Question.  Why do various coffee shops use the terms, ‘tall’, ‘grande’ and ‘venti’ to describe the sizes of the cup? What is that, Italian? I’m just wondering, because it kind of bugs me.  Did they forget that we have perfectly good terms to describe the sizes in our own language? What happened? Is it just that ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’ are not good enough for these coffee people? Are these terms too inferior? Or should I say ‘inferiore’?

Latte Land uses the good ol’ American terms. Hallelujah. That just makes me happy, and I tell them that every time I go in there. I can tell they appreciate it and I think they probably let their manager know, who in turn tells the district manager, who in turn tells the regional manager, who in turn tells the owner who then shouts “See! It was worth it to use our own language! This is what the American public wants!” And then he does a little dance.  Meanwhile, I’m dancing too because finally I feel like I can enjoy an unpretentious cup of coffee among people of like mind. Then I stop dancing cuz it’s hard to enjoy a cup of coffee while you’re dancing. But I’m still happy.

I will say that even though Higher Grounds uses the Italian terms, I still enjoy their coffee, which I can prove to you by letting you see my bank statements, which show that I am single-handedly keeping them in business. Hey, it all goes back to the Prayer Room.

Maybe Higher Grounds should try using German words and see if that is as catchy:
Small: bescheiden
Medium: Hilfsmittel
Large: betraechtlich

Now picture Lenny Laguardia ordering a large cup of coffee in German. I know, funny. I’m not sure why, but it is.

How about Bob Fraser ordering Medium?

And Dave Sliker ordering the small. When I picture Dave ordering the small, he sounds like a leprachaun to me, which is funny because he’s German-Thai speaking in German.  “Thanks lad, I’ll have a wee bescheiden, thank ye kindly. Top o’ the mornin to you.”

Did I mention I’m sick with a fever? A venti fever, at that, if tu can imaginar.

Gracias for reading my post.


  1. standonthewall

    ha ha…. ha

    Dave Sliker… lerachaun voice. i don’t think i’ll be able to sleep tongiht now. i keep seeing dave in green with one of those little pointy hats and tights.

    missed ya tonight Molly. hope you are feeling better.

    i have to get up at 8 tomorrow. why am i still up?

  2. I agree – small, medium, and large would be much nicer.

    However, tall, grande, and venti sure beat Dunn Bro’s system of having to tell them how many ounces you want, IMHO.

  3. Drinking discarded, half-full cups of gas station coffee that I found in a dumpster would beat Dunn Bro’s anything…

    Ask me how I really feel about Dunn Brothers.


  4. The IHOP coffeehouse uses those foreign terms? The green goddess Starbucks has influenced even the elect?

    If you ask me, nothing like Friday afternoon cup of good ole Cafe Ah Roma with Bruce across from the old metro office. Or the late Brubaker’s downstairs from the office.


  5. You know, we could all just take a stand and start calling them what they are… small, medium and large. Most coffee shop employees are intelligent enough to track with us, so we’ll get the size we want. And maybe, if enough of us do it for a long enough time, we’ll get them to speak english.

    Ok, probably not. But we could at least feel like maybe someday something would change. Nothing like false hope to keep you going.

  6. standonthewall

    I don’t know. I kind of like feeling like I can speak Italian.

  7. small, medium and large remind me of McDonald’s.

  8. @Shawn. nah that would Large, super large and super super large!

  9. standonthewall

    Shawn. I still owe you that bio and I will be able to make the purchase soon (I think). Oh yeah… this is Brooke Turner.

  10. Small, Medium and Large remind me of English. 🙂

    At any rate, I love McDonald’s coffee – which is weird, cuz I am admittedly a coffee snob. But it is good!

  11. Phil, you’ve got that right! Once I accidentally ordered a large soda at McDs and they handed me roughly a gallon of Coke. I actually started laughing when the girl gave it to me.

  12. PapaMo

    Results from a recent independent coffee poll.
    This was a blind study (althought the mt cups were not allowed to be used to collect coins).
    Dunkin Ds: “Colored Water” & most expensive
    Starbucks: “Burnt”
    McD’s: “Best” Taste & least expensive.
    McD’s recently changed to Arabica Beans.

    Moll Doll, I LUV your site, though I thought it would be called Chicken & Rice. 🙂

  13. Thanks Dad! You are a goof with your coin-collecting comment. 🙂

    Chicken and Rice is still one of my favorites…you remembered!

    I’m not surprised in the least that you know about a recent independent coffee poll. You always have and always will know everything, won’t you?

    I love you!

  14. PapaMo

    Hey, “Father Knows Best”
    (Those days are over)

  15. Those days will never be over for me.

    Did I ever tell you that you were the first person I ever saw do the fist-knock (what do you call it? You know, instead of high-fivin, you hit fists)? It was like right when people started doing it and it was the new cool thing to do, and I learned it from my dad. I was like, man, my dad is cool. Where do you learn it all, from mom?

  16. Molly: Just thought I’d let you know I was in a Starbucks today and overheard some guy ordering a medium latte.

    I thought of you.

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