Gather round, children. I’ve had a life changing epiphany.

I finally get why the sizes at Starbucks are so effing weird.

You know what I mean, right? Like, how “grande” would actually be “large” compared to the smaller size they call a “tall”. But then that can’t be right, ‘cause they’ve got the “venti” – which is actually what we consider the biggest – so it makes negative zero sense and before you know it, you’re thinking inimical things against whoever came up with this shitty system. But, finally, the rationale behind said shitty system dawned on me about two days ago. It happened the moment I asked the most traitorous un-American question I could:

“Do you have anything smaller than a tall?”

Indeed, they did.

(They also have something bigger than a venti, but more on that later.

He’s not wrong. But hear out my take on the barista language barrier, Mr. Rudd. You see, the smallest size at Starbucks, ladies and gentlemen, is not the “tall”. It’s called a “short”. Oh, you already knew that? It’s unbelievable that I only ever believed the mini-cup was meant for sides of cream and single shots of espresso. How did I never think to look for this? Is it on the sign behind the counter and I missed it because my mama was right when she told me too much self-abuse would induce blindness? And speaking of excess, am I such an equal creature of habit and indulgence that I never thought to request a more abstemious size cup than the one that’s held copious mochas since my youth? (Yes. To all. Probably.) All along, for fewer calories and a slower descent into debt (and diabetes), you can downsize if you like. And, by some sorcery, I haven’t given this any thought till just now. Which was about the same time I also gave more thought to the logic behind their Javaometry overall: a “tall” isn’t a “small”. A short is. That’s the smallest. “Tall” is medium. And “grande” is large. Just like it sounds.

Then what’s “venti”, you ask?

Why, it’s the national adjective of our great nation: Super-sized.

“Venti” is the gastric lap-band bound option America demands anywhere it goes – even Italy (or whatever these sizes’ language are in). Even though a “grande” is plenty, it’s hardly sufficient for the grand land of excess. Hence the “Venti” – a caffeine vat that’s too vast in magnitude for a typical qualifier – so much so that they have to resort to sarcastic minimalism (compared to its boujie named smaller colleagues). The cup’s too colossal. So they gave up altogether on the prissy proportional labels. That’s why they just refer to it by its size in ounces – the same way you start just calling people “Trump” or “Zuckerberg” when they get rich or successful enough. And before you tell me, “But, Ashley, what about the next size up?”, don’t even start with me. “Trenta” is a joke. It’s the “My 500 Pound Life” of the ‘bucks sizes. No one actually ever debases themselves by consciously choosing a life path consistent with ordering one of those.


It’s just there for you to look at.

And make you feel better about the 20 ounces of glycemic shame you just ordered.