Starbucks Latte Lawsuit

March 19, 2016 by  

Starbucks Latte Lawsuit, Has your usual triple, venti, half sweet, non-fat, vanilla latte at 120 degrees felt a little light lately?

Apparently, you’re not alone in your suspicion that Starbucks has resorted to underfilling servings of its lattes to save money.

In fact, a class-action lawsuit filed by two California residents claims, on behalf of all Starbucks latte consumers, that Starbucks has falsely advertised the volume of its drinks for years. The complaint maintains Starbucks habitually undersells its drinks by about 25 percent to save on milk expenses.

The suit claims:

Starbucks Lattes are made from a standardized recipe, which Starbucks instituted in 2009 to save on the cost of milk – one of its most expensive ingredients. To create a Latte, the standardized recipe requires Starbucks baristas to fill a pitcher with steamed milk up to an etched “fill to” line that corresponds to the size of the customer’s order, pour shots of espresso into a separate serving cup, pour the steamed milk from the pitcher into the serving cup, and top with ¼” of milk foam, leaving ¼” of free space in the cup. However, Starbucks’ standardized recipes for Lattes result in beverages that are plainly underfilled. Stated otherwise, the etched “fill to” lines in the pitchers are too low, by several ounces.

Moreover, the serving cups used by Starbucks for its Lattes are simply too small to accommodate the fluid ounces listed on Starbucks’ menu. For example, the serving cup used for Grande beverages holds exactly 16 fluid ounces, when completely full. However, Starbucks’ standardized recipe for its Grande Latte calls to fill the serving cup up to “1/4 inch below cup rim.”

Thus, when used in conjunction with its standardized recipes, Starbucks’ serving cups do not permit 12 ounce, 16 ounce, and 20 ounce Lattes.

Starbucks has saved “countless millions” by underfilling its drinks and cheating customers, the complaint states.

Still, the plaintiffs — who purchased and measured several lattes in different stores, states, flavors and sizes – want Starbucks to pay consumers $5 million for the allegedly missing coffee and milk.

“Starbucks Lattes are uniformly underfilled pursuant to a standardized recipe,” the suit claims.

The Seattle P-I was the first to write about the suit. Starbucks issued the following response to the P-I on Friday afternoon:

“We are aware of the plaintiffs’ claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. We are proud to serve our customers high-quality, handcrafted and customized beverages. Hand-prepared beverages increase the likelihood of variations, as disclosed in the nutritional section of our website. Customers often prescribe for us how they want their beverage prepared (e.g. with room, extra foam), therefore beverage volumes are largely collaborative. If a customer is unhappy with their beverage preparation then we are happy to remake it to their satisfaction.”

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