Philly food and drink scene

You can order a ‘WAP’ at this Philly Starbucks

Move over PSL, there’s a new coffee drink in town.

starbucks-wapsign-01crop
Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
danyahenninger-headshot-2021sept

💌 Love Philly? Sign up for the free Billy Penn email newsletter to get everything you need to know about Philadelphia, every day.


Looking for a pick-me-up in Center City Philadelphia? Stop into Starbucks and get yourself a WAP.

That’d be a white chocolate, almond milk, pumpkin spice latte. The signboard outside the cafe near 10th and Market uses the acronym to catch the eye of people walking by.

It’s unclear who designed the graphic — no one working during a recent visit could identify exactly which employee was responsible — but it was a smart move. As popular as the seasonal pumpkin spice lattes are, WAP definitely beats PSL for attention right now.

For a week in mid-August after Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion put out their chart-topping duo, WAP was trending even higher than Starbucks overall, per Google Trends.

The woman power anthem dropped Aug. 6, and took the world by storm (the original YouTube video has 170 million views and counting). It sparked commentary and accolades and TikTok memes, as well as some small-minded criticism that took issue with its unabashed sexuality, a double-standard considering men put out songs with raunchier lyrics all the time.

Riding the wave, different takes on what “WAP” could stand for have popped up all over the place. It was already used for eight different phrases, per Wikipedia, from an astrophysics principle to an international animal charity.

Cardi herself endorsed a version that promotes coronavirus safety: “Wear…A mask…Please.”

Starbucks signboards have long been a place for baristas to get creative. Inquiries to the global chain’s corporate office about whether staff have to follow guidelines when drawing the promos went unanswered. The company did recently relent and allow employees to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement with t-shirts or pins.

If you want to order the Starbucks WAP, you can do it at the Market East Philly shop — or any store that’s got PSL on the menu and has almond milk in stock. A grande will run you about $7.

starbucks-wapsign-02
Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

Want some more? Explore other Philly food and drink scene stories.

Mornings in the know

Sign up for Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter for a daily roundup of Philadelphia’s most pressing news, top interesting stories, fun tidbits, and relevant events.

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn article!

We don’t have a paywall, and never will. Instead, we depend on readers like you to keep our newsroom jamming on stories about Philadelphia. If you like what you see, will you support our work?

Thanks for reading a Billy Penn story

We don’t have a paywall, and our daily newsletter is free. Instead, YOU are key to keeping our nonprofit newsroom running strong. If you like what you see, will you join as a member today?

This story was powered by readers

Readers like you make articles like this possible, so thanks for your support. Want to make sure we stick around? Become a sustainer with a recurring contribution!

Tell a friend about Billy Penn

Thanks for reading another article — and we’re grateful for your support! Want to help a friend start their day with Billy Penn? Send them to our newsletter signup page.