Starbucks Cup Sizes Explained – Which one is the right size for you?

Who doesn’t like to go to Starbucks and order a delicious cup of coffee or a Latte? But aren’t you sometimes confused about the sizing of the cups at Starbucks?

Many other coffee shops have small, medium, and large sizes. Some might add an extra-large for good measure. And then you look at the menu at Starbucks, and you wonder what those sizes translate to in other coffee shops.

Well, first, let’s have a look at the five different Starbucks cup sizes:

  • Short
  • Tall
  • Grande
  • Venti
  • Trenta

So, is a Venti cup of coffee the same as a medium at other shops?

Or… is a Venti actually a large? But what is a Trenta? Yes, it can be confusing! In the following sections, we’ll shine some light at the different sizes and what you can expect to get. Enjoy!

 Cup Sizes at Starbucks

Explaining the Different Cup Sizes at Starbucks

Above we said that there are five different cup sizes at Starbucks. However, that’s not true. There are actually six different Starbucks cup sizes and two of those sizes are named Venti. There’s a Venti for cold drinks and a Venti for hot drinks. And, you guessed it, they are a different size. Why make it easy, right?

Well, it isn’t as confusing as it sounds at first. There are four sizes for cold drinks and four sizes for hot drinks. You cannot, for example, get a hot coffee as a Trenta. That super-large size is only available for cold drinks.

Even the different drinks themselves are not available in all sizes. No, you can’t get a Venti Espresso. If you could, you probably wouldn’t sleep for a week!

Similarly, you can’t get a Short Latte. And neither a Trenta one. You are limited to Tall, Grande, and Venti.

The same is true for the Nitro cold brew. You can get that in Tall or Grande cups, but nothing smaller or larger.

Short Cup Size (8 fl oz)

At Starbucks, it is possible to order a Short coffee. A ‘short’ should actually be called a ‘small.’ For some reason, Starbucks associates small coffees as just Espresso shots. In other countries, where this term is not as widely used as in the US, there may be little or no difference between a small and a short.

The Short size measures 8 fl oz/237 ml/1 cup. You can only get a hot coffee in that extra small size. While it is considered the extra small size at Starbucks, it’s actually what your typical coffee maker measures as 1 cup.

You usually won’t find the ‘short’ on any of the printed or displayed menus. It’s an item of the Starbucks Secret Menu.

When you order an espresso at Starbucks, then you often will get it in a Short cup. However, you can also get other hot coffee beverages as a Short.

Tall Cup Size (12 fl oz)

The Tall cup size at Starbucks is what you typically would consider a small cup in most other coffee shops. You can get the Tall size for both cold and hot beverages.

If you order an espresso-based beverage, then it’ll contain a single shot of Espresso. You can certainly add a second shot if you prefer, but the standard recipe calls for one espresso shot.

If you order a Tall coffee, then you’ll get 12 fl oz/355 ml/1.44 cups. It’s also the smallest size you can get a cold drink in.

Grande Cup Size (16 fl oz)

The Grande cup is the medium size at Starbucks. It’s the Italian word that translates into large. Until the introduction of the Venti, the grande was the largest size available at Starbucks.

It’s overall the most ordered size for the different beverages at Starbucks. It’s available for both hot and cold drinks.

If you order a Grande cup size, then you get a 16 fl oz/473 ml/2 cups size. Many other coffee shops would consider this to be a medium size.

One interesting fact is that it’s the largest size you can order the Nitro Cold brew. While it is one of the drinks with the most Caffeine at Starbucks, the caffeine content is not the reason why you can’t get a Venti Nitro Cold Brew! Starbucks explains that the creamy and frothy texture (called ‘nitro cascade’) and the bubbles (‘cascade of bubbles’) get lost in a Venti size.

Venti Cup Size (20 fl oz for hot and 24 fl oz for cold)

The Venti (Italian for twenty) is traditionally the largest size for a hot beverage at Starbucks. The same is true for many, if not most, cold drinks. In most other coffee shops it would be named a large cup.

Yet, there’s something quite unique about this size. It’s different for hot and cold drinks. Just to confuse you a bit more…

A hot Venti size measures 20 fl oz/591 ml/2.46 cups. However, the cold Venti size at Starbucks measures 24 fl oz/710 ml/3 cups. Starbucks decided to use the same name for two different sizes.

The cold Venti is larger so the cup size can accommodate the ice cubes while you still get your 20 fl oz of the beverage itself.

Trenta Cup Size (31 fl oz)

The Starbucks Trenta Cup Size is for a selection of iced drinks. You can’t get a hot drink in that size!

It’s the latest size that Starbucks introduced as it topped out with the Venti before. Same as with the Venti, Trenta is an Italian word. It translates to thirty even though the cup size is 31 fl oz instead of 30. Oh well…

You can’t get a Trenta iced tea or iced coffee (Can I make Iced Coffee with Hot Coffee?) in every Starbucks location. Many offer the size, but it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get it in every store. It’s often not listed on the menu, so you have to ask the Barista whether they have that size!

The Starbucks Trenta measures 31 fl oz/917 ml/3.8 cups. That’s certainly a massive amount of liquid!

Which Is the Strongest Coffee at Starbucks?

Starbucks Hot and Cold cups

How many Shots of Espresso for each cup size?

The number of shots of Espresso for each beverage varies based on the size of the drink but also on the type of the drink. Flat White and Americano hot drinks and the iced shaken Espresso beverages use different numbers of shots.

Let’s have a look at the number of shots for each cup size:

SizeRegular BeveragesFlat WhiteAmericanoIced Shaken Espresso
Short1 shot2 shots1 shotnot available
Tall1 sahot2 shots2 shots2 shots
Grande2 shots3 shots3 shots3 shots
Venti (hot)2 shots3 shots4 shotsnot available
Venti (cold)3 shots4 shots5 shots4 shots

The Trenta size is not used for beverages with Espresso shots.

How Much Caffeine is in a Shot of Espresso?

How many Pumps of Syrup for the different Cup Sizes?

Similar to the shots of Espresso, there are also a different number of pumps of syrup depending on the size of the cup you order.

SizeNo. of Pumps
Short2 pumps
Tall3 pumps
Grande4 pumps
Venti (hot)5 pumps
Venti (cold)6 pumps
Trenta7 pumps
How do Starbucks Cup Sizes match other coffee shop sizes?

Do larger sizes always contain more Caffeine?

No, they don’t. Look at the table above to see that the Short and Tall sizes have one Espresso shot. Both of those contain the same amount of caffeine even though they are different cup sizes. 

The same is true for Grande and Venti-sized hot beverages.

Why does Starbucks not use small, medium, and large size designations?

Starbucks’ goal was and is to bring some Italian coffee flair and culture to their locations. One of their attempts is to use Tall, Grande, and Venti as their size designations.

These names for the different sizes are indeed unique to Starbucks. Even in Italy nobody outside of Starbucks would know what a Venti size means. However, you could order a Grande coffee anywhere in Italy as it simply translates to ‘Large’!

Can you order a Tall drink and ask to have it served in a Grande cup?

Yes, you can. Your Barista at Starbucks will have no problem providing you with your beverage of choice in a larger cup size. 

Yet you only get the larger cup, not the increased amount of beverage. You also only pay for the smaller amount of liquid. So, if you order a Tall Latte but want it in a Grande cup, you get the same amount of Latte as you would have gotten in a Tall cup.

Are there Sizes on the Secret Starbucks Menu?

The contents of the Secret Starbucks Menu can vary from store to store. The same is true for the different sizes that you can get at those locations.

You can always get a Tall, Grande, or Venti-sized beverage in any Starbucks location. However, Short and Trenta are technically part of the Secret Starbucks Menu and not available at every location!

Therefore, if you want a Short or Trenta drink, you will have to ask whether the store has those sizes. You might be surprised at how many locations you can order those secret sizes!

Starbucks Hot and Cold cups

Final Thoughts

It seems like there’s a Starbucks around every corner. There’s also always the chance that a new size gets introduced.

Initially, Starbucks had three sizes, and by now, we’re up to 5. Actually, six if you count the different Venti sizes for hot and cold drinks. Let’s wait a few more years and see what else they can come up with!

Until then, enjoy your drink at Starbucks now that you know what size to order!

Hot and Cold cup sizes at Starbucks
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