What Are the Lines On Starbucks Cups? (+ Other Common FAQs)

Starbucks baristas manage to make perfect drinks that have a consistent and delicious taste all day long, and while there’s no doubt that they are champions at what they do, they also have some help from the Starbucks cups.

Like other Starbucks customers, you may have seen the lines on their cups and wondered what they mean. If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I learned!

What Are the Lines On Starbucks Cups?

The lines on Starbucks cold cups are measurements for the baristas to tell them how much of each ingredient to add. On a Venti cup, the bottom line measures 8 fl. oz., the middle line marks 12 fl. oz., and the line at the top measures 16 fl. oz, and the space beyond the top line is left for the ice.

If you’re curious about what the lines on Starbucks cold cups mean and how they help baristas in making drinks, carry on reading. We did the research and have some information for you.

What Do the Lines On Starbucks Cups Mark in Ounces?

If you’ve been thinking that those lines on Starbucks cold cups look like the lines on a measuring cup, you’re absolutely correct.

The lines on Starbucks cold cups mark off measures in fluid ounces and are meant to help baristas in making drinks by measuring ingredients.

The lines on cold cups tell the barista how much of each ingredient to add and how much space to leave on top of the ice.

However, the lines aren’t regular ones like those you’d find on a measuring cup, as in a Venti or extra large cup, the line at the bottom marks 8 fl. oz., the middle line marks another 4 fl. oz., and the top line marks another 4 fl. oz.

As well, the extra space on the top always left empty is to make room for the ice which will be filled up to the top, while liquid ingredients cannot be added beyond the third line at the top.

A Venti-sized drink is 20 fl. oz., but the Venti cold cup is actually 24 fl. oz. in order to leave enough room for the ice to melt.

Therefore, because of the lines on each cup, baristas know exactly how much of each ingredient needs to be added to the drinks they craft!

What Do the Lines On Starbucks Venti Cups Mean?

What Do The Lines On Starbucks Venti Cups Mean?

The Venti cold cups at Starbucks are the only ones that have the full 8, 12, 16, and 20-ounce line measurements, which are used to properly measure the portion of espresso, syrup, milk, ice, etc., for each drink.

For example, when making iced coffee, the barista fills the cup up to the second line with the coffee and then adds the cream or dairy product up to the third line, and if there is no dairy or cream, the coffee is filled up to the third line.

For Frappuccinos, milk and coffee base or creme base are filled to the first line before adding other ingredients.

For iced teas, the cup is filled to the first line with tea, and then lemonade or water is added up to the third line, while the remaining space in the cup is left for the ice.

Each drink has its own recipe, and baristas are expected to learn all of them as part of their training so that all ordered drinks are made as accurately as possible.

Why Are There Lines On Starbucks Reusable Cups?

You may have noticed that your reusable Starbucks cup has the same three lines on it as the cold cups. However, unlike the cold cups, these lines aren’t intended to have a practical purpose but are there to give the authentic look of a Starbucks cup.

That’s because when you take your reusable cup into the store, the barista doesn’t actually use it to make the drink. Instead, your drink is made behind the counter and then poured into your reusable cup, which stays on the counter the whole time.

However, it’s a good decision on your part to bring in your reusable cup to help the environment by cutting down on waste. Further, Starbucks will give you a discount of 10 cents off your drink for bringing in your reusable cup!

To learn more about Starbucks, you can also see our posts on whether or not Starbucks cups are recyclable, whether you can microwave Starbucks cups, and what is a Starbucks tumbler.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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