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Are All Starbucks Stores the Same?

There’s a coffee shop in America that won’t show up on your phone’s GPS. It has all the familiar signage, talented baristas, tasty scones, and that vanilla latte that always gets you moving in the morning. But look at that receipt. It says, simply: “Store Number 1.” It may sound like any neighborhood Starbucks, but don’t ask questions here, and don’t ask for a customer’s name to write on a cup, because this is the world’s only “stealthy" Starbucks, located inside CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. And, no, there are no customer reward cards, for fear that undercover identities might be compromised.

Coffee on a need-to-know basis:

  • It's difficult to leave CIA headquarters for a quick coffee run, so the Starbucks gets plenty of business. Many of the thousands of CIA employees working there -- gathering sensitive intelligence, or plotting covert operations -- are “caffeine-addicted personality types,” as one officer calls them.

  • “Urban myth says the CIA Starbucks is the busiest in the world,” says intelligence expert Vince Houghton, adding that these are workers “who have to be alert and spend hours poring through documents. If they miss a word, people can die.”

  • To become a barista at Store Number 1, candidates go through rigorous interviews and background checks. Baristas must be escorted to and from their work area by agency “minders.”

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More Info: Reader's Digest

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