What size did you want your coffee?

In order to learn the American culture, I have had to ask many times about many things since I first came here, but one was obvious to me without having to ask about it; most Americans love coffee. Certainly, I did not have to do any research about this, just look at the Starbucks’ lines on campus, for example, usually during lunchtime and that tells it all.

It is a fact that coffee is a popular drink across age groups. Statistics show that Americans consume over 400 million cups of coffee every day. That is a lot of cups of coffee considering that the total population of the United States is a little over 300 million. Who is drinking all that coffee? Just look around you. (Do you have a cup in front of you right now?)

I admit I used to drink coffee back home, but that was very rare and in small amounts. In America, there is no such a thing as a small amount or a small cup of coffee. You either get a tall cup of coffee, grande, venti or trenta! And for someone who doesn’t know what any of these mean, good luck figuring it out. I remember when I first came here and ordered a cup of coffee and the person asked me what kind of coffee I wanted, how many shots, and what size? I was confused because I did not know what any of that had to do with my coffee, and said to myself, “that’s too many questions for a small cup of coffee!” Well, not knowing the U.S. system of measurements, I ended up with a 16 oz cup of coffee in my hands, and hoped she had made a mistake; she did not!

4 thoughts on “What size did you want your coffee?

  1. The customs of another country can often be confusing as you have found out in the above post about the coffee variations and sizes. Congratulations Flamur, on sorting your life out after all the difficulties you have been through.

  2. Not that hard to figure out – look at the cup size and point. Got the wrong size? Ask for a smaller cup; any Starbucks barista do over if requested. Hope you’ve figured all this out and are now enjoying your coffee US style.

  3. The Starbucks system is pretty stupid! Most indie cafes really don’t like it, but do offer much smaller sizes, often including a 5 ounce (“Italiano” style) and an 8 ounce (“short” at Starbucks, if they still sell it). You won’t find anything like a venti or trenta at non-chain places. Americans do love their coffee, and their large portions, but I hope this is slowly changing. Yet, according to this wikipedia (perhaps totally unreliable), Switzerland, Italy and Bosnia have higher per capita coffee consumption than the US? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coffee_consumption_per_capita
    Maybe the difference is in the way we consume it. Only recently have I seen Americans sipping espresso at the bar the way Italians do.

    Regardless, your bio sounds amazing, and I am humbled by your ability to persevere in the face of adversity. May you find many nice baristas to help decode American sizing and brewing styles!

    1. Yeah, that is interesting; I did not know that about Bosnia, but for Switzerland I am not surprised
      because the weather is depressing at time there, just like during Portland winters.

      Thank you very much for your nice comments.

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