Chances are, if you live in a big city, you can’t walk anywhere without going past a Starbucks location. It’s no secret that Starbucks is one of the most successful franchises in America right now. But there are some things you may not be aware of, and we’re spilling the beans on 10 Starbucks secrets you never knew about. Four Main Templates For Starbucks If you are one of those people who immediately stops at a Starbucks once you hit a new city or area, you’ve probably noticed a consistently non-consistent feel going on in the different locations. That’s because, depending on the neighborhood of that particular location, one of these four templates is selected for design purposes. This is done in an effort to ensure that a Starbucks location has the best fit for its specific community. The templates include Heritage, Artisan, Regional Modern, and Concept. Heritage is designed to reflect the original Starbucks store in Seattle, with wood floors, industrial style lighting, metal stools, and large community tables designed to convey a “turn of the century” feel. The Artisan concept includes an urban, industrial vibe with features like exposed steel beams and masonry walls. Regional Modern includes what the company refers to as “a trend-setting style that is comfortable and welcoming.” That means things like bright, warm spaces that reflect a specific region’s culture or heritage.
Your Dog Can Enjoy Starbucks Too
If you like to bring your furry friend on your Starbucks runs with you, you can actually get them their own Starbucks treat. The “Puppuccino” is just a little sample cup with some whipped cream in it. Unfortunately, you can’t order it through the Starbucks app because it’s not a real menu item. But it’s free (depending on which location you’re going to, as it’s up to the manager’s discretion), and it means your dog can enjoy your coffee runs just as much as you do. Chances are you may have even seen those adorable videos all over the internet of various pooches enjoying their own puppucinos. Like the viral story of the Ohio police dog who chose to devour one in under 30 seconds on his day off. This story prompted many others to respond with their own photos and videos of their dogs enjoying the delicious treat. Because who doesn’t love looking at happy dogs gobbling out of a Starbucks cup and coming up with a white, sticky face? Now, as with human treats, you want to make sure you keep things in moderation. But from time to time, if your pup enjoys his own treat every now and then, who’s to say Fido can’t live a little?
The Infamous Starbucks Secret Menu
Ever since Starbucks became a phenomenon for caffeine lovers, there have been rumors about the secret menu. Many employees have denied that there is a secret list somewhere of drinks you can order, while others insist it exists. According to some Starbucks employees, this secret menu is really just customization suggestions by people on the Internet, but not every barista necessarily knows how to make these mysterious drinks off-hand since the secret menu isn’t really real. These drinks are suggested by others who have tried their own combinations and then given them their own names. So, if you come in and want some kind of crazy “secret” drink, you better know what the ingredients are, and don’t ask for it by name because the Starbucks crew will have no idea what you’re talking about. In fact, if you even bring up the secret menu to baristas, rumor has it you’ll be making their blood boil. They’re sick of hearing about it. Just ask for the drink based on what you want in it and all will be fine. Whether or not this secret menu is real, there are plenty of hacks you can do to get the most out of your experience.
Starbucks Aprons Have Secrets
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the baristas and people working at Starbucks have different colored aprons? Well, each of those aprons means something. The green apron is the standard apron that the employees wear. It’s the signature apron color for any worker, kind of like starting out with your white belt in karate. Now, those basic green aprons can get upgraded with different patches. For example, employees who have served in the military can get a green apron with a special patch embroidered on it. People who wear black aprons have actually been certified as coffee masters by the Starbucks education program. These people are coffee pros. They know everything there is to know about coffee and could likely talk to you about it for hours on end. There’s also a red apron that is sometimes worn around the holidays to celebrate the season. They might start showing up around the time the signature holiday cups do, but with much less controversy than the yearly cup designs. You may have also seen a rare purple Starbucks apron. Now, this is a special one. The purple apron is reserved for someone who wins the EMEA Barista Championships. This is a worldwide Starbucks competition where baristas can enter to see who can make the best new creations, the most attractive latte art, and the most delicious coffee pairings.
It’s a Secret Waistline Killer
Take the pastries, for example. The Cinnamon Chip scone actually has more calories than a Quarter Pounder from McDonald’s! And chances are you’re probably pairing that scone with one of the restaurant’s signature drinks, which means you’re adding even more bad stuff to the mix. Some of those drinks are full of calories and sugar. A grande Green Tea Frappuccino contains 300 calories and 63 grams of sugar. That’s over twice the daily recommended sugar intake for an adult — just in a drink. Here’s another freaky McDonald’s comparison. A Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Creme Frappuccino has 510 calories, while a McDonald’s Big Mac has 540. That’s only a 30 calorie difference. This isn’t even counting the sugar content, which can often be more dangerous than the calories themselves. Even when you think you’re being a little healthier by ordering non-fat options, you’re still tricking yourself. A grande non-fat hot chocolate may not be as fatty, but it still has 240 calories and 41 grams of sugar.
There is Also a Secret Starbucks Drink Size
Speaking of all these secrets, here’s another thing Starbucks is keeping from you: the secret size. That would be a Trenta, which is the next size up from Venti. Essentially, it’s an extra large cup meant for people who really, really need that extra caffeine. The Trenta is a 31-ounce cup, but it’s only used for iced tea, iced coffee, and the refreshers. You can’t get the blended drinks in that size. Especially not Frappuccinos — can you imagine how much sugar would be in that drink? Here’s a fun fact. You can actually fit a regular bottle of wine in the Trenta cup. Also, it’s not really much of a secret, but there is also a short size. It’s one below the tall size and is about eight ounces. It’s only served for hot drinks, though. The short size was actually one of the original Starbucks sizes before they upgraded to the standard tall, grande, and venti they have now. These are actually just the kids’ sizes, but adults can get them if they ask.
The Starbucks Name Comes From Moby Dick
The name Starbucks actually comes from the character Starbuck in the classic Herman Melville novel Moby Dick. Apparently, the chain was originally going to be named after the whaling ship, Pequod, but the ship’s first mate’s name seemed to be the better option. Starbucks was originally founded in 1971 by three guys: Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker. All of them were clearly interested in classic literature as one was an English teacher, one taught history, and one was a writer. It was apparently Bowker who came up with Starbucks. The first store was actually called Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spices, and was originally just a retail store that sold coffee beans and equipment to brew coffee at home. The partners sold the Starbucks company to Howard Shultz in 1984. From there, Shultz converted the whole operation into a coffee bar instead of just a retail shop and introduced espresso, thus making the jump into the massive conglomerate we know and love today.
One Country Where Starbucks Has Failed
While it seems as though Starbucks has a worldwide dominance, with stores in at least 72 different countries, there is actually one country where Starbucks was unable to catch on: Israel. There were six Starbucks locations there that are no longer open. In 2001, the world’s most famous coffee company opened six stores in Tel Aviv. The six Israeli Starbucks locations were open for about two years before the owners decided to pack it in and move on out. At the time, the company cited operational challenges as the reason they were shutting the shops down. But according to the Times of Israel, it may just be because Starbucks didn’t fit the Israeli cultural vibe or taste. Some sources have also stated that Schultz charged in without doing what he usually does, which is building up local partnerships and getting an inside perspective on the local market. Either way, the decision proved to be ineffective for him. But it may not even be entirely Starbucks’ fault. It seems as though it’s a trend with fast food in Israel.
Starbucks the Company
The company owns a variety of other companies. So even if you don’t directly go to a Starbucks for your cup of coffee, you could still be getting their products. These other brands include Seattle’s Best Coffee, Teavana, Torrefazione Italia Coffee, and Evolution Fresh. While there are no other actual coffee shops dedicated to the brand, the company also focuses on the brewing and packaging of coffee and coffee products sold across the nation. It’s served in a variety of other fast food and entertainment locations, such as Burger King, AMC Theaters, and Subway, to name a few. Seattle’s Best Coffee is actually the second largest coffee wholesaler in the United States, and that’s second to… you guessed it, Starbucks itself. So, that means that Starbucks has a massive hold on the coffee roasting and wholesale market in the entire country. Torrefazione Italia Coffee is also a part of the Seattle’s Best brand purchase. There used to be Teavana locations, but Starbucks decided to close those down and sell the branded loose-leaf tea on its own. Evolution Fresh is the brand of smoothies, yogurts, and juices that are sold in Starbucks in the cold to-go section.
Starbucks Faced A Lawsuit By Latte Lovers
In what is being unofficially dubbed as the Underfilled Latte Lawsuit, Starbucks was the subject of a class action lawsuit filed by some extremely unimpressed latte customers in the United States. The customers accused the coffee chain of underfilling their latte and mocha drinks in order to reduce milk costs while still making the full profit. In the lawsuit, these customers claimed that the baristas were using unreasonably low fill-to lines as guidelines for pouring the drinks, as well as leaving too much space at the top of the cup. Another claim stated that the milk foam for the drinks that use it shouldn’t be counted toward the total volume of the drink or in the cost. They were essentially filing for fraud and false advertising. In January 2018, a U.S. District Judge dismissed the case due to lack of evidence that Starbucks was doing this. For the milk foam situation specifically, she stated that anyone who enjoys these frothy beverages should understand that milk foam does take up space. There were also a few similar lawsuits in previous years by disgruntled customers accusing Starbucks of leaving too much space in the iced coffee drinks. The judges in those cases dismissed the claims on the grounds that people would generally understand that ice does count as an ingredient. Especially when it’s in the name of the drink.