The Captivating Story of the Starbucks Siren

She’s more than just a mythical creature. That enigmatic green figure gazing into your soul while you savor your latte is the emblematic face of Starbucks®. But who exactly is she? According to Steve Murray, a creative director in the Starbucks Global Creative Studio, “It’s the siren. She is not a real person, but we kind of think of her as one. She’s the biggest symbol of our brand, really, other than our partners (employees). She’s the face of it.”

The Starbucks siren is no ordinary mermaid; she’s a legendary creature. Unlike a traditional mermaid with a solitary fishtail, the siren is often depicted with two tails. One might think it an unconventional choice for a coffee company’s logo. Yet, the story behind her creation is fascinating. In 1971, when the founders were searching for a name inspired by Moby Dick, they stumbled upon an extraordinary, maritime character. It was a siren, a figure that irresistibly called out to them, just as sirens do. Steve explains, “They really loved the look of it and it kind of tied into what they felt Starbucks stood for. So we took inspiration from that and created the logo from there. And she became the siren.”

Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks, is a port city with a strong connection to the water. This coastal influence is reflected in the siren’s association with the seafaring world. Additionally, coffee, a staple of Starbucks, often completes long voyages across the water. Even today, it arrives in big container ships at the port. These two connections further solidify the siren’s significance to the brand.

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Throughout the years, the siren has undergone a few makeovers. Steve remarks, “We got to see a lot of her” in the early days. In 1987, when handcrafted espresso drinks were added to the menu, the logo transitioned from brown to green. Along with the color change, the siren acquired a more modern appearance. In 1992, when Starbucks became a publicly traded company, the logo underwent further tweaking, zooming in on the siren. However, it was in 2011 that the most significant change took place.

“We really refreshed the logo and took the words Starbucks Coffee off of it. We went back in and did…we call a little bit of work on her. Gave her a little bit of more modern hair, did a little face work on her and just cleaned her up a little bit,” reveals Steve. Despite these alterations, she remains undeniably recognizable—still the siren. But what does she truly represent to Starbucks?

When you see the siren on your cup, it symbolizes the exceptional experience you will have with Starbucks coffee. As Steve expresses, “If the siren is on that cup of coffee, it’s going to be awesome.” However, the siren becomes much more than just a representation of coffee. She embodies Starbucks’ values and philosophy. “It’s definitely about coffee, but it’s about a lot more than coffee. It’s about…being good to people, being good to the world,” says Steve. Starbucks’ commitment to sourcing coffee ethically, supporting farmers, providing excellent service to customers, and treating its partners well all underline their dedication to being responsible global citizens.

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So there you have it—the wavy green siren on your cup is much more than a mere logo. She symbolizes the essence of Starbucks, a brand that goes beyond exceptional coffee to make a positive impact on the world.

Anniversary Blend

Starbucks Anniversary Blend

FLAVOR NOTES: Complex, hearty, and full-bodied with distinctive cedary spice notes

In 1996, Starbucks created the Starbucks® Anniversary Blend, originally to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Each year, the siren takes center stage on the bag, reveling in the attention. Steve explains, “Anniversary Blend celebrates the siren because it celebrates Starbucks and what we’re all about.” Inspired by their partners and customers’ passion for bold and delectable coffee, Starbucks crafted this spicy and earthy blend, a testament to their pride and devotion. As they commemorate their 45th anniversary this year, they are excited to share this exceptional coffee once again. The Anniversary Blend is available for a limited time online and at participating stores.

Next time you take a sip from your Starbucks cup adorned with the siren, remember that she represents not only outstanding coffee but also the values Starbucks stands for—a commitment to people, the planet, and making a difference. Cheers to the captivating story of the Starbucks siren!

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