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Starbucks Cup Sizes: Choosing from the Smallest to the Largest Starbucks Drink Sizes

When exploring the Starbucks menu, the distinctive Starbucks Cup Sizes – tall, grande, and venti – can be perplexing. Unlike typical small, medium, and large options at other coffee shops, Starbucks embraces unique sizes influenced by the Italian coffee bar tradition.

starbucks tall cup
Starbucks Tall Cup

Former CEO Howard Schultz sought to capture the charm of Italian coffee bars in American establishments, introducing unconventional terms such as macchiato and latte. This intentional decision not only honors Starbucks’ heritage but also establishes a unique identity, contributing to the exclusive Starbucks Drink Sizes experience.

Here’s a user-friendly guide to help you navigate Starbucks sizes.

Starbucks Drink Sizes in a Nutshell

Cup SizeOunces (Hot Drinks)Ounces (Cold Drinks)

Why are Starbucks coffee sizes sold as Tall, Grande and Venti…?

The wide array of teas, coffees and sweet drinks attracts a huge fan base, but navigating the Starbucks menu can be overwhelming. Starbucks offers a range from small to extra-large, but it’s essential to understand that Starbucks cup sizes might not mean what you expect. 

“There’s a multitude of options and countless ways to customize your order. But before you dive into the customization, the first decision is choosing the right size. “

Effectively, Starbucks sizes follow a logical progression and make perfect sense to their long-term fan base but for many Starbucks clients tall, grande, and venti – can be perplexing.

Let’s look at their progression step by step:

  • Initially, they introduced two sizes: short and tall.
  • With the addition of specialty coffees, they introduced Grande (meaning large, the largest size at the time).
  • Responding to the demand for an even larger size, Venti was created (meaning 20, representing the 20-ounce drink).
  • The sizes are short, tall, grande, and venti. Regular coffees are available in short, tall, and grande, while specialty coffees are offered in tall, grande, and venti. Maintaining a consistent naming scheme and cup sizes for both regular and specialty coffees makes more sense than having separate schemes.

Starbucks Demi Cup

The cute-sounding “demi” in Starbucks’ Demi Cup takes a French twist from “demitasse.” Picture a tiny cup perfect for a shot or two of espresso. Yep, that’s the idea! Starbucks playfully adopted this term for their smaller cups.

In fact, the Starbucks Demi Cup is part of Starbucks’ history and heritage, drawing inspiration from the traditional coffee culture, especially in Italy. Starbucks introduced the Demi Cup to reflect the European coffee experience, where smaller servings of strong espresso are common.

The Starbucks Demi Cup is a small-sized cup with a capacity of 3 ounces. Although it is not typically displayed on the menu in most Starbucks locations, the Demi Cup is available for those who prefer a smaller-sized beverage. This tiny cup can hold a triple shot of espresso and is suitable for decaf, traditional, or blonde espresso options. Despite its limited visibility, the Demi Cup provides a unique option for customers who enjoy a smaller, more concentrated coffee experience like you would find in Italian bars.

Hot Drinks

  • Triple Shot Espresso: Typically a triple shot of espresso but you can also ask for a single or double shot of espresso.

Cold Drinks

  • N/A

Starbucks Short Cup

The ‘Short’ is like Starbucks’ mini cup, holding 8 ounces (240 ml) and it’s just enough for a shot of espresso. It has been part of Starbucks’ menu since its early years. Starbucks was founded in 1971, and the company initially had only two sizes: Short and Tall. You can only get it for hot drinks like a Flat White, and because it’s not always on the menu, lots of folks might not know about it. It’s a great pick if you want a little bit of coffee or need just a small comforting boost.

Hot Drinks

  • Espresso: A classic single or double shot of espresso.
  • Flat White: A coffee drink consisting of espresso with microfoam.

Cold Drinks

For cold drinks, Starbucks typically uses larger cup sizes, and the Short Cup may not be a standard option. Cold beverages are often served in Tall, Grande, Venti, or Trenta sizes. If you have a specific cold drink in mind, it’s best to check with your local Starbucks store for their available sizes and options.

Starbucks Tall Cup

Oddly enough, Starbucks’ next size up is named Tall and can contain 12 ounces. Usually, drinks in this size have 1 espresso shot, except for the Americano, which packs in 2 shots. You can get both hot and cold drinks in this size. So, if you stroll into Starbucks and request a small, this is the cup you’ll get.

Introduced in the 1980s, the Starbucks Tall Cup plays a crucial role in the Starbucks menu, providing a middle ground for those who want a bit more than a small coffee but aren’t ready to commit to a larger size. A standard Tall Starbucks drink typically comes with three pumps of syrup in a standard order. This can add flavor to your beverage, enhancing your overall coffee experience.

Keep in mind that Starbucks offers a wide range of customization options, allowing you to tailor these drinks to your preferences in terms of milk type, sweetness, and additional flavors. Now let’s look specifically at the hot drinks vs cold drinks offered in the Starbucks Tall Cup.

Hot Drinks

  1. Latte: One-shot espresso with steamed milk and a thin layer of froth.
  2. Cappuccino: One-shot espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk.
  3. Americano: Two-shot espresso with added hot water for a coffee-like strength.
  4. Flat White: One-shot espresso with velvety microfoam.
  5. Mocha: One-shot espresso with steamed milk and chocolate syrup, topped with whipped cream.
  6. Macchiato: One-shot espresso with a splash of milk or foam.
  7. Hot Chocolate: Steamed milk with mocha syrup, topped with whipped cream.
  8. Chai Latte: Black tea concentrate with steamed milk and chai spice.
  9. White Chocolate Mocha: One-shot espresso with steamed milk, white chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.
  10. Tea Latte: Steamed milk with your choice of tea concentrate

Cold Drinks

  1. Iced Coffee: Chilled coffee served over ice.
  2. Frappucino: Blended icy drink with coffee or creme base, syrups, and toppings.
  3. Iced Latte: One-shot espresso with cold milk over ice.
  4. Iced Americano: One-shot espresso with cold water over ice.
  5. Iced Tea: Chilled tea served over ice.
  6. Iced Chai Latte: Chai tea concentrate with cold milk over ice.

Starbucks Grande Cup

Despite translating to “large” in various languages including Italian and Spanish, Grande at Starbucks is their middle-of-the-road size or medium, holding 16 ounces (473 ml). Typically, Grande drinks come with 2 shots of espresso, except for the Grande Americano, which packs a surprising 3 shots (great for those marathon days and super sleepy mornings). The size is part of Starbucks’ standard lineup and offers a balance between volume and manageability for customers. So whether you’re into hot or cold drinks, Starbucks has the Grande size ready for you.

  1. Coffee:
    • Brewed Coffee: Regular drip coffee.
    • Caffè Americano: Espresso with added hot water.
    • Cappuccino: Espresso with equal parts steamed milk and foam.
    • Latte: Espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam.
    • Mocha: Espresso with steamed milk, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.
    • Flat White: Espresso with velvety microform.
    • Macchiato: Espresso with a dollop of foam.
  2. Iced Coffee:
    • Iced Coffee: Cold-brewed or iced coffee variations.
    • Cold Brew: Cold-steeped coffee served over ice.
    • Nitro Cold Brew: Cold brew infused with nitrogen for a creamy texture.
    • Iced Latte: Espresso with cold milk and ice.
    • Iced Mocha: Espresso with cold milk, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.
  3. Tea:
    • Hot Tea
    • Iced Tea
  4. Specialty Drinks:
    • Frappuccinos: Blended coffee beverages with various flavors, ice, and toppings.
    • Starbucks Refreshers: Fruit-flavored, caffeine-containing beverages.
    • Hot Chocolate: Steamed milk with chocolate syrup, topped with whipped cream
    • Chai Latte: Spiced tea concentrate with steamed milk.
  5. Seasonal and Limited-Time Offerings:
    • Seasonal and promotional drinks are also available in the Grande cup size.

Starbucks Venti Cup

The Starbucks Venti size can be a bit tricky because it comes in two versions. In Italian, Venti means “20,” reflecting the 20 ounces you get in hot drinks of this size. Hot Venti drinks typically contain 2 shots of espresso. However, for Cold Venti drinks, the Venti cup is larger, holding 24 fluid ounces (710 ml). Cold Venti drinks, including iced coffees and other cold beverages, have an additional third shot of espresso compared to the hot Venti drinks. The total number of shots in cold Venti drinks is typically 3 shots. As always, there’s an exception: the hot Venti Americano, boasting an impressive 4 shots of espresso.

  1. Coffee:
    • Brewed Coffee
    • Americano
    • Espresso (Hot Venti)
    • Flat White (Hot Venti)
    • Caffè Latte (Hot Venti)
  2. Iced Coffee:
    • Iced Coffee (Cold Venti)
    • Cold Brew (Cold Venti)
    • Iced Americano (Cold Venti)
    • Iced Espresso (Cold Venti)
  3. Tea:
    • Hot Tea (Hot Venti)
    • Iced Tea (Cold Venti)
    • Teavana Shaken Iced Tea (Cold Venti)
  4. Specialty Drinks:
    • Frappuccinos (Blended Beverages, Cold Venti)
    • Starbucks Refreshers (Cold Venti)
    • Iced Caramel Macchiato (Cold Venti)
    • Iced Vanilla Latte (Cold Venti)
  5. Seasonal and Limited-Time Offerings:
    • Seasonal and promotional drinks are also available in the Venti size.

This list is not exhaustive, and Starbucks may introduce new drinks or vary offerings by location. Additionally, customization options, such as milk choices and flavorings, can be applied to many drinks. Always check the current menu or ask the barista for the specific drinks available in the Venti cup size at your Starbucks location.

Starbucks Trenta Cup

Trenta, translating to ’30’ in Italian, represents the biggest Starbucks size, holding 30 ounces. Unveiled in 2011, this size exclusively caters to cold beverages like cold brew and iced coffee. Regrettably, Trenta is not an option for hot drinks or beloved items like Frappuccinos and iced espresso beverages.

What drinks are available in the Trenta Cup Size?

  1. Iced Coffee
  2. Cold Brew
  3. Iced Teas (various flavors)
  4. Lemonades
  5. Starbucks Refreshers (various flavors)

Which items are not served in the Trenta cups?

  1. Hot Beverages: Trenta cups are designed for iced drinks, so hot beverages like hot coffee, hot tea, and other hot espresso-based drinks are not served in Trenta cups.
  2. Frappuccinos: Trenta cups are not used for Frappuccinos, which are cold blended beverages with ice.
  3. Iced Espresso Drinks: While iced coffee and cold brew are available in Trenta, other iced espresso-based drinks are not served in this size.
  4. Specialty Items: Certain seasonal or promotional items may not be available in Trenta size, as it depends on Starbucks’ current offerings.

It’s always a good idea to check with your local Starbucks store for any variations or updates to the menu, as regional differences and limited-time offerings may affect the availability of certain sizes for specific drinks.

Choosing the right Starbucks cup size

Choosing the right Starbucks cup size is an essential step in ensuring your coffee experience aligns with your preferences. Starbucks offers a range of cup sizes, each catering to different needs and preferences. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right Starbucks cup size for your next order:

  1. Short (8 oz):
    • Perfect for: Espresso enthusiasts or those looking for a smaller caffeine boost.
    • Common drinks: Typically contains a shot of espresso, suitable for hot drinks like a Flat White.
  2. Tall (12 oz):
    • Ideal for: Standard coffee drinkers who want a moderate-sized beverage.
    • Common drinks: Often the default size for a regular coffee order, both hot and cold.
  3. Grande (16 oz):
    • Best for: Those who enjoy a larger, more indulgent coffee experience.
    • Common drinks: Offers more room for customization and typically includes two shots of espresso.
  4. Venti (20 oz hot / 24 oz cold):
    • Great if: You need an extra boost or prefer a larger iced coffee.
    • Note: The hot Venti has 2 shots of espresso, while the cold Venti contains 3 shots.
  5. Trenta (31 oz, for specific cold drinks):
    • Recommended for: Iced tea, lemonade, and cold brew lovers seeking a refreshing, larger beverage.
    • Not for: Hot drinks, Frappuccinos, or iced espresso beverages.

Consider your caffeine tolerance, flavor preferences, and whether you’re in the mood for a hot or cold beverage when selecting the right Starbucks cup size. Don’t hesitate to ask your barista for recommendations based on your taste preferences, and feel free to explore different sizes to find your perfect fit. Enjoy your Starbucks experience!

Quick Starbucks Drink Table per Cup Size

Cup SizeHot DrinksCold Drinks
Demi (3 oz)Triple Shot EspressoN/A
Short (8 oz)Espresso, Flat WhiteN/A
Tall (12 – 13.7 oz)Latte, Cappuccino, Americano, Flat-White, Mocha, Macchiato, Hot Chocolate, Chai Latte, White Chocolate Mocha, Tea LatteIced Coffee, Iced Latte, Iced Americano, Iced Tea and Iced Chai Latte
Grande (16 – 24 oz)Brewed Coffee, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, Flat White, Macchiato, Hot Tea, Hot Chocolate, Chai LatteIced Coffee, Cold Brew, Nitro Cold Brew, Iced Latte, Iced Mocha, Iced Tea, Frappuccinos, Refreshers
Venti (20/24 oz)Brewed Coffee, Americano, Espresso, Flat White, Caffè Latte, TeaIced Coffee, Cold Brew, Iced Americano, Iced Espresso, Iced Tea, Teavana Shaken Iced Tea, Frappuccinos,
Starbucks Refreshers,
Iced Caramel Macchiato,
Iced Vanilla Latte
Trenta (31 oz)N/AIced Coffee
Cold Brew
Iced Teas (various flavors)
Starbucks Refreshers (various flavors)

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