I've been a frequent patron of Starbucks nearly my whole life but it wasn't too long ago that I learned that their Venti size latte (Large) only has two shots of espresso in it.
Note: A hot Venti beverage has only two shots. An iced Venti does have three, but I don't think it should even be called an Iced Venti because Venti means 20 and refers to the number of ounces in the paper cup - the plastic cup for the iced Venti's is 24 ounces. They should call it a Ventiquattro!
So for 15+ years I've been ordering my Lattes in a Venti thinking I'm getting 50% more espresso than if ordered a Grande (Medium) - but I'm not! I'm only getting more milk! Their hot sizes follow a 1-1-2-2 shot formula for Short - Tall - Grande - Venti (Extra Small - Small - Medium - Large).
So I'm talking to a cool barista the other day and she tells me that the 1-1-2-2 formula is different for the Americano! Those follow a true 1-2-3-4 formula for Short - Tall - Grande - Venti. Odd.
I confirmed this on this Starbucks Menu Chart someone put together. The chart also points out how many different ways there are to put these drinks together - and that your average barista likely knows them. It reads like a glossary:
Breve - Made with half and half instead of regular milk. This makes it a bit thicker, a bit sweeter, a bit more expensive and a lot more fattening.
Organic - Some stores also have organic milk available. It'll cost extra, and they may have to go looking for it, since almost no one orders it (in my area at least).
140 degrees - No, this is not the newest boy band. If you find normal drinks too hot to drink, and want to save your tastebuds from a fiery death, order your drink at a hundred and forty degrees -- this is still quite warm, but not tongue-roasting.
Kid's - By Starbucks rules, any drink that's going to be served to a child must be no hotter than 130 degrees. Keep this in mind when you go cheap and order the $1.00 kid's hot chocolate.
Digging around, I also found the Starbucks Gossip site (unofficial?). Some of the forum topics were pretty interesting. Mostly baristas complaining about people ordering wacky things and people complaining about getting charged differently in different places. This is from an entry in one of the forums:
"I have no idea how to charge a single cup of french press because I was under the impression that we charged for the whole press [in fact, my shift charged a woman for the whole press just last night].
It's frustrating. Not to mention when I charge someone correctly and a shift or manager comes up behind me, prescreen's my screen, rerings up the customer and charges them for significantly less. Thus making me feel and look like a total asshat."
I'm sticking to my Tall Americano's.