Starbucks is arguably the largest coffee brand in the world, and for good reason. It is notorious for its vast range of drinks, iconic imagery, and infamous spelling mistakes on names.
What Starbucks is mostly known for, however, is its unique way of sizing coffee cups.
If you’ve ever been to Starbucks and wondered what on Earth the cup sizes names mean, you’re not alone.
Gone are the days of a small, medium, and large – welcome to the world of Tall, Grande, Venti, and Trenta.
It’s time we all learned exactly what these cup sizes mean so we are no longer judged by the baristas that serve our morning brew.
One of the most popular Starbucks cup sizes is a Venti, but how big is Starbucks Venti? Here is everything to know about Starbucks cup sizes!
History Of Starbucks Cup Sizes
Before we go into how big a Venti is, let’s take a look at the history of Starbucks cup sizes.
This will help us to understand why the cup sizes are different in Starbucks compared to other coffeehouses.
During the 1980s, the owners of Starbucks (Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker) hired Howard Schultz as the Head of Marketing.
This was roughly 10 years after the opening of the first Starbucks, so a Marketing executive was needed to boost the brand.
Schultz was sent on a company trip in 1983, where he explored the multitude of coffee bars in Milan (1,500, to be exact!).
He was inspired to expand the chain, though the owners weren’t keen on this plan. So, Schultz left the company and began his own coffee shop, which was highly successful.
Long story short, Schultz ended up buying the Starbucks coffee shop in 1987, changing his own coffee shop to the same name to create an umbrella brand.
He emulated the same business models he was in Milan, introducing the Italian coffee culture to the United States.
A huge part of blending the cultures together was changing the names of the cup sizes. He opted for the Italian names, which reference the amount of coffee in each cup.
A Venti, for example, means “twenty” in Italian. Therefore, a Venti cup in Starbucks holds 20 ounces of coffee.
Likewise, a Trenta means “thirty”, which is why a Trenta Starbucks drink holds 30 ounces of coffee – or, more precisely, 31 ounces of coffee.
How Big Is Starbucks Venti?
To put it simply, a Starbucks Venti is the equivalent to a large coffee in any other coffee shop.
It generally holds up to 20 ounces of liquid, hence the name “Venti” which translates to “twenty” in Italian.
A Starbucks Venti comes in two forms – hot or cold. It’s important to note that both a hot Venti and cold Venti hold different amounts of coffee.
While a hot Venti will hold 20 ounces of liquid, a cold Venti will hold 24 ounces of liquid.
This is because staff have to make room for the ice in the cup. After all, you don’t want to pay the same amount for less coffee and more ice!
This means that a hot Venti will contain two shots of espresso, and a cold Venti will hold three shots of espresso.
If we take a look at the physical size of a Starbucks Venti cup, it will measure at 6.5 inches tall and a 3.8-inch top.
It will have a base diameter of 2.5 inches. In short, it’s basically the same size as a large cup of coffee from any other regular coffeehouse.
Starbucks Cup Sizes Explained
Now we know how big a Venti is, let’s take a look at the other cup sizes that Starbucks has to offer.
A Demi is the smallest cup that Starbucks has to offer. This tiny cup holds 3 ounces of liquid, and therefore is only suitable for serving espresso shots.
One espresso shot holds one ounce of coffee. So, a Demi is the perfect size for an espresso or double espresso.
Interestingly, a Demi cup doesn’t actually refer to an Italian word, unlike the other Starbucks cup sizes.
Instead, Demi derives from the word “demitasse”, which is a French word for “half-cup”.
Believe it or not, Starbucks actually began with only three cup sizes – Short, Tall, and Grande.
Nowadays, the Short cup size isn’t as popular as it once was. This is mostly because people prefer to have larger coffees.
A Short Starbucks coffee cup can hold up to 8 ounces of liquid, and can only hold hot coffee.
This cup size is most commonly used by people who prefer to have less caffeine in their drinks, as it will generally only hold one espresso shot.
Flat whites in a Short cup, however, will still contain two shots of espresso.
Short Starbucks coffee cups are also suitable for kids who want a small hot drink.
Despite what the name suggests, a Tall Starbucks coffee cup is actually the smallest cup on the standard Starbucks menu.
This is because not all Starbucks menus will offer Demi or Short cups.
So, even though a Tall sounds like a Tall cup of coffee, it’s actually the smallest size for coffees such as lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos, Americanos, and mochas.
A Tall cup will contain 12 ounces of either hot or cold liquid, and one shot of espresso.
The exception is made for drinks that require two shots of espresso, such as an Americano or flat white.
While a Tall only contains one shot of espresso, the rest of the cup will contain milk or ice, or whatever else makes up your chosen order.
Unlike the Venti, which adds more coffee for cold drinks, the espresso amount stays the same in a Tall cup.
While the word “Grande” means “large” in Italian, a Grande cup is actually the medium or standard size of cup in Starbucks.
If you weren’t already confused by how a Tall is actually a small, then surely the confusion will set in when you try to differentiate a Grande with a Venti.
A Grande will hold 16 ounces of liquid for both hot and cold beverages. You will get two shots of espresso in a Grande, which is double the amount of coffee served in a Tall cup.
It is considered the standard because of the coffee to milk ratio, which is most popular among customers.
Interestingly, non-caffeinated drinks, such as smoothies, are only served in a Grande size at Starbucks.
Keep this in mind when ordering a smoothie, because it won’t come in a Venti or Tall.
We’ve already discussed how big a Venti is, so let’s jump to the largest Starbucks cup size you could possibly get, a Trenta. “Trenta” translates to “thirty” in Italian, which is a reference to the 30 ounces of liquid that the cup can hold.
Although, technically the Trenta holds up to 31 ounces of liquid, but for the sake of sticking to the Italian language, “Trenta” is the best name option for this cup.
As this is the largest Starbucks coffee cup available, you can only order iced drinks in this cup. This includes cold brew, shaken iced tea lemonade, iced coffee, and refreshers.
However, you cannot get an iced espresso drink or Frappuccino in this size.
This rule is purely because you won’t receive the right amount of coffee according to the size of the cup – and if you were to double the ratio, it would be an insane amount of coffee.
Trust us when we say you don’t want to have an iced espresso containing four shots of coffee.
Trentas are great for feeling refreshed and hydrated with a large drink in the summer, and they’re also popular for those who want to avoid caffeine.
How Many Espresso Shots Are In Each Starbucks Cup?
One of the easiest ways to remember the size of each Starbucks cup is to remember how many shots of espresso each cup is meant to hold.
It’s all well and good saying how many liquid ounces the cup can hold, but this doesn’t always reflect how many espresso shots it will contain.
A Demi, Short, and Tall Starbucks cup will each contain 1 shot of espresso. The exception for a Demi is that the cup can hold 3 liquid ounces, allowing for a double shot of espresso.
Also, a Tall will contain two shots of espresso for an Americano, flat white, and shaken espresso.
A Grande and hot Venti will hold two shots of espresso for regular coffees.
They both contain three shots of espresso for a flat white, but a hot Venti will contain 4 shots of coffee for an Americano.
A cold Venti will contain more shots of espresso to make up for the additional ice and liquid added to the cup.
This means that regular coffees will contain 3 shots of espresso, and 4 shots of espresso for Americanos, flat whites, and shaken espressos.
Trenta cups are tricky, because they don’t actually come with a standard of espresso shots.
This is because espresso drinks aren’t offered in this cup size. Instead, these extra large cups are reserved for non-caffeinated iced drinks.
How Many Pumps Of Syrup In Each Starbucks Cup?
Just like the varying amounts of liquid and espresso shots, each Starbucks cup will come with varying amounts of syrup.
So, if you are buying a flavored drink at Starbucks, keep in mind that the bigger the cup, the more pumps of syrup it will contain.
A Demi will never contain any syrup, as it is reserved entirely for single and double espresso shots.
Otherwise, it’s fairly easy to figure out how many pumps of syrup are added to each Starbucks cup.
Every time the cup goes up a size, an extra pump of syrup is added as the standard. This is to ensure the ratio of espresso to syrup and other liquids is the same in each cup size.
So, a Short will contain 2 pumps of syrup, a Tall will contain 3 pumps, a Grande will contain 4 pumps, a hot Venti will contain 5 pumps, a cold Venti will contain 6 pumps, and a Trenta will contain 7 pumps.
However, this is just the guidelines that Starbucks baristas follow.
If you are conscious about calories, or perhaps don’t want too many pumps of syrup, you can always customize your order to your liking and ask for less or more pumps.
How Many Tea Bags In Each Starbucks Cup?
Of course, not everybody is going to want coffee in their Starbucks order.
Starbucks also caters to tea drinkers thanks to their range of teas, ranging from classic English breakfast to fruity blends.
The same rule applies with coffee according to the cup size you order – the bigger the cup, the more tea bags will be added to the cup.
However, it’s not as excessive as adding an extra tea bag to each cup.
A Demi will not hold a tea bag, so this is not an option. A Trenta will also not hold any tea bags, as this is not an available option in Starbucks.
A Short and Tall Starbucks cup will hold one tea bag. A Grande, hot Venti, and cold Venti will also contain 2 tea bags.
This is to allow the proper ratio of tea bag to water, so the tea isn’t too weak in larger cups.
Best Way To Order A Starbucks Venti Coffee
We all know that there are two ways to order a Starbucks Venti coffee – either hot or cold.
However, there are some loopholes you can make to customize your order to make the best use of your money.
Luckily, Starbucks is all about customizing each coffee order to your taste.
Usually, a cold Venti iced coffee will contain a lot of ice, with an extra shot of espresso to make up for the ice. This means that the coffee content won’t weaken as the ice melts.
However, if you love coffee and want to make the most use of an extra espresso shot in a cold Venti, try ordering a cold Venti iced coffee without the ice.
This way, you won’t be paying for the ice. This means that no ice will melt, and you’ll receive more coffee for the same price.
You’ve got to remember that a Venti will contain roughly the same amount of espresso as a Grande, but in a bigger cup. This means that it will contain more milk than a Grande.
So, if you compare a Venti latte to a Grande latte, the Grande latte will actually taste stronger. This is because the coffee to milk ratio is smaller than the ratio of a Venti latte.
So, if you are a fan of coffee and want to have a Venti latte that tastes stronger than it usually would, you should ask for an extra shot of espresso.
Keep in mind that this will add more money to the order, though.
It’s also worth noting that the option of adding more coffee or syrup to a coffee cup has its own implications.
Starbucks isn’t solely responsible for the large portion sizes in America, but the availability of Venti and Trenta cup sizes does contribute to the wider issue.
While it’s not a bad thing to have a Venti coffee, it’s important to remember that it’s not healthy to have this much coffee on a regular basis.
You’ve also got to consider the amount of sugar and other sweeteners the drink might contain. The bigger the drink, the more calories and sugar you’re adding.
So, it’s best that a Venti drink is enjoyed as a treat rather than a necessity.
Too much of anything can become an unnecessary indulgence that comes with negative consequences, after all.
So, there you have it! To put it simply, a Venti is the Starbucks equivalent to a large cup of coffee, as it holds up to 20 ounces of liquid.
It takes a while to get to grips with the various Starbucks cup sizes, but hopefully, this guide has helped you understand what each cup size refers to.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Venti Starbucks cup refers to twenty ounces of coffee. It is considered a large cup to cater to the large portion sizes in American culture.
The original Starbucks sizes were Short, Tall, and Grande, as instigated by owner Howard Schultz.
However, he then added other cup sizes to cater for the ever-growing American portion sizes in other food and drink shops. Therefore, a Venti became a large, a Grande became the standard medium, and a Tall became a small.
No, a Grande is not bigger than a Venti. A Grande contains 16 ounces of liquid, whereas a hot Venti contains 20 ounces of liquid, and a cold Venti holds 24 ounces.
This means that a Venti is the next largest option after a Grande at Starbucks, which is considered the standard medium cup size.
The largest Starbucks size is the Trenta, which holds 31 ounces of liquid. Due to its sheer size, this cup is not suitable for hot coffee drinks, and is only available for iced coffees, iced teas, and other non-caffeinated iced drinks.
If you’re looking for the largest coffee size in Starbucks, the largest cup you can get is a Venti. This can hold up to 20 ounces of liquid (or 24 ounces for cold drinks), and can hold up to 3 or 4 shots of espresso depending on the type of drink you order.