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Secret meanings of Starbucks’ green, black and purple aprons revealed

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Get ready to learn a latte. Each color of the Starbucks apron has its own significant meaning.
Get ready to learn a latte. Each Starbucks apron color has its own significance. Starbucks

Get ready to learn a latte.

Hardcore coffee guzzlers will be shocked to find that the various colors of aprons worn by Starbucks staffers each carry a secret meaning.  

Whether a coffee slinger’s donning the brand’s — worth an estimated $99.95 billion — signature green garment, or a black, red, orange or purple apron, every hue boasts its own specific significance. 

A trending TikTok tell-all amassed more than 345,900 views as “random information” pundit @SherifeSahly broke down the different designations of each color. And the findings in the clip were backed by an article detailing the little-known facts about the company’s vibrant barista gear shared on the Starbucks site

Each color of Starbucks apron has its own significant meaning. While the brand's signature green is worn by most employees, the black apron is given to baristas who've been deemed
Each Starbucks apron color has its own significance. While the brand’s signature green is worn by most employees, the black apron is given to baristas who’ve been deemed “Coffee Masters.”
ullstein bild via Getty Images

Here’s the colorful tea on the coffee shop’s aprons. 

Green apron

The green apron is the standard coverup all employees are given to wear at the dawn of their Starbucks career. In 1987, the imprint first rolled out its green smocks to staffers in its then-17 locations, which were designed to resemble Italian coffeehouses.

Black

In 1990, Starbucks introduced the black apron, providing the noir stain deflector to seasoned team members who earned the coveted “Coffee Master” designation. Sporting this hue meant that the employee had been selected for a Starbucks-centric program, which equipped them with the skills to answer all coffee-related queries on taste, roast, acidity and body profiles, as well as growing methods, varietals, food pairings, how temperature affects taste and more. 

Red

Although the red smock only makes an appearance a few times of year, it’s a celebration of the brand’s holiday spirit. Making its debut in 1997, the crimson apron is often worn by Starbucks pros hawking seasonal Christmas blends or merchandise. 

Orange 

Unlike its red counterpart, which is sported for several months during the latter half of the year, the ultra-rare orange apron only comes out in Netherlands. The color is specifically worn in celebration of the nation’s King’s Day. 

Pale blue 

Only the who’s hue of Starbucks know that the almost-never-seen pale blue smock exists for baristas. The color was donned during “Frappuccino Happy Hour,” when customers in the US and Canada were invited to enjoy Frap blends at half-price between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. However, the company suspended the daily sale in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

Purple 

The most rarified of all Starbucks’ apron colors is, indeed, purple. Staffers wearing this regal shade have been nobly dubbed “Barista Champions,” and only 26 employees are granted the honor each year.  

The Flag

Starbucks brewers wearing an American flag-embroidered apron have either served in the military or are married to a member of the armed forces.

Embroidered 

Aprons with special embroidery indicate that an employee is a graduate of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

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