Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse chain, with over 33,000 stores worldwide. We all know that Starbucks offers a range of delicious drinks, but do you know everything about its cup sizes and names?
The main Starbucks cup sizes are Tall (12 fl oz or 355 ml), Grande (16 fl oz or 473 ml), and Venti (20-24 fl oz or 591-710 ml). Tall is size small, Grande is medium, and Venti is large. The other three sizes are Demi (3 fl oz or 89 ml), Short (8 fl oz or 237 ml), and Trenta (30 fl oz or 917 ml).
Not all coffee shops are consistent when it comes to naming cup sizes, so you may feel a bit confused when you head over to Starbucks and notice their cup names.
This article will explain the different Starbucks cup sizes and names to clear up any confusion before you place your order for that caffeine fix.
Starbucks cup sizes explained
Everyone knows what “Tall,” “Grande,” and “Venti” looks like when ordering from Starbucks.
However, this marketing strategy has left many new customers confused when it comes to the actual volume of each cup size.
Comparing Starbucks’ cup sizes to other companies that typically use small, medium, and large is a bit tricky since there’s no exact measurement for each size.
But did you know there are more than three cup sizes at Starbucks?
Not all are offered on the menu, however. This can lead to some confusion for new customers. To clear things up, Starbucks has the following six cup sizes:
- Demi (3 fl oz or 89 ml): The Starbucks Demi is typically used for espresso shots and can hold up to three shots.
- Short (8 fl oz or 237 ml): Short is typically used for warm, non-iced beverages. You may not see the short cup size on the menu. It was moved off the menu in 1996 when the Venti size entered the family as the “large” cup option. Short was replaced by Tall as the “small” cup, making the Short cup more like an “extra small.”
- Tall (12 fl oz or 355 ml): Tall is the “small” cup size at Starbucks. The Tall cup is considered the smallest option for most drinks on the menu.
- Grande (16 fl oz or 473 ml): Although “grande” translates to “large” in languages like Italian and Spanish, Starbucks refers to their ”medium” cup size as Grande. It’s also the only cup used to serve a Starbucks smoothie.
- Venti (20-24 fl oz or 591-710 ml): Starbucks Venti cups are considered “large,” and their actual size can vary between hot and iced drinks. Cold beverages come in a 24 fl oz (710 ml) Venti cup, while hot drinks are served in a 20 fl oz (591 ml) Venti cup.
- Trenta (31 fl oz or 917 ml): Trenta is what Starbucks refers to as an “extra large.” The Trenta size is only available for certain menu drinks, such as iced teas, cold brews, and iced coffee.
Tall, Grande, and Venti are the typical sizes you’ll see when ordering at Starbucks, but if you’re anticipating a long day, a Trenta cold brew or iced coffee can keep you going.
When it comes to ordering from Starbucks, the menu can be a bit overwhelming. I’ve written a guide, “How to Order at Starbucks Like a Pro,” to make your ordering experience a breeze.
Starbucks’ cup sizes: What’s in the name?
Starbucks has a unique approach to naming its cup sizes. Rather than calling their drinks small, medium, and large like many others, Starbucks uses fancy Italian terms such as Grande, Venti, and Trenta.
The Demi cup derives from “demitasse,” which is French for half-cup.
Grande means big, and it’s for medium-sized drinks
“Grande” is the Italian word for ”big,” but it refers to a medium-sized drink at Starbucks.
While the Grande started as a large drink, it’s considered a medium-sized beverage at 16 fl oz (473 ml). Most people who order beverages at Starbucks prefer a Grande.
The Grande’s popularity may be due to the fact that Starbucks smoothies are popular, and the only available cup size for Starbucks smoothies is Grande.
The following are some of the Grande-sized Starbucks smoothies available to order:
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie
- Dragonfruit Smoothie
- Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie
- Orange Mango Smoothie
- Cold Brew Smoothie
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Venti means twenty, and it’s for 20 to 24-ounce drinks
However, if you order a cold beverage in the Venti cup, you’ll receive a bit more, equal to the amount of 24 fl oz (710 ml). This size is equivalent to a large beverage, which is typically between 16 (473 ml) and 24 fl oz (710 ml).
Trenta means thirty, and it’s for 31-ounce Starbucks drinks
“Trenta” is the Italian word for “thirty,” and it’s also the name of Starbucks’ extra large cup size, which is 31 fl oz (917 ml). The Trenta cup was created as a way to emphasize the size of the drink.
And it’s truly a massive size drink since it holds almost half of a coffee machine pitcher with a capacity of 64 fl oz (1.9 L) of coffee!
And if that reference doesn’t give you a good idea of how massive this cup is, you can actually pour an entire standard bottle of wine into it!
Unfortunately, not all drinks are offered in Starbucks’ largest cup size. Aside from the customizable Iced Coffee and Iced Espresso, the other types of drinks you can order in a Trenta cup are the following:
- Teas, tea/lemonades, tea/latte
- Cold brews
The following are the tea options available in the Trenta Starbucks cup:
- Iced London Fog Tea Latte
- Iced Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte
- Iced Guava Black Tea/Lemonade
- Iced Black Tea/Lemonade
- Or try Starbucks’ Medicine Ball!
A Trenta cup of cold brew may be needed the day after an all-nighter. The following are cold brews available in this extra-large cup:
- Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew
- Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
- Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
- Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
- Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew
The following are just some of the fruity refresher drinks you can order in the Starbucks cup size Trenta:
- Blueberry Acai Refresher
- Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher
- Star Drink
- Violet Drink
- Kiwi Starfruit Lemonade Refresher
- Strawberry Acai Refresher
- Mango Dragonfruit Refresher
Demi means half-cup, and it’s for dainty espresso cups
The “demi” size that’s typically for espresso shots comes from the French word “demitasse,” which means “half-cup.”
Don’t let the French twist fool you because the story of this tiny cup began in 1906 at the Milan Fair when two Italians presented the first espresso machine.
And that little machine became a huge hit, with people flocking to coffeehouses for that bold, satisfactory flavor of the Caffe espresso (Italian for pressed coffee) contained in this tiny white cup.
Demi cups are commonly used to serve coffee (Greek or Turkish) or espresso. Besides the cup name, demitasse also signifies the measurement or quantity of the drink when you order.
Restaurants and coffee shops worldwide soon adopted this tiny cup to serve more than just coffee, like tea and hot chocolate.
Even today, the Italian tradition lives on as you’ll still see people indulging in the big flavor that’s presented in such a dainty cup.
The inspiration for Starbucks’ fancy cup names
You may be wondering why Starbucks adopted fancy Italian names for their cup sizes.
Howard Shultz, the former CEO and Chairman of Starbucks stated he “wanted to convey a different image, something far more exotic than a simple cup of joe,” as mentioned in the book Grande Expectations by Karen Blumenthal.
Shultz had joined the Starbucks coffee company in its infancy when it was nestled in the historic Pike Place Market in Seatle. After taking a trip to Milan, Shultz had even more of an eye-opening experience visiting the coffeehouses of Italy.
Italy had given new inspiration for his love and admiration of coffee and the coffeehouse experience.
And from that inspiration, Shultz took Starbucks on a new path with a new look, a unique take on cup size names, and many of the menu drinks that are still available.
What’s the best value size at Starbucks?
In an Insider article, employees spill the beans on what size holds the most value or the best bang for your buck.
They claim that Grande and Venti cups are the best deals because there’s a dramatic increase in drink volume for just “a few cents more.”
It’s also a better deal to buy a Venti-size drink, ask for two empty Grande cups, and split the drink with your coffee buddy.
Saving money and enjoying coffee shop conversations with a friend is always a win-win!
The best Starbucks cup size when watching calories
You may be conscious of your caloric intake while enjoying the flavors of Starbucks drinks.
Tall and Grande, equivalent to a small and medium size, are said to be a lower-calorie option than going all out for the Venti.
However, you also have to consider the type of drink you’re consuming and how many calories are included.
Starbucks understands the increasing awareness of caloric intake in today’s society and provides nutrition information on its website and App.
Starbucks drinks that are easy on the waistline
Staying in the range of Tall and Grande cup sizes, the following are excellent drink choices for those that want a drink packed full of flavor but not calories:
- Iced Passion Tango Tea: Starbucks teas are packed with flavor and are low in calories, with this one having about 45 calories.
- Kiwi Starfruit Starbucks Refresher: A healthy and delicious drink with only 90 calories.
- Iced Black Tea Lemonade: Another low-calorie tea with a lemonade twist, coming in at about 90 calories.
- Honey Almond Milk Cold Brew: With honey being a natural sweetener, this delicious cold brew is only 50 calories.
- Cold Brew with Cold Foam: Cold brews offer a bold coffee flavor with very few calories, even with cold foam, and this drink only has 35 calories.
- Iced Flat White: A smooth espresso flavor with only 150 calories.
- Iced Blonde Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Latte: Smooth, flavorful, and only 120 calories, it’s an excellent option if you’re craving a sweet and refreshing latte.
Which Starbucks cup is the biggest?
The biggest Starbucks cup is the Trenta with 31 fl oz (916 ml). However, it’s only available for certain drinks like teas, cold brews, and iced coffee. The biggest cup size for the many other drinks on the menu is the Venti, with 20 fl oz (591 ml) for hot and 24 fl oz (710 ml) for cold drinks.
What is the most popular size drink at Starbucks?
Grande (16 fl oz or 473 ml) is the most popular size drink ordered at Starbucks. Most drinks on the menu can be ordered in the Starbucks cup size Grande, but some menu drinks are only offered in the Grande size, like smoothies. Both cold and hot drinks can be ordered in size Grande.
Is there a secret size at Starbucks?
Trenta is the “secret” size at Starbucks. The Starbucks cup size Trenta is their largest cup with 31 fl oz (917 ml) and is only used for serving certain drinks like their Iced Coffee and teas. However, there’s another “secret” size called Short, available for only hot brewed coffee and espresso.
The fancy cup names may seem confusing when you’re new to ordering from Starbucks, but there’s a reason behind this marketing strategy.
Italian coffeehouses provided a powerful influence that Shultz wanted to share back at home. His Italian coffeehouse experience transformed Starbucks into a unique experience, including its cup names.
Instead of following the standard small, medium, and large drink sizes, he used Short, Tall, and Grande.
In 1996, Venti was added as the large, bumping down Grande to medium and Tall to small. Trenta was then added to serve extra large drinks.