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Certain Starbucks baristas wear black aprons for very special reason

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

Certain Starbucks baristas wear black aprons for very special reason

If you're a regular visitor to Starbucks you might have noticed that staff are often seen wearing aprons in different colours, but you may not know the reason behind them. 

Starbucks staff have worn aprons since the very first branch opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971.

Most baristas who work for the coffee chain will be wearing a green apron, but there are also black, red and orange aprons and they all mean different things. 

A special Starbucks black apron. Credit: Heorshe / Alamy Stock Photo
A special Starbucks black apron. Credit: Heorshe / Alamy Stock Photo

The reason why certain Starbucks baristas wear the black aprons has long been a source of speculation on social media.

One coffee lover wrote on Twitter: "Hey any #starbucks people... whats a black apron about? Westfield @Starbucks make a big deal out of it?"

Another said: "I don’t even know if this connotes any real differentiation but I always feel like the black apron Starbucks employees have more authority than the green apron ones.... their power is unmatched."

According to its website, Starbucks first introduced the black aprons back in the early 1990s.

A Starbucks worker in a red apron. Credit: Heorshe / Alamy Stock Photo
A Starbucks worker in a red apron. Credit: Heorshe / Alamy Stock Photo

The special aprons are used to signify that someone has completed their Coffee Masters education. 

Starbucks Coffee Masters programme involves - as the name suggests - learning everything about coffee, from its history through to how it's roasted and prepared into the beverages we knock back today. 

Once all the coursework and exams are finished and the programme is complete, Starbucks employees can proudly wear their new black apron. 

Speaking in 2015, David Carter, who manages Starbucks Coffee Master programme, said: “Starbucks customers and partners seek out Coffee Masters for their expertise, whether it’s finding a new favourite beverage or pairing suggestion, or learning how to brew coffee at home.”

But the black apron isn't the only exception from the standard green.

There are a number of other special aprons. Credit: Starbucks
There are a number of other special aprons. Credit: Starbucks

Starbucks staff may also wear a red apron - these were introduced for the festive period, alongside the Starbucks red cups. 

There’s also a super rare purple apron, given to barista champions and pale blue ones that were introduced for the launch of Frappuccino Happy Hour.

Other countries have their own different coloured aprons, for example Starbucks staff in the Netherlands can don an orange apron for King’s Day. 

Last year, a Starbucks employee shared a huge order that she claimed made staff want to quit

The video was posted by barista, @sarai.camp0s with the caption:"Oh, just a regular day working at Starbucks."

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According to the drink stickers, the order was an Uber Eats delivery from a Starbucks in Hayward, California.

Eighteen of the 22 drinks were small 'strawberry acai lemonades' and were possibly purchased for a kids party due to the amount.

The Starbucks worker then went on to say: "We used three big bags and two regular ones to hold all the drinks."

At the end of the clip, the woman joked: "Katie [who placed the order], you made us all quit!"

Featured Image Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Instagram/Starbucks

Topics: Starbucks, Food And Drink

Claire Reid
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