In Venti Retreat, 600 Starbucks to Close, reads a headline in the Washington Post this evening. That an economic downturn would cause some to reconsider spending $4 on coffee is not a huge surprise, and fits nicely into the narrative that the media is looking for right now. I've always sort of resented Starbucks' creation of a self-important, yuppified language for small, medium and large. For me, it epitomizes their business strategy of packaging up your self-regard, stamping "validated" on it, and selling it back to you.
So the use of Starbucks lingo to describe their difficulties admittedly comes with a touch of schadenfreude. But things get a bit out of hand with a later sentence in that article, which I picture the reporter cackling maniacally while composing: "Throw in the cash-strapped consumer, stung by high gas prices and soaring food costs, and Starbucks has found itself with a venti frappuproblem." Indeed.