Little Thoughts


Coffee cup sizes: reflective of consumerist attitudes?
May 7, 2009, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Thoughts for the day

On my last trip back home to visit my family, I was struck by a arguably minor difference between the coffee shops I frequent in Seattle and those where I grew up, in Southern California.

Cup sizes.

Southern California coffee shops, from what I can tell, don’t offer a “Small” size. The Starbucks up the street from my parents house offers Tall (12 oz.), Grande (16 oz.), and Veinte (20 oz.) coffee drinks.

Seattle coffee shops all offer Small (8 oz.) coffee drinks as well (most don’t even carry the 20 oz. either). I’m not sure whether to use this to support the Southern Californians-like-everything-bigger stereotype.

Which is normal in the rest of the country? What does this distinction say about the respective cultures?

I guess what’s most interesting to me is that it was a conscious decision on the part of Starbucks to offer the Small size in the Northwest and not Southern California. I’d be interested in how research backed up that decision.

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