Dear Coffee Vendors,
Now, obviously, the quick fix/quick answer on your end to this is, "You don't like it? Make your own damn coffee." Which is fine, and I respect that. It's a bold strategy since you'd be basically requesting to not make money, but I understand the stance.
Quite honestly, I don't know if this is just my view point or if others feel this way or not, but consider me the coffee voice of the coffee voiceless. I don't care what coffee brand you are, or whether or not you're a giant corporation with locations all over the country, or a small mom and pop coffee brand that operates out of a little shop, a hut, or even a food truck. I have one simple, SUPER SIMPLE request from consumer to business.
Can we PLEASE just all get on the same page when it comes to ordering sizes?
Look, I'll be flat out. Some of us are Dunks people. Some of us are Starbucks people. Some of us get down with Aroma Joe's. Some of us live on Heavenly Donuts. Some of us are adamant on supporting the little man and purposely seek out non-franchise, independent, mom-and-pop coffee businesses. And that makes total sense -- each coffee spot has their own specific taste. THAT makes sense.
But why can't it end there? Why does each (or most) coffee joint also try and have their own specific terminology for sizes?
Case in point -- I like to consider myself an equal opportunity coffee drinker. A lot of times, if I'm not just making my own coffee at home, I hop in the drive thru of the coffee shop with the smallest line so I can have a shorter wait time. Makes sense when you're not someone who isn't married to one brand, right?
It just so happened that for a while now, one certain popular coffee franchise has had the shortest line any time I drive by, so I tend to always go to them. Their size options are what I would call normal -- small, medium, large. Maybe an extra large in some circumstances, depending on what kind of coffee you're getting.
Well, this morning, I ended up driving by to notice that their line was packed and not moving, so I went to a different coffee franchise across the street. I've been there plenty of times before and enjoy their coffee just as much. The only difference? This size options for this particular place aren't your typical small, medium, large options. This place operates in ounces.
So, you can imagine my confusion and surprise when I ordered a large cold brew, was told to drive around to the receiving window, and was handed a coffee smaller than I expected. The following exchange occurred as I was being handed my coffee.
ME: "Thanks so much -- I actually ordered a large, though?"
BARISTA: "Yeah, the 24 ounce option is our large."
So, it was my bad for ordering incorrectly, since I was looking for their largest coffee size available, which is 32 ounces. I realized that the barista was super nice and it wasn't a massive issue, so I took my coffee and sashayed about my merry way. No big deal. But when you go a couple of months being able to order a "large" and get the -- get this, largest -- amount available, that's what you expect when you order a "large."
Again, the barista was super nice about the situation, and I'm sure she's dealt with it more than once. It's not like I ordered a large and got "OH YOU MEANT A GRANDE?!" with a rude undertone in response (for the record, I'm not saying places offering "grande" instead of "large" have rude baristas -- just a random example).
But therein lies the problem -- why do coffee places have to try and reinvent the wheel when it comes to size options? Why can't every place just keep it easy and generic, let your specific blend of coffee do the talking for your brand, and keep something as simple as the size of a cup to the typical small, medium, and large options almost every other place offers? You don't call a pizza shop and ask for a grande pizza, do you? You don't hit up an ice cream stand and ask for a 32 oz. ice cream on a waffle cone, right?
If you're a coffee shop and need to get crazy, offer an extra small or extra large option. And I get the Devil's Advocate view here of "well, dummy, learn the menu and respect the options of where you're ordering, or brew your own damn coffee!" -- but life has been complicated enough lately. Why add one more complication with having to learn a glossary of terms just to get a big ole coffee?
Thank you for coming to my coffee TED talk. Now go ahead and blast me in the comments like I suspect you will -- I respect your opinion and am grateful you care enough to express one to me.