Standard Coffee Cup Sizes For Coffee, Espresso, And More

By Shabbir
Last update:

Coffee cups come in a variety of sizes, usually suited to the type of beverage you are having.

Some coffee chains have their own fancy nicknames for sizes, too (I’m looking at you, Starbucks!). But what are standard coffee cup sizes?

If you really want to boost the coffee experience from just your regular mugs to authentic coffee servings, read on!

Standard Coffee Cup Sizes Chart

The table below lists the most common sizes for coffee cups:

Type of coffee

Cup Size(oz)


Espresso shot

2 oz

59 ml


6 oz

177 ml

Filter coffee

6 oz

177 ml


8 oz

236 ml

Iced coffee

12 oz

355 ml

Starbucks Short

8 oz

227 ml

Starbucks Tall

12 oz

355 ml

Starbucks Grande

16 oz

454 ml

Starbucks Venti

20 oz

591 ml

McCafe Small

12 oz

355 ml

McCafe Medium

16 oz

454 ml

McCafe Large

20 oz

591 ml

As you can see, a “standard” coffee cup size can be considered as 6 to 8 ounces. That’s big enough for typical brewed coffee and cappuccinos.

However, standards are not international. Since the USA is the only country aside from Liberia and Myanmar to use the Imperial measurement system, 8 ounces is not accepted everywhere.

Most countries that use the metric system choose the nice round number of 250 ml as a standard cup size. Here’s the kicker: 250 ml is 8.4 ounces!

Starbucks cup sizes: short 8 oz, tall 12 oz, grande 16 oz, venti 20 oz

Espresso cup size

Espresso is a very strong preparation and is thus enjoyed in much smaller quantities – so the 2 to 4 oz espresso cup size is more than enough. If you want to be really classy about it, espresso cups are called demitasse cups.

Demitasse cups are actually very important to use when drinking espresso. The smaller size keeps the crema nice and thick, and helps retain heat.

If you pour espresso into a larger cup, the increased surface area will mean the crema will spread out too thin and the drink will lose heat very quickly.

Cappuccino cup size

A 6 oz cup size is ideal for enjoying cappuccinos. Cappuccinos are espresso shots mixed with foamed milk. Since the size of the espresso shot is standard, it’s important to control the amount of milk you use in the cappuccino, otherwise your coffee can get too milky and lose its strength, and end up being a latte.

How many ounces in a standard coffee mug

8 oz cups are awesome standard coffee mug sizes, great for a fresh preparation of your favorite filter coffee or latte. Most standard coffee mugs are indeed 8 to 10 ounces, the best size for enjoying a pot of coffee.

Please note that even though the cup itself is 8 ounces, the average coffee cup size is actually 6 ounces. The cups are usually bigger because you need some space at the top of the cup so it does not spill!

12 ounce cups make for great iced coffee. As it is, you’re going to need a lot of ice, which will take up a lot of volume, so the larger cup can mean you still get a good quantity of coffee!

16 ounce cups are the big leagues, for serious caffeine consumers!

The most common coffee cups, as noted above, are 8 ounces, or 227 ml. To figure out how big your favorite mug is, just fill your mug up with water all the way and tip the water out into a measuring cup.

Why does the size of your cup matter?

The size of your cup is important because it dictates how much coffee you should use to brew it.

If you brew 12 ounces of liquid coffee with just 15 grams of coffee grounds, you’ll get a really weak brew, since 15 ounces is what’s used for the average coffee cup size of 6 ounces.

So to get a proper 12 ounce brew, you’ll need double the coffee.

What’s more, using double the coffee means you’ll be ingesting double the caffeine!

What about milky drinks like cappuccinos? If you order a cappuccino and ask for a large size, you’ll get more milk than coffee, unless you specify that you want a double shot of espresso.

What size mug should I get for my home?

The whole shpiel above was more for ordering coffees at your local cafes. If you’re looking to buy a good cup for home, then a standard 8 oz mug should do the trick since you can enjoy cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites, and filter coffee – 8 oz is the goldilocks amount!

If you are really into espresso and considering getting an espresso machine, then I’d suggest you pick up some demitasse cups just for enhancing the espresso drinking experience.

Travel coffee mug sizes

You’ll find that most of the bestselling travel mugs on Amazon are quite large, 16 ounces and 20 ounces.

Presumably, this is for grabbing a hit of filter coffee for the road. Since the mugs are insulated, you can actually pour out two whole servings of coffee that will last you a lot longer!

Here’s a useful video on the topic:

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About Shabbir

Shab is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee Brewster. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.