More than 25,000 tweets were sent using the #freestarbucks hashtag which Starbucks claims created 5.12 million Twitter impressions over the course of the day.

The coffee chain says that it gave away 2,000 lattes every minute between 8 and 9 am on Wednesday (14 March) and around 350,00 overall. It could not, however, share comparison figures for a normal morning.

The giveaway was also part of the coffee chain’s service initiative to use customers’ first names in a bid to make the retail experience more personal.

Ian Cranna, vice president of marketing and category for Starbucks UK and Ireland, says: “We have been overwhelmed by the fantastic response from our customers to our idea of baristas and customers getting to know each other on a first name basis, and to our new stronger, British latte.

“From our stores where queues formed an hour earlier than normal, to social media where hundreds of excited Starbucks customers posted photos of their latte with their name on it online, the campaign has been an unprecedented success. There was great online buzz and we were among Twitter’s top trending topics in the UK which just goes to show how much of a talking point our new latte has become.”

As part of the campaign, comedian Jimmy Carr spent the morning as a barista serving coffee at Starbucks’ Conduit Street store in London.