What is the Starbucks Coffee Cup Size Scam? Understanding the Controversy

The Starbucks coffee cup size fraud has generated a lot of discussion on social media. Starbucks is accused by several of undercharging consumers who purchase bigger quantities of their hot coffee by filling each cup size with the same volume of liquid. The tall, grande, and venti cups are all said to hold the same volume of coffee despite their different sizes.

Starbucks Reusable Cup

However, numerous fact-checking websites have refuted this assertion. points out that certain social media videos falsely claim that all sizes of Starbucks hot cups hold the same quantity of drink.

They put it to the test and discovered that the cups do, in fact, accommodate various volumes of liquid.

Additionally, according to, the Starbucks cup-size scam video is an outdated internet hoax that employs editing techniques and misleading methods to give the impression that all cup sizes hold the same quantity of drink.

This assertion has been refuted, but it still gets a lot of attention on social media and is still being spread.

Many individuals continue to believe that Starbucks uses misleading tactics when it comes to their cup sizes.

Discussions regarding the transparency of the food and beverage business and the value of fact-checking material before posting it on social media have been raised by this topic.

What is the Starbucks Coffee Cup Size Scam?


The large, grande, and venti cup sizes from the coffee chain are all said to hold the same amount of liquid in the widespread scam known as the Starbucks Coffee Cup Size Scam.

paper cups on display at Starbucks Coffee in Shenzhen

A misunderstanding of how volume measurements operate is the foundation of the scam.

Even though the cups’ diameters may be comparable, their heights vary, which has an impact on how much liquid they can carry.

Early in June 2022, a hoax about Starbucks allegedly defrauding customers by charging extra for larger cups that reportedly held the same amount of liquid as smaller sizes began to spread on social media sites like Facebook and TikTok.

However, the hoax has been disproved by a number of fact-checking websites, including Snopes, BuzzFeed, and

The larger cup sizes do really contain more liquid than the smaller ones, according to their own testing.

A tall cup, for instance, carries 12 ounces of drink, a grande cup, 16, and a venti cup, 20, respectively.

This means that a venti cup has a capacity of 8 ounces more than a tall cup, or the same amount of coffee.

The Starbucks Coffee Cup Size Scam is a widespread hoax that has been disproved by numerous fact-checking websites, to sum up.

Customers pay more for the larger cup sizes since they do contain more liquid than the smaller sizes.

How Starbucks Responded

Starbucks has addressed the claims of cup size fraud by emphasizing that its cups do, in fact, hold the volume of liquid represented on the packaging.

Three glass difference size of green tea in the Starbucks coffee

To demonstrate that their cups are not misleading consumers, they have issued official statements and even carried out studies.

Starbucks responded with a statement saying, “The video is completely false. Our baristas are trained to fill each size of cup with the correct amount of liquid, as indicated by the fill lines marked on our cups.”

The statement was in response to a popular TikTok video that claimed Starbucks cups hold the same amount of liquid.

To refute the allegations of the fraud, Starbucks also ran its own tests.

To make sure the cups were truly carrying the right amount of liquid, they filled each size of cup with water and then dumped the water into a measuring cup.

To demonstrate just how many ounces each cup size holds, they even made a chart.

Starbucks provided the following chart to show how many exact ounces each cup size holds:

Cup SizeFluid Ounces

Starbucks also made a point of stating that its cups are made to contain the specified volume of beverage when filled to the proper fill line.

The amount of liquid in the cup may seem less if a customer asks extra ice or foam, but it is still holding the right amount of liquid as claimed.

In conclusion, Starbucks has refuted the claims of cup size fraud by offering proof that the liquid capacity of its cups is as claimed.

To refute the allegations made by the con artists, they have issued formal statements and performed experiments.

Customers can rely on Starbucks to deliver the right amount of liquid when they purchase a particular cup size.

Starbucks allegedly threatened legal action against the musician when Sueco’s TikTok video exposing the company’s cup size fraud went viral.

A Venti Starbucks of frappuccino

Sueco asserted in a subsequent video that Starbucks’ legal department had sent him a cease-and-desist letter.

What legal justification Starbucks has for taking legal action against Sueco, however, is unclear.

Starbucks responded to the criticism by releasing a statement defending its cup sizes and asserting that they are uniform and standardized across all of its locations.

The company’s cups are intended to carry the specified amount of liquid, according to the statement, and any variations in volume are the result of the foam and milk that baristas add.

Some baristas have disputed Starbucks’ statements in spite of the company’s reaction.

Several baristas stated that the froth and milk added to beverages do not explain the substantial volume differences in Starbucks cups in a Newsweek article.

They further complained that the company’s reaction did not deal with the fundamental problem of cup size accuracy.

It is now unknown whether Sueco was ever sued or whether the dispute had a substantial effect on Starbucks’ bottom line.

The event has, however, triggered a bigger discussion about the reliability of cup sizes in the coffee industry and the duty of businesses to guarantee that their products are promoted truthfully.

Other Coffee Chains’ Cup Sizes

While Starbucks is renowned for its distinctive names and cup sizes, other coffee businesses also have their own cup sizes.

Starbucks coffee in tall size disposable paper cup with logo on table

The most well-known coffee shops are listed here, along with the sizes of their cups:

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts, now known as just Dunkin’, offers four cup sizes:

  • Small: 10 oz.
  • Medium: 14 oz.
  • Large: 20 oz.
  • Extra Large: 24 oz.


McDonald’s offers three cup sizes:

  • Small: 12 oz.
  • Medium: 16 oz.
  • Large: 22 oz.

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons, a popular Canadian coffee chain, offers five cup sizes:

  • Small: 10 oz.
  • Medium: 14 oz.
  • Large: 20 oz.
  • Extra Large: 24 oz.
  • Double Double: 32 oz.

The Double Double is a unique size offered by Tim Hortons, which is essentially two 16 oz. cups combined into one.

Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee offers four cup sizes:

  • Small: 10 oz.
  • Medium: 14 oz.
  • Large: 20 oz.
  • Extra Large: 24 oz.

Peet’s Coffee

Peet’s Coffee offers five cup sizes:

  • Small: 12 oz.
  • Medium: 16 oz.
  • Large: 20 oz.
  • Extra Large: 32 oz.
  • Half Gallon: 64 oz.

Peet’s Coffee’s Half Gallon size is designed for catering or large groups.

Despite the fact that every coffee business has its own distinctive cup sizes, they all often provide the same sizes under different labels.

It’s crucial to remember that different coffee chains may have a minor variation in the actual capacity of each cup size.

Frequently Asked Questions

View on white Starbucks cups in a basket

What is the Starbucks coffee cup size scam?

The Starbucks coffee cup size scam is a false rumor that has been circulating on social media. The rumor claims that Starbucks is cheating customers by giving them the same amount of coffee in all of their cup sizes, despite the fact that the cups are different sizes. This rumor is not true.

Is it true that all Starbucks cup sizes hold the same amount of coffee?

No, it is not true. Starbucks cup sizes are not all the same size, and they do not all hold the same amount of coffee. In fact, the difference in volume between the smallest and largest cup sizes (tall and venti) is quite significant. The tall size holds 12 fluid ounces, the grande size holds 16 fluid ounces, and the venti size holds either 24 or 20 fluid ounces, depending on whether it is a hot or cold drink.

Why do some people believe that Starbucks is cheating customers with their cup sizes?

Some people may believe the Starbucks coffee cup size scam because they have seen misleading videos or posts on social media that claim to show that all Starbucks cup sizes hold the same amount of coffee. However, these videos are often edited in a way that is deceptive, and they do not accurately represent the reality of Starbucks cup sizes.

Is there any evidence to support the Starbucks coffee cup size scam?

No, there is no evidence to support the Starbucks coffee cup size scam. In fact, several independent investigations have been conducted that show that Starbucks cup sizes are accurate and consistent. These investigations have been conducted by reputable sources such as BuzzFeed and Snopes

Should I be concerned about the Starbucks coffee cup size scam?

No, you should not be concerned about the Starbucks coffee cup size scam. It is a false rumor that has been debunked by multiple sources. Starbucks is a reputable company that values its customers and strives to provide them with high-quality products and services.

Starbucks Hot Coffee Cups Beverage Tall size and Grande size


The Starbucks cup size hoax is a myth, to sum up. The fact that different cup sizes hold varied amounts of liquid is true, but customers are aware of this and are not being duped by Starbucks.

Customers may select the chain’s tall, grande, venti, and trenta cup sizes because they are all clearly labeled.

Videos claiming that Starbucks is defrauding customers by raising prices for larger cup sizes are becoming viral on social media.

In these films, a tall cup is frequently filled to the same level as a venti cup, suggesting that the client is paying more for the same quantity of coffee.

This is untrue, though, as the tall cup has a smaller liquid capacity than the venti cup.

It is significant to note that there are other coffee shops that provide several cup sizes than Starbucks.

Customers are free to select the size that best suits their needs from a wide variety of coffee shops that offer comparable possibilities.

The choice of cup size must ultimately be made by the customer, and Starbucks is in no way misleading its clientele.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.