The Electric Commentary

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Dave Barry has trouble ordering coffee too.

In an earlier post about onion rings and lawsuits I somehow ended up ranting about what a pain in the ass it is to order coffee in coffee shops in the comments section. Ryan, who is a Storm-trooper in the Starbucks Empire himself, was kind enough to point out that this is old news due to a Dennis Leary rant circa 1994 and that his coffee shop does certain things to their coffee that McDonald's and the like do not do that make it better. I'm sure he is right because Starbucks is extremely popular. And although I get continually annoyed with the ordering procedure, I do study at Starbucks at least once or twice per week.

I think that my problems with the coffee shops are still topical. After all, Dave Berry commented on the same thing in today's column.

We begin today with a disturbing escalation in the trend of coffee retailers giving stupid names to cup sizes. As you know, this trend began several years ago when Starbucks (motto: ''There's one opening right now in your basement'') decided to call its cup sizes ''Tall'' (meaning ''not tall,'' or ''small''), ``Grande'' (meaning ''medium'') and ''Venti'' (meaning, for all we know, ''weasel snot''). Unfortunately, we consumers, like moron sheep, started actually USING these names. Why? If Starbucks decided to call its toilets ``AquaSwooshies,'' would we go along with THAT? Yes! Baaa!

But it's getting worse. Recently, at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Death March, Mister Language Person noticed that a Starbuck's competitor, Seattle's Best Coffee (which also uses ''Tall'' for small and ''Grande'' for medium) is calling ITS large cup size -- get ready -- ''Grande Supremo.'' Yes. And as Mister Language Person watched in horror, many customers -- seemingly intelligent, briefcase-toting adults -- actually used this term, as in, ``I'll take a Grande Supremo.''


Listen, people: You should never, ever have to utter the words ''Grande Supremo'' unless you are addressing a tribal warlord who is holding you captive and threatening to burn you at the stake. JUST SAY YOU WANT A LARGE COFFEE, PEOPLE. Because if we let the coffee people get away with this, they're not going to stop, and some day, just to get a lousy cup of coffee, you'll hear yourself saying, ''I'll have a Mega Grandissimaximo Giganto de Humongo-Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong decaf.'' And then you will ask for the key to the AquaSwooshie. And when THAT happens, people, the terrorists will have won.

I agree. Fight the power!

2 Comments:

  • The "Grande Supremo" is pretty dreadful, but my personal least favorite term occurs at Ancora Coffee Roasters in Madison. The small and the medium have fairly typical names, though not actually "small" and "medium," of course. What get me is the large -- it is known as the "clipper." If you're going with a nautical theme, you need to be consistent! At least make people order a "dinghy" if they want a small, or make it a "catamarran ." Or, better yet, ditch the "clipper" altogether!

    Jodi

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 PM  

  • "Ryan, who is a Storm-trooper in the Starbucks Empire"

    Welcome to the House of Zing! I happen to be an unaffilated coffee snob.

    "his coffee shop does certain things to their coffee that McDonald's and the like do not do that make it better."

    Not just my coffee shop, but any self-respecting coffee shop.

    "And although I get continually annoyed with the ordering procedure, I do study at Starbucks at least once or twice per week."

    Building lifelong customers...

    By Blogger RyanSimatic, at 9:40 PM  

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