The latest aspersions to be cast on the New York coffee world are directed at West Village mini-chain Think Coffee: A sharp-eyed iced-beverage consumer noticed that when he poured an ostensibly sixteen-ounce medium-size cup of water into a twenty-ounce large cup, there weren't the four empty ounces he was looking for. He posted the video to his Tumblr, and a scandal was born. Is this a real-life example of weights-and-measures fraud? We couldn't find anyone from Think to comment on the matter on record, but that didn't stop us from doing a little investigative reporting of our own — with some surprising results.
As it happens, Think uses the Greenware brand of plastic cup for their iced drinks, which come in a variety of sizes. Think's large, advertised at twenty ounces, is a twenty-ounce cup. But Think's medium, advertised as sixteen ounces, is served in a cup that actually has a fill capacity of eighteen-point-three ounces (it's sixteen ounces when filled to the lower line). Through the power of math, we then determine that the difference between those cups is a scant one-point-seven ounces, easily the difference between the waterline and the top of the twenty-ounce cup in the gotcha video. So unlike Lucky Strike, where we've recently learned that you pay more for less, the good folks at Think are actually handing you a two-point-three-ounce bonus in your medium iced drink of choice. We should probably be thanking them.