Starbucks Sizes

Starbucks Customer Relations
PO Box 3717
Seattle, WA 98124-3717

Dear Starbucks,

You guys make good coffee. You charge too much for it, but I could accept that as a premium price for a really good cup of coffee. There is one thing, however, that I can’t understand and can’t accept.

What’s the deal with the ridiculous beverage sizes?

I was just beginning to accept that some retailers had adopted the Regular, Large and Extra-Large sizing formula rather than the more logical and accurate Small, Medium and Large model.

I thought Grande, Italian for Large, made sense until I realised that this was actually the Medium of your three sizes. Venti, Italian for twenty, makes sense assuming it’s a 20 ounce cup, although I still don’t see how this is any better than Large. These weird size names are unnecessary, confusing and not logically consistent. But the one that really drives me nuts is Tall.

Referring to a small beverage as tall, takes beverage size deception to new heights. I checked my dictionary to see if any definition of Tall would provide an excuse for using this particular adjective to describe the smallest of three sizes. Nope. I did finally find an answer in my thesaurus “…as in tall tale: absurd, difficult, embellished, exorbitant, far-fetched, implausible, outlandish, overblown, preposterous, steep, unbelievable, unreasonable.” Bingo.

Maybe you’re trying to confuse your customers, or deceive them, or drive them crazy, I don’t know. But I do know this: it only took one smarmy comment from the kid behind the counter when I ordered a Medium to drive me from your store for good.

Most retailers still use the time-tested Small, Medium, Large sizing system. If it’s good enough for underpants, it’s good enough for me.

The Last Angry Young Man