Food & Drink

The CIA Starbucks baristas are basically spies, too

We know very little about the dining habits of CIA operatives. Are their burritos stuffed with coded messages? Do they eat ramen with poison dart-throwing chopsticks? Are they also getting a Robert Irvine restaurant? We may never know the answers to those questions, but one thing's now clear: they're just as addicted to coffee as the rest of us.

A reporter from The Washington Post (who's probably on some list now) got the scoop on the Starbucks on the CIA's Langley campus, and it's just as secretive as you'd imagine. First off, no names. Not even obviously fake ones like Gandalf or Benedict Cumberbatch -- it makes the CIA customers uncomfortable, so the baristas did away with names altogether. Given these concerns, rewards cards are also a no-go, and baristas definitely can't snap selfies with Valerie Plame, since they have to leave their phones locked in their cars.

In fact, the nine baristas who work at the CIA Starbucks -- referred to by insiders as "Stealthy Starbucks" and "Starbucks Number 1" -- have to be escorted by official "minders" anytime they leave their work area. They're also frequently briefed on security risks, meaning they know the ingredients in a Pumpkin Spice Latte and where the nukes are. Lord help us if they ever turn to the commies.

Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist. If she were a CIA barista, she'd probably name all the agents Cody Banks. Follow her to the shattered pieces of Frankie Muniz's career at @kristin_hunt.