Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I have posted previously about Starbucks theology and Starbucks table raiding. Now is the time to discuss Starbucks and the excessively big drink. There it, it seems, a secret drink available. It is a short cappuccino and it is smaller than any of the three cap varieties advertised on the board. Baristas, reports Slate, will give you one 'without batting an eye'. (What does that expression mean, incidentally? Why and how would one 'bat' one's eyelid?) It is much better than any of the other caps because the coffee-milk ratio is higher. Starbucks has, of course, redefined the cap as a big drink; traditionally it is a small one. The same applies to all their other coffees. This allows the company massively to increase margins by raising the value of each unit sale. Starbucks, argues Slate, keeps its small cap invisible because it doesn't want people trading down. It can do this because of its near monopoly of High Street coffee. In the interests, therefore, of the free market, we are all obliged to go at once to Starbucks and demand the smallest possible drink.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:02 am