The coffee sizes at Starbucks can be confusing. Are cold Starbucks drinks larger than hot Starbucks drinks? Is a tall the smallest size available? And does ordering a larger size mean that you’ll get more caffeine? Everything you need to know about Starbucks cup sizes is right here in this article.
Starbucks Cup Sizes
- Demi (3 oz.)
- Short (8 oz.)
- Tall (12 oz.)
- Grande (16 oz.)
- Venti (20 oz. or 24 oz.)
- Trenta (31 oz.)
Starbucks Size: Demi (3 ounces)
The smallest Starbucks cup is mainly used for espresso shots. Demi is short for demitasse, meaning “half-cup” in French. It’s the perfect size for a small drink such as a macchiato or a double shot of espresso.
Starbucks Size: Short (8 ounces)
This eight-ounce cup from the secret menu used to be on the regular menu, but as Starbucks sizes grew, its popularity waned until it was eventually removed from the lineup.
The short is the smallest cup size you can order for a Starbucks drink. At 8 ounces, the short size is only used for hot coffee drinks. Because this size is not shown on the menu, not a lot of people know that this cup size is available. A coffee drink in a short contains one shot of espresso.
Starbucks Size: Tall (12 ounces)
A tall at 12 ounces is considered the smallest coffee on the Starbucks menu. Both hot and cold beverages can be ordered in a tall size: anything from a latte to an iced coffee.
Tall espresso beverages such as the latte contain one shot of espresso unless you specify that you’d like more. A tall iced, shaken espresso has two shots of espresso, a tall Americano also has two shots. You can always ask for more espresso shots or alternatives such as decaf from your Starbucks barista.
Starbucks Size: Grande (16 ounces)
If you order a grande serving, you will receive 16 fluid ounces of any hot or cold beverage. The grande espresso drinks at Starbucks contain two shots of espresso, which is equivalent to two and a half cups (six ounces) of coffee.
Starbucks Size: Venti (20 or 24 ounces)
Venti means the number 20 in Italian. A Venti cup is Starbucks’ large size. Depending on whether you order a venti hot or a venti cold drink, the venti sizes vary, though. A venti hot drink comes in a 20-ounce cup, but a cold venti drink comes in a 24-ounce cup.
A venti hot contains two shots of espresso, but a Starbucks venti Americano has four shots. A venti cold has three shots of espresso.
Starbucks Size: Trenta (31 ounces)
Trenta means 30 in Italian, even though this cup size is 31 ounces. The trenta cold Starbucks drink size is only available in a plastic cup for cold beverages. Trenta is the largest cup size, and you cannot order any hot drinks in this size.
No hot espresso drinks are made in this size, so there isn’t a standard number of shots in the Trenta cup size.
Cold brew, iced coffee, and Starbucks Refreshers can all be served in Trenta size.
Where Do Starbucks Cup Sizes Come From?
Why do we order a large coffee, Grande, a Venti cold, or a Venti hot, and not the typical small, medium, or large coffee? What’s behind these unusual Starbucks cup sizes?
Legend has it that the current Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz took a trip to Italy in 1983 (Schultz has been with Starbucks since 1982 except for a few years of hiatus), where he was fascinated by the romance of the Italian coffee bar. So much so that he decided to emulate it in the U.S. with his own coffee shop.
With his store, Schultz wanted to convey a different image, serving much more than just a cup of coffee.
This coffee shop eventually became the Starbucks franchise we know today. But the story doesn’t end there. In the 1990s, the Starbucks menu had only three drink sizes: Short, Tall, and Grande.
Short was essentially small, tall was medium, and large was tall. With the introduction of the Venti size, the Tall size became the new Short size, and the Short size was eliminated entirely. Today, however, you can still order shorts at most Starbucks locations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Starbucks Drink Sizes
What’s the Biggest Cup Size at Starbucks?
The largest of the Starbucks cups is the 31-ounce Trenta, which is available only for coffee or iced tea drinks. Trenta means 30 in Italian. An interesting fact: one Trenta cold-brew coffee contains 360 milligrams of caffeine. This amount is equivalent to the caffeine in five espresso shots.
Why Does Starbucks Name Their Cup Sizes?
When the company first started, the cup sizes had more familiar names: a small coffee was called a short, a medium was called a tall, and the largest was called a grande.
As customers demanded larger sizes, the short vanished entirely, giving way to the more substantial venti and leaving tall as the smallest option on the menu.
Why Are Starbucks Sizes in Italian?
After visiting Italy in 1983, Starbucks founder and current CEO Howard Schultz became obsessed with the country’s coffee shops and wanted to incorporate Italian names. Hence the Italian names: Grande means ‘large,’ Venti translates to ‘twenty,’ and Trenta means ‘thirty.’
There you have it: All the Starbucks cup sizes and drinks sizes explained! If you’re still unsure about sizing options or need to limit your caffeine intake, ask your Starbucks barista about the drinks menu. They’ll have all the information!
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Featured Image Credit: Starbucks
- Starbucks Cup Sizes
- Where Do Starbucks Cup Sizes Come From?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Starbucks Drink Sizes