I love coffee. I generally have a cup every morning. I used to drink 6 cups a day, now it's just one. And I'm a fan of Starbucks, I even have a Starbucks coffee machine at home (a gift from my son and his wife).
I particularily enjoy my Starbucks coffee while I'm writing and one day, I was thinking, “this stuff can be addictive.” And while musing about their funny logo I wondered “what's the story behind this strange-looking creature?”
And since I love symbolism (The Coalition is full of symbolism, from the character names to the strange pendants they wear), I decided to check it out.
What I discovered will shock you!!
Everyone is familiar with the green and white Starbuck's logo. Even if you hate coffee, I'm willing to bet if you came across the logo on a disposable cup you'd know where it originated.
Where it all began.
Starbucks began in Seattle, Washington in 1971 and when they began looking for a logo, a brand to call their own, they looked to the sea because of their location. They orginally opened the doors of their single store in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market. The name Starbucks was inspired by Moby Dick's first mate Starbuck. So the logo needed to reflect all of that.
So what logo did they choose?
The mythological creature called a Siren. In Greek mythology the Siren was a beautiful, yet dangerous creature. They were mermaids who lured sailors with their enchanting music, sweet and sad lullaby's. Once the sailors were caught up in the Siren's magic they came to shore, were lulled to sleep then torn to pieces, if they made it to shore without first being shipwrecked.
Siren's were called 'the Muses of the lower world' and Walter Copland Perry (a noted British author and barrister-at-law) observed:
“Their song, though irresistibly sweet, was no less sad than sweet, and lapped both body and soul in fatal lethargy, the forerunner of death and corruption.”
What does any of this have to do with coffee?
Coffee, for many, is an addiction. And Starbuck's coffee, for many more, is… dare I say, euphoric? Hard to resist, at best.
The term 'siren song' appeals to a suggestion, no… a temptation that is hard to resist but, if given in to, will lead to a bad conclusion. The song is sung at midday, while the air is calm. And the end of the song is death.
The description of the sailors in the siren song is that of their flesh rotting away for no other reason than because the sailors refused to leave.
Hmmm. I think I will take a trip to Starbucks today. But I must be sure to kiss my loved ones good-bye because, as Greek mythology suggests, I won't be back…