Starbucks is arguably the most popular coffeehouse in the world. But when most people enter a Starbucks to pick up their daily cup of joe, they probably aren’t thinking about anything other than their own order. There are so many things you may have never known about Starbucks that could change the way you think of the place.
Here are 16 things you never knew about the coffee chain. We reached out to Starbucks for comment but did not immediately hear back.
A venti drink allegedly has the same amount of espresso as a grande.
If you order a venti whenever you’re feeling extra exhausted and really need a boost, you’re doing it wrong. It seems logical to assume that a larger cup would hold more caffeine than a smaller cup, but that’s actually not true. According to an anonymous former Starbucks employee, both grande and venti espresso drinks contain two shots of espresso, at least in the location that they worked at.
This is only true for hot drinks, as venti iced espresso drinks have three shots while grande iced drinks have two.
Coffee masters wear black aprons.
The employee said black aprons are reserved for “coffee masters.” Starbucks baristas have to become certified coffee masters in order to wear black aprons. Once they’re approved by a manager, they have to learn basically everything there is to know about coffee before they can officially call themselves a coffee master. So, if you have a question about something specific, look for a barista in a black apron.
You can use your Starbucks app to pay for Teavana drinks.
Many people don’t realize that Starbucks also owns Teavana, the brand of tea they sell in the store. Teavana has some stores of their own, and if you have the Starbucks app, you can actually use it to pay at Teavana shops. Using the app in Teavana will also give you two stars for each dollar spent, just like in Starbucks.
It’s worth noting, however, that Teavana’s future is unclear.
Starbucks has its own record label.
Starbucks is often known for the music they always have playing in the background of each store. As it turns out, Starbucks is more serious about music than you may have thought. The company actually has its own record label called Hear Music. It was created with Concord Music Group in 2007, and actually includes some pretty huge performers, like Paul McCartney, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell.
If you download the app, you can find information on what’s playing in the store, and sometimes get points towards free song downloads.
The original logo was controversial.
Chances are good that you know that the Starbucks logo is a mermaid, even if you never buy coffee there. The mermaid, though, is actually a siren. Before 1987, it was super controversial, because the siren was naked and had exposed nipples. In 1992, they changed it to be a little more covered up.
The name was inspired by “Moby Dick.”
Have you ever wondered where the name “Starbucks” came from? According to Thrillist, “Starbucks” refers to the first mate in the Herman Melville book “Moby Dick.” The original name was going to be Pequod, the name of the “Moby Dick” whaling ship.
There’s a reason for the round tables in the restaurants.
Go into any Starbucks, and you’ll probably see two kinds of tables: round tables and rectangular tables. There’s a reason for the round tables. According to Reader’s Digest, the round tables are supposed to make you feel more at home when you’re by yourself.
Starbucks has secret shops.
Starbucks actually has a few secret shops, according to The Seattle Times. One is known as Roy Street Coffee & Tea in Seattle and they sell things that aren’t on typical Starbucks menus. This includes things like wine, beer, and gourmet cheeses that can’t be mass produced. They sometimes use the secret shops to test out new products as well.
They have a 10-minute rule they have to follow.
If you really want a drink from Starbucks and noticed they closed five minutes ago, you’re in luck: they are allegedly still obligated to serve you. According to one employee, there is a rule where they have to open the store 10 minutes before the posted opening time and leave the doors unlocked for 10 minutes after the posted closing time.
There are more than 87,000 drink combinations possible.
Chances are good that you’ve heard of the Starbucks “secret menu,” which is basically a huge list of drink combinations that aren’t on the menu. Going through all of those options would take a very long time because as Starbucks spokesperson Lisa Passe told The Wall Street Journal, “If you take all of our core beverages, multiply them by the modifiers and the customization options, you get more than 87,000 combinations.”
The average customer goes to Starbucks six times a month.
Statistics say that the average Starbucks customer visits the store about six times per month. If this seems low, they also show that a loyal 20% of customers go about 16 times per month.
The Chantico was a rare flop for the company, according to employees.
For devotees, it sometimes seems like Starbucks can do no wrong, especially when it comes to new and creative drinks. But they have had a big flop, and it’s called the Chantico. The Chantico came out in 2005 and was described as a “drinkable dessert.”
It was a 6-ounce hot “drinking chocolate” that was supposed to mimic the sweet chocolate drink served in Europe. According to some employees, it failed because it couldn’t be customized, while others say customers said it was too rich and heavy. Starbucks pulled the drink in 2006.
Starbucks spends more on health care for employees than coffee beans every year.
As you may have heard, Starbucks offers a generous benefits package to their employees, including providing healthcare to employees who work 20 hours a week or more. In fact, according to Howard Schultz, CEO of the company in 2008, Starbucks spends $300 million annually on healthcare, which is more than what they spend on coffee beans.
They’ve been sued for under-filling lattes.
They donate old food.
In 2016, Starbucks announced a plan to donate 100% of its leftover food to feed the hungry. The plan was going to affect all 7,000 US locations. They partnered with Feeding America to donate unsold meals, like sandwiches and salads, and it was all due to their baristas speaking up.