New trouble about Starbucks cups - that's how much coffee customers really get for their money

quantity experiment
New trouble about Starbucks cups – that’s how much coffee customers really get for their money

Starbucks cup scandal

Know a Starbucks cup, know them all?

© Jakub Porzycki / Picture Alliance

Is Starbucks taking money out of its customers’ pockets with a cup trick? At least that’s what a video circulating on the internet claims. What’s wrong with the fraud allegation? a test.

It’s a specialty of the house, you might think it’s part of the corporate identity that orders at Starbucks can escalate into an orgy of counting. Minutes can pass before all details are clarified. This also includes the notorious question about the cup size. There are three. They range from large to huge, or as they say in Starbucks-speak: Tall, Grande and Venti. The smallest promises 355 milliliters of coffee fun anywhere in the world, the largest 590 milliliters. Recently, however, a video made the rounds of the Internet, in which it should be seen that all of the company’s cups actually have the same filling capacity. Is Starbucks stealing money from its customers with this lousy trick?

The German Press Agency (DPA) did the test and found out – Gauss, Newton and Co would be happy – that a larger cup actually fits more content. Hooray. For the experiment, the smallest size was filled to the brim. Of course, Starbucks doesn’t serve their cups that full. The result: The amount with which the smallest size (“Tall”) is filled to the brim is enough for the medium size (“Grande”) to about two centimeters below. In the largest cup (“Venti”) there is still about three and a half centimeters of space to the rim.

Old gag, new scandal for Starbucks

So behind the supposed unveiling video is nothing more than an Internet prank. And not even a new one. Videos with such mug tricks have been up to viral mischief for years. A similar video circulated in 2017, but the focus at the time was on a different chain: Jack in the Box. In 2020, the cups from fast food giant McDonald’s got one on the proverbial lid. The list can be continued. Each time, the videos caused a little storm in the coffee mug. Each time the alleged fraud could be refuted later.

It is assumed that the makers of the videos use magic boxes to fool the viewers. It is possible that double bottoms are used in the truest sense of the word, the actual cup sizes are reduced in this way. Misleading editing and editing are also conceivable.

The assumption that Starbucks, after all the world’s largest coffee chain, or other companies could sell the same amount of coffee at different prices is wrong. If this were indeed the case, the companies could be sued for misleading business conduct. In Germany, for example, because of unfair competition.

tpo / with dpa

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