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Understanding Starbucks Drink Sizes (And Cup Sizes)

Let’s be frank, for originating in a country that uses “small,” “medium,” and “large” pretty much universally, Starbucks’ drink sizing is just… well… weird.

I mean, what’s up with the mixture of English and Italian?

Why is a “tall” not all that tall?

And what’s with the (somewhat) hidden drink sizes?

While you can never expect Starbucks’ sizing to make actual sense – there really are a LOT of things going on here – this guide should help you work out the puzzling logic behind Starbucks’ sizes and (hopefully) remember which drinks are which size so ordering your Starbucks can be less head-scratching in the future.

Starbucks Cup Sizes

First up, the basics.

Starbucks locations keep six different cup sizes on hand.

The Starbucks sizes in order (in ounces) are:

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

Here they are in chart form:

All Starbucks Sizes

Despite the fact these sizes exist, though, you won’t see half of them on the Starbucks’ menu.

Instead, you will see only three sizes – “tall,” “grande,” and “venti”.

“Tall,” “grande,” and “venti” are Starbucks’ rough equivalents of “small,” “medium,” and “large” (or, perhaps, “small,” “large” and “X-large”), so let’s start with them.

Starbucks Sizes Names (Tall, Grande & Venti)

Starbucks Tall Size

A “tall” at Starbucks is the basic small in both hot and cold drinks.

It’s weird that “tall” means small, but just think “tall” rhymes with “small” to help you remember it.

A “tall” is 12 ounces, whether you get it hot or cold.

Starbucks tall size in ml: 355 ml

Starbucks Grande Size

A “grande” at Starbucks is the basic medium/large.

Large might be easier to remember, since that’s the meaning of the word in Italian and Spanish (which more of us probably learned in high school).

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Starbucks does their best to keep things confusing by making this their mid-size drink, but it’s pretty large for a coffee, so you can remember it that way. (To be fair, the “grande” used to be Starbucks biggest drink, so it made sense at one time.)

A “grande” is 16 ounces, whether you get it hot or cold.

Starbucks grande size in ml: 475 ml

Starbucks Venti Size

Finally, with the “venti” size at Starbucks things start to make some sense.

So, worried it might make too much sense, Starbucks decided to throw a wrench into things just to keep us all baffled.

A “venti” at Starbucks is the basic large/X-large and should be easy to remember.

Venti means twenty in Italian and a hot “venti” drink at Starbucks is, in fact, 20 ounces.

Excellent. Logical. Easy to tuck into the back of your mind.

But don’t get too comfortable too fast.

The cold “venti” at Starbucks is 24 ounces.

Why? Who knows? But it is.

Starbucks venti size in ml: 590 ml (Hot) / 710 ml (Cold)

Different Starbucks Sizes

While “tall,” “grande,” and “venti” are Starbucks’ rough equivalents of “small,” “medium,” and “large,” they are not the only drink sizes available at Starbucks.

Two other sizes can make your drinks a little smaller or a little bigger, depending on what you’re drinking, while one is the default for their smallest drink offerings.

Starbucks Demi/Espresso Size

If you order an espresso or espresso con panna at Starbucks, you’ll get it in Starbucks’ tiniest cup, the “demi”.

A “demi” cup at Starbucks is 3 ounces and espresso is the only drink served in it.

For the record, a single espresso shot does not fill this cup.

There is space for up to four shots in a “demi” cup.

Starbucks demi (cup) size in ml: 90 ml

Starbucks Short Size

A “short” at Starbucks is the basic extra-small.

If you can remember a “tall” is a small, it should help you remember “short” is the next size down.

A “short” is 8 ounces and only available for hot drinks.

Though you won’t see it on the menu, any hot drink can be ordered in “short” size. (Just don’t order your espresso this way or you’ll get a smaller shot of espresso.)

Starbucks short size in ml: 240 ml

Starbucks Trenta Size

And last, but certainly not least, is Starbucks’ “trenta,” which like the “venti” makes some sense.

Trenta means thirty in Italian. That means the drink should be 30 ounces, right?

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It isn’t. It’s 31 ounces.

But, for the sake of our sanity, we’ll call this one close enough.

The 30-ish-ounce “trenta” is available for non-Frappuccino cold drinks only, so iced tea, iced coffee, cold brew, iced tea lemonade, and refreshers.

Starbucks trenta size in ml: 890 ml

Starbucks Size Charts

Since Starbucks has such a wide variety of drinks and wide variety of sizes, and not all of those sizes are available for all of those drinks, we find sizing at Starbucks is best broken down into individual categories.

Here they are –

Starbucks Coffee & Hot Drink Sizes

  • Demi: 3 oz. (espresso only)
  • Short: 8 oz.
  • Tall: 12 oz.
  • Grande: 16 oz.
  • Venti: 20 oz.

Starbucks Iced Coffee & Cold Drink Sizes (Not Including Frappuccinos)

  • Tall: 12 oz.
  • Grande: 16 oz.
  • Venti: 24 oz.
  • Trenta: 31 oz.

Starbucks Frappuccino Sizes

  • Tall: 12 oz.
  • Grande: 16 oz.
  • Venti: 24 oz.

Starbucks Clear Cup Sizes

Clear cups at Starbucks are used for cold drinks, including iced coffee, iced tea, refreshers, and Frappuccinos.

Available sizes are:

  • Tall (12 oz.)
  • Grande (16 oz.)
  • Venti (24 oz.)
  • Trenta (30 oz.)

Starbucks Espresso Sizes

If you’re planning to order an espresso at Starbucks, it might also help to know how much you’re actually getting.

So, here’s a list of Starbucks’ most popular espresso shot sizes:

  • Starbucks Espresso Shot Size: 0.75 oz.
  • Starbucks Espresso Double/Doppio Shot Size: 1.5 oz.
  • Starbucks Espresso Triple Shot Size: 2.25 oz.
  • Starbucks Espresso Quad Shot Size: 3 oz.
  • Starbucks Espresso Cup Size: 3 oz.

Starbucks Sizes Meaning

As mentioned above, many of Starbucks drink sizes do have actual (sometimes even logical) meanings.

Though, they’re a bit inconsistent.

If you want to know where Starbucks’ is coming from, here’s what their drink sizes mean literally:

  • Demi: lesser
  • Short: no meaning
  • Tall: no meaning
  • Grande: large/big
  • Venti: 20
  • Trenta: 30

Now, one might say the “short” and “tall” sizes at Starbucks would make more sense if the “short” came with a short shot of espresso or the tall came with a lungo or long shot of espresso. (ME. I would say that.)

But that isn’t the case.

Both “short” and “tall” espresso drinks at Starbucks contain only one espresso shot (except in the Americano), and, therefore, the same amount of caffeine. (You will save on caffeine by ordering your brewed coffee or Americano “short”.)

What “short” espresso drinks at Starbucks are actually short on is milk and foam, if that helps you remember.

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Starbucks Sizes FAQ

To finish us off, here are a few more things you might want to know about Starbucks’ drink sizes.

What is a small at Starbucks?

A “tall” at Starbucks is equivalent to a “small.”

It’s the smallest of Starbucks three main sizes, and what you’ll get if you accidentally slip up and order a “small” drink.

What is a medium at Starbucks?

A “grande” at Starbucks is equivalent to a “medium.”

It’s the mid-size of Starbucks three main sizes, and what you’ll get if you accidentally slip up and order a “medium” drink.

What is a large at Starbucks?

A “venti” at Starbucks is equivalent to a “large.”

It’s the largest of Starbucks three main sizes, and what you’ll get if you accidentally slip up and order a “large” drink.

What is the largest Starbucks size?

The biggest Starbucks size is the “trenta”.

It’s 31 oz. of drink and only available for cold (non-Frappuccino) drinks.

The biggest hot Starbucks drink is the “venti” at 20 oz.

What is the smallest Starbucks size?

The smallest Starbucks size is the “short.” (For everything except espresso.)

It’s 8 oz. of drink and only available for hot drinks.

The smallest cold Starbucks drink is the “tall” at 12 oz.

Did you know? You don’t have to get the same drink size and cup size at Starbucks?

That’s right. When it comes to your drink size and cup size at Starbucks, the two don’t have to match.

When placing your order online, there’s a field called “Cup Options” where you can choose your cup size (from tall, grande, or venti), no matter what size of drink you order. (When ordering through the drive-thru or in person, you can simply specify your cup preference.)

If you order your drink in a larger cup (a tall drink in a grande cup, for instance), you’ll have more room for sweeteners, milk, or any other additions you might want to drop in.

Irish cream, anyone?

If you order your drink in a smaller cup (a grande drink in a tall cup, for instance), don’t worry, you won’t get shafted.

Depending on the barista, you may get your drink split between the two smaller cups or you may simply get the extra (smaller) cup along with your drink.

Either way, cup size is one more thing you can customize on your Starbucks order, so you may as well take advantage of it.

Ready to get ordering? Check out our guide Starbucks Drinks: Everything You Need to Know.

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