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Starbucks has their own unique way of naming their drinks and items. Their cup sizes can be confusing sometimes. This is what I typically get:

Me: Can I get a small coffee of the day?
Barista: Sure, so you want a tall drip.
Me: No, I want a small coffee.
Barista: Yes, the tall is a small.
Me: ???

What is it a tall drip and what other Starbuck slangs do you know?

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If this was one of your experiences while getting coffee there, you are not alone. I am going to give you a list of Starbucks lingo to learn so that by the time you finish this article, you become a Starbucks lingo expert.

Starbucks has its own lingo for sizes.

For the hot cups, they have:

  • Short 8 oz cup
  • Tall 12 oz cup
  • Grande 16 oz cup
  • Venti 20 oz cup

For the cold cups, they have:

  • Tall 12 oz cup
  • Grande 16 oz cup
  • Venti 24 oz cup
  • Trenta 30 oz cup

Notice how tall means small. Their medium is grande. The venti is large. For the cold cups, the extra-large is trenta. It isn't too bad once you get familiar with the sizes.

There are also plenty of drinks that have unique names. Let me give you the most common ones.


This means a regular cup of coffee. The usual way of ordering is "Can I get a Tall/Grande/Venti drip?

Red Eye

Red eye is a regular cup of coffee with an added espresso shot.

Black Eye

The big brother of red eye. A black eye has two espresso shots in a regular cup of coffee.


The fancy version of light roasted coffee. Veranda and Willow blend come to mind. Can I have a blonde bombshell please?


The fancy version for black roasted coffee. The strongest and earthy tasting coffee such as Italian and Komodo Dragon comes to mind.


If you like the non-fat milk and sugar free syrups, this is the option to go. A skinny mocha or skinny vanilla latte will not taste as good, but it is definitely the healthier alternative.

Zebra Mocha

This is a mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate mix in a mocha drink. It could be a regular hot mocha, ice mocha or a mocha frappuccino.

Dirty Chai

This is a fancy term for ordering a Chai tea latte with an added espresso shot. It gives the drink a strong caffeine kick.

Old School Iced Black/Passion/Green Tea

Old school means the tea that they get comes with just plain tea and ice and no sweeteners or water added to it. It is a strong flavored tea.

Upside Down Caramel/Hazelnut Macchiato

Getting an upside down caramel or hazelnut macchiato means having the drink made the opposite way instead of the usual.

In the upside down version, the caramel or hazelnut sauce is put at the bottom of the cup and the shots are pulled right below to give the drink a sweeter taste. This is great for people that prefer a really sweet version of the drink.

Affogato Style Frappuccino

Affogato style means having the espresso shot pulled on top of the drink.

This is very common for Frappuccinos, where caffeine lovers enjoy a kick to the drink by having the shot pulled on top of the Frappuccino, giving a stronger taste to take away some of the sweetness.

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I am not going to lie, coming to college I was nervous because I didn’t like coffee. But everyone looked so cute and professional while holding the coffee cup. But let me tell you, as soon as you have to study for your first test, you will need coffee like you need air.

I still can’t do black coffee, but if you need a pick me up, you will learn this terminology fast.

Cafè Latte:

20% Espresso, 60% Steamed Milk, 20% Milk Foam at the top

  • Vanilla Latte = Vanilla flavoring
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte = Pumpkin Spice flavoring
    Can be iced or hot

  • Mocha = Chocolate flavored
    White Chocolate Mocha
    Can be iced or hot

  • Macchiato:
    50% Espresso, 50% Foamed Milk

  • Carmel Macchiato = Added vanilla syrup and caramel sauce on top
    Can be iced or hot

  • Cappuccino:
    Foamy Milk and espresso

  • Americano:
    Hot Water, 1 shot of Espresso

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