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Peet's Coffee & Tea Faces Lawsuit Over Size of French Press Servings

12 ounces of coffee ain't what it used to be.

Sharyn Morrow/Flickr

Peet's Coffee & Tea, on a recent buying spree with acquisitions of Intelligensia Coffee and Stumptown Coffee, is being sued by a customer who alleges its French press servings fall short of advertised volumes. "The lawsuit filed by Robert Garrett in Cook County Circuit Court alleges that the amount of total coffee in the press pots is more than 25 percent less than the advertised volume," the Chicago Tribune reports.

Peet's Chief Marketing Officer Tyler Ricks told the paper the company "will absolutely look into this," but explained that the 12- and 32-ounce sizes on the menu refers to the press pot, not the liquid within. Ricks "noted that some water is absorbed by the grounds during the steeping process. The pots also require room to plunge after the coffee is steeped, preventing a user from filling it with water to the brim."

Peet's responded with the following comment:

Our understanding is that this lawsuit pertains to our press pot offerings. These offerings represent 1/10 of 1 percent of our café sales. There is no complaint regarding 99.9% of our business. We are committed to full transparency and integrity with our customers and to industry best standards for our product labeling and in-store signage. We are taking the matter seriously and looking into it in more depth however, we can't comment further at this time given the now active litigation.

Doesn't Peet's understand the danger of undercaffeinating its customers? This exchange echoes a class action lawsuit filed against Subway in 2013 and recently settled, in which plaintiffs argued the fast food chain's "Footlong" sandwiches only came to 11 inches instead of 12. The company will now measure its sandwiches to ensure proper length.