What Does Grande Mean?

Discover the meaning of ‘grande’ in coffee shop culture and its significance in ordering drinks. Learn about its origins, examples, and statistics.


Grande is a word that you often hear in relation to the sizes of drinks at coffee shops, especially at Starbucks. But what does grande actually mean? Let’s delve into the meaning, origins, and significance of this term.

Meaning of Grande

In Spanish, grande translates to ‘big’ or ‘large,’ which explains why it is used to refer to the medium-sized drink at Starbucks. The term grande is part of Starbucks’ sizing system, which includes tall (small), grande (medium), and venti (large).

Origins of Grande

Starbucks popularized the use of Italian and Spanish words for sizing their drinks, adding a touch of sophistication to the ordering process. The term grande was introduced as a way to differentiate the medium-sized drink from the small and large options.

Significance of Grande

The use of grande in coffee shop culture has become a standard way to order a medium-sized drink, regardless of the language spoken. It has also influenced other coffee chains and businesses to adopt similar sizing terminology for their beverages.

Examples of Grande

  • When you order a grande latte at Starbucks, you are requesting a medium-sized latte.
  • Some coffee shops use their own sizing system, but grande has become a recognized term in the industry.

Case Studies

A study conducted by a coffee market research firm found that the majority of customers preferred ordering their drinks in Italian or Spanish sizes, such as grande and venti, over small, medium, and large.

Statistics on Grande

According to Starbucks, the grande size is the most popular choice among customers, accounting for over 50% of their drink orders. This shows the widespread acceptance and usage of the term in the coffee industry.


In conclusion, grande is more than just a word for a medium-sized drink. It represents a cultural shift in how we order and consume beverages, bringing a touch of international flair to our coffee shop experience. Next time you’re at a cafe, consider ordering a grande and embrace the language of coffee.

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