Starbucks touts Christmas coffee after flap over red cups

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Starbucks is pushing back against accusations from GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and others that its minimalist holiday cup design is a slap at Christmas.

In a statement Tuesday touting its 2015 Christmas coffee, Starbucks said it's introducing this year's exclusive blend on behalf of its 300,000 employees "from diverse ethnic backgrounds."

The company says the coffee is available in its 23,000 stores.

Complaints about the all-red cups reached a new level Monday evening when Trump suggested boycotting Starbucks.

Previous years' cup designs have featured snowflakes and winter scenes as well as occasional Christmas ornaments.

Trump has been trying to court evangelical and conservative Christian voters and has often bemoaned the use of "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."