‘No Habla Starbuks’ Means Cosmos Coffee Cafe Uses Small, Medium, Large

Village coffee shop has been poking fun at national chain’s jargon infecting customer requests.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. Feb. 12, 2013

Cosmos Coffee Café’s owner and employees got tired of being asked for Grande, Venti or Trenta-sized teas and coffees.  So two weeks ago, they began wearing green T-shirts that proclaim “No Habla Starbuks.”

Despite the misspelling, there was no mistaking the target—Starbucks’ infamous naming system for cup sizes and other options.

Several websites take pains to explain the jargon and help new customers figure out how to order.

On Tuesday—between taking sandwich, salad and drink orders—barista Brittney Carey, 20, of La Mesa said customers “come and order Venti or they order whatever. … Starbucks’ [size names] aren’t universal. We have small, medium and large.”

Carey began work at Cosmos not long after moving to La Mesa a year ago from Portland, ME, she said.

The shop’s owner, who asked this his name not be used, said he designed the shirts and rolled them out about two weeks ago, calling it a way to deter use of that national chain’s jargon.

“I was in the Bay Area over the weekend, and I got stopped several times on the street, had lots of high-fives. … Most of my customers will smile or laugh, and it always seems to spark some sort of conversation,” the owner said.

“I actually had a woman come to the register and start to order her drink in Starbucks lingo; all I did was point at the shirt and smile. She sheepishly gave me her order. It’s a lot of fun.”

The owner says he misspelled the chain’s name on purpose, telling Patch: “I wanted to make a statement, but not bring any legal ire.”

The T-shirt is for staff only—for now. But the owner says he’ll probably print them soon for public purchase—at $15 plus tax.


Small, medium, large and extra-large.


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