There Are No Names On The Cups At The CIA’s Starbucks Because It’s The CIA’s Starbucks

When someone mentions that fact that there’s a Starbucks inside the CIA’s Langley, VA compound, visions of sneaky, super secret latte operations dance through your head, right? Put on your best dark sunglasses and pop the collar on that trench coat because the place does seem to be exactly like the stuff of our spy dreams.

For example — putting customers’ names on their cups so baristas can call out when drinks are ready? Not gonna happen at the CIA Starbucks, explains the Washington Post. Because it’s the CIA.

“They could use the alias ‘Polly-O string cheese’ for all I care,” said a food services supervisor at the CIA. “But giving any name at all was making people — you know, the undercover agents — feel very uncomfortable. It just didn’t work for this location.”

They call it the “Stealthy Starbucks,” where receipts read “Store Number 1” and the baristas have to be escorted out of the work area by CIA “minders.”

Customer rewards cards? Nope — that data could get into the wrong hands and bring down a secret agent’s cover. It’s kind of too bad, considering the gallons of coffee all those CIA employees go through.

“Obviously,” one officer told the WP, “we are caffeine-addicted personality types. ”

And yes, super secret spy things apparently go down among the cozy armchairs and poster prints on the wall — one officer said the chief of the team that helped find Osama Bin Laden recruiting an important member of his team while at the Starbucks.

But don’t try to get any more information out of the baristas who work there — this job comes with serious background checks and a mandate to keep those lips zipped.

“The most I can say to friends is that I work in a federal building,” one worker says, adding that she’s come to recognize customers by their orders, and that’s all she knows.

“But I have no idea what they do,” she explains. “I just know they need coffee, a lot of it.”

At CIA Starbucks, even the baristas are covert [Washington Post]

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