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Starbucks City Mug Souvenirs: Traveling the World over Morning Coffee (a Reader’s Collection)

Starbucks City Mug Souvenirs: Traveling the World over Morning Coffee (a Reader’s Collection)

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When reader and fellow blogger Sue mentioned she collected souvenir Starbucks mugs as she traveled, I’d never heard of the mugs and had no idea how popular they are.  While Sue collects mugs strictly for the memories, I learned that others collect Starbucks mugs like beanie babies, trading them on the secondary market and bidding for rare mugs on ebay.  According to Wikipedia, certain Starbucks mug city releases create a “frenzy of buying as collectors swarm to buy” the mugs.  A 2007 mug from Japan (retail, $8.95) even went for $1300 on ebay!  Sue– check your mugs– you may have a gold mine in your cupboards!

Guest Post:  Traveling the world over Morning Coffee– My Starbucks City Mug Collection 

by Sue Slaght

starbucks city mug lisbon athens travel souvenir collect“Honey would you like to go to Athens or Lisbon this morning?” I call up the stairs on Saturday morning.
“Hmmm I think Athens. I feel like going to the Parthenon today” replies my smiling husband, ambling down the stairs.

Sadly, we are not in Europe this morning, ready to leap onto a high speed train, but rather having breakfast in Western Canada. Avid travelers and proponents of carry on baggage only, collecting Starbucks mugs from locations visited is our one souvenir collector addiction.

starbucks mug london souvenir collectYou may ask yourself if there might be something less breakable and slightly smaller than on oversized glass cup to lug back from exotic spots.   Yes …point well taken. However over the weekend cups of hot java, our fabulous journeys are relived over shared stories.

“Remember when you almost got hit in the head by the guy throwing the squid at the Athens fish market?” laughs Hubby.  “Or when we were given the hairy eyeball at the Lisbon Port Institute dressed in our t-shirts and shorts? “ I quip back.

starbucks miami mug starbucks hawaii mug collect city maugOn bitterly cold mornings– and there seem to be a fair number of those in Calgary– the Miami and Hawaii cups are hot ticket items.  “It’s minus 20 this morning,” Hubby announces from the kitchen. “Florida or Maui …what will it be?”

I give him a serious look “Do I have to eat the roasted pig at the luau? If you say yes I am off to South Beach for sure!” The comical banter continues over our special keepsakes.

starbucks travel souvenir las vegas mug starbucks houston mug starbucks chicago mug starbucks dallas mug“Do you want to go to watch the fountains at the Bellagio?” I muse while sipping out of my Vegas mug.
“Sorry I’m too busy working over here in Houston this morning,” pouts Hubby.

Starbucks Toronto mug Starbucks Vancouver mug travel souvenirSometimes the mugs remind us of very special people in our lives. “I’m going to see my sister this morning,” smiles Hubby. “Have a great visit and dress warm for that ocean air,” I instruct in a motherly tone. “I’m off to California to hang with my brother. Can’t wait to see him!”

starbucks san francisco mug travel souvenirMemories in a mug, that’s our souvenir… and caffeine fix. What do you like to bring back to remind you of a special trip or person?

Follow Sue’s travels (and her amazing photography!) on her fabulous blog at Travel Tales of Life.

Sue lives in Calgary, Alberta and has been married to her best friend Dave for over thirty years and is ‘Mom’ to adult children. Her decades as a nurse have shown that in a moment life can change completely.  Passionate about travel, storytelling, social justice, volunteerism and not letting the phrase “What would people think?” or her own fear get in the way of trying something new Sue believes the possibilities in life are endless. 

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Serhat Engul

Saturday 30th of April 2016

You must have a great collection of these lovely cups. I used to collect postcards and museum tickets. This is a brilliant idea!


Thursday 23rd of April 2015

My sister collects these mugs too, which is why I started getting some of my own. I only like specific designs, mostly the cartoon ones. My dad always gets shot glasses and t-shirts. I suppose I tend to take photos more than collect.

Friday 10th of April 2015

I collect the starbuck mugs as well and am constantly looking for more on our travels. Your story sounds just like mine when we get up in the morning. I'm asking him the same questions. "Where would you like to go today?" Often enough....we're not in the same country or state. I'm sad to say that they're getting harder and harder to find.

Indah Susanti

Wednesday 25th of February 2015

Love reading this article, and what a brilliant idea to drink every morning with different mugs that remind you of your previous travel!


Wednesday 26th of February 2014

My friend, Dylan from The Travelling Editor, collects Starbucks mugs as well. I laughed at him when he told me but when I saw that his Auckland mugs (he has two saved and one which he uses) are now worth about $80 each I was amazed.

For me it's particularly weird as Australia has all but run Starbucks out of the country (We only have a couple of stores in the very touristy areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland) so it was a lesson! Did you know people also collect the StarBucks rewards cards? I just wanted the 2014 Year of the Horse card but then found that people actually sell these cards for a profit!

Kristin Francis

Wednesday 26th of February 2014

Hi Nicole, thanks for commenting! I know Dylan and I was shocked when he mentioned collecting these mugs! Love that he is hoarding them for future profits lol. It turns out lots of people love collecting them-- it's been a very popular post (thanks guest author Sue!)

I had no idea that Australia was anti-Starbucks, how fascinating! When researching this post I did come across the bit about collecting Starbucks reward cards and was floored-- a mug you can use every day (and I started becoming intrigued by the designs myself), but what's the point of a random card??