Greener BeeGreen HolidaysHere’s why Starbucks baristas wear green aprons


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The INSIDER Summary:

  • Starbucks baristas are known for
    their signature green aprons.
  • It turns out that the global chain has a reason for
    using this color in their uniforms: the green apron is inspired
    by European coffeehouses.
  • Some Starbucks locations use different color uniforms
    for holidays and other occasions.

Starbucks may be a monster megachain these days, but we have to
wonder if the brand would have been so iconic if it had ended up
with the


that was briefly floated around, or if they didn’t
have the branding they’ve come to be known for, like
those instantly recognizable green aprons that have even

 worn by
the likes of Lady Gaga

, for instance. As it turns out,
there’s actually a very specific reason for the
baristas’ eye-catching uniforms, and according to

themselves, it’s all about that snazzy European

Starbucks apron

Photo/Ted S. Warren

Originally, when the Seattle roaster opened its doors back in
1971 in Pike Place Market, the uniform consisted of little more
than cutoffs, flip-flops, and a brown grocer’s apron.

Starbucks Barista

Wermuth / Reuters

But in 1987, when the brand was inspired by Italian coffeehouses
to begin serving its now-famous handcrafted coffee and espresso
beverages, baristas swapped their old-school cover-ups for
the bright green version we see today, along with crisp white
shirts and black bow-ties. It was also the era of the jazzy tunes
piped into every Starbucks location to enhance the Euro
coffeehouse vibe.

Though they’ve since lost the shirts and bowties, opting for a
more lax “coffee house genre” that began in 1992, the bright
green logo aprons remained, and other colors, including
black, blue, purple (reserved only for the most skilled of
baristas), orange, and red, were introduced to distinguish
“partners certified in coffee knowledge” (fancy!) as well as for
special occasions or events, such as Christmas, or in the
Netherlands, King’s Day.

“We really have embraced diversity while staying true to who we
are,” said Starbucks retail operations employee Michelle

While we’re open to the full rainbow of Starbucks aprons, we
definitely appreciate the now-familiar vibe of those classic
green aprons that much more knowing their colored
history. Viva verde!

How would you feel if Starbucks every changed their green
aprons to a totally different color? Let us know



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