‘Trenta’ is too much

Starbucks is adding a new drink size, according to Reuters. The article states “Starbucks Corp will roll out its biggest drink size yet – the 31-ounce ‘Trenta’ – in all of its U.S. coffee shops by May 3, the company said on Sunday. The new size will be available only for iced coffee, iced tea and iced tea lemonade drinks in the United States. The Trenta is 7 ounces larger than Starbucks’ ‘Venti’ cup for iced drinks, which currently is its largest size on offer.”

Now, this might seem like a dumb thing to get upset about. Fortunately I’m paid to write, so being intelligent is optional.
Anyways, the decision was based on customer requests for larger cold drinks. It will start out in 14 states, Michigan is not one of them. I have two problems with this: One, why in the name of Juan Valdez is a fourth size necessary?

If people want a larger cold drink, they can go to a 7-Eleven and risk getting mugged. That’s what pocket knives are for. This idea just doesn’t go with the Starbucks image, except for the snooty name. Which is actually my second problem.

As Evil Emperor Zurg once said, “Why don’t they just call it small, medium and large?” Or extra-large in this case. Trenta isn’t even a number – it’s a name. At least “Venti” means 20 and “Grande” means large. I never understood why the smallest size is “Tall,” however.

Still, another pointless name from a different language gives Starbucks an air of arrogance it doesn’t really deserve. I go to cafés and bars of various sizes, shapes and cleanliness. Starbucks isn’t much different from any other café, which probably explains the use of the words. It’s trying to stand out in the crowd, and it seems it succeeded. This new size doesn’t really go with its image, or even its name.

It also goes against recent attempts by Starbucks to offer lower calorie drink options. Thirty-one ounces is a lot. It’s almost 2 pounds, 2 pints or 4 cups. That adds up. Of course people know because the new cup size is due to customer feedback.

I guess people want Starbucks to seem less like a café and more like a 7-Eleven. Actually, large drink dispensers have popped up in grocery stores, too. Apparently people really need a cold drink in the summer.

Here’s an idea: it’s called water. From the tap. Stick it in the fridge in a bottle, or something else with a lid. It has zero calories, zero sugar, zero carbs and no Trans fats. It’s like it was designed for people to drink in large quantities.

Whether Starbucks will keep the new size or not probably will depend on sales from the 14 states where Trenta is starting in. If it does well, that’s fine, although I still worry about Starbucks’ image. Either way, Starbucks is still a nice place to get coffee. This column is not an endorsement for Starbucks, and hopefully isn’t a trademark violation.


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