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17 Fascinating Facts About Starbucks That You'll Drink Right Up

It was almost named Pequod!

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1. The original logo showed the mermaid's nipples.

The "Starbucks Siren," as she's officially known, used to have very freed nipples, in addition to a slightly suggestive open-tail pose. That design, which was based on an old Norse woodcut, was used from 1971 to 1987, but it still can be seen at the original 1912 Pike Place location.
Flickr: dropbeatsnotbabies

The "Starbucks Siren," as she's officially known, used to have very freed nipples, in addition to a slightly suggestive open-tail pose. That design, which was based on an old Norse woodcut, was used from 1971 to 1987, but it still can be seen at the original 1912 Pike Place location.

2. And this is how the logo has changed over the years.

Starbucks

3. Starbucks stores purposefully have round tables instead of square or rectangular ones to make solo customers look less lonely.

"A round table is less formal, has no empty seats, and the lack of right-angle edges makes the person seated at the table feel less isolated," Arthur Rubinfeld, Starbucks' former senior vice president for real estate once wrote.
Afp Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

"A round table is less formal, has no empty seats, and the lack of right-angle edges makes the person seated at the table feel less isolated," Arthur Rubinfeld, Starbucks' former senior vice president for real estate once wrote.

4. Many stores are designed using one of three templates.

If you often think many Starbucks shops are carbon copies of one another, there's a reason for it. For many years, Starbucks chose from one of three design concepts — heritage, artisan, and regional modern — when building out its locations. Heritage was often used in historic buildings and incorporated lots of wood floors and accents; artisan was meant to feel like an artist's loft, with exposed steel beams and a global influence; and regional modern was often bright and loft-like. Since 2009, more of a mix-and-match approach has been used.
Getty Images

If you often think many Starbucks shops are carbon copies of one another, there's a reason for it. For many years, Starbucks chose from one of three design concepts — heritage, artisan, and regional modern — when building out its locations. Heritage was often used in historic buildings and incorporated lots of wood floors and accents; artisan was meant to feel like an artist's loft, with exposed steel beams and a global influence; and regional modern was often bright and loft-like. Since 2009, more of a mix-and-match approach has been used.

5. There is an elusive Starbucks located in the CIA headquarters, and it's one of the busiest locations in the country.

"Stealthy Starbucks," or "Store Number 1" is nestled inside the CIA's Langley, Virginia, complex. There, baristas are heavily vetted before being hired, no loyalty cards are issued due to security risks, and lines often stretch down the hallway, because CIA employees need their damn caffeine!
Pool / Getty Images

"Stealthy Starbucks," or "Store Number 1" is nestled inside the CIA's Langley, Virginia, complex. There, baristas are heavily vetted before being hired, no loyalty cards are issued due to security risks, and lines often stretch down the hallway, because CIA employees need their damn caffeine!

6. And there are ~secret~ Starbucks shops in Seattle, which are Starbucks disguised to look like independent coffee shops.

Flickr: goodladyducayne, Flickr: goodladyducayne

Roy Street Coffee & Tea in particular is where Starbucks often tests new recipes and products.

7. The most expensive drink ever ordered cost $93.58.

FOX

It's not on the menu, but if you really want to break the bank (and potentially die of a caffeine overdose), order a Pumpkin Spice Latte with 101 shots of espresso like Business Insider did. On second hand, maybe don't.

8. Long before it became a ubiquitous coffee chain, it was almost named Pequod.

After the ship in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Luckily, the company avoided any dubious pee-themed nicknames by picking a different name before the very first store opened in Seattle 1971. Coincidentally, the name Starbucks also has a Moby Dick connection.
Flickr: spaceyjessie

After the ship in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Luckily, the company avoided any dubious pee-themed nicknames by picking a different name before the very first store opened in Seattle 1971. Coincidentally, the name Starbucks also has a Moby Dick connection.

9. Another name that almost won? Cargo House.

Starbucks cofounder Gordon Bowker said he and fellow cofounders were "desperately close" to going with Cargo House before they finally settled on Starbucks.
Flickr: misscarman

Starbucks cofounder Gordon Bowker said he and fellow cofounders were "desperately close" to going with Cargo House before they finally settled on Starbucks.

10. All stores are supposed to follow a "10-minute rule," for which they open 10 minutes before the posted opening time and stay open 10 minutes after closing.

giphy.com

John Moore, a former corporate marketing manager for Starbucks, said, "This is just to provide good customer service, as there's almost always a customer waiting for a Starbucks to open." Whether or not stores actually follow this rule — or any of them — is a whole other story.

11. Many coffee options at Starbucks have more caffeine than a can of Red Bull.

Warner Bros.

A drip-brewed grande coffee at Starbucks has about 320 milligrams of caffeine, while an 8.4-ounce can of Red Bull has 80 milligrams of caffeine, for example.

12. Starbucks launched a failed "drinkable dessert" called Chantico in 2005.

does anyone else remember when sbux sold chantico? that stuff was so good. like drinking molten hot brownie batter.

Chantico was similar to the thick, sweet hot chocolate found in European cafes, and was made with cocoa butter and steamed whole milk. A Starbucks rep told BuzzFeed that it was discontinued just a year after it was introduced.

13. Those holiday cups have been waging a war on Christmas since 1997, and they've looked pretty different over the years.

Kenneth Bachor / TIME / Via time.com

That's a long time! A Starbucks rep told BuzzFeed that there is no digital record of what the original 1997 holiday cup looks like.

14. Saxophonist Kenny G. is partially responsible for the Frappuccino.

It's true! Kenny G. was an early investor in Starbucks, and suggested that they emulate the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's popular blended drinks to then-CEO Howard Schultz in the '90s. "Kenny has been a dear friend of Starbucks since the beginning of the company, and he did provide feedback on the creation of the beverage. We are very appreciative of everyone, including Kenny, who've been a part of the success of Frappuccino," a Starbucks spokesperson told TODAY.com of G's claim to fame.
Getty Images

It's true! Kenny G. was an early investor in Starbucks, and suggested that they emulate the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's popular blended drinks to then-CEO Howard Schultz in the '90s. "Kenny has been a dear friend of Starbucks since the beginning of the company, and he did provide feedback on the creation of the beverage. We are very appreciative of everyone, including Kenny, who've been a part of the success of Frappuccino," a Starbucks spokesperson told TODAY.com of G's claim to fame.

15. There is a phenomenon in real estate called the Frappuccino Effect.

The Frappuccino Effect is the noticeable increase in home prices in an area after a Starbucks opens, aka gentrification. Since 1997, homes located near Starbucks have appreciated 96%, almost doubling their value.
Getty Images

The Frappuccino Effect is the noticeable increase in home prices in an area after a Starbucks opens, aka gentrification. Since 1997, homes located near Starbucks have appreciated 96%, almost doubling their value.

16. Apparently, Starbucks is very, very particular about the smells in all of its stores.

Sony Pictures

Coffee beans tend to absorb bad odors, former CEO Howard Schultz has said. That's why smoking was banned in all Starbucks in the late '80s, long before any other establishments did. That's also why baristas aren't supposed to wear perfume or cologne.

17. And there are more than 87,000 possible drink combinations.

giphy.com

According to Starbucks spokesperson Lisa Passe, "If you take all of our core beverages, multiply them by the modifiers and the customization options, you get more than 87,000 combinations." Dang.

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