Have you ever stopped and wondered what the different colored aprons at Starbucks meant? Well, according to a new post on the Starbucks website, each color signifies something different.
The green apron is an iconic Starbucks symbol, just like the company’s nautical logo and those green straws used in every iced drink. Its origins date back to 1987, when the Seattle chain first introduced a fancier line of handcrafted coffees and espressos.
If you look closely, you’ll see that some baristas have patches on their aprons. An American flag signifies that your coffee maker is veteran or military spouse. A mortarboard means an employee has graduated from Starbucks’ College Achievement Plan. At one store in Malaysia, deaf workers get their own aprons with Starbucks embroidered in braille. How cool is that?
But let’s answer the question that brought you all here: What’s so great about a black apron? In the ’90s, Starbucks introduced black aprons for people who were “certified in coffee knowledge.” Today, that essentially means they’ve completed the company’s Coffee Master program. So if the barista making your triple shot latte (gotta get that caffeine, am I right?) is wearing a black apron, you can be sure you’re going to get one expertly crafted drink.
“We have really embraced diversity while staying true to who we are,” said Michelle Dougherty, a former Starbucks barista who now works for the company’s retail operations branch.
Today, you can find almost any color of the rainbow represented on an apron. In 1997, the company introduced their red aprons, which were to be worn during red cup season, aka the holidays, by employees who were tasting the Christmas blend or restocking the merchandise. There are also purple aprons for barista champions (that’s seriously a thing!) and orange aprons for Dutch employees to celebrate Koningsdag, or King’s Day.
So the next time you visit a Starbucks — here or abroad — be sure to check the color of the barista’s apron.
Want to save a few bucks? Here’s how to make cold brew at home.