In the land of Big Gulps, Super-Sizes and extra larges, Starbucks is giving birth to its own larger -than-life cup.
By Alexandra Oliver
Come March, Starbucks will begin serving its 31-ounce cup: Trenta.
Coffee might not be the equivalent of a super-sized Kit Kat bar, but
the new Starbucks size reflects the sad reality of our culture's focus
on living "larger than life, by having expensive things and enjoying
things, such as food and beverages, in excess.
It's amazing that U.S. citizens are told to fight obesity, yet a new
31-ounce cup full of empty calories comes to fruition around the same
time Michelle Obama's "Let's Move campaign is well underway. The talk
of fighting against obesity in the U.S. appears to be just that talk.
"For a long time, people bought Starbucks because it made them look
better, said Bryant Simon, the director of the American studies
department and author of "Everything but the Coffee: Learning about
America from Starbucks. "You pay a little bit of money and get some
status. You look like someone who has money to make you look better.
Starbucks has become a little more mainstream, with its coffee shops
scattered throughout major cities. It has lost its novelty status and
has become a franchise that is more expensive than Dunkin' Donuts.
Starbucks is catering to the "Super Size Me culture that has
gripped the U.S. and refuses to let go. It's present on Main Campus,
Although there is a healthy-balanced option and salad bar on Main
Campus, they are outweighed by Wendy's, McDonald's, Wingstop and food
trucks that are easily accessible through a swipe of an Owl Card. This
is troubling for Temple students trying to maintain a healthy diet.
This popular trend of fighting obesity is seen in TV shows, such as
MTV's "I Used to be Fat and NBC's "The Biggest Loser. This fight is
fought half-heartedly if you're adding skim milk to an iced coffee to
lower the calorie count but pairing it with a brownie or coffee cake.
For some, this oversized cup is good because it's something that can
last the whole day. For others, the new addition to our super-size
culture is undesirable.
During midterms, finals and regular all-nighters, Temple students
frequent the Starbucks located in the TECH Center. This new cup will
give students the extra-caffeinated boost needed to get through those
The sweet treats, sandwiches and soups also give Starbucks a
competitive edge over its rivals as it fights to remain a No. 1 choice.
"Sometimes we buy things like Starbucks as a little treat. We try to
make ourselves feel better so we buy something a little bit more
expensive as a way to reward ourselves for studying, basically managing
our moods, Simon said. "Trenta offers a kind of greater indulgence.
After we indulge in a Venti coffee for a number of times it loses its
thrill. Now Starbucks is providing a Trenta to reawaken the thrill.
As we strive toward a leaner, healthier U.S., it appears new outlets
of unhealthy living continue to sprout up. McDonald's has its different
specials, such as its 20-piece chicken nuggets for $1.99. Now there's
Trenta, which experts estimate could have up to 300 milligrams of
Overindulgence and excess is an American pastime that is innately a
part of our culture that we don't realize how it has negatively
affected us. And if we fail to recognize this, we'll never change.