15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Starbucks


Starbucks has been around for more than five decades. But back in 1971, it was just another coffeeshop situated in Seattle’s Pike Place Market selling coffee beans and tea for people to take home. But it was changed so much since then. Starbucks has become an icon in American culture with its and it’s hard to imagine a world without it.

Here are interesting bits of information about Starbucks that you probably didn’t know about.

  1. Its founders were a writer and two teachers.

Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz is the most recognizable name behind Starbucks but it was actually started by 3 guys – Gorden Bowker (writer), Jerry Baldwin (teacher) and Zev Siegl (Teacher). It wasn’t until Schutlz  came into the picture, however, that Starbucks became known more than just a coffee beans shop.

  1. The original mermaid in the Starbucks logo looked like a seductress.

The idea was to “lure” you into going into the shop to buy coffee so the original version of the mermaid was very racy.

  1. The names of the cup sizes are not even correct.

The size options offered at Starbucks are: tall (12oz), grande (16oz), venti (24oz), and trenta (31oz). Howard Schultz traveled to Italy in 1983 – his first time there – and fell in love with the country’s romance with coffee. At Il Giornale, Schultz had 3 cup sizes for the coffee – short, tall and grande. Then venti was introduced so he had to take out the small. The literal meaning for the name of the sizes are: grande means “large”; venti means “twenty” and trenta means “thirty.” According to Dawn Pinaud, his partner at Il Giornale, they basically just made up the names when discussing it in a conference room.

  1. A Stanford basketball player invented the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Peter Dukes, a basketball player from Stanford, worked at Starbucks in 2001 while earning his MBA. He was tasked to create a new espresso drink that will be perfect for the fall season.

  1. “Stealth Starbucks” shops exist.

Starbucks created “Stealth Starbucks” as a way to test new ideas on neutral grounds so as not to have any subjectivity from the customers. We know of two such locations – Roy Street Coffee and 15th Avenue Coffee. Today only Roy Street continues to be the brand’s secret shop.

  1. There’s a Starbucks at Langley.

We all know the CIA headquarters is in Langley, Virginia. And now you know there’s a Starbucks location on the campus. The baristas have to go through some extensive background checks and the store itself goes by Store Number 1 on its official receipt.

  1. Some locations serve wine and beer.

Some Starbucks locations have the Evenings Menu which has small plates, beer and wine. The small plates are pretty simple and the wines are well-curated. It’s currently available in 75 locations and more will be offering it in the near future.

  1. You’re getting more caffeine than you’d expect.

A grande has about 330mg of caffeine, which is equal to approximately three cans of Red Bull. A standard brewed coffee has about 190mg of caffeine. The safe daily dose of caffeine is said to be 400mg.

  1. Starbucks owns Seattle’s Best

Seattle’s Best was acquired by Starbucks in 2003 and has grown to become the 2nd biggest coffee wholesaler in the US.

  1. You can get caramel drizzles and whipped cream free with any drink.

And we’re not just talking about Frappuccinos or lattes. You can literally get both items with any drink you order.

  1. Starbucks baristas are happy to grind the coffee beans you buy from the store.

If you purchase a bag of Starbucks coffee beans and you don’t have a coffee grinder, there’s no need to buy one. Just tell your barista to grind them and they will happily to do it for you.

  1. One of the perks of being a Starbucks barista is a free bag of coffee beans weekly.

Yes, you read that right. Baristas are given a pound of Starbucks coffee each week and it’s completely free. Each pound of Starbucks coffee costs around $15 so that’s a really nice freebie.

  1. You can order discontinued drinks.

If you are craving a seasonal drink that’s currently not on the menu, you can still order them. The baristas will happily make it for you as long as the ingredients are available.

  1. You can request for a bigger size cup.

If for example, you order a large cup of large Mocha Frappuccino, you can ask the barista to put it in a Grande size cup. That way you won’t have to worry if they poured enough of the drink with all that ice they add.

  1. Every location offers pour-over coffee.

Pour-over coffee is always better and far superior to standard drip. Starbucks offers pour-over coffee – you may not see it when you view full Starbucks menu but it’s available. It does take a bit of time to prepare so you should only order this if you’re not in a hurry.

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