Why not use the word little instead of tall? How Starbucks developed its own system for placing coffee orders

One tall iced pumpkin cream chai tea latte, please. will soon be a standard request at Starbucks locations across the nation.

Long Starbucks orders with brand-specific terminology will soon grace our ears as we enjoy our 7 a.m. Cup of joe as we enter the Christmas drink season. The traditional “small black coffee” is only available at other coffee houses. But things weren’t always like that.

When Starbucks opened its doors to customers in 1971, they would just ask for coffee beans. Without any alterations or re-fills. According to Charles Lindsey, a marketing professor. At the University of Buffalo, coffee sales were in fact falling at the time.


Lindsey stated, “Coffee was merely considered as a drink that you have for breakfast. The model was then turned around when Starbucks entered.

When Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982 as the director of operations and marketing, everything changed. He visited Italy the next year and was “captivated” by the country’s coffee shops, which gave him the idea to start Starbucks in order to introduce the coffeehouse culture to the United States.

Schultz departed Starbucks a few years after his return to the country. In order to launch Il Giornale, a new coffee company that was modeled after Italian coffeehouses.

The store had a menu with items like espressos and lattes on it in the “Starbucks language” that customers are accustomed to today. After managing Il Giornale for a few years, Schultz bought Starbucks and continued to use the Il Giornale moniker while retaining the Italian-inspired menu.

If you enjoy a nice macchiato, cortado, latte, or cappuccino, Lindsey argued that Starbucks was largely responsible for their ubiquity.

The sizes we are accustomed to—”short,” “tall,” “venti,” “grande,” and “trenta”—came along with the new drinks. The Italian words for how many ounces are in each drink are venti and trenta, which translate to “twenty” and “thirty,” respectively. Italian for “large” is “grande.” Other words used to indicate the size of the drink that are related to the Italian coffee bar concept are short and tall. Before Schultz determined the menu was too cluttered, tall was once a medium-sized drink. Short was fired and became only a request away for hot beverages. Now, the smallest size is thought to be tall.

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