What do the lines on a Starbucks cup mean? (What to know!)
Starbucks mugs seem to be constantly being photographed and posted to Instagram. But have you looked closely at these popular drinks?
If there are, you may have noticed the lines on the side of the cup. Ever wonder what these lines on a Starbucks cup mean? We looked into it and here’s what we found…
What do the lines on a Starbucks cup mean?
Starbucks baristas use the printed lines on Starbucks handcrafted drink cups to determine the correct amount of ingredients in the drink. It makes it easy for the barista to know how many ingredients to add and where to fill the cup, so they still have room for ice.
This article takes a look at the lines on Starbucks drinks: which cups use them, what they mean, and how Starbucks baristas use them.
What are the lines on a Starbucks cup for?
Starbucks drinks are exclusive to Starbucks, and the lines on the cups are the hallmark of unique drink creations; these lines are not standard measurements and cannot be used to measure standard quantities.
Instead, they’re pouring instructions for specific ingredients and marking the sequence of craftsmanship that goes into making complex artisanal beverages.
Baristas need these lines for the following reasons:
- Add the correct ingredients
- Add the ingredients in the correct order
- leave enough room for ice
- Make sure the drink has a properly “finished” (or polished) look
- Make drinks quickly (and correctly) every time
How do Starbucks baristas use the lines on their cups?
Starbucks baristas, who may work under considerable pressure, use cup markings to measure, pour and mix beverages consistently. Instead of measuring and scooping each individual ingredient, they can do this faster with clear markings on the cup.
For example, to make a Starbucks caramel macchiato, the ingredients must be added in a certain order or in some sort of layering to properly “build” the macchiato.
Starbucks Caramel Macchiatos require syrup, followed by milk, ice, espresso, and caramel sauce. The ingredient line becomes invaluable when these (and many other complex specialty drinks) need to be made quickly.
For Strawberry and Cream Frappuccinos, add Frappuccino Base Syrup first – reach the first row.
Then add the milk, strawberry syrup, and ice cube mixture to the centerline. This means using different amounts of milk depending on the size of the cup – tall, large or vented. Finally, top the drink with whipped cream.
How do the lines on the cup work?
The line on the Starbucks cup marks the fluid ounce measurement. If you are making a cold drink, there will be an ice cube mark.
On a venti sized cup (591ml), the first line marks 8 fluid ounces, the second line marks 4 fluid ounces, and the top line marks another 4 fluid ounces. Liquid ingredients cannot be added after the top line, for the ice line.
These lines do not indicate how much liquid is in your drink, but rather how far each element in the drink fills the cup.
What are the lines on my reusable Starbucks mug?
The printed lines on the reusable cups are purely decorative and only exist as a sort of Starbucks “reminder” icon.
You might notice that the barista at Starbucks won’t take your cup to make a drink. Instead, they make one behind the counter and pour it into your reusable mug.
Why is it important for Starbucks baristas to follow the printed line on the cup?
Starbucks creates very precise “designs” of drinks, which they name and release on their online and offline menus. When customers choose a drink, they want it to look exactly “right.”
You’ll notice that every Starbucks handcrafted drink has a captivating and appealing finished look.
The drinks on the menu are clear and accurate, the colors are crystal clear, the surface contours are neat, and the texture is pure.
These traits indicate freshness, coolness and clarity, and suggest freshness, health, vitality and wellness.
Most milk-based beverages have bright fruity undertones that show intense flavors and aromas. These bases gradually (but not completely) mix as they climb up the glass.
Many blended versions are incorporated into the flavor cloud, such as the iced matcha green tea latte. Others are fully blended, but break the color wall with ice, and some drinks are built in layers.
What Happens If Starbucks Baristas Don’t Use Printed Cuplines?
If every beverage you buy at Starbucks is simply mixed beforehand and poured upon ordering, the only visual feature that consumers can choose from is color and size. This is not enough.
The clarity or opacity of the liquid, the way the color is stirred, faded or left to stand, and the pure ice quality of cold milk or juice are key elements in showcasing artisanal beverages.
Baristas must be able to accurately recreate the drinks they advertise, time and time again, to the same standard every time.
Want to learn more about Starbucks?Check out these posts to find out if Starbucks sells boba tea, if the Stella Buck kiwi tea is recalled, and if Starbucks chai tea contains caffeine
The lines imprinted on Starbucks cups are a symbolic direction that Starbucks baristas follow, so every time you ask for a cup, they make your artisanal drink quickly and accurately.