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Understanding Starbucks Cup Sizes: A Complete Guide

Post by: Yurii Brown
Published on:

Here is an article on Starbucks cup sizes. Read on to learn them.

For a lot of people, ordering coffee at Starbucks can be intimidating, as the coffee they offer comes in different shapes and cup sizes. 

Starbucks offers both cold drinks and hot drinks, with over 80K different combinations to choose from. Starbucks uses specific names for the types of cups they use to serve coffee in. 

If you are not familiar with them, you might be confused. In this article, we will cover all the Starbucks cup sizes along with information about the backstory.

Key Takeaways

  • Starbucks cup sizes are unique, with different names and measurements for hot and cold drinks.
  • Sizes vary from “Short” (8 ounces) to “Venti” (20 ounces) for hot drinks, and “Tall” (12 ounces) to “Trenta” (31 ounces) for cold ones.
  • The amount of caffeine doesn’t always increase with cup size.
  • Customizations are possible, like having a “Short” amount of coffee in a larger cup.
  • Familiarity with Starbucks’ sizing helps make informed choices about caffeine intake.

History of Starbucks Cup Sizes

As Starbucks itself explains, the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, travels to Italy and gets inspired by the way coffee shops are portrayed there. [1

Before, Schultz used to own his own coffee shop in Seattle, Il Giornale. When he came back from Italy, he thought of implementing the way Italians called coffee cup sizes, as Short and Tall and Grande. 

That is how he came up with the names used still to this day. After 1987, he rebranded Starbucks to be green instead of brown in color, and the transformation of Il Giornale to the true Starbucks style was complete.

Starbucks uses different cup sizes for cold and hot drinks each. That is why sometimes you cannot order a specific drink in certain cup sizes. In the following sections, we will go through all those Italian names for the Starbucks cup sizes.

List of Starbucks Hot Cup Sizes (with Details)

Here is a list of Starbucks hot cup sizes.

Short Size

This coffee cup size is the smallest option available at Starbucks. It is almost the same size as a standard size of a cup you would brew at home. 

If you want to get a caffeinated hot coffee for children or just drink less and have a quick caffeine fix, this is your to-go. 

This size is 8 ounces, equal to one cup. You can expect to have 1 shot of espresso in that cup size, one tea bag, and two syrup pumps. 

Also, if you don’t see this size on the menu, as they are not there sometimes, you can just ask the bartender for it.

Tall Size

This cup size is suitable both for a cold drink and a hot cup of coffee. Usually, this size is considered a small size at Starbucks. That means that if you ask for a small cup of coffee, they will give you this one.

The tall size is 12 ounces, meaning around 1.44 cups of coffee. For this size, you can expect one shot of espresso, one tea bag, or 3 syrup pumps. 

Grande Size

Grande means large. However, at Starbucks, this is the medium option for hot drinks. This is a pretty standard cup of coffee, which is what you will mostly see as the common cup size. It is suitable both for cold and hot drinks.

A Grande Size cup of coffee at Starbucks is 16 ounces, meaning 2 cups. You can expect 2 shots of espresso (excluding Americano and flat whites, etc.), 2 tea bags, and 4 syrup pumps.

Venti Size

A venti cup size is the biggest cup size you can get for hot drinks. It is definitely bigger than a pint for Americans. 

Since Venti means “twenty,” you can expect the venti cup size at Starbucks for hot drinks to be 20 ounces, equal to 2.37 cups. You can get 2 shots of espresso or 2 tea bags, as well as 5 syrup pumps.

List of Starbucks Iced Coffee Sizes (with Details)

Moving on to the Starbucks Iced Coffee sizes, you can expect sort of the same names but different values of espresso and sizing.

Tall Size

This is the smallest cup size you can get for a cold drink at Starbucks. 

The sizing is the same as the hot drink cup size, 12 ounces, and you can get one shot of espresso or one tea bag, as well as 3 syrup pumps.

Grande Size

As mentioned before, a Grande is great for both cold and hot drinks at Starbucks. However, it is the only size you can get for smoothies. 

It is equal to 16 ounces or 2 cups. You can expect to get 2 shots of espresso, 2 tea bags, or 4 syrup pumps. 

Venti Size

We mentioned Venti Hot in the previous section, and noted that venti means twenty. However, the Venti cup size at Starbucks comes in two different sizes. 

For the Venti cold, the cup size is equal to 24 ounces or 3 cups, which means 3 shots of espresso, 6 syrup pumps, and 2 tea bags. 

The number of espresso shots for an Americano in a venti cup size would be 5 shots. This amount is 4 shots in Flat Whites and Iced Shaken Espressos. 

So definitely look out for the amount of caffeine you will be using. Also keep in mind that this is the largest Frappuccino size that you can get, and is considered large for most cold options at Starbucks.

Trenta Size

This sizing is the newest cup size at Starbucks, which is also the biggest cup size you can ever get at Starbucks. 

Another thing to know is that the trenta size only comes for cold brews, iced coffees, iced teas, etc.

Trenta means thirty, and that is why the trenta cup size is 31 ounces or a little below 3 cups. Keep in mind that Americanos, Flat whites, Frappuccinos, and iced espresso drinks are not available in this size.

Things to Keep in Mind While Ordering

The cup sizes might be a little bit confusing. Remember that not always ordering a larger drink means that you are getting more caffeine content. 

Remember to pay attention to the amount of espresso shots that each cup can have. For example the tall size and the short size both have only one shot of espresso in them. 

Therefore, buying a tall wouldn’t give you more caffeine content. Also look out for other sizes that have 2 shots of espresso in common. When you order a larger cup, you are only opting out for more liquid, milk, water, cream, and ice. 

If you want more caffeine from your tall or short, you can simply order a Grande, which will have 2 shots of espresso, but the sizing will only be a little bigger. 

You can also order the same amount of coffee as a short but in a bigger cup, if you simply just need the bigger cup. You will not be charged any more than the price of the amount of coffee.


How many ounces are in a venti Starbucks cup?

A hot venti cup size is 20 ounces, and a cold venti cup size is 24 ounces.

How many ounces are in a tall Starbucks?

A tall Starbucks cup size is 12 ounces, both for cold and hot.

How many ounces is a grande at Starbucks?

A Starbucks Grande is 16 ounces, as the most common size.

What is the smallest size at Starbucks?

The smallest size is a Short, which is only 8 ounces, only available for hot coffee.

What is a medium at Starbucks?

A Starbucks Grande size is considered to be a medium cup.

What is the biggest size at Starbucks?

The biggest size at Starbucks is Trenta, only available for iced coffee and cold brews.


In this article, we have introduced Starbucks cup sizes, and explained how you can hack your way through buying different sizes without being worried about how much caffeine content you are consuming. 

Even though the cup sizes at Starbucks have Italian names, you only need to make sense out of the logic for naming them, such as their meaning. After a few times, you will easily get a hang of it.

Want to learn more? Here are Starbucks’ sweetest drinks!

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Hi, I'm Yurii Brown, a certified coffee expert with a fervor for coffee. I've explored coffee intricacies, from brewing methods to equipment, and I'm eager to share my insights to help coffee lovers appreciate high-quality brews.
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