The Best Size At Starbucks Coffee Isn’t On The Menu — You Can Still Order A ‘Short’


It’s pretty well-known that Starbucks (and other restaurants) have secret menus, but you might not realize that also includes a secret cup size.

Fun fact: AMC theaters DOES have a normal-sized soda cup they also don’t advertise – it’s called a “cameo” size.

But, back to Starbucks.


On the menu, Starbucks offers 3 cup sizes – a tall (12 ounces), a grande (16 ounces), and a venti (20 ounces). You may be aware that a trenta (31 ounces holy crow) is also an option, but did you know you can also get a smaller than a tall?

You can!

The short is an 8 ounce cuppa, which is more akin to the size of coffee you probably brew at home into a ceramic mug.


It used to be on the menu – the sizes were short, tall, and grade – but eventually, the venti became a thing instead.

Maybe because people are really tired I guess and 8 ounces doesn’t seem like enough coffee? Just a guess.

But here’s the thing: it can (and does) often make for better coffee.

Take the cappuccino, for instance, which should have a thick head of foamed milk over the espresso. When you order a tall (or larger), the foam breaks down, which mixes a more-than-optimal amount of milk into the coffee. And the short doesn’t have any less caffeine than a tall, either, just less milk.


Gawker’s (RIP) Tom Scocca made an argument for the 8 ounce cup of coffee several years ago, even in drip format.

“When you drink a coffee larger than a small coffee, the coffee gets cold before you can finish it. You begin with a steaming, uplifting sip, and by gradual stages you end up sucking down cold, aroma-less dregs. Everyone knows this. Even people who disdain small coffee will confess that their larger beverages end in misery.”

So, the next time you’re headed out for coffee, consider the short – it will be hot and made the way it’s supposed to be made. Win, win!

BONUS: Here are helpful charts on the differences in the types of coffee: