Skimming through a snappy new book about the Starbucks phenomenon, I learned that the company opens six new stores a day, many of them extraordinarily close to one another. The author of Starbucked, ( Little, Brown) Taylor Clark, finally explains what I really wanted to know, the whole absurd ( and brilliant) "tall, grande and venti" thing.
According to Clark, " The company's signature innovation in the world of marketing was its invention of an entire proprietary language for its products....In adopting proprietary language, Starbucks bet correctly that once customers learned the lingo, they would feel out of place at other coffeehouses."
Snobs! Jerks! Morons! ( Starbucks has a 22 page book re this lingo--just ask for it, you fool.)
In tiny print at the bottom of page 98 where Clark discusses lingo, he states:" The "short" cup is still available at Starbucks stores, as a sort of in-crowd secret."
"Short" means small, here, people, so if you are feeling feisty and fully confident, walk into a Sbucks and get an ordinary-sized coffee. As I am about to take a long road trip, I will try this gambit soon.
Typically, however, if I have a choice, I opt for other coffee joints. (Assorted family members and former family members have been bona fide baristas at independent shops where the coffee is roasted on site and the quality is far better. ) But if SB is it, I always order an espresso, and demand, in the nicest possible way, an actual cup---I point at the tiny Italian espresso-appropriate ones they have perched on the machine for show. The exceedingly polite baristas oblige me.
Not finished the book yet but it clearly is a well-researched, good read. I feel the siren call-- Yes, the merbabe in the logo is a siren who apparently was originally quite a come hither raunchette, but as the company grew, Madame covered more of her privates---of coffee!
But I just had a lovely Melitta-dripped cuppa Dark Sumatra...............someone stop me, please.
( Superb visual, thanks-- Inspired by Escher's Relativity, created by Alien Loves Predator, found via Jack Cheng. http://web.mit.edu/cms/bcc/uploaded_images/starbucks_escher-757783.jpg&imgrefurl=http://web.mit.edu/cms/bcc/2005/10/starbucks-relativity.html&h=320&w=302&sz=41&hl=en&start=7&um=1&tbnid=dfYobVc_x3XM0M:&tbnh=118&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dstarbucks%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN)