Starbucks Sizes 101: A guide to Starbucks cup sizes

Everything you need to know about Starbucks cup sizes

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For many coffee lovers, a trip to Starbucks can be a daily ritual or a special treat. However, navigating the various cup sizes being offered by the coffeehouse chain can be daunting even for the most seasoned customer. If you’re new to the world of Starbucks, understanding the different cup sizes can seem overwhelming at first. But fear not, as this beginner’s guide will help you make sense of Starbucks’ unique terminology and give you the confidence to order your favorite drink with ease. Whether you’re a first-time customer or a long-time fan looking to learn more about the popular café, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about Starbucks cup sizes, so you can get the most out of your coffee experience.

What are the different Starbucks cup sizes?

There are six different cup sizes available at Starbucks. While most of them are part of the chain’s official menu, a number of them are considered “secret” sizes and may not be available in some locations. And since some Starbucks drinks are only available in certain cup sizes, it’s useful to know the intended use of each cup size.

1. Starbucks Demi

The smallest cup size at Starbucks is called Demi. It holds only 3 ounces and is used only for hot drinks. It is primarily used to serve shots of espresso or small things like espresso con panna (espresso with a little whipped cream).

The term Demi comes from the French word “demitasse,” which means half-cup. Demitasse usually refers to small upscale espresso cups that are made with fine China or other ceramics. Traditionally, demitasse cups are served alongside a tiny matching stirring spoon.

The Demi size is not as commonly used as other sizes but is still available at most Starbucks locations.

2. Starbucks Short

The Short cup size at Starbucks holds 8 ounces. Available for hot drinks only, including brewed coffee and espresso drinks, this option is one of the chain’s “secret” sizes. Several years ago, the Short cup size was listed on the menu for all items. But it was removed from the menu when Starbucks introduced a new size option back in 1996. Although you may not see it on the Starbucks menu today, nearly all locations still carry Short cups size, which is the smallest size for the chain’s hot beverages.

3. Starbucks Tall

The Tall cup size at Starbucks is roughly equivalent to “small” sized drinks at major restaurants like fast food chains. It can hold up to 12 ounces and is used for both hot and cold sips like coffee and tea. The Tall option is considered the smallest option for most drinks on the Starbucks menu.

4. Starbucks Grande

Although the word grande means large in Italian, Starbucks’ Grande cup size is actually a medium option at the café chain. Available for both hot and cold drinks, a Grande cup holds 16 ounces, making it equal in size to the standard pint. It is one of the most popular size options when it comes to espresso-based drinks and tea selections at Starbucks.

5. Starbucks Venti

In Italian, the word venti means 20, and this refers to the 20 ounces of liquid the Venti size option at Starbucks can hold. The Venti cups are considered “large”, but it’s worth noting that there are actually two different sizes of Venti cups at Starbucks.

The Venti cup for hot beverages holds 20 ounces, while the Venti cup for cold sips holds 24 ounces. The difference in volume capacity is to account for the liquid displaced by ice cubes in cold drink selections. A fun side note is that Starbucks’ Venti is one of the cup sizes that fit into standard cupholders in most cars.

6. Starbucks Trenta

Also a “secret” size at Starbucks, the coffeehouse chain’s Trenta option is the counterpart of “extra-large” drinks at fast food chains. Based on the Italian word trenta, which means 30, this cup size can hold up to 31 ounces, making it one of the largest cups intended for serving coffee in the entire world.

Only available for certain iced beverages like iced teas and iced coffee, the Trenta cup size is very big and many customers find it fairly heavy to carry around. While lattes and Frappuccinos are not available in Trenta, you can order a Venti iced latte in a Trenta cup if you want to get more ice.

How many espresso shots are in each Starbucks cup size?

The number of espresso shots used in each Starbucks cup size varies. Hot and cold beverages contain different quantities of espresso, as do drinks with milk and drinks without. Below is a quick explanation

1. Starbucks Demi

As mentioned above, a Starbucks Demi cup holds 3 ounces, and since a single shot of espresso at Starbucks is 1 ounce, a Demi cup can hold up to three shots of espresso. However, it’s worth noting that not all drinks served in a Demi cup may contain espresso or the same number of shots, as the number of espresso shots used in a drink may vary based on the recipe and customer preference.

2. Starbucks Short

Short cups of beverages made with milk, such as lattes and cappuccinos, contain one shot of espresso. A short cup of Americano, made with water, also has a single espresso shot.

3. Starbucks Tall

A Tall cup of Starbucks drink with milk has one shot of espresso. Meanwhile, Tall cups of Americano and shaken espresso contain two shots each.

4. Starbucks Grande

Espresso drinks in Grande cups have two shots of espresso each. Grande cups of Americano and shaken espresso, on the other hand, have an extra shot, giving you three shots of espresso in total.

5. Starbucks Venti

Similar to a Grande, a hot drink in a Venti cup has two shots of espresso, with the extra volume of the cup allotted for milk and syrup. Cold milky drinks in Venti cups, on the other hand, have three shots of espresso.

But there are some exceptions to this. For instance, flat white lattes, made with a special ristretto shot, always include one extra shot of espresso than traditional lattes. And blended drinks, such as Frappuccinos, always contain a single espresso shot, regardless of cup size.

What was the inspiration for Starbucks cup names?

As mentioned in Karen Blumenthal’s book Grande Expectations, former Starbucks Howard Schultz wanted to convey a different image for the coffee shop chain, “something far more exotic than a simple cup of joe.” During a trip to Milan, Shultz reportedly become captivated by Italian coffee bars and decided to replicate his experience in the United States. To completely achieve a fancy, European vibe, Schultz decided to give the café’s cup sizes Italian names.

What’s the best value size at Starbucks?

Blogger and former Starbucks barista Becky Beach said in a 2021 Insider report that Grande cups and Venti cups are the best deals because there’s a dramatic increase in drink volume from Tall cups for just “a few cents more.”

What’s the best Starbucks cup size when watching calories?

Tall and Grande drinks generally have lower calorie content than Venti beverages. However, it’s worth noting that the total amount of calories also depends on the kind of drink you order.

What is the largest cup size at Starbucks?

As mentioned above, Trenta (31 ounces) is the largest cup size at Starbucks. But not all kinds of drinks are available in this size. So, depending on the kind of drinks, here are the largest cup sizes at Starbucks:

Trenta: The largest cup size for Cold Brew, Iced Coffee, Iced tea, Starbucks Refreshers, and other cold drinks

Venti: The largest cup size for Frappuccinos and hot drinks

Grande: The largest cup size for Nitro Cold Brew

How much is a cup of water at Starbucks?

A Grande cup of water with ice is believed to be free at Starbucks. But some Starbucks locations may charge a small fee if you order water and nothing else.

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