10 Facts about Starbucks you didn’t know

10 Facts about Starbucks you didn't know

Caitlin Walsh

10 facts about Starbucks you didn’t know

 

Starbucks: a name, a coffee, a legend. As one of the largest coffeehouses in the world, their decadent beverages and baked goods are greatly popular. Many claim to be Starbucks lovers, but how much do they really know about this coffee company? Do they know the story behind the Starbucks icon? Or what a barista’s black apron represents? If not, hop on the Starbucks train and learn some new facts.

 

  1. Starbucks was almost named Pequods

The original founders of Starbucks – two teachers and a writer – decided to name their company after the minor character from the story of Moby Dick, Starbuck, the first mate to Captain Ahab. However, before choosing Starbuck as the soon-to-be household name, the trio of founders considered using the ship’s name from Moby Dick, Pequod. Eventually, they realized that having a cup of Pequod didn’t sound ideal.

 

  1. The story behind the mermaid

As Starbucks started in Seattle, Washington, the founders hunted for a way to capture the history of coffee as well as Seattle’s strong seaport roots to tie into the ideal logo. Suddenly, while probing over old marine books in search of a logo, a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren, appealed to the founders incomparably. The mermaid was exactly what they were looking for and resided with the company ever since. Over the last 40 years, the founders have made some changes to her identity, but she will always remain relevant to Starbucks.

 

  1. The Trenta contains more liquid than what the average human stomach can hold

In 2011, Starbucks rolled out the Trenta, a massive 30.9 ounce size cup. No one can gulp down a Trenta considering the average stomach only has the capacity to hold 900 milliliters of fluid whereas the Trenta holds 916 milliliters. Although of course, it’s probable there is actually a market for the enormous drink seeing how customers are known to stay at the store for hours on end, presumably taking bathroom breaks in between.

 

  1. The beloved Frappuccino

Twenty-four years after Starbucks opened, the company introduced the first Frappuccino. The trademark name exists as a union of the two words: frappe and cappuccino. The idea of a cold, blended drink came about in Starbucks from California as a refreshing beverage in a hot climate. Since then, there have been over 36,000 different Frappuccino combinations.

 

  1. Why don’t they just call their sizes ‘small, medium, and large’?

When Starbucks started in 1971, they only carried two cup sizes, short and tall. Then, as the company expanded, their customers demanded larger cups. Rather than changing the names of the two original sizes, they decided to go with Italian for large “Grande”, and eventually the future 20 oz and 30 oz cup were continued with the Italian theme and named “Venti,” and “Trenta.”

 

  1. Starbucks is market-testing a beer-flavored latte

A new beverage called the Dark Barrel Latte had rolled out. The drink consists of a savory toasty malt flavor and only markets in Ohio and Florida stores. The drink doesn’t contain any alcohol and is instead made up of a blend of espresso, dark caramel, and chocolaty stout-flavored sauce and freshly steamed milk that comes as iced, hot, or as a Frappuccino. Additionally, Starbucks also started selling wine and beer in some of its locations.

 

  1. Employees are not called employees

People who work at Starbucks are not called employees, workers, or associates, but are called partners. All partners are shared in success because everyone at every level of the company is eligible to receive an annual grant of company stock through their Bean Stock program. In other words, each partner earns a part of the yearly payment/donation. As a result of owning a bit of the company, they are called partners.

 

  1. Starbucks spends more on the healthcare insurance of its employees than it does on coffee beans

In 2008, when Starbucks had a goal of cutting $600 million out of their expenses, they came to realize that the health insurance for their partners amounted to a shocking $300 million — more than Starbucks spends on coffee beans. However, rather than decreasing the partners’ benefits, the CEO of the company, Howard Schultz, chose to shut down 600 stores that were only open for less than two years.

 

  1. Starbucks didn’t intend to sell brewed coffee

The founders of Starbucks originally intended their company to sell roasted whole coffee beans and coffee-making equipment. Eventually, when Howard Schultz was hired to be the Director of Retail Operations, he came to the conclusion that Starbucks should be selling brewed coffee, not just beans and machines. The owners disagreed, so Schultz decided to begin his own coffee company named Giornale in 1986. Later on, Schultz bought Starbucks, renamed his two Giornale shops to Starbucks, and quickly expanded the company.

 

  1. The significance of a black apron is more than you think

A partner wearing a black apron essentially represents their status as a coffee master. Adequate baristas who have a passion for coffee receive a journal that is full of coffee education about coffee roasts, coffee blending, how coffee is processed, and much more. The journal is meant to increase their knowledge on coffee and steer them closer to become a coffee master. They are then tested with a number of questions about coffee and can be certified by both the store’s manager and district manager. Generally, the purpose behind a coffee master is to better the daily experience in sharing coffee with both customers and other partners.