Many people are confused initially when placing their first order at a Starbucks coffee shop, as they use unique names for their sizes that are not necessarily intuitive.
While nearly all other coffee shops and restaurants use established names for their beverage sizes, like “small, medium, and large,” drink sizes at Starbucks have unique names like “Tall, Grande, and Venti.”
With unique names for their cup sizes, what exactly are the different Starbucks cup sizes? Let’s take a closer look!
The smallest-sized cup served at Starbucks is called the Demi, and it holds only three ounces. They are about the same size as a shot glass and are primarily used to serve shots of espresso.
A “short” pull of espresso contains about one ounce of highly concentrated coffee, and a “long” pull of espresso is about two ounces. This makes the Demi cup the perfect candidate for a variety of small espresso drinks, including cortados.
These small cups are also often used to serve customers sides of milk or dairy-free cream alternatives such as oat or almond milk on the side. The one major drawback to the Demi cup is the fact that lids are rarely available for such a small size.
The term demi comes from the word “demitasse,” which is French in origin and 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 Short sized coffee is by far the least popular size option on the menu. In earlier years, the Short size option was listed on the menu for all items. Today, it has been removed as an official size, though nearly all locations still carry Short cups.
Each Short cup at Starbucks can hold eight ounces, which is about two ounces more than the standard six-ounce pour of coffee at many diners and restaurants. This makes it the perfect-sized cup for a moderate cup of coffee while leaving ample room for cream.
While the Short sized cup is no longer advertised and listed on the menu, it is still possible to have your drink served in one. This is a great option for smaller portions of brewed coffee, as well as custom espresso-based drinks with lots of additions.
The Tall is both one of the most popular sizes on the menu at Starbucks, and one of the primary causes of confusion for less experienced customers. In most cases, the Tall option at Starbucks is roughly equivalent to “small” sized drinks at major restaurants like fast food chains.
Many people hear the term “Tall” and automatically associate it with something that is very large. While the Tall is one of the most popular sizes on the menu at Starbucks, some customers are disappointed after ordering and expecting a large coffee.
Each Tall cup at Starbucks can hold up to 12 ounces, and it is one of three sizes that are available for the vast majority of non-espresso products at each location. Everything from hot coffee to iced tea is available in a Tall size.
The twelve-ounce size of the Tall cup makes it the perfect candidate for storing two standard servings of brewed coffee, and it is also a great size for the proper milk-to-espresso ratio in Starbucks lattes and macchiatos.
The Grande is often referred to as the “Medium” size option at Starbucks locations, as it is often the middle option of the three listed for each item. It contains 16 ounces, making it equal in size to the standard pint.
A single Grande cup can hold three standard servings of brewed coffee, and it is one of the most popular size options when it comes to iced coffee and tea selections at Starbucks. It is also one of the best options for espresso-based drinks in the eyes of many.
When served in a Grande cup, espresso-based drinks from Starbucks contain two standard shots of espresso. This makes the espresso-to-milk ratio of the 16-ounce Grande slightly stronger when compared to the one espresso shot in the 12-ounce Tall size option.
The word grande means “large” or “grand” in a variety of different languages, including Italian and Spanish. While it is likely that Starbucks originally intended for this to represent their “large” selection, there are now two different options on the menu larger than the Grande.
The Venti is considered by many serious caffeine enthusiasts and working professionals to be the best option on the Starbucks menu in terms of both size and value. It is also one of the largest-sized cups that fit into standard cupholders in most cars.
There are actually two different sizes of Venti cups, one for hot items and one for cold. The hot version of the Venti cup holds 20 ounces, while the version for iced drinks holds 24 ounces. This difference in size is to account for the liquid displaced by ice cubes in cold drink selections.
The word Venti means 20 in Italian, and this refers to the 20 ounces of liquid contained in each Venti-sized selection at Starbucks. The standard hot Venti espresso drink contains two shots of espresso, while the iced version contains three espresso shots.
The Trenta is the largest-sized cup that Starbucks offers, and it is only available for certain iced beverages. It can hold up to 31 fluid ounces, making it one of the largest cups intended for serving coffee in the entire world.
Each Trenta cup can hold up to five times the average serving of coffee, and it is most often used for cold brew, iced coffee, and iced espresso-based selections. The cup is very large and many customers find it fairly heavy to carry around.
1. What is a Small at Starbucks?
When you head into your local Starbucks, and you are looking to enjoy a small-sized coffee drink, you will want to order a Tall. Yes, this does seem confusing at first.
However, when you realize that the drink size names for larger drinks use Italian words for larger sizes, it makes a lot more sense.
2. What is a Medium at Starbucks?
The medium size coffee drink at Starbucks is where we start with the use of Italian words to describe the size of the drink. A medium-sized drink at Starbucks is a Grande.
The Grande is also the standard size used for describing drink recipes on the Starbucks website.
3. What is a Large at Starbucks?
In general, if you are looking for a large-size drink at Starbucks, you should order a Venti. This is the largest size available for a hot drink.
However, if you are really thirsty, cold drinks can come in one size larger, a Trenta.
4. How Big is a Starbucks Venti?
The Venti actually comes in two different sizes, depending on whether you want a hot drink or a cold drink. When you look at the translation of the word Venti, in Italian this word means 20. The hot Venti at Starbucks is a 20 ounce cup.
Many people consider this the best value on the menu, as it comes with two shots of espresso. The Venti is also the largest cup size at Starbucks that comfortably fits in most standard car cup holders.
The cold drink Venti, is actually a bit larger in volume. This cup holds 24 ounces. If you order a cold espresso drink in a Venti, you’ll get three shots of espresso, which is a great added value.
5. What is a Venti Hot (20 fl. oz.)
Depending on your preferred unit of measure, the hot Venti at Starbucks holds 20 fluid ounces, 2.37 cups, 586 milliliters, or a British Pint (in the US this is actually more than a standard 16 ounce pint).
For some people almost a pint of milk is just too much. So, many coffee drinkers choose to add an additional shot of espresso to their Venti. This reduces the amount of milk, just a bit. Also, this gives many of the Venti hot drinks a more robust coffee flavor, instead of diluting the coffee with milk.
6. What is a Venti Cold (24 fl. oz.)
When you order a cold drink at Starbucks whether it be a coffee-based drink, a frappuccino, or one of their cold teas or Refreshers, you’ll get a bit more quantity for your money. Depending on the units you prefer a cold Venti is 24 fluid ounces, 3 cups, or 709 milliliters. Cold coffee-based Venti drinks at Starbucks will use three shots of espresso, instead of two like you’ll get in a hot Venti.
In most Starbucks stores, the cold Venti is the largest size available. However, some Starbucks stores offer one size larger, and if you didn’t know it existed, keep reading to learn more about the secret Starbucks size that is even larger than a Venti.
7. Why Is A Cold Venti Bigger Than a Hot Venti?
You may think that if you order a cold Venti with its additional 4 ounces of space, that you are getting more for your money. But this isn’t completely true. The smart people at Starbucks decided to make the cold drink cup just a bit larger so that you get the same amount of drink even when ice is added.
Think about it. If you have a 20 ounce cold cup and you add ice, then try to put 20 ounces of liquid in the cup, it’s not going to fit, and you get less drink for the price of your Venti.
What is the Biggest Drink at Starbucks?
We have alluded to this mysterious extra-large drink size at Starbucks. We call it a secret because it isn’t well known to most people, and not every Starbucks store carries this gigantic drink size. The largest size you can get at some Starbucks is a Trenta. This is a lot of liquid, and it is only available for certain drinks. The Trenta holds 31 fluid ounces, almost 4 cups, or 916 milliliters.
You’re more likely to find the Trenta option in Starbucks stores in the continental United States, but it’s still not in every store. The Trenta is also only an option for certain drinks at Starbucks. You cannot get hot drinks or frappuccino in a Trenta. Teavana iced tea or lemonades, iced coffee, cold brew, and refreshers are the only drinks you can order in a Trenta.
Starbucks Cold Cup Sizes
The Starbucks cold cup sizes do vary a bit from their hot drink counterparts. There are four size options that range from 12 ounces to 30 ounces. For ease of ordering, Starbucks has named their cold drink sizes to match the hot drink options.
The cold Tall size is 12 fluid ounces. It is the smallest cold drink that you can get at Starbucks. When you order an espresso-based drink in a Tall cup, you will get one shot of espresso. This is the same with Tall hot drinks. The exception to the one-shot rule is with shaken espressos, flat whites, and Americanos. These drinks are always made with two shots of espresso (or ristretto for flat whites).
The cold Grande size is 16 fluid ounces. Espresso-based cold drinks use two shots of espresso. This is the same amount of espresso as is used in the hot drink option.
The cold Venti size is 24 fluid ounces. The cold Venti holds four more ounces than the hot drink Venti. The Venti is the only size where the amount of espresso differs between the hot and cold versions. Cold Venti drinks will get three shots of espresso. The hot version of espresso-based Venti drinks only have two shots of espresso.
The Trenta is a cup size that is only available for cold drinks. It is the largest of the drink options at Starbucks, and it is not available at all Starbucks stores. The Trenta holds 30 fluid ounces. In Italian, the word Trenta means 30. This is why the 30-ounce drink size at Starbucks is named Trenta.
Secret Starbucks Menu Sizes
An article about Starbucks drink sizes wouldn’t be complete without a discussion about the “secret menu”. There are drink sizes on the secret menu, but you have to keep in mind that not all Starbucks stores will carry these “secret” sizes.
The Trenta is technically considered a secret menu size. The other drink size that is considered to be a secret menu item is the Short. This size is smaller than the Tall, coming in at only 8 ounces.
While the Starbucks sizes may seem a bit confusing at first, they are easy to remember with a bit more information and repetition.
While the names of each Starbucks drink size may seem random at first, there is a meaning behind each name and different intended use for each size.
From a quick espresso in a Demi cup to an all-day latte in a huge Trenta container, there are enough different sizes on the Starbucks menu for any and all occasions.
Want to know more about Starbucks? Make sure you check out our articles on “how much does it cost Starbucks to make a cup of coffee?” and “what is the strongest coffee at Starbucks?“