Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world. When customers want to get their morning coffee fix, they can choose between several hot cup sizes: tall, grande and venti. (That’s small, medium and large for those who prefer Dunkin’.)
VERIFY viewer Joan recently sent our team a video from Facebook that claims that paying more for a bigger cup of coffee at Starbucks is a scam because the chain’s tall, grande, and venti cup sizes all hold the same amount of liquid. There are also several other videos online making the same claim, including this viral TikTok with over 20 million views posted in early June by rapper and singer Sueco.
Do all Starbucks hot cup sizes hold the same amount of liquid?
- Starbucks spokesperson
- TikTok video posted by Starbucks baristas
- VERIFY’s own check of Starbucks hot cup sizes
No, all Starbucks hot cup sizes do not hold the same amount of liquid.
WHAT WE FOUND
On Starbucks’ website, the coffee chain lists the volumes of its cups, which differ for each size. The smaller sizes hold less liquid and the larger sizes hold more liquid, according to the website measurements:
- Short (for hot and cold): 8 fl. oz.
- Tall (for hot and cold): 12 fl. oz.
- Grande (for hot and cold): 16 fl. oz.
- Venti Hot: 20 fl. oz.
- Venti Cold: 24 fl. oz.
- Trenta Cold: 31 fl. oz.
A Starbucks spokesperson also debunked the social media claims.
“A Tall holds 12 ounces, a Grande holds 16 ounces, and a Venti holds 20 ounces,” the spokesperson said in an email.
The spokesperson also told VERIFY that the company’s “hot cup sizes have not changed.”
To test the theory for ourselves, VERIFY went to a local Starbucks and ordered three drinks in the tall, grande, and venti sizes. We then measured how much liquid was in each cup.
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The tall came to a cup and half, which is 12 fluid ounces; the grande contained 2 cups, which is 16 fluid ounces; and the venti held about 2 and a half cups, which is 20 fluid ounces.
In a side-by-side video shared on TikTok a few days after Sueco’s original video, a pair of Starbucks baristas conducted a similar test and also got the same results as VERIFY.
Sueco claimed in a follow-up video that Starbucks sent him a cease-and-desist letter in reference to the claims he made in his original video. The letter features several typos and an incorrect Starbucks logo.
Starbucks confirmed to VERIFY that the company did not send a cease-and-desist letter to Sueco.