you and I appreciate you.)

Others might use a particular sign to start the holidays: When Starbucks debuts its famous “red cups” and holiday-themed drinks. If that’s you, I have good news. Yes, Virginia, red cup season is officially back. And to celebrate, the coffee company is giving out reusable holiday cups with a special Fair Isle-themed design.

What’s the catch? You have to buy a holiday drink on November 6, and you’ll receive the cup gratis with your purchase. Given that the holiday drinks include a toasted white chocolate mocha, a sweet caramel brulée latte, and a chestnut praline latte, that shouldn’t be too difficult to do.

(Pro tip: You can ask your barista to hack the peppermint mocha any time of the year, but there’s something extra festive about that extra splash of peppermint syrup when it comes from a red cup.)

That’s not the only way Starbucks is celebrating the holiday season. The company is rolling out its signature holiday baked goods, as well as seasonal tumblers, mugs, and packages of ground beans so you can turn your own kitchen or coffee station into a winter wonderland.

There’s an added bonus to picking up a reusable mug: As festive as they are, the disposable paper version of the iconic red cups aren’t exactly eco-friendly. (A 2011 report estimated that 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are tossed each year.) Far more green is a cup you can use again and again, and you can earn bonus points by picking up an insulated option that keeps your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold.

Plus, investing in a sparkly pink and green tumblr for $18.95 is about the price of five grande lattes — make six coffee drinks at home, and you’ve practically broken even, which in my book is a sound coffee investment.