A Pending Lawsuit Says You May Be Entitled to More Starbucks Latte

By Noah Kaufman |


The march of class action lawsuits by American consumers is shifting from happy hour to the morning fix. Previously we’ve seen suits pop up against beer brewers for apparent false claims that brews came from far away lands like Germany, Japan or Colorado. Now a couple of litigious caffeine lovers filed suit against Starbucks for not giving  them enough latte.

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The dual claims from Siera Strumlauf and Benjamin Robles, are that the coffee giant systematically under-fills its grande lattes. The amount that Starbucks is apparently shortchanging its customers is not insignificant either—Strumaluf and Robles claim the drinks come to customers a full 25 percent lighter than they should be. If that’s true, it means customers are paying for a grande but receiving a tall. According to CBS, the suit says that the less-than-full lattes occur because of a specific recipe:

Four steps go into making a Starbucks latte, of which three leave no discretion to the barista to individually determine the amount of fluid or flavoring that’s used. The final step, the suit alleges, involves the barista pouring steamed milk into a serving cup with espresso based on a recipe, then topping the beverage with a quarter-inch of milk foam ‘ leaving at least (a quarter-inch) of space below the rim…

If the plaintiffs are correct, these shenanigans have saved Starbucks millions of dollars that should have been spent on getting us all more latte ingredients.

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For its part, Starbucks said they are aware of the complaints but believe they have done nothing wrong.

The plaintiffs will now wait to see if they can be certified as a class so that anyone who believes they received an under-filled Starbucks latte can join the suit. Starbucks, we bet, is waiting to see how quickly they can cancel these people’s loyalty cards