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Starbucks Drinks Defined: Coffee Sizes, Options, and Other Terms

Updated on August 27, 2014
Starbucks Latte Mug; Image source:
Starbucks Latte Mug; Image source:

Skinny iced mocha? Grande soy latte? Starbucks seems to have its own language. If you need help translating, here is a glossary of Starbucks terminology.

Here is the run-down of the Starbucks lingo. I'm not including iced drinks because most of the hot drinks can just be made iced, which means they are the cold version of the drink. I am including blended frozen drinks.

  • Americano: espresso and hot water. Not for the faint of heart.
  • Cappuccino: espresso (number of shots depends on the size), a little bit of steamed milk, a lot of foam; stronger than a latte
  • Caramel Macchiato: vanilla, steamed milk, espresso, and foam, topped with caramel sauce. This particular drink is exclusive to Starbucks.
  • Chai: spicy black tea "infused with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and star anise"; can be drunk hot, iced, or in latte form
  • Cinnamon Dolce: flavor exclusive to Starbucks, includes sweet cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar
  • Decaf: no caffeine; decaffeinated coffee
  • Double: adding an extra shot of espresso to a drink that ordinarily only has one
  • Doubleshot: 6.5 oz can with espresso and "a touch" of cream, also comes in Doubleshot Light (less fat and sugar)
  • Espresso: highly concentrated, heavily caffeinated coffee; it comes in the form of a shot (not an injection, although many probably would like that); described on the Starbucks website as having "rich flavor, lingering aroma and caramel-like sweetness"
  • Espresso Con Panna: shot of espresso with a small scoop of whipped cream
  • Espresso Macchiato: espresso shot with a small amount of foamed milk
  • Ethos Water: essentially just expensive spring water... but with a mission
  • Flavor Shot: a few squirts of a particular flavored syrup that you can add to any beverage. coffee or not; many also come in a sugar-free version
  • Frappuccino Blended Coffee: frozen drink made of coffee, milk, and flavoring (many options), blended with ice, can be topped with whipped cream -- Flavor options include Vanilla, Caramel, Cinnamon Dolce, Coffee, Espresso, Java Chip, Mint Mocha Chip, Mocha, Pumpkin Spice (seasonal), White Chocolate Mocha
  • Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee: the same as Frappuccino, but with fewer calories, uses nonfat milk and sugar-free syrups if applicable
  • Frappuccino Blended Crème: frappuccinos without coffee, each has milk and ice, but other ingredients depend on the flavor. Flavors include Double Chocolaty Chip, Pumpkin Spice (seasonal), Strawberries and Creme, Tazo Chai, Tazo Green Tea, and Vanilla Bean
  • Frappuccino Juice Blend: just one blend, Lemonade (Strawberry Lemonade in the summer), made with lemonade flavoring blended with ice
  • Grande: the medium sized drink at Starbucks—16 oz; hot espresso drinks come with 2 espresso shots
  • Half-Caf: half caffeinated, half decaf
  • Latte: espresso, a lot of steamed milk, and a little bit of foam on top; not as strong as a cappuccino
  • Mocha: espresso, a lot of steamed milk, and mocha syrup, which is essentially dark chocolate syrup
  • Pike Place Roast: Starbucks' newest coffee, described as having "a smooth, subtle flavor"
  • Protein Fiber Powder: basically what it sounds like, adding powdered protein to you drink
  • Refresher: iced drink made with fruit juice and green coffee bean extract, contains caffeine
  • Shot: 1 oz, usually associated with espresso
  • Skinny: made with nonfat milk; if the drink has syrup, the syrup will be sugar-free
  • Soy milk: milk for those who either don't like or can't drink regular milk, made from soy beans, no lactose
  • Tall: the small size—12 oz, hot espresso drinks come with 1 espresso shot
  • Teavana Tea: Starbucks' brand of tea, can be made into iced teas, lemonades, and lattes, hot and cold, many different flavors
  • Trenta: the newest and largest size—31 oz
  • Triple: adding a third espresso shot to a drink that originally has two
  • Veinte: the large size—20 oz, hot espresso drinks come with 2 espresso shots
  • VIA: Starbucks' instant coffee, both for hot and iced coffee
  • Vivanno: Starbucks' exclusive frozen blended fruit drinks made with Naked juice, whey protein, fiber powder, milk, ice, and a fruit. Flavors: Banana Chocolate (made with cocoa), Banana Chocolate with Espresso, Orange Mango Banana, Orange Mango Banana with Matcha Green Tea Powder

Do you go to Starbucks?

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    • profile image

      peaceland 3 years ago

      If I want to speak another language, I will go to another country, so I refuse to speak Starbucks language...and I refuse to go to StarbUCKS cuz it sUCKS! StarsUCKS!

    • ssgreenland profile image

      ssgreenland 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      This is great! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Kate 6 years ago

      This is great! You may want to add "short" to the sizes. Starbucks still makes that size, you just have to know to ask for it.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thank you for this. Now, if only the sizes were easier to understand at Starbucks. Venti - what? Can't I just order a small, medium, or large? Sometimes I just give up and go to Dunkin Donuts.

    • profile image

      fluellen 7 years ago

      i like coffee espcially double espresso.

    • profile image

      best way to lose belly fat 7 years ago

      My favorite is mocha. I can literally smell and taste it now :D

    • profile image

      how to get rid of eczema 7 years ago

      My favorite is the Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee. Love it...

      By the way, you really did your research. A great list I don't believe you missed one!

    • profile image

      toothache pain relief 7 years ago

      starbucks... yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

      Thanks for this hub. You reminded me of few things :D

    • coffeeguru2010 profile image

      coffeeguru2010 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      I have to stay away from Starbucks or I end up spending the day there. Not only do they have awesome coffee but I just love the atmosphere and environment.

      My favorite Starbucks coffee is the Caramel Macchiato.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      I know they stopped making them now, but I could add the beautiful "Creme Brullet". My spelling may be a bit out. I tried it one christmas in Manila, and I found true coffee love! The Starbucks there is brilliant! They do xmas promotions on Organisers there!

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 8 years ago from Pearl of the Orient! this is interesting! thank you for the information... :)..hmm.. coffee fanatic?

    • CoffeeAddict profile image

      CoffeeAddict 8 years ago

      Very informative. I get a bit confused with all the jargons they use in Starbucks.

    • AlexiusComnenus profile image

      AlexiusComnenus 9 years ago from GA

      Awesome hub! Did/Do you work for Starbucks?

    • pcjunkychick profile image

      pcjunkychick 9 years ago from OKC

      Great hub-I voted for you too. :) Happy Birthday!

    • ProfoundPuns profile image

      ProfoundPuns 9 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thanks so much, Dottie! You are so sweet!

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

      I'm voting for you in Hubnuggets, not only for a great hub but also because it is your birthday! So Happy Birthday to You!

    • NYLady profile image

      NYLady 9 years ago from White Plains, NY

      Great hub and welcome to Hubpages! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!