Starbucks' 31 ounces: Is it too much?
Tue, 18 Jan 2011 17:57:12 GMT —
If you typically take down a "Venti" coffee from Starbucks each morning, consider yourself a light weight, at least by the coffee chain's new standards.
Starbucks will soon roll out a new drink size that will tower above all the rest. The "Trenta" will hold 31 ounces of your favorite java jolt, but only iced coffee, iced tea or lemonade. Starbucks, which "tweeted" the news, plans to roll out the new brew size at its U.S. stores in May.
It appears bigger is better these days just about anywhere you go, from super-sized portions at McDonald's to iced coffee at Starbucks now.
If you think you can take on the Trenta, think about this: 31 ounces is the equivalent of nearly 1/4 of a gallon or about 4 cups of java (that's a lot at one time, even for serious coffee drinkers). Starbucks' largest drink size currently, the Venti, only contains 20-ounces.
The Trenta won't be as large as 7-Eleven's Super Big Gulp, which is 40 ounces. But it is massive and will cost you 50 cents more than the Venti version.
Just how big is the Trenta? Is it too much for one person to consume all at once? Click here to see a graphic of the new drink size compared to the average stomach size.
The new cups are first being introduced in 14 states, not including New York. For now, you'll have to ask your friends in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona what they think. California will then get to try them February 1st. The rest of us will have to wait until May 3rd to try the Trenta.
As you might expect, the internet is abuzz with reaction to the new drink size. One person writes with concern about the excess, "Yes!!!! We now get the privilege to pay $7 for a drink that only further contributes to our growing waist lines. Only in the land of excess can we have the freedom to abuse ourselves and pay for it. What a concept!"
Another thinks the size names are a bit confusing, writing, "How about small, medium, large, and extra large? Venti, Trenta, etal just confuse ordering, which should be simple."
And yet another wonders whether Starbucks sizes will continue to grow, saying, "I wonder if it will still fit in my car's cup holder...would be interesting to see what people on the go do with a full pound drink."
The Seattle-based coffee chain says unsweetened Trenta drinks will have fewer than 5 calories. Sweetened versions will have less than 200 calories, perhaps fending off critics who fear the super-sizing effect.
Word of the new Starbucks size is somewhat concerning to Keri White, a registered dietician at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. She's glad Starbucks isn't super-sizing its high-calorie drinks, but is concerned by the amount of caffeine in the Trenta. She also worries about long-term implications, telling CNY Central by phone, "The trend of super-sizing goes hand in hand with obesity. Anything that is that large is contribution to the perception that more is better." White wants people to be aware of what they drink, encouraging them to choose water more often instead.
This much caffeine could also do a number on your stomach. One gastroenterologist we spoke with says it could cause nausea, heartburn, diarrhea and upset stomach, even heart palpitations. Bottom line, it may just be too much caffeine for one person all at once.
Will you try the new Trenta size? Do you think it's too much? What does this say about our culture as consumers of food and drink? Leave your thoughts below.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.