Starbucks is the world’s top coffee retailer with over 19,500 stores in 58 countries. Canada ranks second to the US in the number of stores (over 12,800 in the United States compared to over 1,245 locations in Canada). Japan, Great Britain, China and South Korea round out the top 6, all under 1000 locations. But you cannot really trust these numbers because Starbucks are opening nearly 5 new stores everyday. Starbucks recently held a contest for Canadians to help name their new Starbucks Blonde Roast coffees, which are best described as their lighter roast with a subtle, mellow, lighter-bodied, full of flavor, and delicious. I liken it to a roast which gently awakens the senses – the more you enjoy your cup, the more flavour you detect.When they first launched the Starbucks Blonde Roast, I immediately picked up the VIA instant packets and was shocked by the lack of flavour from the first sip. Used to strong coffee I had added way too much cream and sugar and it drowned out the mellow flavour of this mild roast and once I learned to be gentle with this Blonde, I began to notice the subtle flavours and it has become my go to roast.
So of course I wanted to enter the contest to create the name for the Blonde Roast and in doing so, I found some interesting facts about Starbucks I felt compelled to share.
So, here are the 13 Most Interesting Facts About Starbucks, then the details about the contest …
13. Starbucks currently employs over 137,000 employees, which may not seem like a lot, however this is twice the population of Greenland.
11. There are currently over 87,000 drink possibilities – a free drink to anyone who can name all 87,000.
10. There is a size called the “Trenta” which is 30oz / 916 ml or slightly bigger than the capacity of your stomach which on average has a capacity of 900 ml.
9. A Starbucks grande coffee has 320 mg of caffeine which surprisingly contains over four times more caffeine than found in a Red Bull energy drink.
8. The Starbucks cinnamon chip scone has more calories than a McDonald’s quarter pounder with 480 calories.
7. Starbucks uses 2.3 billion paper cups per year.
6. They currently serve 40 million customers a week.
5. The owners almost went with the name Pequod, the name of the boat in Moby Dick, instead of the character Starbucks’ name
4. After tasting the Clover at a small café in New York and claiming it the best cup of brewed coffee he has ever tasted, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided to buy the company that made Clover in 2008 and began introducing the dream machine at select stores around the country
3. Most Starbucks stores have been equipped Swiss-made Mastrena, which was created to make “the highest-quality, consistent shot of espresso”. The machine also allows baristas to interact with customers due to it’s size and shape.
2. My first choices for the new name were “Mellow Yellow”, “Platinum Blonde” named after the great Canadian band, “Ambition”, “Natural Blonde” and the “Have More Fun” Roast. These have all been entered in the contest.
1. The first Starbucks location to open in Canada was at the Seabus Skytrain Station in Vancouver on March 1, 1987. This humble store was Starbucks Coffee’s first international location. My last suggestion was to honour that location with the “Seabus Light Roast Blend.”
On February 20th, Starbucks Canada will announce the 3 finalists and open up the voting. What was your name for the Blonde Roast?