On this ‘National Coffee Day’ we thought we would bring you the story of what is undoubtedly the country’s most top secret coffee shop-- where even the baristas are subject to background checks and arduous interviews just to brew a cup of joe.
One of the busiest Starbucks in the United States lies within the confines of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, VA. The building is so secure that the thousands of agents who work in it rarely leave for a coffee break in the middle of the day—turning the CIA Starbucks into a crowded mecca with lines stretching out the door and down the hallways.
This top-secret Starbucks, “Store Number 1” as the receipts cryptically read, doesn’t write the names of its customers on cups—privacy reasons of course. Baristas are frequently briefed on security risks and are not allowed to tell friends and family where they work—just that it is inside a federal building.
Despite the fact that these undercover agents don’t get to laugh at how the baristas spell their name or even use a frequent customer card, the staff does what they can to make their customers feel like they are waiting in line at any other shop. The store looks just like your neighborhood Starbucks with posters of coffee beans lining the walls and bakery items in the display cases.
The customers joke they need the coffee more than most—they have to be awake and alert at all times and often in offices and cubicles without windows. The sugary Frappuccinos and lattes at the ‘Stealthy Starbucks’ keep the CIA running—literally!
Happy National Coffee Day--