Starbucks' Trenta: Coffee of Unusual Size

6 years ago

mmmWord from Starbucks is that they will debut a 31-ounce drink option called the Trenta in 14 states today, and in all 50 by May.

You'd be forgiven for thinking "trenta" means "a hell of a lot of coffee" in Italian, but it actually means "thirty." "Trentuno," the real word for 31, would have specifically hit the mark, so the name is just the first thing that's just a little bit wrong with this monster drink picture.

Here are a few vaguely scientific and mathematical facts about the Trenta:

  • The cup measures in at 916 mL, which is metric for "a lot" and also just a hundredth of a decimal point shy of 31 ounces when using the trusty online milliliter-to-ounces conversion calculator.
  • The Trenta will contain 325 mL more caffeinated liquid gold than the already-hefty Venti, that seems almost petite at 591 mL, or, just a little bit less than 20 ounces.
  • Many sources, including this handy graphic from the National Post, measure the average adult human stomach at a capacity of about 900 mL -- or just about exactly trenta ounces -- which means the trusty Trenta will literally upsize it. Does anyone remember that scene in Reality Bites when Winona Ryder is sucking down her daily Super Big Gulp and Ben Stiller says, "How can you ingest 44 ounces of anything?" Just me? Okay, well it's kind of like that.
  • The Trenta is an ounce shy of the Trentedue (Er, I mean Big) Gulp at 7-11 and 13 ounces behind the 44-ounce Super Big Gulp, which means Howard Schulz had better get his engineers cracking before summer rolls around.
  • Margaret at Diets in Review says the Trenta is twice the size of the average bladder. This leads me to believe it should be avoided before long car trips, meetings without easy access to the door, or other strenuous activities like, say, walking.

But hold on, before your eyes start glazing over at the thought of a nice, hot Trenta-sized pumpkin spice latte warming your hand next fall -- actually both hands, because that's how many you'll need to hold it. (And not that you were thinking about pumpkin spice lattes again, right? Didn't think so.) The company says the 31-ouncer will only hold iced coffee and tea.

So you know, I could rant about how we're supposedly in the throes of an obesity crisis, which we obviously are, and talk about how we're a nation of excess and people can't get enough and need to tone it down, which yes, that would be nice too. But I just did some math and Googled around, and it turns out that the size of a large iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts, my icy caffeinated drug of choice that comes in those plastic cups of goodness that litter the floor of my car all summer long and sometimes into the fall? Thirty-two ounces, friends.

The people want their coffee, the coffee that is larger than their stomachs and bladders, and Dunkin beat Starbucks to the punch. Ahem.

The Trenta has folks talking:

Contributing Editor Laurie White writes at LaurieWrites. Her photos are on Flickr.

Photo Credit: Brandi Sims.

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