Secret Starbucks Sizes

If I had a pound for every time someone spelled my name like this, I'd be a rich man

Many frequent Starbucks visitors know that its coffee comes in three sizes:

  • ‘Tall’, which is the small size, at around 350 millilitres (12 US fluid ounces), or about the size of a standard drinks can.
  • ‘Grande’, which is the medium size at 470 ml (16 US fl oz) and a bit less than an average drinks bottle.
  • ‘Venti’, which is their largest size at 590 ml or 20 US fl oz. ‘Venti’ means 20 in Italian, hence the name.

Quite why they can’t use ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’ is beyond me, but never mind.

But actually, there are seven sizes in total. They’re not widely advertised, but here they are:

Short

If you look more closely at the menu the next time you’re in Starbucks, you’ll see there’s a kid’s hot chocolate on there, which comes in a ‘Short’ serving size – smaller than ‘Tall’. However, your Starbucks barista may be able to make you any hot drink in the ‘Short’ size, which will cost a bit less than ‘Tall’. I don’t think cold drinks like Frappuccinnos are available in the ‘Short’ size in the UK, but you can ask. ‘Short’ is 240 millilitres (8 US fl oz) and should be available in most outlets.

Mini

This one is US-only, and is a limited-time offer for this summer. It’s only for Frappuccinos, and is 10 US fl oz  (300 ml) – halfway between short and tall.

Demi

Demi is the smallest size of them all, at just 89 millilitres (3 US fl oz). It’s basically a single espresso shot, and should be available in most Starbucks outlets.

Trenta

Finally, if you want a drink that’s larger than ‘Venti’, then try asking for a ‘Trenta’ size. It was announced four years ago in the US, but was primarily for the Refresha range of light cold drinks. However, theoretically, it may be possible to have any other cold drink in this size. At over 900 millilitres (31 US fluid ounces), this is a big drink – almost three times the size of a ‘Tall’ drink. As far as I am aware it was only ever available in certain outlets in the US, and as the Refresha range has seemingly been phased out, it’s probably no longer an option. ‘Trenta’ means 30 in Italian.

Starbucks ‘secret menu’

If you want to know more about ‘off the menu’ drinks that may or may not be available at your local Starbucks, Starbucks Secret Menu and Hack the Menu were two web sites that I found during my searches. Not all of the items on these sites are official, but if you’re in a Starbucks outlet and it’s not busy, you can probably ask the barista to vary the drink based on the recipes listed. You can also sometimes get seasonal drinks like the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte out of season if the outlet has stock left over, and sometimes new drinks are available to Starbucks Rewards customers before they appear on the menu.

I go to Starbucks quite a lot nowadays, as I pass one of their outlets on the way to work. So much so that I’m a gold member of Starbucks Rewards. Considering that, four years ago, I didn’t drink coffee at all, it’s quite a turnaround.

Coffee

“Many consider complexity of circumstances and motives to be precious indulgences that can wait until a better world has been achieved.” ―Albert Murray ☕️
Photo by anokarina, under a Creative Commons License.

When wanting to choose a photo for this post, I found that none of me 2500+ Flickr photos were tagged with ‘coffee’, hence the use of someone else’s photo under license. The reason for this is that I don’t drink coffee.

Or rather, I never used to drink coffee. But now I do. Occasionally.

Until now I’ve been that awkward person who, when asked whether I wanted tea or coffee, wanted something else like water or juice or hot chocolate or anything that wasn’t a hot caffeinated beverage. But as coffee shops have become more and more prevalent I’ve been curious to see if I really do still hate coffee.

In Starbucks, I’d been having their Frappucinos for some time – the non-coffee ones – and on a day when I was feeling particularly tired after an early start I opted for a caramel coffee one, hoping it would perk me up and wouldn’t have the bitterness that I hate about normal coffee (I also don’t like dark chocolate, or bitter ales, incidentally). Thankfully, it didn’t, and so step one of accepting coffee into my life was achieved.

The problem with blended drinks like Frappucinos are that they’re cold drinks. Great in summer, when it’s warm – or some semblance thereof, this is northern England we’re talking about here – but in the cold mid-winter the last thing you want is a thick, ice cold drink when you actually want to warm up. So, again, I decided to experiment – a caramel latte. And, it wasn’t bad.

So far I’ve had a few lattes, although not all of them a success (I won’t name the outlet that gave me a latte that frankly tasted foul, but bleurgh, I had the aftertaste in my mouth for hours afterwards). Next I may push the boat out a little further and try a cappuccino.

For those of you who are hardened coffee drinkers, it may seem bizarre that I’m only now discovering coffee in my late twenties. But sometimes, rather than assuming that just because you didn’t like something 10 years ago, you won’t like it now, it’s worth trying it again.