|Posted by Stephen Pomeroy on February 10, 2010 at 8:50 PM|
One of my passions is Starbucks Coffee. Not just the coffee whichwarms you from the inside out, but everything Starbucks; from the 3rd place atmosphere that each store uniquelybrings to its faithful patrons to the variety of products that enhance yourcoffee experience outside the confines of the local café (i.e. coffee makers,tumblers, and of course VIA). Toppingthe list of Starbucks’ obsessions are city mugs. How much of an all consuming adoration do Ihave for these priceless porcelain prizes? To sum it up I have 3 ever growingcollections of Starbucks city mugs. Three? Why three and not just one? Well,let me explain. The first of the 3 collections which in fact gave birth to theother 2 is our (I say “our” because the collection is one that my wife and Icollect together, however the other 2 are not her fault so I’ll revert back to“I” for those collections) personal collection, and it’s our personalcollection that I’m most eager to write about. Our personal collection isresponsible for birthing a pair of collections or you might say (to keep inline with the horrible analogy of mugs giving birth) twins.
The smaller of the two or the runtof the litter is a collection of broken mugs. Instead of sending them off tothe land of misfit toys (and household goods) I (there I go reverting back to“I” decided to start a collection of damage mugs. If my memory serves me correctly the collectionbegan when I received mugs from Moscow (the Moscow Global Icon Series) in whichthe handle (only the bottom) where it attaches to the cup was broken. The mugitself looked great, but was of no use or of great risk for anyone who wouldever attempt to drink a hot beverage from it. I tried to sell it for a whilethinking that maybe a collector would be willing to purchase such a hard to getmug. To no avail the mug did not sell, and thus the first mug in the collectionof broken city mugs. Sometime later I had order multiple city mugs from 2different sources; the packages arrived the same day, and low and behold bothcontained broken cups. The handle of the mugs had snapped right off (thatwouldn’t be the last time we would receive mugs with broken handles, hence the“ever growing” collection). Now, again one of the mugs that was received (minusthe handle) was a highly anticipated mug from the USA Scenic Series “UnitedStates of America” mug with the Statue of Liberty displayed triumphantlyshrouded with fireworks. You can imagine the disappointment to find a mug withsuch potential and such intrinsic value to be rendered worthless. Instead ofthrowing the mug away (along with the other mug that arrived also with a brokenhandle) I decided to glue the handles back on. Since then we have receive moremugs with broken handles, some with chips (along the rim and on the bottom),some with bulging bubbles of glaze, one with a permanent red line on the frontof it, and even one that arrived in 7 or 8 pieces (Gluing it back together waslike assembling one of those 3D puzzles). The collection stands at 17 mugs. Iwill add as a final note on this consortium of mugs that we are now gladlyaccepting donations of such mugs to include in this contrite collection.
Collection numero dos is thecollection of all collection. It’s a brut beast that grows uncontrollably(along with my desire to have more). It threatens to take over multiple roomsof our abode, and it would if we let it. Luck for us there’s eBay which helpskeep the monster at bay. Currently the collection stands at 222 mugs. Those aremugs from almost all of the different mug series (national and international)that started in 1994, and run through the present. At its peak there we wellover 400 mugs. The combination of eBay and the Holidays has helped reduce thenumbers, but I can tell you this that it is begging to grow once more. Thesemugs come from anywhere and everywhere. I don’t want to give away all mysecrets, but let’s just say that there is just one source of acquiring mugs. Wehope that our new site http://mycitymugs.webs.comwill be another avenue of feeding the ceramic city mug creature.
Our (and I’m happy to now includemy wife in this section) personal collection started in 2002 on our honeymoon.We traveled to Southern California to enjoy the worth and sun of Orange countyand San Diego in the middle of November. It turned out to be a very warm andwonderful time spending time in four different lodgings including theDisneyland Grand Hotel, and Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. It was there onour first evening after checking into the first, last, and possibly only 5 starhotel we have ever stayed in that we went for a walk and just happened to walk bya Starbucks. My wife and I are Seattle natives and love that coffee culture isa part of our lives. Without hesitation we walk into the aroma filled coffeeshop and pursued the displays, dessert case and menus as we tried to make upour mind on what would best fit the mood and occasion. Typically it’s a doubleshort Americano with room, but this wasn’t just any occurrence; after all wewere on our honeymoon. There on the self rested a half dozen coffee cups that hadprinted on it a picture of the city’s skyline and in big black letters “SanDiego” draped across the front of the mug. On the inside written was, “70 and Sunny” when we read those words weboth laughed and said, “How true is that; even in November”. Immediately wethought this would have to be a souvenir for us to remember our 2 weekscelebrating this happy occasion in the golden state. From there it was backhome to start our newly joined life and adventures together. Our home now waslocated in the Mid-West of the United States; Indiana to be exact. Yeah, I know…how do two Seattle natives who grew up sipping the nectar of the Northwest endup in a place that didn’t even have a Starbucks until 2000? It’s along story,and we will save it for another time. Within a few months of married life mywife and I with Divine guidance left the comforts of America to travel abroadand live in Ukraine. Ukraine is part of the former Soviet Union and is located justwest of Russian and east of Germany and Poland. During our first stint livingin Europe we had the opportunity to travel to Poland and Germany. In fact weended traveling to Poland and Germany for our first wedding anniversary.Unfortunately Starbucks was still new to Europe and hadn’t made it into Polandyet. However, while in Germany we frequented Starbucks and while at a shoplocated on the square where the Brandenburg Gate stands resolute we were ableto procure another mug. The Collector Series Germany mug with the same nationalicon on it that you could see by gazing out the window while sipping a doubleshort caramel macchiato (it was another special occasion). From 2003 until thismorning (and the morning after) I enjoy drink my daily cup (or 2 or 3) of coffeein my (our) Germany mug. The collection has grown and continues to grow as wehave opportunity to travel. Drivingcross country, visiting family in Seattle, traveling to share about ouradventures at various venues and taking vacations with friends have allowed usto obtain many more mugs. But wait there’s more (if you act now we will throwin this love set of ginsu knives) we at times gave city mugs as gifts tofriends and family. Well, you know what they say (who are “they” anyways), whatgoes around comes around, and so, to add to our collection dear friends of oursbegan picking up city mugs for us as they traveled. Our “personal” collectionconsists of mug where we have traveled and now places our friends have traveledand have so graciously thought of us along the way. We have been able to add toour collection such places as Boston (oh, how we would love to visit thereourselves), Prague (I was there 2 days before the first Starbucks opened, butmy good buddy went back a few months later and got me a mug. He’s also responsiblefor getting us a Dallas mug), Ireland, Paris (which came from our Irish friends)and Cebu which came from my brother-in-law. All in all we have 17 mugs in ourpersonal collection (could have been 19, but I sold a couple; silly me).
I hope that we are able to add toour personal collection as much and even as quickly as we have been able to addto the other 2. We love that each of our mugs has a story behind it. What a joyit is to be able to drink from a cup and remember the events surrounding thetime when it was added to the collection, or to sip form a cup and to remembera friendship that has blessed and had profound impact on your life. I love ourcity mug collection.