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