Starbucks Coffee Sizes, Explained

Everyone had one of those days when we groggily woke up to find out we were running late for school or work. At that moment, we are in desperate need of some caffeine to kick the sleep out of our system. Yet, we do not have any time to brew a fresh cup of coffee for ourselves without delaying ourselves even more. So what do we do? Stop at the Starbucks around the corner, of course!


The Coffee Sizes

Although the global brand is widely popular worldwide, an underlying issue seems to bother all of its existing and new customers. Starbucks offers coffee in a lot of different sizes. Starbucks seems to have a bold expectation that everyone will know all about it. So, they have no clear indication of what these sizes refer to. For those of us who are not familiar with all these sizes, this poses a huge drawback. In the scenario mentioned above, we woke up, panicked upon seeing the time, and ran out the door after putting on the first set of clothes in sight. Our mind is probably far too disoriented to make sense of our server’s means when they ask if we want a small, a large, or a Venti.


To tackle that issue and develop a straightforward solution, we have compiled a list of all the coffee sizes the multinational coffeehouse chain offers to its customers.

1. The Demi

The multinational chain’s smallest cup has a capacity of only 90 ml. This converts to about 3 US fl. oz. Demi is apparently a short form of the French word demitasse, meaning “half-cup.” I guess Starbucks likes to use foreign terminology because it is slick. Obviously, most people would prefer trying a demi instead of a half-cup. That is just strategic business marketing!


2. The Short

The short is one of the two original sizes initially offered to customers. This size is offered even today. It contains 240 ml of the drink of your choice, which is 8 US fl. oz. However, the short is only exclusively available for hot beverages such as espressos and freshly brewed coffee. While it is understandably disappointing, it is indeed an economic decision for both the business and its customers.


3. The Tall

This is the other original size out of the two offered to customers in the very beginning. It is also offered in all outlets even today. As perplexing as it may be, the tallness happens to be the third smallest size offered by Starbucks. Yes, the second smallest size is named the “Tall.” Hilarious as it is, it is true. Starbucks happens to think that small and tall go hand in hand due to their huge similarity in pronunciation.


This particular size contains about 350 ml of a drink which is 12 US fl. oz. It is a 110 ml gain in liquid compared to the short. However, unlike the short, the tall is accessible for both hot and cold drinks. So, a big cheers to that!


4. The Grande

Sorry to burst your happy bubble. But, first and foremost, no, this was not named after your beloved singer, Ariana Grande. The Spanish-Italian word “Grande” translates to “large” in the English language. This is, however, not the last coffee size offered by the business. It is mind-boggling, is it not? How come the size called large not be the biggest one?


As puzzling as this piece of information is, this is also a fact. The Grande is only a medium option in the wide range of coffee sizes on offer. It holds 470 ml of your drink which is around 16 US fl. oz.


5. The Venti

Perhaps, this is the most complicated size out of all the ones the coffeehouse chain has. You can ask why already! Here is the stupefying piece of information for you – the Venti is not a single size. It is actually two!


The Venti, which is Italian for “twenty,” has two different capacities based on what type of drink you are having – a hot drink or a cold drink.


· Venti for Hot Drinks – This particular size, served only for hot drinks, has a capacity of 590 ml. That is, as the translation suggests, 20 US fl. oz. So, the size in ounces explains the reason behind the drink being called a “Venti.”

· Venti for Cold Drinks – This specific size is exclusively available for cold drinks only. It is comparatively larger than the Venti for hot drinks. It has a capacity of 770ml which means it contains 26 US fl. oz. of your beverage. As baffling as it may sound, it does seem logical. Although Starbucks did not justify their mystifying action, one could interpret the reason to be ice. Okay, I was not looking forward to confusing you all. But, ice is the most logical answer to this question. The difference in the Venti sizes is, most probably, to accommodate the ice used in the drinks. Well, since it is essentially 26 US fl. oz., would not it be logical to call it a “Ventisei” – the Italian word for twenty-six? Only Starbucks can answer that!


6. The Trenta

It is the final size the world-renowned coffeehouse chain offers. Now, it is pretty much straightforward to comprehend that this is another Italian word for another English number. Yes, “Trenta” means “thirty” in Italian or Spanish. However, unlike what is suggested by its name, it is not a 30 US fl. oz. Starbucks never fails to amuse me! This size has a capacity of 31 US fl. oz.! Shocking, is it not? Not that I am complaining. But, hey, I guess we are just lucky enough to get that one bonus ounce despite its name.


According to the official Starbucks website, The Venti and Trenta sizes are only available for a selected few drinks. These are Iced Coffee, Cold Brew, the Teavana Shaken Iced Tea, the Teavana Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade, and the Starbucks Refreshers. Now, why are they hell-bent on making lives difficult? Probably they enjoy it since we cannot seem to resist Starbucks, right?


Amount of Espresso used

The amount of espresso used in the drinks varies according to the size and type of the drink. For instance, the quantity varies for a cold drink and a hot drink. It also differs for a drink with milk and a drink without milk. For those of you concerned about your caffeine intake, here is a swift walkthrough regarding this topic.

1. The Short

Short drinks, for example, are made with milk, like cappuccinos and lattes. It contains a single or solo shot of espresso, which is 1 US fl. oz., or 75 mg of caffeine. Moreover, the short Americano also has one shot of espresso.


2. The Tall

Like cappuccinos and lattes, tall drinks are also made with milk. It contains one shot of espresso, which is 1 US fl. oz., or 75 mg of caffeine. However, the tall Americano has two shots of espresso, which is 2 US fl. oz., or 150 mg of caffeine.


3. The Grande

The Grande espressos usually have two shots of espressos (also known as double or doppio), which is 2 US fl. oz., or 150 mg of caffeine. And, following the trend, the Americano has an additional shot of espresso, indicating 3 US fl. oz., or 225 mg of caffeine.


4. The Venti for Hot Drinks

Similar to the Grande, it has two shots of espressos. Its extra volume is obviously occupied by milk and syrup.


5. The Venti for Cold Drinks

As mentioned earlier, the Venti for Cold Drinks is bigger than the Venti for Hot Drinks. As such, this size contains three shots of espresso (also known as triple). It means that it contains 3 US fl. oz., or 225 mg of caffeine.


Needless to say, the discussion about the sizes should give you a clear idea whenever you order your next cup of coffee. Yet, if you cannot seem to recall this article in time of your need, talk to the barista. They will direct you in the direction that you desire.

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