I bought a 20-ounce, or venti, travel mug. I though this was a great idea. I like venti lattes, and I feel guilty about throwing away a paper cup every time I get one. Plus, when you bring your own cup, you get a small discount.
However, 20-ounce travel mugs are rare. They usually come in a 16-ounce size. I had to order mine through Amazon. Which was really no big deal. Except that, because they're rare, no one actually believes me that it's 20 ounces. Even though I tell them it is. Even though I do actually have a 16-ounce travel mug by the exact same company--and shockingly--it's smaller than my 20-ounce cup. I get questioned about it so often that I actually measured 20 ounces of water and poured it into the cup, just to prove to myself that I wasn't the crazy one at Starbucks.
I go to two Starbucks coffee shops. One by my house that I like a lot and one on the way to work. (I usually don't go to them both on the same day.) My travel cup is metal, which is awesome, because it keeps my drinks hot even longer than plastic travel mugs. See, what happens is, I go to cross-fit in the mornings, then I go and get my latte, then I go to work, where I shower off the cross-fit funk. So it's really important to me that the latte stay hot because I won't actually be drinking it until about a half hour after buying it.
The Starbucks near my house doesn't seem to have any problem with my 20-ounce travel mug (but I only go here when I'm not going to cross-fit), but the one on my way to work is constantly giving me a grande latte even though I paid for a venti. Which means I have to explain to them that they need to give me another four ounces. (Which I thought would be easy, because it's just steamed milk--a grande and a venti both have two shots of espresso, but no, they apparently have to remake the entire latte because they're artists.)
Part of the problem, I am sure, is that the cup doesn't say "20 ounces" anywhere on it. And I haven't figured out a good way to respond to the baristas who ask me if I'm sure it's a 20-ounce cup. Because it's never a conversation where they say: are you sure this is a venti and not a grande? And I say: yes, and then we all just move on and get our coffees. It always turns into a bigger conversation, and I always feel like saying, if I'm going to pay for a venti coffee, could you just make me one and put it in my fucking cup? I have shit to do and discussing this with you isn't on my list!
The other part of the problem, I'm sure, is that I just don't drink that much coffee. This routine normally happens at the beginning of the month when I'm working crazy hours. So I'm not a "regular" and they aren't used to me coming in with my 20-ounce cup. So every time I do, it's like a totally new, surprising experience for the baristas.
So, in order to save myself the aggravation of this whole fiasco, I've decided only to use my 20-ounce travel mug when I go to the Starbucks near my house, where apparently it doesn't present any sort of crisis. It's a silly waste of paper cups when I go to the Starbucks on my way to work, but it's a battle that is exhausting to me, and I don't have spare energy to be exhausted before I get to work...if I did, I wouldn't be getting the latte in the first place.