The six types of people you meet at Starbucks at 5 a.m.

and | Senior Editors

In the wee hours of the morning when most of us are sleeping, there’s a magical place that we forget even exists: Starbucks at five in the morning. You’re probably thinking, “I have been to a Starbucks before, but it has not ever been at five in the morning.” That’s great! We have! And it has had an impact on us! Here are the six people you meet in the morning at Starbucks:


The first person you meet here is Murray. Murray is a 70-year-old man who wears in between two and seven winter scarves, with a leather jacket. He is focused on staying warm but also staying hip. It is unclear when he arrived; even though Starbucks opened at 5 a.m., it seems as though he has spent an eternity on the armchair near the window, squinting at a New York Times issue from two days ago, and swilling a tall, lukewarm Pike Place. Murray is so content that it’s scary. Good for Murray.


Leena the Barista. Leena the Definitely-Not-Sleeping-Right-Now Barista. That’s her nickname! And also her job title. She left her house at an ungodly hour to prep the store for its 5 a.m. opening. Can you really blame her for dropping down on the floor behind the register and taking a quick power nap? You shouldn’t, but Murray certainly does. Every time he sees Leena snoozing, he loudly coughs while rapping his knuckles against the nearest table. He just really loves protecting capitalism. Leena doesn’t really drink coffee, which explains a lot.


A lot of words describe Harold, but the only ones that fully capture his essence are “straight up curmudgeon.” He is similar to Murray in that he’s also a 70-something-year-old man, but he’s different in that his go-to order is a caramel Frappucino. Harold comes to Starbucks every morning because he cannot start his day without a grande Frap. He always looks upset when he’s drinking them, but he’s not—that’s just how his face looks. But if you make fun of him for looking mad while drinking a Frappucino, he will actually get mad.


Matt is the kid in your class that looks like he wakes up at 3 a.m. to do homework (because he does). Matt isn’t quite sure where he is right now. He read somewhere that the most productive time of the day is the early morning, so in an effort to reinvent the wheel, he went to bed at 11 p.m. and woke up a few hours later. You see him at his table, staring bleary-eyed out the window with coffee in hand. Caffeine won’t help. Matt has a six-page essay due at 10 a.m. today and he hasn’t started yet. This is Matt’s purgatory. Images of red and green squiggly lines on an imperfect Microsoft Word document spin through his head like a carousel. Once Matt closes his laptop, there is no going back. The stack of books on his left looks awfully uncomfortable. Despite the fact that he just chugged a Grande Americano, he has already pulled a Leena. He’s slumped over his table, fast asleep.

Jill and Albert:

Jill and Albert are happily married. They cherish this early morning coffee as the only quiet moment in their lives. Jill and Albert have slept six hours in the past three days. Why? Because they have four young children. Parenting is hard work, but it’s so rewarding. Thanks for asking! But between cartoons at full volume, tantrums, pissing the bed, picky eating and frequent visits to mommy and daddy’s room, they’re a little burnt out, you know? So, in the early morning, while the air is still and the world is quiet, Jill and Albert like to sneak out of the house and grab coffee. They don’t talk to each other. Instead they sip quietly, contemplating the joys of parenthood.

Maybe if you stop by Starbucks at 5 a.m., you too can become a Starbucks morning personality.

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