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Steve Jobs' 4,000-Latte Prank Order Lives On at San Francisco Starbucks

PikeplaceDuring the introduction of the first iPhone, in a moment that got one of the biggest laughs of his career, Steve Jobs made a prank phone call. In front of thousands of Apple fans at the Macworld Expo in 2007, Jobs called a local Starbucks outlet and ordered 4,000 lattes -- to go.

He quickly hung up, telling the barista who answered "No, just kidding. Wrong number. Goodbye!" Fast Company found the barista and interviewed her about her moment of fame -- only she didn't realize who she was talking to, nor why people have continued to call that store for the past six years asking for 4,000 lattes.
With help from Starbucks, Fast Company was able to track down Zhang, a soft-spoken barista who goes by "Hannah." Sincere and sweet, Hannah has been working at the same Starbucks for more than a half-decade. "Honestly, I was shocked," she recalls. "I have never heard somebody order 4,000 lattes to go. I didn't say anything because I was shocked. But my first impression was that he was just being humorous. He sounded like a gentleman."
The incident in question occurs roughly five minutes into this clip:


Hannah and her manager didn't know the reason for the recurring prank calls until Fast Company contacted them, but she says it makes more sense now. "Before, it was like, 'Who would order thousands of lattes?'" They figured out that with each latte taking around 44 seconds to prepare, Jobs would need to wait some 48-hours before picking up his 4,000 lattes.

It isn't the only prank call that Jobs made in his lifetime however -- when Jobs was in high school, he and Steve Wozniak famously tried to call the Pope, with Wozniak pretending to be Henry Kissinger.

Top Rated Comments

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20 months ago
One of the greatest Keynotes ever. Miss you Steve! This moment still makes me laugh. RIP.:apple:
Rating: 41 Votes
20 months ago
Erm... Great?
Rating: 17 Votes
20 months ago
Watching Steve do it during a live Keynote was funny, sure.

The fact that other people have continued to call to do the same is ... lame. You watched someone else make a prank call and you think it'd be funny to call the same store and do the exact same thing?
Rating: 16 Votes
20 months ago
Steve Jobs would never have done...oh wait.
Rating: 14 Votes
20 months ago
I can't believe people actually call up to prank them in the same manner. It does prove George Carlin's statement though, "Some people are really ****** stupid."
Rating: 11 Votes
20 months ago
This video is a great reminder of how innovative all this was... I remember myself watching this keynote and being blown away by what Steve was showing.

No one was even close to what was being shown here.
Rating: 11 Votes
20 months ago
Would be be really funny is hiding code into Starbucks Passbook that orders 4000 latte's automatically when it detects its not using Apple hardware


That would show those Samsung Engineers....
Rating: 9 Votes
20 months ago
Cute story - but something doesn't add up - is it just me?

"She first found out from customers making a pilgrimage to the location, and now feels a sense of pride that the Apple cofounder chose her store. "Customers would sometimes come up to me and go, 'Did you know somebody at your store actually talked to Steve Jobs?' I feel very happy and lucky that I had a chance to actually talk to him. It means a lot to me that he picked our Starbucks," explains Hannah, wearing her green Starbucks apron. "My friends were surprised and jealous, like, 'Wow, you got a chance to talk to Steve Jobs?"

and yet the article states, "Kimiko Barbour, the store's manager, realized the reason for the recurring prank calls only after Fast Company made inquiries for this story. "

Sounds like Fast Company is taking credit for something they didn't really play a part in, no?

Are we to believe that from 2007 until 2013, the prank calls (given what I quoted before) weren't attributed?
Rating: 8 Votes
20 months ago
Attempting to call the Pope made me laugh, especially as he was trying to be Kissinger
Rating: 8 Votes
20 months ago

Hannah has been working at the same Starbucks for more than a half-decade.


Working at SB for 5 years sounds a bit sad but working there for 'more and a half decade', sounds like an achievement.
Rating: 6 Votes

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