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Starbucks' new spring cups are not Easter cups

Source: Starbucks

For the first time ever, Starbucks is releasing special cups just for springtime. They come in three colors inspired by Pantone's springtime trends: A sunny yellow (Venti), a robin's egg blue (Grande), and a leafy green (Tall). Some of the cups are minimalist, with no logo or other markings aside from a white circle in place of where Starbucks' logo would go. Others have what look like Sharpie doodles.

Like the coffee giant's popular, 20-year-old holiday tradition of red holiday cups, these spring cups will be available for a limited time. Starbucks patrons can expect to see the cups for a few days only beginning on March 16.

Maybe it's because I'm jaded, maybe it's because I've been writing about Starbucks for too long, but the minute I saw this press release in my inbox I thought: How long until the Internet backlash? In case you do not follow Starbucks news as obsessively as I do, for every action the coffee company takes there is an outsized, opposite reaction.

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Think back, for a moment, to late fall 2015. That's the last time Starbucks released a minimalist cup. It was red with a Starbucks logo on the side. For reasons I will never understand, what seemed like the whole country — or maybe it was just this one high-strung person — flew into a rage because the cups were "not Christmas-y enough." This was such big news that Eater wrote a story all about it. I can't tell you how many people clicked on this post, but please know that it was a lot. At some point, a wise man named Donald Trump weighed in to suggest the coffee drinkers of America boycott Starbucks over this.

Last year really wasn't much better. There was a green cup that was specifically described as not a holiday cup, but people threw a fit anyway because it wasn't red. Just 10 days later, Starbucks released a red, super-Christmas-y cup.

So I'm going to attempt to pre-empt the outrage I can feel bubbling just beneath the surface. No, Starbucks' new spring cups are not to be confused with Easter-themed cups. Here is why:

  • They are pastel-colored; this is not a representation of Easter, it is a reference to the floral colors of spring, dammit.
  • The white circle on each cup, clearly where Starbucks' logo would fit if it was on these cups, turns into an oblong egg shape only if you squint. ("Don't squint so much, it's bad for your crow's feet," is what my mother would say.)
  • The official start of spring is March 20. The cups will be released on March 16. Easter, a Christian holiday, does not arrive until April 16 this year — a full month later. (Passover falls between April 10 and April 18, in case you're keeping track.)
  • Yes, one of the cups features a drawing of a bunny. Bunnies have been associated with springtime since a lot of us were pagans. Calm down.

If you're still feeling angry about this, maybe consider flying into a rage about something else. There are so many other worthwhile issues at stake right now. (Although honestly, Starbucks hasn't fared great in that department, either: When the company announced it would hire 10,000 refugees in response to Trump's initial, short-lived travel ban, Trump supporters signed onto Twitter to lash out and pledged to boycott the chain. The angry mob believed Starbucks should hire more veterans instead; no matter that the chain already does this.)

So if you don't like Starbucks' cheerful spring cups, maybe make your coffee at home for the next couple of weeks — at least. Reached for comment to see if these spring cups will become an annual tradition, a Starbucks rep replied, "We're excited to introduce our first-ever cups to celebrate spring. It's too early to say if these will return next year."