Is It Time For Starbucks To Get Rid Of Tall, Grande and Venti?

The topic of Starbucks’ drink sizes has once again been in the news lately. And it’s brought up the discussion of the coffee company’s insistence on sticking with size names like “tall,” “grande” and “venti.”

While many would say that the tall is actually a small, others would say that the “short” — not listed on the menu — is the true small size. But maybe the tall is really the small and the short is extra small or junior size?

If tall is medium, then what is grande? Is that large? And if so, does that make the venti extra large?

Would all this be solved by Starbucks just going with less interesting size names? What about a compromise that would involve Starbucks employees from not glaring at you when you order a “large coffee”?

Have your say in the poll:

Comments

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  1. Mighty914 says:

    D. I never go to Starbucks anyway.

  2. MonkeyMonk says:

    Oh noes . . . what’s everyone going to do once Starbucks officially rolls out their new extra-extra-large “Trenta” size?

  3. Trick says:

    I don’t care if Starbucks continues to use them, just don’t look at me like I am clueless and not one of your elite customers when I say medium or large coffee…

    • TheFinalBoomer says:

      I so agree. Reminds me of the time years ago going through a Burger King drive through. I asked for a combo mean and said “super Size it.” The guy at the mic says, “you mean King size it?” and then commences to go off on me for calling it super sized. I mean, isn’t what I mean obvious? Why be a dick about something when you know exactly what I’m talking about?

    • trentblase says:

      I don’t understand this sentiment. When you buy coffee at Starbucks, you are buying into an image/culture, and paying a high premium for it. Basically you are paying extra to live in Starbucks land, so why not play along and use the fanciful names? You know what they mean by now.

      When you go to mcdonalds do you ask for “two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun” and get pissy when they ask if you mean a big Mac?

      If you don’t want a “grande,” why not go to the corner diner and get a “cup o Joe” for a buck?

      *if you for some reason are actually unaware of their naming conventions, then I sympathize slightly, but let’s not pretend.

      • diasdiem says:

        No, when I buy coffee at Starbucks, I’m buying coffee. I am there for coffee. I’m not there to participate in their stupid corporate culture. Using Italian words and the ambiguous “tall” for beverage sizes instead of industry standards like “small, medium and large” doesn’t make you trendy or hip. It makes you pretentious and annoying.

        • trentblase says:

          Whether or not the price is competitive (see pecan pi above), you are paying a premium on your coffee. That premium is paying for the “stupid corporate culture,” all the marketing, the extra seating, the free wifi, etc. If you don’t care for all of those extras that you are paying for (I agree — it doesn’t appeal to me) then you are definitely overpaying.

          At least at the overpriced mom and pop shop, you are paying extra to buy into the feel-good “support your local business” vibe.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Honestly, I don’t care about local businesses if they’re going to stop being competitive. If the product isn’t any better but costs twice as much, i’d be an idiot to support the business.

            There’s a coffeeshop in my area that I love. The coffee is really, really good and is made as it’s ordered. At $6 a cup, it’s steep for a regular generic coffee, but I give them business when I can because the customer service is good and the product is superior. If you can’t give me either, I don’t care to support you, even if you’re a mom and pop business. I derive no warm fuzzies. It’s business.

        • Floobtronics says:

          Agreed. I refuse to speak Fritalian. I’ve gotten a couple of eye-rolls over the years from the more perky Sbux employees. I usually return the eye roll with something like, “sorry, I don’t speak Fritalian.” Usually this either confuses the heck out of the person, or they start to giggle.

          Obligatory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2y_GwKzxck

      • Dutchess says:

        Image and culture? You mean some bland corporate image and homogonized culture of a pseudo italian coffee bar?

        Yeah, I want to buy into that.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I’m not sure there’s a premium price at all. I was charged $6 for a cup of bland, generic latte at a mom and pop coffeehouse. $6! Starbucks may have a cultivated image, but it’s a mistake to think that locally owned businesses are humble and simple operations that won’t charge you like Starbucks. Often they charge more.

        • watch me boogie says:

          Indeed. There’s a local cafe nearby that charges more for a regular coffee than Starbucks. The quality is equivalent.

          Once you get used to the over-roasted taste, Starbucks isn’t bad. The prices are competitive (I don’t know about the frou-frou drinks as I don’t get them). Where I work, I go there because the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts, in a misguided attempt to mimic Starbucks’ taste, burns the crap out of their coffee. I’ll take over-roasted before burnt any day.

          • Powerlurker says:

            It’s not that Starbucks’ coffee is “over-roasted” per se, it’s that they basically use an espresso roast for their drip coffee.

      • scratchie says:

        I want to know what planet people live on where this is even an issue. I’ve never ordered anything but a “Small, medium or large” at any Starbucks and I’ve never experienced a moment’s confusion (or condescension) on the part of the barista when I’ve done so. It’s part of their cutesy image, people. Buy into it if you want. Don’t if you don’t. They’re perfectly happy to sell you coffee either way.

      • sufreak says:

        Kudos to your comment. Well said.

      • brandy says:

        “When you go to mcdonalds do you ask for ‘two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun’ and get pissy when they ask if you mean a big Mac?”
        That’s a pretty terrible comparison.

        • ill informed says:

          agreed. a better comparison would be if they renamed their fry sizes to sassy, silly, and super, for small, medium and large. and got pissy when you wouldn’t say you wanted a silly size fry.

      • ajlei says:

        I work at a Seattle’s Best Cafe, and the problem is reversed (sort of). Sometimes people will order a “tall”, and sometimes to them that means small. However, other times they mean large. Or someone will order a “grande” and for each person that means medium, there’s someone else who means large. So each time a customer comes in and says “I want a grande latte” or “tall latte”, I still have to clarify which size they ACTUALLY mean, which is never consistent.

      • Telekinesis123 says:

        Because being a douchebag and just wanting a good cup of coffee are two different things.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      I don’t care how they want to look at me. I’m going to say large either way — they don’t need to like it.

  4. Disappointed says:

    Maybe they should change their size names to “Larry”, ‘Moe”, and “Curly”…or “Harpo”, “Groucho”, and “Chico”…

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      or Manny Moe and Jack

    • Emerald4me says:

      My husband would like that!

    • MeowMaximus says:

      or they could do something sensible and just say how many ounces each one is…
      …Nahh!

      Ok, if we are going the sizes cute names how about McCoy (Dammnit Jim, I’m a Doctor, not a Small Coffee), Spock (the logical choice), and Kirk (KHOFFFFEEEEE!!!!)

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      If I ever had a coffee bar, I would name the sizes after the Marx brothers in a heartbeat.

    • nybiker says:

      Years ago (ok, only back in the 1990′s), the bank I worked for was getting some new DEC VAX (or maybe there were the Alpha’s, I don’t recall) systems. As we were going to have 3, I proposed naming them Larry, Moe, and Curly. My boss said No, we can’t have documentation that’s going to read ‘connect to the Larry node in order to access your production banking account’. We ended up with BANKER, LIVE, and DEVEL (as in test/dev). Real exciting.
      A lot of companies would use gemstones or planet names or Star Trek characters. But not us.

  5. Kazbar says:

    Starbucks could be smart about it. Now that people are trying to be fit they don’t like the word “LARGE”. This may be a simple way to deceive the mind to order a bigger size.

    • dwtomek says:

      Probably this, it’s a lot harder to imagine taking half your daily caloric intake from a venti, then it is a super large.

  6. Pinkbox says:

    Meh. I’ve never had a problem with it. I don’t really see the big deal.

    • JeffM says:

      Someone at Consumerist has some serious issues with it though- so we’ll continue to get posts and rants from commenter about how stupid and ridiculous their naming scheme is.

      You’d think people were forced to go here like the DMV or something…

      • Michaela says:

        Yeah.

        I never had a difficult time with Starbuck’s sizes. They list them tall, grande, and then venti, so even at freaking 11 years old I was able to look at the menu and know what size I wanted without having to ask any questions.

        I know I have a pretty high IQ, but seriously, I don’t think one is needed to look realize that small=tall, medium=grande, and large=venti. The people who do have to complain about this in line are just being dumb and delaying my coffee consumption (which is why I hate them).

    • Taylor@HiKarma.com says:

      x2 I could care less what they call their coffee. It’s their company–they should be able to name their own drink sizes.

  7. Dallas_shopper says:

    I rarely go to Starbucks so I don’t know the tall/grande/venti system. On the rare occasions that I do go, I ask for “whatever it is that you call a small.” Seems to work fine.

    • sleze69 says:

      Ditto that. I don’t drink coffee but when I have to go there for my wife, I order the same way. They glare at me down the ends of theirs noses but what do they expect. Starbucks is not an Italian restaurant…why should their sizes be in Italian (or is it French)?

    • backinpgh says:

      You just said tall, grande, venti. THAT’s the system. There is no more to the “system.” It’s really not all that rocket science-y.

  8. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    If they had stuck with one language for their sizes – be it english, spanish, or italian – I’m sure that this debate would never have existed in the first place. But the convoluted combination of all three makes it seem stupid. Add to that the fact they take drinks that already exist and rename them to seem like it’s special and different (cafe au lait for example) fuels the fire.

    • jessjj347 says:

      actually cafe au lait is French, not a special name. But it adds to your point using many languages.

      Actually, a coffee with milk would be called cafe americanno (sp?) elsewhere

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I think they call a cafe au lait a “misto” or something. That’s my point. Call it what everyone else calls it.

        And you’re referring to an Americano, which is not a cafe au lait, and also called an Americano everywhere else.

        • Jthon says:

          An espresso with milk is a cafe latte (in Italy), and Americano is an espresso mixed with water. It came about during WW2 when troops in Europe wanted something similar to American drip coffee, but in Europe most places served espresso.

          I’ve always thought the Americano is sort of a silly drink, I’d rather have drip coffee, or just an espresso rather than an espresso diluted by water.

          • syzygy says:

            I order an Americano when I want better flavor than standard drip, and also enough liquid to sip on for a half hour or so. Espresso, though my preferred delivery method, just doesn’t last very long.

          • parv says:

            Americano and (plain) espresso are far more drinkable than drip coffee as offered by Starbucks.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Coffee with milk is called “white coffee” in the UK. :-D

      • ill informed says:

        an americano does not have milk in it. try again.

  9. cameronl says:

    Pretentious names for pretentious customers.
    Given a choice, I buy my coffee elsewhere, where they don’t over-roast the coffee.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      No choice of coffee-chains in my town. Just Starbucks unless you count McDonalds. That’s it unless you want sit-down IHOP or Village Inn.

      • cameronl says:

        McD counts. Their coffee is better than ‘bucks (unless it’s full of maggots…)
        Hell, the gas stations around me have decent coffee suppliers these days. Better yet is finding a local coffee shop, never mind the chains.
        The upside of the growth of Starbucks is that many outlets have upgraded their coffee.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      One of my coworkers brews Starbucks coffee for his officemates. It’s not pretentious whether I get Starbucks from the shop or from a Mr. Coffee. I’ve been in far more pretentious places, like vegan mom and pop coffeeshops where they also have strange names for drinks and sizes and are blasting emo hipsters music.

    • grebby says:

      Looking down your nose at Starbucks customers? That’s not pretentious at all.

      • Telekinesis123 says:

        And I suppose according to your logic police officers are pretentious becuase they uphold laws. Supporting less pretentiousness is not pretentious – it’s trying to be less pretentious, saying otherwise is pretentious.

  10. jason in boston says:

    Whenever I go to starbucks and ask for a medium, I never get a second look. The names don’t really bother me.

  11. RayanneGraff says:

    Yes. They’re pretentious.

  12. teke367 says:

    Change it, Starbucks coffee isn’t good enough to warrant pretentious size names.

  13. edicius is an acquired taste says:

    I’ve never had a problem with it. And the baristas at my Starbucks never give anyone trouble for ordering small, medium or large either. Hell, the other day I witnessed a former barista from that store ordering a ‘large’ herself. I really don’t think this is the big deal everyone makes it out to be.

    Cosi does the same thing with their coffee drink sizes – tall, grande and gigante – yet there doesn’t seem to be any outrage over theirs.

  14. EricBetts says:

    I can fully understand the confusion, as illustrated by that youtube video, when Starbucks first came out with these sizes. But these days just about everyone knows Starbucks has funny names for their sizes, and probably shouldn’t go through a “Who’s on first” routine. Plus, am I the only one who notices that just about no coffee shops uses the concepts of “small, medium, large”? More often than not, when at a non-Starbucks coffee shop, the sizes are presented as 12oz, 16oz, or 20oz. And in my experiences, Starbucks cashiers will accept and order given uses the ounce system without batting an eye. The ounce system is also much more precise than SML when you consider that the “small” soda at a cinema is often 20+oz.

  15. mandy_Reeves says:

    My husband asked for a large the other day and they gave him this like gigantic cup like 24 oz or more. He asked why so large, and the cashier said “well if you say large we give the biggest size there is

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Hey, if they charged him at the “venti” price then I’m all for it.

      If not, I would go off on them for being jerks of a a staff and talk to the manager.

    • trentblase says:

      This is probably why those that give a look do so. How are they supposed to know which size a customer means by “large?”. Sure it may seem obvious to us, but I’ll bet every cashier has had an angry customer complain because their medium was too small.

    • Tongsy says:

      If your husband stuck to their naming conventions it wouldn’t have happened.
      it’s his own fault.

  16. SlyPhox says:

    I find it difficult not to crack a smile when i say Medium and they give me “the look” and repeat my order back in their stupid size names.

  17. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I had a similar confusing exchange at a fast-food counter where I asked for a small but they said they only sold mediums and large. No small.

  18. Buckus says:

    So..a small will be a “Grande” and a large will be a “Petit” while a medium will be a “Superior.” Makes sense to me…

  19. andyg8180 says:

    keep the names, thats just fine. But if i order in english (since we live in an english speaking country) then you should understand me.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      How do you order Mexican food? We live in an English speaking country but quesadilla and burrito are Spanish words. Good luck with your weird logic.

      • alaron says:

        Quesadilla and burrito have entered the English vernacular. “Grande” and “Venti” are not in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          What about uncommon Spanish dishes, uncommon French dishes, uncommon Korean dishes, and so forth? Mrs. Pecan is right about the commenter’s logic, but I agree that forcing adherence to the pseudo-Italian fantasy is ridiculous.

      • ChunkyBarf says:

        I agree with Pecan’s logic on the nouns, but the adjectives? I could understand ordering a ‘cafe au lait’ (French), but I would expect to demarcate their sizes with basic English (small, medium, large). When I order Mexican food I still say ‘hold the cheese’ as opposed to ‘no queso por favor’.

  20. giax says:

    I don’t give a damn what they want to call them. If one is venti, shouldn’t the others be dodici and sedici, or sedici and ventiquattro?

    And what was that venti for anyway? In Italy no one understands a size ‘twenty’ for coffee. With an accent you’d get twenty coffees.

    So, no dodicis, sedicis, ventis or other creative sizes for me. It’s small, medium, and large as long as I need to make my pick of three sizes. If they have a problem with me ordering a medium Americano, I can always make it to be a small coffee instead.

    • EricBetts says:

      You made a similar comment related to using Italian as a reply to my previous comment. I’d like to reiterate that ordering using ounce sizes, in the US where they are commonly understood, is an efficient and exact way to order at pretty much all coffee shops.

  21. HalOfBorg says:

    Wherever I go, I order Small Medium Large or King size. If they can’t handle that, I go someplace else.

    I’ve never gone someplace else – for that reason. I’ve said “Oh? Then goodbye.” once or twice, and been stopped with an “OK – large it is.”

    I never give the employees a hard time beyond that though.

  22. hoi-polloi says:

    While I don’t frequent Starbucks, there are other coffee houses that use silly names for sizes. I’ve never had an issue just asking for small, medium, or large.* The employees may have to toe the company line, but I certainly don’t. If an employee insisted on me calling something Venti, I’d call them a PITA and be done with it.

    * One exception would be the coffee shop in my neighborhood. They only sell small and large.

  23. ryan89 says:

    I think they should keep it since it is part of their brand recognition. The yuppies would stop going if they now had to order a Large Iced Quad Nonfat No Whip Latte instead of a Venti ~~~~ Latte.

    It appears those who go to SBUX say to keep the names and those that don’t would rather they change it even though it wouldn’t affect them at all.

  24. Savari says:

    Listen up kiddies…story time.
    The reason for the names is like this… When Starbucks first opened up, they had two sizes: short and tall. Makes sense right? Well, as their business grew, people wanted bigger and bigger sizes. So then they added Grande in order to keep their naming convention. That wasn’t big enough for some people, so later they added a Venti size (which means 20 in Italian…the Venti size is 20 oz.).
    Honestly, the names are just names….they aren’t horribly confusing, and any barista will be able to give you what you want if you order a small, medium, or large. I worked for the company for several years, and we always had customers that ordered with the more traditional sizes, and it was a non-issue for us. All we needed to know was what size cup you wanted your drink in; the vocabulary wasn’t important.

    • DavidCopperballs says:

      Well done. Nothing more to add, I just felt bad that the most sensible, least affected comment on here has no replies.

  25. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    The whole thing was just a prime example of the pomposity of such places. Get the $#%^ over yourselves – sell $#@%ing coffee. Don’t be an elitist douche about it.

  26. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Short – 8 oz.
    Tall – 12 oz.
    Grande – 16 oz.
    Venti – 20 oz.

    It’s simple if you think of it this way.

    • classic10 says:

      What is most surprising is that their small coffee doesn’t fit on my Jetta’s coup holder.

    • KittensRCute! says:

      agreed, its really NOT rocket science, i think someone like the won in video are still mentally six. they have yet to figure out that different words can mean the same thing or that the same word can mean different.

      for example:
      Employee: thats a kitten

      Stupid Lady: no its a cat

      Employee: well yes, but its also a kitten

      Stupid Lady: no its a cat

      Employee: that too

      Stupid Lady: no its a cat and only a cat

      Employee: we call them kittens here and sometimes baby cats too

      Stupid Lady: no its a cat

      Employee: yes but we call them cats too

      Stupid Lady: how can it be a cat, a kitten and a baby cat the same time. i mean what do you say when someone wants a smaller pet.

      Employee: thats a cat, and the smaller ones are hamsters..

      Stupid Lady: oh now that just doesnt make any sense.

  27. FilthyHarry says:

    They should change the names to: Pretentious, Arrogant and Ostentatious.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Or better yet…

      Small = Man, you got ripped off
      Medium = Seriously, have you no concept of the value of money?
      Large = Holy crap you are one pretentious douchebag!

  28. freshyill says:

    Screw them. I say Large and they say Venti back to me. I refuse to bow to corporate marketers and memorize to every damn coffee chain’s proprietary naming system.

  29. Endgame says:

    Come one already, They’ve been doing it for years. If you don’t like it go to DnD

  30. halfawakedad says:

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
    By any other name would smell as sweet”

    My chemistry background dictates that I request all drink sizes by the fluid ounces contained therein, as opposed to ambiguous and misleading names like “small,” “medium,” and “venti.”

    My biology background dictates that I carry a reusable Starbucks carafe, thus ordering my drink size by implication.

    My lack of caffeine while ordering dictates that I shove the carafe gruffly across the counter while hoping they fill it up and charge me correctly.

  31. tahamaki says:

    At a coffee shop my roommate used to work at, the drinks were sized “Small,” “Medium,” and “Truly Truly Truly Outrageous.”

    True story too.

  32. classic10 says:

    I never order by their italianish names. These names sound really dated now. Leave the naming gimmick on the 1990s.

  33. CajunGuy says:

    I’m of the “don’t care, but give me a large” crowd, but thankfully down here in good ol’ Louisiana, we have CC’s. That’s our local Community Coffee shops. Loves me some Community coffee. Way better than Starshmucks.

    OH, and for the locals, Mellow Joy tastes like butt. :)

  34. axiomatic says:

    These scale conventions can be used in everyday life. I have since discovered that my son is exactly 12 “Grande’s” tall and 17 “Venti’s” in weight.

    Yes Starbucks. Please kill the faux marketing measurements. Oh and fire the marketing department. They’re clearly 2 “Grande’s” shy of 3 “Venti’s.” (Does that even make sense? NO!)

  35. mllejanvier says:

    I just wish they would stop serving 20oz sizes. It’s disgusting. Nobody needs that much black coffee and/or that much milk every day.

    Most craft coffee houses gave up serving that size years ago and some have even stopped serving 16oz milk based drinks.

    In Portland, most cafes stick to the “8oz” “12oz” “16oz” sizing. One cafe in town offers a 20oz, but it’s listed on their menu as “BIG ASS.”

  36. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    I think the unique names for small, medium and large is part of Starbucks brand identity at this point. I don’t get coffee there on a regular basis anymore and I sometimes don’t recall the names. When I order, rather than fumble with the name, if I don’t remember right away, I’ll just ask for a medium coffee. The espresso-jockeys know what I mean. Sometimes, I remember and say “grande.” Not a big deal really.

  37. NumberSix says:

    It’s kind of part of their brand. I don’t see why they’d change it now.

  38. Cleo256 says:

    It’s not like small, medium, and large have any standard at fast food restaurants anyway.

    Better idea: Get all stores to sell drink by their size in ounces. I know I want the 16oz drink, don’t make me decode your menu and search for your example cups in order to get it.

  39. ginnel says:

    Their cup size names don’t bother me nearly as much as their prices.

  40. ZekeDMS says:

    I don’t like my coffee burnt, but I’d love if this sentiment extended to Coldstone Creamery. Or anywhere that feels the need to make up asinine names for their various sizes. I don’t want a “like it” or a “minimoo”, thanks, I’ll just take a small.

    Tiny, small, medium, large, huge. Those are all I need!

  41. angienessyo says:

    People can call the sizes whatever they want at my Starbucks. I however won’t let “iced cappuccino” and “frappe” go haha Frappe isn’t so bad since the name is similar to the frappuccino but god help me with the iced cappuccino. It’s extremely confusing because an iced cappuccino is nothing at all like Tim Horton’s iced cappuccino.

  42. meg99 says:

    The very first time I wnt to a starbucks—back in 1993–the terms confused me. Then I went in for a second time and figured it out.

    Show me one person who is sincerely baffled by the size names at Starbucks, instead of a person complaining about them because they think they are preppy.

  43. DavidCopperballs says:

    I’ve never had a problem ordering small/medium/large at Starbucks, so maybe I’ve just been lucky with the employees.

    And for those of you who say it’s pretentious to have their own names for drink sizes, do you feel the same way about King size (BK) or Biggie (formerly at Wendy’s)? Of course not.

    The vast majority of people who complain about the naming convention don’t like anything about Starbucks.

  44. A.Mercer says:

    Personally, I wish there were rules laying out what can be called a large and what can be called a small. I hate when I order a large and they hand me something that is more the size of a shot glass. A large at one store is a medium at another.

  45. BoilerBob says:

    Considering that most of the people that don’t like the names start the comments with “I never go there anyway”, what reason would Starbucks have to change? The only reason that companies should change their products is to get new customers. If you already have a strong opionion would window dressing change that? I think not. If Starbucks did change the names, we’d have the same group saying,”Can’t get me to drink that crap no matter what they call it”.

    Relax and switch to decaf if it bothers you that much.

  46. sumocat says:

    Yeah, because ordering a solo large soy no-whip mocha frapuccino is less confusing than ordering a solo venti soy no-whip mocha frapuccino.

  47. aaron8301 says:

    Welcome to the United States – you know, where Starbucks was founded. Here, we measure small amounts of liquids in fluid ounces. I’d even be so accommodating as to order a drink in (milli)liters, if Starbucks decided to use the metric system. But this isn’t Italy or Spain; ditch the elitist terms.

  48. Wolfie XIII says:

    Dear Pollster…. You forgot one option on the poll that is important, and without it creats a completely biased and meaningless poll.

    The option to vote for likeing the way the cup sizes are named, and thinking all this hurrah over them being non standard is silly BS.

    That is my personal vote, I like the fact they don’t play by the rules and do something differnt.

  49. sheldonmoon69 says:

    If you don’t like how they name the sizes – don’t go there.

  50. TTFK says:

    There is only one proper response to this subject, and that is to bring in the Church of Foamy to REALLY tell it like it is.

    Warning: NSFW Language

    http://www.illwillpress.com/coffeehouseYT.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXKh3_Vojjs

    A bonus from Pillz-E: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0xYk8uImBo

  51. sopmodm14 says:

    its not that difficult, if a patron is unsure of the size, they can just ask what size is (short, tall, grande, venti), then they show you the cup

    a mcdonalds medium is small than the bk, and larger than the wendy’s

    its all relative

  52. Carlee says:

    I don’t mind the naming convention. I like knowing “how” to order so then I don’t end up forgetting part of my order – I don’t have to worry about “is it caramel latte or latte with caramel?”. I know some people hate it and will say their drink however they want to – that’s fine, as far as I know, the baristas will still serve you.

    Tall is not small. Short is small. Tall is more like medium. At least they have the 12oz size. At the coffeehouse near my work, they only have small (8oz), grande (16oz) and extra large (not sure what this is).

    If people want to “simplify” the drink size names, they should just go with ounces. I’d like a 16oz nonfat caramel latte, please.

  53. Crass says:

    I used to work at a small bakery that served espresso drinks when I was 15-17 years old, and never drank or went to Starbucks. Customers all the time would come in and order a “Tall” and I would give them the 16oz cup, which is taller than the 12oz cup and they would get upset. After awhile I realized what was going on, but I honestly thought the customers were just flatout retarded.

  54. sagodjur says:

    It’s not difficult to remember their sizes. Here in the NW, Starbucks is so ubiquitous that independent shops usually don’t get pissed when you order using Starbucks sizes nomenclature.

    My pet peeve is when people (Starbucks employees and customers and the lady in that video) pronounce “venti” as “ventay.” It’s Italian. It ends in an “i.” That makes a long E sound. Grande ends in an E that makes an “ay” sound in Spanish.

    Of course Paul Rudd’s character in Role Models had the best version of the size nomenclature rant.

  55. SpoonyBard says:

    I go there for tea, and I ask for a large. I’ve never had a problem, or even a dirty look. They know what I mean. Wasn’t there even an article on Consumerist a while back about a Barrista who specifically hated his customers for the pretentious names, and prefered that they just ask for what they wanted?

  56. LordXar says:

    I go to Starbucks maybe twice a year. Here is how it goes each time
    ‘I need an ice tea. Black with sweetener’
    ‘Do you want to try our Chi Supersweet Relaxing Cloud Green Tea’
    ‘No’
    ‘What size?’
    ‘Whatever you call the middle one?’
    ‘Grande?’
    ‘Sure, if that’s what you call the middle one.’
    If the conversation stops here they get a tip.
    If I hear another ‘So you want Grande?’ then they don’t.

    • Luftvier says:

      You are a jerk.

      They are doing their job. It’s not the employees’ fault that they have to use the proprietary size language the employer thrusts upon them.

  57. CorvetteJoe says:

    If they took the names away, then people wouldn’t feel so privileged for forking over $5 for a coffee with whipped cream on it. Then they’d have to drink lowly McDonalds coffee! Oh the horrors!

  58. BytheSea says:

    It’s up there on the board, the thing you stare at when you’re waiting in line. I thin kthey’re stupid but is it really that hard?

    I ask for a small anyway. And then the kid corrects me and say “yeah, whatever.” He’s paid to speak in corporate, I just want my coffee.

  59. kittylauper says:

    I work at a non-starbucks coffee shop, and EVERY SINGLE TIME someone asks for a “tall” and I clarify that they want a small, they say “no, that’s a large” and glare at me…am I missing something? Are these people not aware of what they actually order at Starbucks?

  60. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    I think there’s room to give for both “sides” of this. Starbucks should train their employees to be more accepting of customers ordering with non-proprietary sizes.

    But as mildly silly as their system is, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal for customers to simply use their “Small/Tall/Grande/Venti” system, either.

    I also have to question anyone’s sense of proportionality when they make a big deal of this, regardless of which side of the coffee counter they’re on.

  61. Luftvier says:

    Gah. Short is small. Tall is medium. Grande is Large. Venti is extra large. Americans want too much latte at once. 20 oz of milk – blerch.

  62. h20girl says:

    They have been using those cup sizes since 1971 when they first opened. It gives them a unique twist that no one else uses. Their idea came from Italy when they first experienced espresso drinks so let them keep their ties to Italy. Every store has their little thing and that’s Starbucks’

  63. jenjenjen says:

    I have never EVER gotten “the look” for ordering a small (tall). Where are all the rude Starbuckses that you guys go to?