Starbucks Customers to Sue Coffee Giant for "Systematically" Under-filling Lattes

Source: AP
Source: AP

It's a wrong no amount of special edition Cherry Blossom Frappuccino can right.  

Two California Starbucks customers are distraught at being consistently shorted on their latte orders and are taking their complaint to court. According to Eater, the class-action lawsuit accuses the coffee giant of "knowingly and systematically" pouring coffees that are 25% smaller than the advertised size and, in so doing, trafficking in lies. 

Read more: This Starbucks Employee Went Above and Beyond for a Deaf Customer

This may seem like a petty grievance, but according to the lawsuit — filed March 16 — the implications of this false advertising are far-reaching, and could potentially be snatching cumulative millions out of the pockets of unsuspecting Pumpkin Spice lovers. 

"By underfilling its lattes, thereby shortchanging its customers, Starbucks has saved countless millions of dollars in the cost of goods sold and was unjustly enriched by taking payment for more product than it delivers," the lawsuit states. 

Source: Giphy

Filed "on behalf of purchasers of Starbucks Caffe Lattes, Flavored Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Eggnog Lattes, Skinny Lattes, Skinny Flavored Lattes, Vanilla Lattes and Skinny Vanilla Lattes (collectively, 'Lattes')," the suit alleges that Starbucks cups — which have seen their fair share of controversy — are too small to house the volume they claim to, because the company's latte recipe stipulate that there must be a quarter-inch of open space between liquid and rim. 

Further, Starbucks might be padding its beverages with frothy milk, which the suit concedes does occasionally approach the brim. But that's a sham, as it turns out.

"In the food science community, as well as in the weights and measures community, foam is not measured on a volumetric basis," and thus can't count toward a latte's total volume. A cup overflowing with foam is a mere illusion and still a rip-off, the suit suggested. 

Source: Giphy

According to Eater, Starbucks said that the suit is "without merit" and that they "inform customers of the likelihood of variations." But now that the world has been informed of what may or may not be a coffee conspiracy, it's quite possible that their legions of customers will expand, and dramatically: Should the case go to trial and should the plaintiffs win, anyone who's enjoyed a Starbucks latte stands to reap the reward. 

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Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

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