Who made up the cup size names at Starbucks and what, if anything, are these names’ significance, i.e., what do they mean?

Who made up the cup size names at Starbucks and what, if anything, are these names’ significance, i.e., what do they mean?

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  1. The original sizes were “short” (8 oz) and “tall” (12 oz)—that makes sense in and of itself because they’re both English words that still imply one small size and one big size.
    Successively larger sizes have been given Italian names. “Grande” is large, “venti” means 20 for 20 oz ,”trenta” means 30 for roughly 30 oz. “Demi” is french for half (I honestly can’t tell you why they didn’t use “mezzo”), but it only refers to espresso shot cups.
    I think tall was kept just because they didn’t want to confuse existing Starbuc…

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  2. According to Starbucks lore as taught in Starbucks stores, the first sizes were “short” and “tall.” This was back when it was “Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spices.” Demand caused a new size, larger than the tall. Grande size cups were born, and those were supposed to be the largest.
    Demand came for an even larger size, named venti for its twenty ounces, which I believe is the “made it up in a boardroom” size. Trenta followed when customers wanted bigger iced tea and coffee.

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  3. In 1986, Starbucks’ cup size names were made up by CEO Howard Schultz and his first employee, Dawn Pinaud , according to this article .

    Much angst and stand-up comedy has been spilled over Starbucks’ unique lingo. But it turns out there’s no real reason why a small is tall or a large is venti. The cup sizes first debuted at Howard Schultz’s 1986 solo venture, Il Giornale, before crossing into Starbucks-speak when he returned to the company. His Il Giornale partner, Dawn Pinaud, fully admits they just made them up in a conference room.

    In 1983, Schultz traveled to Italy and became captivated with Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience. He had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition back to the United States. A place for conversation and a sense of community.
    That vision was probably what heavily influenced the Italian names grande (big/large) and venti (20, as in 20 ounces). It’s unclear why short and tall sizes didn’t follow the same naming convention.

    Who made up the cup size names at Starbucks and what, if anything, are these names’ significance, i.e., what do they mean?

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