just procrastinating

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My wife and I were just talking about how the smallest size at Starbucks is called "tall" and appears to be an english word, which is then followed by "grande" which might be Spanish or Italian, and then the hideous "venti" which may not be a word at all. (Actually I just looked it up and it's Italian for twenty. Oh, OK) But why call your smallest size "tall"? Answer: Because it is not the smallest size! From Slate:
Here's a little secret that Starbucks doesn't want you to know: They will serve you a better, stronger cappuccino if you want one, and they will charge you less for it. Ask for it in any Starbucks and the barista will comply without batting an eye. The puzzle is to work out why.

The drink in question is the elusive "short cappuccino"—at 8 ounces, a third smaller than the smallest size on the official menu, the "tall," and dwarfed by what Starbucks calls the "customer-preferred" size, the "Venti," which weighs in at 20 ounces and more than 200 calories before you add the sugar.

This secret cappuccino is cheaper, too—at my local Starbucks, $2.35 instead of $2.65. But why does this cheaper, better drink—along with its sisters, the short latte and the short coffee—languish unadvertised? The official line from Starbucks is that there is no room on the menu board, although this doesn't explain why the short cappuccino is also unmentioned on the comprehensive Starbucks Web site, nor why the baristas will serve you in a whisper rather than the usual practice of singing your order to the heavens.

Sounds like a profit scheme.

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