A Complete Guide to Starbucks Sizes

Despite the cost, nothing tastes better in the morning than a stimulating coffee from Starbucks. However, many people do not know the story behind the naming of the coffee powerhouse cup sizes. When former CEO Howard Schultz visited Italy, he was drawn by the Italian coffee bars’ romance and replicated the concept at home featuring exotic drink names in a bid to honor that heritage. But what are the Starbucks different sizes?

Starbucks has six cup sizes: demi (3 oz), short (8 oz), tall (12 oz), grande (16 oz), venti (20 oz & 24 oz), and trenta (31 oz). The sizes are based on the ounces each cup carries.

A picture of a disposable Starbucks cup.

A Quick Preview of Starbucks Drink Sizes

Here are the five Starbucks drink sizes you may order:

  • Demi (3 oz)
  • Short (8 oz)
  • Tall (12 oz)
  • Grande (16 oz)
  • Venti (20 oz and 24 oz)
  • Trenta (31 oz)

What are all the sizes at Starbucks?

Here is a description of each Starbucks cup size:

1. Demi

Demi is a tiny cup of three ounces designed for espresso shots. Despite its miniature size, a standard espresso shot is one ounce making it the perfect size for a single or double espresso shot. Demi is the shortened form of the French word “demitasse” which means half cup. It is mostly used for coffee tasting and samples only.

2. Short

The popularity ratings for this eight-ounce cup dwindled such that it was scrapped from the regular menu and found its way to the secret menu. A cup of coffee has six ounces of liquid as the standard of which the short has more by two ounces. The majority of Starbucks offers it though it is limited to hot drinks only. Best for children or people who want to minimize their coffee intake.

3. Tall

It is ironic that at 12 liquid ounces, tall is the smallest coffee size on Starbucks’ regular menu. A tall is equal to two standard six-ounce coffee cups. In hallmark beverages such as mochas, lattes, and macchiatos, tall and short have similar caffeine content of single espresso shots with the tall having extra milk or a no caffeine beverage.

4. Grande

Grande in Italian means large even though in Starbucks it’s a medium size for coffees. A grande order comes with 16 liquid ounces of any iced or hot beverage. An espresso drink in this category is offered with two espresso shots which is equal to two and a half coffee cups of six ounces each. Smoothies are available in this size only.

5. Venti

Venti is Italian for twenty and comes in two sizes. A hot Venti has 20 liquid ounces while venti cold has 24 ounces. Even though the cold drink is significantly larger, both cups are tall and will be the size you’ll get if you buy a “medium.”

6. Trenta

Trenta means thirty in Italian and is the largest size in Starbucks coffee sizes. It comes in 31 liquid ounces and is restricted to iced drinks only. Depending on the ice, this is equal to three or four coffee cups.

How Starbucks Got Their Names

When it started, Starbucks offered only short and tall cup sizes. As the company continued to garner many clients, there was a need to add other cup sizes to its catalogue. The company added the Grande cup size, which by the time was the largest cup size.

Later, iced and blended drinks became household names thus an additional cup size was necessary. This time, a 24-oz Venti cup found its way to Starbucks. The cup’s smaller version (20-oz) was introduced to serve hot drinks.

As the 24-oz Venti gained popularity, the 20-oz smaller version lost its glory. Eventually, the smaller version was removed from the list but you can still order it.

Further improvements continued in subsequent years. For instance, in 2008, Starbucks embarked on a mission of testing a 32-oz double grande cup. This cup size was also referred to as Tazo, which was designed for iced teas.

The testing didn’t last long because Starbucks abandoned the cup shortly thereafter. Two years later, the company embarked on yet another testing mission. This time, it was the Trenta cup size.

Exactly one year later, ordering of the Trenta cup version started in different stores across 14 states in the US.

Why You Cannot Order a Venti Nitro Cold Brew at Starbucks

Have you tried ordering Venti cold brew at Starbucks? What was your experience? Well, for many people, whether it is at the Starbucks store or via their app, the nitro cold brew is limited to grande and tall cup sizes.

For now, here is the thing:

You cannot order a Venti nitro cold brew because it would compromise the texture as well as the cascading effect of the drink. Baristas argue that it is unsanitary because it is almost impossible to fill a venti cup size with nitro cold brew without the tap touching the drink because of the cup size.

For now, it looks like nitro cold brew lovers will need to contend with the grande and tall Starbucks cup sizes. That does not mean you can’t order regular cold brew, which is available in grande, tall, venti, and Trenta cup sizes.

Why Does Starbucks Ask for Your Name?

Every time you place an order at Starbucks, the barista on duty will ask for your name and writes it on the cup. This creates a personal connection with Starbucks’ patrons and assists other baristas in sorting the orders, especially for clients with similar orders.

Can You Bring Your Own Cup to Starbucks?

You can bring your own reusable travel mug to Starbucks to carry your favorite cold or hot drink. For you to do that, you will need to follow a four-step procedure to prevent contaminating your cup.

Interestingly, Starbucks gives clients who come with their own cups a $0.10 discount! This discount is to encourage those that are cutting on waste. If you intend to bring your cup, inform the barista on duty when making an order.

When you want to make an order at Starbucks and you want to bring your old cup, follow these five steps:

  1. The barista on duty will give you an empty ceramic mug and ask you to remove the lid of your old cup;
  2. Upon ascertaining that your cup is clean, the barista will ask you to place your cup inside the ceramic cup;
  3. The barista will then hold the ceramic cup, which holds your clean cup to avoid touching your cup, and fills the cup with a drink of your choice;
  4. The barista places the drink at the handing-off section.
  5. Grab your cup from the handoff section and replace the lid as you start to enjoy your drink.

Alternatively, you can make your own Starbucks hot or cold drink at home by ordering Starbuck ground coffee from Amazon. See this nicely-packed Starbucks Spring Day Ground Coffee below:

Starbucks Spring Day Blend Ground Coffee, Spring Blend, 10 oz (Pack of 6)

How Do You Know What Size You Are at Starbucks?

Depending on your drinking habits, taste, temperature preference and frequency, you know your size by the ounces you take which will determine the size you get from a short to a trenta size.

What Is The Best Size To Get At Starbucks?

The popular size in Starbucks is a Grande which is the most common coffee size.

Is Grande a Medium?

Grande is a normal-sized coffee cup in Starbucks and a medium order will bring a Venti size irrespective of whether it’s hot or cold.

What is Starbucks’ Biggest Size?

The biggest coffee size in Starbucks is a Trenta cold, which is 31 liquid ounces and is available only for cold beverages. The biggest size for Starbucks hot drinks has got to be the Venti hot of 20 ounces equivalent to slightly more than three coffee cups of six ounces each.

How Many Oz Is A Venti?

A venti in Starbucks comes in two forms a venti cold of 24 ounces and a venti hot of 20 ounces. The difference in disparity comes from the ice in the venti cold though you get a similar amount of liquid with an allowance for ice. In addition, a hot venti espresso has two espresso shots with an offer of another on request while a cold one has three espresso shots.

What Size Frappuccinos Does Starbucks Have?

Being a blended drink, Frappuccino comes in three sizes namely 12-ounce tall,16-ounce grande and 24-ounce venti.

What Starbucks Drink is Pink?

The pink drink in Starbucks is known as Starbucks pink drink. It is a revitalizing, light beverage that is marked by the pleasant flavors of strawberry acai with passion fruit accents, coconut milk and acai combo plus a strawberry topping.

Is Trenta Bigger Than Venti?

Trenta is bigger than Venti in size though it is limited to iced beverages only.

What Should You Not Order At Starbucks?

There are complete no-no’s in Starbucks, a demi for instance and trenta hot since they are not available in those coffee sizes. In terms of health, the following drinks should not be an everyday drink though you can indulge once in a while.

  • Pumpkin spice latte

This seasonal drink is an insanely sweet one with a Grande equal to more than two chocolate bars plus the use of potassium sorbate as an ingredient which is a genotoxic preservative.

  • Java chocolate chip Frappuccino

A Grande of this mocha-infused beverage packs a whooping 460 calories plus harmful ingredients such as potassium sorbate and palm oil. Generally, Frappuccinos are loaded with lots of sugar and fats.

  • White chocolate mocha

The sugar and calories in a grande are way more than a 16-ounce cola can by 240 more calories.

  • Hot chocolate

Even though it’s a favorite beverage during cold weather for adults and children alike and gives off a warm, fuzzy feeling, a Starbucks Grande is a meal on its own. It has 400 calories and saturated fat.

Final Thoughts

Starbucks is a global coffee brand with over 33,833 stores worldwide. This guide clearly explains the naming system of available sizes, their capacity to hold beverages, usage for either hot or cold beverages and answers most of the frequently asked questions. It sheds more light on what goes on behind every delicious drink you take at Starbucks.

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