In this caffeine-driven era, it’s no surprise that Starbucks reigns supreme. It’s popular Pumpkin Spice Latte — which has an interesting history of its own — is back again for fall at the world’s No. 1 coffee chain. Check out these 16 fun facts you didn’t know about your favorite coffee joint while standing in line for your latte — and using the free Wi-Fi.
THE FIRST LOGO WAS A TOPLESS WOMAN
The original logo features a twin-tailed topless mermaid known as a siren. Obviously the logo has evolved over the years and her hair has become more strategically placed making the logo much more PG-rated.
THERE IS A SECRET DRINK SIZE
It’s called the Short and is an 8-ounce drink size that isn’t advertised on the menu — though it was one of only two sizes available in the early days of Starbucks (along with a 12-ounce pour). It’s mostly used for kid-sized hot chocolates, but adults can order it too when they don't want a full dose of caffeine — or if they’re looking for a better cappuccino.
THE DRINK LINGO HAS NO MEANING
There is no rhyme or reason as to why a Starbucks small drink is called a Tall, or a medium is a Grande, or that a large is a Venti. The creators fully admit to just making the names up.
THERE IS A SECRET DRINK MENU
In addition to a secret drink size, there is a secret drink menu. There is even a website dedicated solely to sharing these 200 plus, fancy concoctions. The secret is knowing how to order the secret drinks — you’ve got to know the exact ingredients when ordering. Hot Butterbeer latte, anyone?
STARBUCKS HAD A RECORD LABEL
In 1999, Starbucks bought the record label Hear Music and signed artists such as Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Alanis Morissette, Carly Simon, and Sonic Youth. The record label eventually folded in 2008.
KENNY G. CREATED THE FRAPPUCCINO
Well, kind of. As an early investor in Starbucks, Kenny G strongly recommended the creation of a sweet, milkshake type drink to founder Howard Schultz. The company admits that he played a large role in shaping what is now known as the Frappuccino.
THERE’S A ‘MOST EXPENSIVE DRINK’ CHALLENGE
There is a Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Challenge that has been around for years thanks to social media. And while Starbucks itself frowns upon it and has rules about how big a drink can be made — the challenge persists. The current title holder is a 240-ounce Super Venti Flat White that rang in at $148.99.
A STANFORD BASKETBALL PLAYER CREATED THE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
Peter Dukes, a former Stanford basketball player who studied economics and received his MBA, was tasked with developing a new fall drink. In 2003, the Pumpkin Spice Latte was born and the recipe has remained unchanged ever since. Dukes is credited with inventing it.
PUMPKIN SPICE IS AVAILABLE EARLIER EVERY YEAR
Aug. 28, 2018 is theearliest date the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Frappuccino have ever been made available. In previous years, it has only been available in early September, and opened to select groups earlier. This year it was rolled out Aug. 28 to the general public, promptly calling an end to summer.
PUMPKIN SPICE IS A HOT SELLER ...
There’s a reason the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Frappuccino get released earlier and earlier every year. They are by far the best seasonal sellers Starbucks has. As of 2015, the company had sold over 200 million Pumpkin Spice lattes over 11 years generating over $80 million in revenue a year from just that one drink.
… AND A SOCIAL MEDIA SENSATION
With its ever-growing popularity, the PSL as it has been lovingly dubbed, gets tweeted about using the hashtag #PSL, over 3,000 times a day by loyal fans.
YOU CAN GET FREE GROUNDS FOR YOUR GARDEN
In an effort to recycle more and reduce waste, Starbucks started a program in 1995 called Grounds for Your Garden. Baristas scoop used coffee grounds into empty bags from their espresso beans. Bags of grounds are available for free at many Starbucks locations to use for your compost bin or garden.
IT ALL BEGAN WITH ROASTED WHOLE COFFEE BEANS
Back in 1971 when Starbucks was first created, they only sold whole roasted coffee beans. In 1987, employee Howard Schultz bought the company, and the company it is today began to take shape.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF STORES WORLDWIDE
As of the end of the 2017 fiscal year, there were 27,339 Starbucks stores. Over half of those stores are located in the United States.
THE NUMBER OF STORES CAN VARY DRAMATICALLY BY STATE
As of the fall of 2017, California had the most Starbucks stores ringing in at 2,821 stores, while Vermont had the smallest number of stores at only eight.