2012 Chinese Year of the Dragon Starbucks Coffee Mug

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.

2012 Chinese Year of the Dragon Starbucks Coffee Mug

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.


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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.

Japanese Starbucks Sakura 2012 Coffee Mug

Being really impressed with the shape and design of the 2011 Sakura mug I was a bit disappointed to see that 2012′s Sakura mug returned to the super small, thin design of the 2010 Sakura mug.

Japanese Starbucks 2012 Sakura Mug

The design is nice with some great colours and I’m surprised that they can create so many different designs of the same flower/tree (i.e. sakura / cherry blossom).

It’s a nice addition to my collection though honestly won’t be getting much use due to it’s volume (about half that of a regular mug).


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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!

Starbucks Christmas 2011 Candy Cane 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.

Starbucks Christmas 2011 Candy Cane Mug

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!


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Since buying this mug, I’ve pretty much been drinking out of it every day this month. It’s quickly become my favourite mug!

Hope you had a great Christmas and continue to have a safe holiday season!

Starbucks 2010 London Christmas Mug

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!

Starbucks 2010 London Christmas Mug

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.


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This is easily one of my favourite Christmas mugs. Do any other countries make city specific Christmas mugs?

Starbucks Christmas 2004 Gingerbread Mug

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.

Starbucks Christmas Gingerbread Mug

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.


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I really like the design with the repeated gingerbread men cookies and the white and red colour scheme. What do you think?

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