Every year, just before Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) Starbucks releases special animal themed mugs associated with the animal for that year.
I’d seen these for as long as I can remember but they’ve never really interested me all that much mostly because of how cute the majority of them are, i.e. mouse, sheep, etc.
Being the Year of the Dragon I was hoping this year might see a cool mug and thankfully it did! I LOVE the use of red and yellow on the mug and really appreciate the Chinese design influence and inclusion of the Hanzi (Chinese character) for “Dragon” on the handle.
Something that I really love about this mug, and in fact is one of the main reasons I use it so often, is that the hand painted gloss that you see on thee exterior continues in the interior! Almost all of my other mugs eventually get tea or coffee staining inside but this design seems pretty much stain proof and has me wondering why Starbucks doesn’t “interior gloss” (not sure what to call it 😉 ) all of their other mugs. My Australian Starbucks Mugs also have similar “glossing” and they’re fantastic.
It’s worth noting that the Sakura mugs were only for sale for about a week this year which is MUCH shorter than usual. The reason? Starbucks Japan finally decided to update their Starbucks Tokyo City Mug with a new and much fresher design! Check back soon for my post on the new Tokyo Starbucks Mug!
Normally I just stick to the regular long red Starbucks Christmas mugs but when I saw this for sale this year I just had to grab it.
It’s a good size (a LOT bigger than my Gingerbread Men mug) and has a hand painted candy cane stripe on the handle (itself a very different design than the regular mug) and a glossed dark red interior making it essentially tea, coffee and cocoa stain proof!
One of my best friends sent this to me all the way to Japan while she was living in London. Normally I don’t like mugs as gifts as I like to get them as a souvenir of my own personal travels but the fact that this mug was year exclusive and I would never get the chance to buy it myself, I really loved getting this as a Christmas gift!
The mug is a bit larger than the regular Starbucks mug and I really dig the glossy red interior which makes it cocoa and coffee stain proof. Having never been to London I love how they made the mug city specific as well as being Christmas themed with the double decker bus and the London Bridge in the background. The heavy snow is really great and the metallic golden paint really makes the snowflakes and other features pop.
This, I think, was my very first Starbucks mug. I bought it in my first year in Japan while working in Shin Koshigaya in Saitama in 2004.
I think I probably got it due to the fact that it had gingerbread men on it. I’m an absolute gingerbread nut at Christmas time and have been making them every year for the past 20 years or so.
It’s a bit smaller than the regular Starbucks mugs, possibly aimed at kids. I seem to remember Starbucks marketing towards kids around that time with children’s beverages and other smaller merchandise so that would seem about right. Honestly haven’t used it to drink out of but used it this year to hold pretzel sticks on the table while having friends over.
25Cafes.com is a cool new project I've started working on where I travel around the world and write reviews on all the best, trendiest and coolest cafes I find!
Right now I'm starting with cafes in Tokyo, Japan (where I live) but will soon expand as I travel (hoping to do some cities in China and Australia soon!)
Please check it out and don't forget to comment and share it with other people who love to travel, enjoy coffee and finding new places!
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