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Starbucks Cup Sizes & What They Mean

Starbucks is the most popular coffee chain not only in the US, but worldwide. Despite its popularity, many people still struggle with Starbucks sizes. What sizes are available at Starbucks? What size should you order? 

starbucks cup sizes

While Starbucks doesn’t follow the traditional small-medium-large size structure, it’s fairly simple to learn how Starbucks cup sizes work.

After a few visits, you’ll be ordering your venti iced shaken mocha with oat milk like a pro. 

Read on to learn how Starbucks sizes work, how much coffee you’ll get in each size, and how to order the perfect drink at this coffee shop. 

The standard sizes at Starbucks are tall, grande, or venti – but there are other size options and factors to consider. If you’re used to ordering a small, medium, or large coffee, learn how the Starbucks cups measure up. 

Short (8 oz) 

Many people don’t realize that there is actually a size before “tall” at Starbucks.

The original Starbucks sizes started as Short, Tall, and Grande. While the short cup has fallen out of popularity, it’s still available!

The smallest size at Starbucks, a short is 8 ounces. This is perfect for kids beverages like hot chocolate, or for anyone looking for a small cup of coffee to start their day. 

If you order a short sized drink at Starbucks, it typically takes 1 shot of espresso for espresso drinks, or 1 tea bag for tea drinks.

If you add a flavor, short cups include 2 pumps of your syrup of choice. 

Tall (12 oz) 

Tall is considered the average “small” at Starbucks, even though there is the smaller option of a short cup.

This is the smallest size listed on the standard menu, and it is commonly considered equivalent to a small cup of coffee elsewhere. 

The tall size at Starbucks is 12 ounces, whether your drink of choice is hot or cold. 

Tall drinks at Starbucks usually take 1 shot of espresso, but if you order a tall flat white, a tall americano, or a tall iced shaken espresso, there will be 2 shots included.

If you’re adding flavor, tall drinks include 3 pumps of flavoring syrup. 

Grande (16 oz)

Grande is considered the standard drink size at Starbucks, and equivalent to a medium.

“Grande” is Italian for large, which causes some confusion, but it was the original Starbucks large before the venti was added to the menu. 

A grande Starbucks drink is 16 ounces, whether hot or iced. Grande is the only size offered for smoothies. 

Grande sized espresso drinks at Starbucks generally contain two shots of espresso. If you order an Americano, a flat white, or an iced shaken espresso however, you get 3 shots of espresso.

Grande tea drinks come with 2 tea bags. If you add flavor to your grande sized drink, you’ll get 4 pumps of syrup. 

Venti Hot (20 oz) 

For the smaller Starbucks sizes, both hot and cold sizes get the same amount.

When it comes to a large cup, however, there are two different sizes. A hot venti sized drink is 20 ounces.

Why is it called a venti? In Italian, “venti” means “twenty”, which is why this drink is 20 ounces large. The venti is considered Starbucks’ large size coffee. 

A venti hot espresso drink contains 2 shots, unless you get a flat white or an Americano, which contain 3 shots of espresso.

If you add flavor to a venti hot, you’ll get 5 pumps of syrup. Venti hot teas come with 2 tea bags. 

Venti Cold (24 oz) 

A cold or iced venti drink is a bit larger, at 24 ounces per drink.

The venti cold is larger, likely in part to make room for ice. If you order a venti sized iced drink, it will be in the 24 ounce cup. 

With a venti cold, you get an extra shot of espresso compared to a venti hot. That means that an iced venti espresso drink contains 3 shots of espresso.

If you order a venti iced American or a venti iced flat white, you’ll get 4 shots of espresso.

Cold venti drinks typically get 6 pumps of syrup if you add a flavor or choose a flavored beverage. 

Trenta (30 oz) 

If you’re looking for an extra large drink, Starbucks also offers a trenta size.

This XL size is only available for iced drinks, including iced coffee, cold brew, Starbucks refreshers, iced teas, and shaken iced tea lemonades. 

“Trenta” is Italian for “thirty” which is why this Starbucks size is 30 ounces large. While you can only order iced drinks in this cup, not all iced drinks are available in the 30 oz size.

Iced espresso beverages are not available in trenta, nor are frappuccinos. 


What is a standard size drink at Starbucks? 

The standard size at Starbucks is their grande, considered equivalent to a medium. While this is the most commonly ordered size, you should still tell your barista what size drink you want at the counter. 

What is a small at Starbucks?

A small at Starbucks is called tall. The tall size is 12 ounces, which is equivalent to a small at other coffee shops. If you want an even smaller cup, order a short. 

What is a medium at Starbucks? 

A medium at Starbucks is called grande. The grande size is 16 ounces, which is equivalent to a medium cup at other coffee shops. 

What’s Starbucks’ largest size? 

Starbucks largest size is a trenta, which is 30 ounces. The trenta size is only available for certain cold drinks, however, including Teavana Shaken Iced Tea, Teavana Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade, Iced Coffee, Cold Brew and Starbucks Refreshers. 

The largest size for other iced drinks is the Venti, which is 24 ounces. The largest size for hot drinks is also called a venti, but it is only 20 ounces for hot beverages. 

Why are Starbucks sizes in Italian?

While the smallest sizes are called short and tall, the larger Starbucks sizes are Italians words – “grande” meaning “large”, “venti” meaning “twenty”, and “trenta” meaning “thirty” for the number of ounces.

The reason behind Starbucks’ different sizing system come back to its founder, Howard Schultz. In 1983, Schultz visited Milan, Italy, and “he returned to Seattle inspired to bring the warmth and artistry of its coffee culture to Starbucks”. To honor his Italian inspiration, he included Italian terms in Starbucks sizes.

Now that you understand how Starbucks sizes work, you can order confidently! Starbucks cup sizes may not adhere to the standard small, medium, and large framework, but it’s easy to learn to say tall, grande, or venti instead. 

We’ve also provided the number of espresso shots included in each size drink, but don’t be afraid to ask your barista for an extra shot of espresso if you need a caffeine boost! 

Now that you know how to choose a size at Starbucks, check out the best hot Starbucks drinks to warm you up in the winter or learn about the secret items on Starbucks’ menu. Tell us how you like to place your order in the comments!

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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.