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What Are Starbucks Cup Sizes? (And What Each Size Means)

Starbucks cup sizes are labeled a little differently than many other coffee shops. While some people may find the names, such as “grande” and “venti,” charming, others may find them confusing. So what exactly are the Starbucks sizes, and what are they called?

From smallest to largest, the Starbucks cup sizes are “short” (8 ounces), “tall” (12 ounces), “grande” (16 ounces), “venti hot” (20 ounces), “venti cold” (24 ounces), and “trenta” (31 ounces).

Only the tall, grande, and venti sizes will appear on all Starbucks menus.

Short cups are only available for hot drinks, and trenta cups are only available for select iced beverages.

In addition, some Starbucks locations will have small three-ounce cups for espresso shots, called demi cups.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Starbucks cup sizes, their names, and which ones offer the most bang for your buck.

Starbucks Cup SizesOunces
Demi3 oz.
Short8 oz.
Tall12 oz.
Grande16 oz.
Venti Hot20 oz.
Venti Cold24 oz.
Trenta Cold31 oz.
 Starbucks Cup Sizes and Ounces

Starbucks Cup Sizes

The standard Starbucks cup sizes listed on the menu, from smallest to largest, are tall, grande, and venti, but Starbucks also offers a few other sizes that you won’t typically see on a menu.

A short cup is smaller than a tall cup and is available for hot beverages only.

A trenta is even larger than a venti and is only available for select iced drinks.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the Starbucks cup sizes below.

1. Demi

Demi is the tiny cup at Starbucks that is used for espresso shots.

It’s only three ounces and can hold a single or double espresso shot, but not much else.

A double shot of espresso is two ounces, so a demi cup won’t leave much space to add anything else to the cup.

Not all locations carry demi cups, so if you order a shot of espresso, it may be served to you in a short cup.

The word “demi” comes from the French word “demitasse,” which means half cup.

It’s a word often used to describe small coffee and espresso cups as well as the tiny spoons that often accompany them.

2. Short

Short was one of the original Starbucks sizes, and it’s still available for hot drinks.

However, people don’t always know about it since it’s not generally listed on the menu to save space.

Besides a demi, which is just a shot of espresso, short is the smallest size available.

It’s eight ounces and is only used for hot drinks.

Short cups are great for kids’ drinks or when you want a smaller-sized beverage.

In addition, short espresso drinks are typically made with a single shot of espresso.

3. Tall

Tall is the smallest coffee size on the standard Starbucks menu.

It’s 12 ounces, which means it holds four ounces more liquid than a short. Tall drinks can be hot or cold.

A tall is about the same size as a small coffee in most other coffee shops.

It’s called a tall because it used to be the largest size listed on the menu and is a step up from a short.

Once the venti was added, tall was demoted to the smallest listed size, but the cup has always been 12 ounces.

Tall espresso drinks are usually made with a single shot of espresso, so a tall latte, for example, will have the same amount of espresso as a short latte but with extra milk added.

Some drinks, such as the flat white or Americano, are made with an extra shot, so a tall Americano would contain two espresso shots.

As with all beverages on the Starbucks menu, you can always ask your barista to add an extra shot of espresso!

4. Grande

Grande is Starbucks’ medium-sized cup, but before the venti was introduced, it used to be the largest size available, which is why it’s called “grande” (it means “big” in Italian.)

Grande Starbucks drinks are 16 ounces and can be hot or iced.

Grande is Starbucks’ most popular size.

Grande espresso drinks are typically made with two espresso shots, though Americanos and flat whites are made with three.

Certain Starbucks menu items, such as smoothies, are only available in the grande size.

5. Venti Hot

A Starbucks venti is split into two slightly different sizes, depending on whether your drink is hot or iced.

A hot venti cup is 20 ounces, and it’s called a venti because “venti” is Italian for 20.

A venti hot is the largest size Starbucks offers for hot coffee.

A Starbucks venti hot espresso drink will generally have two espresso shots, so unless you add an extra shot, it will have the same amount as a grande.

However, a venti will have more milk and flavored syrup than a grande.

6. Venti Cold

A venti cold is slightly larger than a venti hot to add extra room for ice.

A Starbucks venti cold cup contains 24 ounces.

A venti iced espresso drink at Starbucks will typically contain three espresso shots.

That means a venti cold espresso drink has more espresso in it than a venti hot espresso drink.

Venti cold cups are the largest cup size available for iced espresso drinks.

7. Trenta Cold

Starbucks introduced the trenta in 2011, and this massive, 31-ounce cup is only available for certain iced drinks.

Although most stores offer trenta cups, not every Starbucks will carry them.

Iced coffee, cold brew, shaken iced tea, shaken iced tea lemonade, and Starbucks Refreshers are the only beverages available in a trenta cold cup.

Espresso drinks are not available in the trenta size.

What Is the Largest Size at Starbucks?

The largest size listed on the Starbucks menu is a venti, but some stores carry an even larger size for iced beverages called a trenta.

A trenta is 31 ounces and is only available for certain iced drinks at select Starbucks locations.

Both hot and iced venti cups are available at all locations.

A venti hot is 20 ounces and is the largest size of hot coffee available at Starbucks.

A venti cold is 24 ounces, and it’s the largest cup size available at Starbucks for an iced espresso drink.

Espresso drinks and frappuccinos cannot be served in a trenta cup, but iced coffee, cold brew, Starbucks Refreshers, and shaken iced teas can all be served in trenta size in locations where it is available.

Why Are Starbucks Cup Sizes in Italian?

Starbucks cup sizes like grande and venti are in Italian to mimic the feel of an authentic Italian coffee bar.

After a trip to Italy, the CEO of Starbucks returned home and used the inspiration he found there to help shape the coffee retailer into the global chain it is today.

Starbucks was originally a coffee and spice vendor.

From the early 1970s to the early 1980s, the shop would sell tea, spices, and freshly roasted coffee for customers to take home.

In 1983, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz took a trip to Milan, Italy.

He was charmed by Italy’s coffee shops and sought to recreate their warmth and spirit back home in Seattle.

Schultz turned the spice shop into a cafe, introducing Italian-inspired coffee drinks, swapping out the staff’s brown aprons for the now-iconic green ones, and naming Starbucks’ cup sizes in the Italian fashion.

What Are the Small, Medium, and Large Sizes at Starbucks?

The small, medium and large sizes on the Starbucks menu are tall, grande, and venti, respectively. There is, however, a smaller size, short, available for hot drinks and larger size, trenta, for select iced beverages.

Tall is what Starbucks calls their small-sized beverages.

A tall cup is 12 ounces and is comparable to a small one at most coffee shops.

Tall cups are available for both hot and iced beverages.

A short cup is only eight ounces, making it four ounces smaller than the tall cup, and is only available for hot beverages.

Starbucks calls their medium-sized beverages “grande.”

A grande is 16 ounces and is comparable to a medium at most coffee shops.

Grande is Starbucks’ most popular size, and both hot and iced beverages are available in grande cups.

Starbucks calls their large-sized beverages “venti.”

Venti cups come in two different sizes, depending on whether you order a hot or cold drink.

Venti hot cups are 20 ounces, and venti cold cups are 24 ounces.

Some Starbucks locations carry the larger “trenta” size for select iced beverages.

A trenta cup is 31 ounces.

Early on, short, tall, and grande were the only three sizes offered at Starbucks.

However, short was taken off the menu to save space when the venti was added, and tall and grande were demoted to small and medium.

This is why Starbucks calls their medium-size “grande” despite the name meaning large.

What Starbucks Size Is the Best Value?

Generally speaking, the larger the coffee, the better the value, as long as you’re going to drink all of it.

While a Starbucks venti is more expensive than a tall, the cost per ounce is significantly lower.

Order a grande or a venti if you want the most bang for your buck.

You’ll receive four to 12 ounces more of your beverage for only a few cents more.

It’s important to note that a larger-sized cup doesn’t necessarily mean more caffeine, depending on your drink order.

A grande drip coffee will have more coffee (and therefore more caffeine) than a tall drip coffee, but both tall and grande hot lattes come with one espresso shot.

The grande hot latte simply has more milk and flavored syrup than the tall.

If you’d like more caffeine in your beverage, you can always ask the barista to add another shot of espresso, though you will be charged for it.

Can You Get a Discount at Starbucks if You Bring Your Own Cup?

Starbucks offers a $0.10 discount if you bring your own cup. The discount applies to any drink and any size cup.

When you bring your own cup to Starbucks, you will be charged for the Starbucks size closest to your cup’s size, plus a $0.10 discount.

That means if you bring a 16-ounce reusable cup, you’ll be charged for a grande with the $0.10 discount.

Conclusion

Whether you find them charming or confusing (or a little of both), we hope this article was able to demystify Starbucks drink sizes.

At the very least, it should be clearer why a Starbucks small is called a tall! If you’re ever confused about your drink size, just ask your barista for help!

If you’re looking for more information about Starbucks, check out the articles below.

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Last Updated: June 12, 2022

About the Author

Lauren Vigdor is a creative writer and hospitality professional with over a decade of experience in the food and beverage industry. She specializes in food and beverage writing.

Her book, “Drink Like a Bartender,” was written as a guide to help novice drinkers navigate the beverage world and was rated one of Forbes Magazine’s Best Bar Books of 2017.

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