I freely admit that I am no fan of Starbucks. It isn’t because I think Starbucks is a big, evil corporation. It isn’t because they have mediocre coffee or that I am opposed to paying $4 for a non-alcoholic beverage. It isn’t because they have automated espresso machines that eliminate the artistry of the Barista and it isn’t that I have a phobia of the stereotypical MacBook-toting customers that infest the place. The reason I dislike Starbucks is the lingo they want me to use. At Starbucks, they want me to call a small a “Tall,” a medium a “Grande” and a large a “Venti.” And I refuse to play along.
This is harder than you might think. Every time I go in there (which isn’t very often) I ask for the same thing — a mocha with 4 shots in the smallest cup they offer, hold the whipped cream. Without fail, this brazen act of defiance ignites the same battle of semantics with the person who pushes the button that activates the automated espresso machine (a.k.a the artist formerly known as Barista).
“You mean a Tall?” they say, while holding up a small – but not the smallest – cup for me and the rest of the store to inspect.
“No, I mean a small,” I say pointing to the stack of the small cups I know damn well they refer to as “Short.”
At this point, they grab the small cup and announce to anyone within earshot that I’ll be enjoying a short quad no whip mocha. Never — and I mean not once — have they just said OK and made my drink. It is as if their training demands that they correct me before they commence with the button pushing.
I’d be content with this little game — and I’d probably even play along — if Starbucks was cool and hip and counterculture enough to refuse to conform to a cup size nomenclature thrust upon them by “the man.” But Starbucks is the opposite of cool. In many ways, Starbucks
One way to avoid the whole size discussion -- while reducing your impact on the planet -- is to take your own mug