Lawsuit Claims Starbucks Has Been Underfilling Lattes

You know Starbucks costs more than a cup of drip brew from the corner deli or gas station. It's also way more expensive than making coffee at home. But you get what you pay for, right? Not according to a class action lawsuit filed against the company in Northern California, which alleges that baristas intentionally pour less milk than customers are lead to believe their lattes contain. According to the suit, filed by Siera Strumlauf and Benjamin Robles (and posted online by Eater), the standard fill line on the pitcher baristas use to steam the milk results in lattes being "approximately 25% underfilled," or a quarter-inch below the rim of the cup. "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," the suit claims. In short, the plaintiffs believe that if you order a 16-ounce drink, you should get 16 ounces of liquid.
"We are aware of the plaintiffs' claims, which we fully believe to be without merit," a Starbucks rep told Eater. "We are proud to serve our customers high-quality, handcrafted, and customized beverages, and we inform customers of the likelihood of variations." Whether you believe Starbucks was doing this to cheat you, to achieve the perfect balance of milk and espresso, or to avoid spillage — and thus a different kind of lawsuit — this could benefit anyone in the U.S. who's ever purchased a latte, states. That is, if the lawsuit gets that far.

More from Food & Drinks

R29 Original Series