What do the Starbucks apron colors mean? - Metro US

What do the Starbucks apron colors mean?

Credit: Starbucks 

Whenever you go inside a Starbucks, you quickly notice the wide selection of coffee drinks, pastries and other food items. In addition to the many food and drink options available, you may also notice different Starbucks apron colors that some baristas wear while serving beverages. Most of the time, you’ll see the standard Starbucks green apron, while there are other times that baristas will wear red, black or orange aprons.

Apparently, the different Starbucks aprons have meanings to them.

In a recent blog post, Starbucks explained the meanings of the different apron colors you might see baristas wearing.

Starbucks apron color meanings


Green is the basic apron color at Starbucks and is probably the most common color you’ll see baristas wearing. It’s what you get when you start working at the company.

According to Starbucks, employees can get special embroidered aprons with an American flag if they or their spouses have served in the military and they have graduated from the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. In Malaysia, aprons are embroidered with “Starbucks” in sign language for deaf employees.


If you see a Starbucks barista wearing a black apron, you know they take their beverage-making skills seriously.

In the early 1990s, Starbucks introduced black aprons as a way to designate employees who have exceptional coffee knowledge. If your barista is wearing a black apron, that means they have successfully finished Starbucks’ Coffee Master program. If you spot someone wearing a black apron, you know you could sit down and have a lengthy conversation about coffee beans and other caffeinated beverages, if that’s what you’re into.

Over time, Starbucks has expressed their diversity by experimenting with different uniform styles and apron colors to celebrate special days and events.  


Special orange aprons are used in the Netherlands to celebrate Kings Day.


During the Christmas holiday season, you might spot Starbucks staff members wearing red aprons to promote special holiday beverages and to get you in the holiday spirit.


Blue aprons are used during the launch of Frappuccino Happy Hour. Participating Starbucks offer special half-off deals on Frappuccino beverages between 3 and 6 p.m. If you spot a blue apron, you’re in luck.


If you ever see a Starbucks employee wearing a purple apron, you need to make sure you shake their hand and congratulate them. Treat them like royalty. According to the company, if an employee is wearing a purple apron, it means they have a passion for coffee-making and have participated in and won the EMEA Barista Championship.

“We have really embraced diversity while staying true to who we are,” said Michelle Dougherty, a Starbucks spokesperson in a press release. 

And there it is. The next time you walk into a Starbucks, you’ll be able to point out that one special barista who is very serious about their craft.


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