The 2 Off-Menu Starbucks Drink Sizes You Can Order Anytime

Starbucks is full of not-so-secret secrets: a never-ending list of off-menu drink concoctions created by fans (like candy corn coffee), drink ordering codes to optimize your experience, and even cup sizes you may not know about. 

Starbucks customers know that there are three main size choices to choose from when you order a drink: tall (small), grande (medium), or venti (large). But there are actually two more drink sizes you won't see listed on the menu: a short and a trenta. A short cup size at Starbucks is the smallest size you can order at 8 ounces (as opposed to a 12-ounce tall). This is what kids' drink items like hot chocolate are served in, but you can ask for many other drinks to be served short. 

At the other end of the spectrum is the gigantic trenta, coming in at 31 ounces. This trounces a venti cup size, which is 20 ounces for hot drinks and 24 ounces for cold drinks. Both of these "secret" sizes are always available for order, but not necessarily for any drink — there are certain rules for ordering a short or trenta.

How to order a short or trenta Starbucks drink

The short cup size may not be displayed on the Starbucks menu next to the "big three" sizes, but it's used by baristas fairly often. This is the size you'll receive if you order a kids' size hot chocolate or Caramel Apple Spice, a kid-friendly steamed apple juice drink. You might also be handed a short cup if you order a smaller espresso drink, like a cortado or doppio macchiato. You can order any hot drink in a short size, but only hot drinks. It's not possible to order cold or iced drinks in this extra-small 8-ounce cup.

The trenta, on the other hand, is a little more elusive, and is only intended for a select few items, all of which are iced drinks (sorry, hot drink fans). You can order the massive 31-ounce cup for an iced coffee or cold brew, an iced tea or lemonade, or a Starbucks Refresher. Anything else — all hot drinks, iced lattes and espresso drinks, Frappuccinos — can be ordered as a venti at the largest.

To order a drink in one of these sizes, simply ask for a short or trenta size to go with any eligible drink. You can even select these sizes for your drink when ordering on the Starbucks website or mobile app. They will only appear as cup choices online for the drinks that you're able to order them in (so hot drinks for short, and select cold drinks for trenta).

Nuances to know about Starbucks cup sizes

The world of Starbucks cup sizes can be a little confusing if you don't work there or order often enough know all of the nuances. Here are some helpful cup size tips to remember next time you go grab a coffee.

Firstly, if you're ordering one of Starbucks' many espresso drinks, whether it's a latte, a cappuccino, or macchiato, it's helpful to know how many shots will come in each size. All short and most tall espresso drinks made with milk will contain one shot of espresso, while most grande drinks are made with two shots of espresso. Venti hot drinks come with two shots of espresso as well, while venti cold drinks include three shots. 

The exceptions to this rule are Americano and Shaken Espresso drinks, which come with an extra shot in a tall or grande, and two extra shots in a venti. Any sort of Frappuccino that contains espresso is made with one shot, regardless of cup size. Why are hot venti drinks and cold venti drinks made with different amounts of coffee? Because of the aforementioned size difference between hot and cold venti drinks: a venti is 20 ounces for hot drinks, and a slightly larger 24 ounces for cold drinks. Tall and grande sizes, meanwhile, are consistent and don't vary depending on the temperature of drinks. Tall drinks are always 12 ounces, and grande drinks are always 16 ounces.