Starbucks Cup Sizes: A Quick Guide for Coffee Lovers

Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe. You can reach him at [email protected].

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Starbucks fans wake up thinking of their first cup. A mid-day break inspires the Starbucks fantasy. All day, every day, is Starbucks day. What does Starbucks offer besides great coffee drinks? Patrons often enjoy the experience of the physical cup in their hands, the tactile pleasure of the size and temperature against the skin. Starbucks offers sensual delight.

Here, we intend to introduce you to all Starbucks cup sizes. While the Short size is less familiar to customers, some later additions like the Trenta may also be unknown to some. Many see Tall, Grande and Venti as standard Starbucks cup sizes listed on the menu, so it may surprise you to discover there are six cup sizes to consider for your coffee order.

History of Starbucks Cup Sizes

Inspiration from Italian Coffee Bars

Sipping our espresso evokes the warm Mediterranean ambience. Imagine how former Starbucks CEO, Howard Shultz, responded to the carefree, intimate surroundings of Italian coffee bars when he traveled to Italy in the 1980s. With his mind on improving the Starbucks experience, he was quick to appreciate the unusual variety of cup sizes. He noticed how they were used to differentiate coffee drinks.[1]


Introduction of Cup Sizes by Howard Schultz

Back in the States, the enterprising CEO took stock of what Starbucks offered to its customers. There were the original three sizes: The Short cup size imitated the traditional 8-ounce porcelain cup in everyone’s kitchen cupboard—just enough to satisfy what we thought of as “a cup of coffee”. A more filling choice came in the Tall cup size, containing 12 ounces. When faced with the 16-ounce Grande cup, patrons must have thought they had gone to coffee heaven. More was to come, though.

As the popularity of Starbucks grew, so did the availability of cup choices. With Venti, we were handed 20 ounces filled with the hot beverages of our choice, and 24 ounces usually held iced coffee creations and iced tea. Eventually, the Trenta size was introduced, with a capacity of 31 ounces, primarily for iced beverages.

Currently, the Short cup size is off menu, although it holds a sweet place in the hearts of sentimentalists, who can still order their 8-ounce cuppa. The larger Tall, Grande and Venti cup sizes are still the more recognizable cup sizes around the world.

Standard Cup Sizes Explained

So many coffees, so many cups, so many choices! There are cup sizes for every whim. If you want just a small coffee or have a major thirst for icy refreshment, Starbucks has the cup. They fashioned each one for your specific craving.


Short Cup

Longtime Starbucks addicts know the standard Short cup. At 8 ounces, it holds the least amount of all the cups. In an era when a big drink deal dominates the beverage mentality, the Short cup delivers a coffee punch in its modest little cup. If you want a smaller dose of caffeine and don’t see the Short cup on the menu in your Starbucks store, be sure to ask for it.


On the way up the size scale, the Tall cup holds 12 ounces (360 milliliters). It appears on the menu as the first available size, thus giving the impression that the Tall size is your first way for a brewed coffee or tea beverage. Its sensible volume of liquid will satisfy your desire for a jolt in the day or evening, without filling you up too much. The Tall cup gives you a medium-sized hot coffee or cold drink that you can easily carry away for a walk or to fit in the car drink tray.


The Grande stands high above the Short and Tall sizes, at 16 ounces (480 milliliters). Its popularity among Starbucks customers shows the preference of the larger quantity of a hot or cold drink. The Grande cup obliges the serious coffee or tea drinker’s need for abundance. This crowd-pleasing size accommodates the addition of ice, with less dilution of the Starbucks taste. However, it’s just a medium sized drink at Starbucks.


The third of the original cup sizes is the Venti, which offers you two sizes. Hot drinks come in a 20-ounce cup (600 milliliters), while the version for cold drinks gives a little more, at 24 ounces (720 milliliters).

If you have the courage to drink 360 mg of caffeine, a Venti cup of iced coffee will electrify your day. This cup size offers a considerable amount of your favorite beverage, cold or hot.

Expanded Starbucks Cups


The Trenta indulges your coffee and tea madness, with a staggering 31-ounce helping (916,78 ml)—Trenta means “thirty” in its native language. Trenta cup sizes are only available for cold drinks (not for hot brews), including iced tea drinks, coffees and Starbucks Refreshers. Anyone in a Starbucks found sipping from an impressive Trenta has listened to the cup: “Ѐ ora di sedersi e alzare i piedi—it’s time to sit down and put your feet up!”


Solo, Doppio, Triple, Quad (or Demi)

Your coffee soul is yearning for a robust drink, something that snaps your eyes open and inspires you to finish that poem you started five years ago. Espresso shots are the key to that motivation, and the Demi accommodates only espresso shots, espresso macchiatos and espresso con panna.

  • Solo: 1 shot of espresso
  • Doppio: 2 shots
  • Triple: 3 shots
  • Quad or Demi*: 4 shots or 3 ounces.

*Some people prefer the French reference to the demitasse cup (a 3-ounce shot).

Drinks and Their Cup Sizes

Different drinks are served in different Starbucks cup sizes, and coffee ratios are not the same.


Espresso Drinks

For your espresso and ristretto shots, they use the 3-ounce Demi cup. You can order any drinks created from espresso which exceed the Demi size (cappuccinos, lattes) in the Short 8-ounce, Tall 12-ounce, Grande 16-ounce or the Venti 20-ounce cups.

If you crave Starbucks special milky drinks, the espresso shots vary. Lattes, Macchiatos and Mochas will have 1 espresso shot per Short and Tall sizes. Grande and Venti will contain 2 shots.

The exception is the flat white: Short and Tall cups will contain 2 shots of espresso, while Grande and Venti will have 3 shots.

In other words, a larger cup which has more milk will reduce the espresso strength.

Americanos and other black coffee beverages will work the same. Short cups get 1 shot of espresso, Tall cups get 2, Grandes hold 3 shots, while Venti is given 4 shots.

Orders for Tall iced shaken espresso are given 2 shots; Grandes get 3; and Ventis hold 4.

Iced Drinks

Iced shaken espressos and other iced drinks, like lattes, have slightly varied sizes.

They begin with Tall cups (12-oz.), move to Grande cups (16-oz.), Venti cups (24-oz.) and end with the extravagant Trenta cup (31-oz), mostly used for iced coffees, teas and Refreshers.

These drinks have the same amount of coffee as previously mentioned drinks if you choose Tall or Grande. Buy a Venti iced beverage and they will include an extra shot of espresso.

Nowadays, the trendy Nitro Cold Brew is only available in Tall and Grande cup sizes. This drink is enhanced with a nitrogen infusion, has a good nitrogen-to-coffee ratio, along with the healthiest caffeine content. It’s one of the most caffeinated drinks at Starbucks.


Frappuccinos are Starbucks blended ice coffee beverages, which come in Starbucks standard sizes: Tall 12-ounce cups, Grande 16-ounce cups and Venti 24-ounce cups.

It can make you dance with joy. The ultimate cold coffee extravaganza. Ice blended with a base of cream or coffee, delectable syrups, topped with frothy cream…these are luxurious drinks that make Tall, Grande and Venti swell with pride.

Your caffeine intake will vary with the addition of the coffee base, called Frappuccino roast. Two pumps in a Tall cup will supply 65 mg. of caffeine, three pumps in Grande deliver 95 mg., and four pumps in a Venti will get you going, with 130 mg. of caffeine.


Non-coffee Options

The Starbucks patron can obtain all the non-coffee options in the same standard Starbucks sizes used for espresso beverages.

For hot drinks like hot chocolate, steamers and a variety of teas including chai lattes, the Short 8-ounce cup, Tall 12-ounce cup and Venti 20-ounce cup are available.

Iced teas, Refreshers and other cold non-coffee drinks come in your choice of Tall (12 oz.), Grande (16 oz.), Venti (24 oz.) and Trenta (31 oz.) cup sizes.

Customizable Starbucks Drink Sizes

At Starbucks, you may have your drink modified to your whim. Also, the size can be adapted to whatever you like.

For example, if the drink you want comes in a Tall or Grande size (12—16 oz.), your barista would be happy to pour any amount you like between the two sizes, using the Grande cup. Baristas know how to deal with exact proportions and can keep the flavor ratios as delicious as the original size.

Another possibility is to alter the amount of espresso in a cup size. For instance, if you want to order a Tall cup-sized drink and feel the need for a heady injection of energy, why not add 3 shots instead of the normal one shot?

At Starbucks, you should find the baristas are amenable to any changes you’d like to request. Or you can use their app to order and customize your drinks.

Caffeine Content and Size Considerations

An important thing to be aware of is the caffeine content in the different coffee drinks and cup sizes. You will just need to consider how much you want to consume.

For your peace of mind and nervous system, keep in mind that 1 shot of espresso at Starbucks contains 75 mg of caffeine.

If you are concerned about this, you can order according to the size and espresso shots.

Remember the caffeine numbers. 1 shot of espresso in a Cappuccino, Caramel Macchiato and Mocha Short size cup will be 75 mg. and 2 shots in Grande and Venti will give you 150 mg.

FAQ about Starbucks Cup Sizes

1. What are the available cup sizes at Starbucks?

The six cup sizes for Starbucks beverages are Demi (3 oz.), Short (8 oz.), Tall (12 oz.), Grande (16 oz.), Venti (20 oz. for hot drinks and 24 oz. for cold drinks), and Trenta (31 oz., only cold beverages).

2. What do the names of Starbucks cup sizes mean?

Some of the cups are named after Italian words: Grande for large and Venti, which symbolizes 20 (ounces). Demi is for demitasse, a French word for a small (half) cup.

3. How do Starbucks cup sizes compare to standard sizes in other coffee shops?

A standard coffee shop cup is 8 ounces; hence the Short cup is the traditional size. Now, that’s changed. Starbucks Tall is a small cup in coffee houses, while the Grande (16 oz.) is a medium cup. The standard large corresponds to Venti cups (20-24 oz. / hot/cold drinks).


[1] The Real Reason Why Starbucks Uses Tall, Grande, and Venti –

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.