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6 Facts About Starbucks to Perk You Up

Few brands are as recognizable as Starbucks, a company that began in 1971 as a single Seattle-based store before blossoming into one of the world’s most notable coffee suppliers. Starbucks’ legendary green-and-white logo can be found in most corners of the globe, providing that important morning boost to coffee lovers everywhere. With a legacy over five decades old, Starbucks’ history is as fascinating as its coffee is invigorating. Keep reading to start your day off right with six facts about Starbucks to perk you up.

The Company’s Name Was Inspired by the Novel “Moby-Dick”

While the word “Starbucks” is known by coffee lovers worldwide, the singular version of that word holds a different meaning in the world of literature. The name of the brand was inspired by Herman Melville’s 1851 work Moby-Dick, though that almost wasn’t the case. When deciding on a name for their new company in 1971, the founders of Starbucks briefly considered “Cargo House.” The goal during those early brainstorming sessions was to come up with a name that captured an adventurous spirit and also reflected the storied fishing history of the Pacific Northwest. This in turn led to a suggestion by co-founder Gordon Bowker, who proposed the name “Pequod,” after the ship from Moby-Dick. However, the group decided that going for a “cup of Pequod” didn’t sound particularly appealing, forgot about Moby-Dick for the time being, and went back to the drawing board.

As the brainstorming continued, Bowker claims that his business partner, designer Terry Heckler, mentioned that words beginning with “st” felt powerful. In searching for words beginning with “st,” the group came across an old mining town called “Starbo” on a map of the nearby Cascade Mountains. This reminded Bowker once again of Moby-Dick, and specifically the character Starbuck, who served as the first mate for Captain Ahab. Bowker’s suggestion was a hit with his co-founders, and they tacked on an “s” at the end and officially adopted the name “Starbucks” for their new brand.

Starbucks Won a Grammy Award in Collaboration With Ray Charles

Starbucks hasn’t only achieved greatness in the world of coffee, but in the music industry, too. Starbucks helped co-produce the 2004 Ray Charles album Genius Loves Company, which proved to be the final studio album by the legendary singer and pianist. The album features 12 awe-inspiring duets with other musical greats, including Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, and B.B. King. It wouldn’t have been possible without the backing of Starbucks, who partnered with Concord Records to produce the album. The result was a smash hit — Genius Loves Company went on to win eight Grammy Awards, including both Record and Album of the year, and also sold enough copies to go triple-platinum.

Starbucks later acquired the Hear Music record label in 2007, expanding its influence in the world of music. However, despite producing albums for esteemed artists including Kenny G, Paul McCartney, and Carly Simon, the label ultimately fell by the wayside as digital music displaced physical media. Even still, Starbucks began a partnership with streaming service Spotify in 2016, ensuring that the coffee company would remain involved in the music scene to some degree.

There’s a Special Starbucks for Members of the CIA

With upwards of 30,000 publicly accessible franchises worldwide, there’s only one Starbucks that specially caters to members of the Central Intelligence Agency. Located inside CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, this Starbucks is only available to those with the highest levels of security clearance. While the store is decorated to look like a normal Starbucks in order to help humanize an otherwise tense job, the experience at this Starbucks is anything but normal. In order to maintain secrecy, receipts merely depict “Store Number 1” as opposed to any specific location. Furthermore, baristas — who undergo extensive background checks — are forbidden from writing names on any of the cups, not even aliases; this is done to preserve the confidential identities of CIA agents. Don’t try using your Starbucks rewards card here either, as such perks are banned for fear that they could “fall into the wrong hands.” Despite all these irregularities compared to the norma experience, the store remains an immensely popular fixture among CIA employees and boasts long lines at all hours of the day.

Different Colored Starbucks Aprons Mean Different Things

When Starbucks was first founded in 1971, its baristas were known for wearing simple brown grocers’ aprons. In 1987, the company adopted their now-iconic green aprons featuring a brand-new logo, which remains the norm for the majority of baristas. Though you’re likely to mostly see green aprons at Starbucks locations, other designs may pop up from time to time. Some Starbucks aprons boast practical applications — traditional green aprons that are embroidered with ASL fingerspelling signify that the barista is fluent in American Sign Language. Others are unique to certain regions, including orange aprons, which are worn in the Netherlands during King’s Day, an annual Dutch celebration on April 27. This seasonality extends to America as well, where red aprons are worn around the December holidays.

The colors black and purple, however, are worn only by the best of the best. The coveted black apron is worn by Starbucks Coffee Masters, who complete the Starbucks Coffee Academy and earn their certification for being extraordinarily passionate and knowledgeable about the product. Even more prestigious is the purple apron, which signifies being a champion barista. These are given to winners of the company’s annual international Starbucks Barista Championship, making it the rarest color of the bunch.

The World’s Largest Starbucks Is Located in Chicago, Illinois

In 2019, the 32,000-square-foot Tokyo Reserve Roastery ceded its “World’s Largest Starbucks” title to a brand-new location on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. Encompassing 35,000 square feet of area and spanning five stories, the new world’s largestStarbucks provides a different experience on every floor. The first and second stories offer customers the chance to sample Reserve brand Starbucks coffee, consume baked goods, and purchase Chicago-themed Starbucks merchandise. Moving up to the third floor, you can find an experiential coffee bar, featuring unique nitrogen-infused gelato drinks and special pistachio lattes, among other concoctions. Floor four offers a different kind of Starbucks experience, as it’s home to a bar brewing up decadent alcoholic cocktails. Last but not least, the fifth floor allows the opportunity for customers to enjoy their Starbucks beverages in a private rooftop setting. All in all, you’re not going to find a bigger Starbucks anywhere in the world.

Starbucks Invented the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Love it or hate it, the pumpkin spice latte is a part of the American coffee identity. It’s hard to imagine that the drink didn’t exist as recently as the early 2000s, and we have Starbucks to thank for the seasonal treat — they introducedit in 2003.

Pumpkin spice lattes were created by the “Liquid Lab” at Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters, and are considered to be the brainchild of Peter Dukes. Dukes had the idea for the latte back in 2001, at a time when Starbucks was trying to conceive of a fall-themed beverage that would become as popular as their seasonal holiday drinks. Short of an actual recipe, the testers brought pumpkin pies into a lab, poured espresso atop, and ate the pie in what proved to be a delicious treat. After matching the taste in drink form, the result blew up into a worldwide sensation.

Pumpkin spice lattes were first tested in 100 Starbucks stores in 2003 before launching worldwide the following year. They went on to sell upwards of 500 million cups in the drink’s first 18 years on the market. The drink has expanded far beyond Starbucks ever since, becoming an autumnal staple of coffee shops everywhere.

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1 comentário


Patrick Cline
Patrick Cline
21 de abr.

Over 30 drinks with 45 or more grams of sugar. The highest has 73 grams. This isn't a coffee company.

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