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.
Starbucks Cup Sizes – Conclusion
While the cup sizes at Starbucks may seem a bit confusing at first, they are easy to remember with a bit more information and repetition.
While the names of each beverage size at Starbucks 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?“