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.

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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn
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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.

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Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

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