Starbucks is most people’s go-to coffee chain these days, but, if you’re like us, you might wonder why you can’t walk in and order a medium coffee. Small, medium and large sizes used to be sold at the mega chain, but because of CEO Howard Shultz and a trip over seas, we now use totally different names when ordering at Starbucks.
According to the company’s website, when now CEO Shultz first walked into a Starbucks in Seattle back in 1981, he was instantly hooked on the brand. By 1983, he was working with the growing chain (which originally opened in 1971!) and took a fortuitous trip to Italy.
Falling in love with the country’s cafe culture, Shultz decided to bring their café lifestyle to the US. By 1987, he purchased the company, and the short, tall, grande and venti were born. With the desire to create “a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome,” Shultz changed the way that Starbucks coffee shops operated and how we order our drinks.
With their now iconic holiday red cups, and partnerships with everyone from Lady Gaga to Apple, Starbucks has gone from tiny Seattle coffee shop to leading corporate do-gooders all while maintaining their unique cup sizes and names as a way to differentiate themselves from every other coffee place you go to.
We think it’s worked.
What’s your go-to Starbucks order? Tell us @BritandCo!
(h/t Refinery29; photo via Starbucks)