Going to Starbucks and ordering a plain black coffee can be intimidating. With a dizzying array of drink options on the menu, it can be hard to know exactly what to say to the barista to get a simple cup of regular black coffee.

Fortunately, ordering black coffee at Starbucks is easy once you know the lingo.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: To order a regular black coffee, you can simply ask for a “tall, dark roast coffee” and you’ll be all set.

In this comprehensive 3000 word guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to confidently order a black coffee at Starbucks. We’ll cover the different sizes and roasts of brewed coffee at Starbucks, tips for customizing your black coffee order, Starbucks ordering lingo you need to know, and step-by-step ordering instructions.

Understanding Starbucks Coffee Sizes


When ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks, one of the first things to understand is the different sizes available. The smallest size offered is called “Tall.” Despite its name, the Tall size is actually quite generous, with a capacity of 12 ounces.

This size is perfect for those who prefer a smaller, more concentrated dose of caffeine to start their day. The Tall size is ideal for those who want a quick pick-me-up without feeling overwhelmed by the amount of coffee.


If you’re in need of a bit more caffeine, the next size up is the “Grande.” This size is 16 ounces, providing a satisfying amount of coffee to keep you energized throughout the day. The Grande size is a popular choice among many Starbucks customers, as it strikes a balance between not being too small or too large.

With its ample size, the Grande is great for those who need a substantial caffeine boost without going overboard.


For those who really need a jolt of caffeine, the largest size available at Starbucks is the “Venti.” The Venti comes in two variations: hot and cold. The hot Venti size is a massive 20 ounces, while the cold Venti size is a whopping 24 ounces.

This size is perfect for those who need a serious caffeine fix or enjoy sipping on their coffee for an extended period of time. However, it’s important to note that the Venti size isn’t available for all beverages on the menu, so be sure to check if it’s an option for the specific drink you want.

Understanding the different Starbucks coffee sizes is crucial when ordering a simple black coffee. Whether you prefer a smaller, concentrated dose of caffeine or need a larger cup to keep you going throughout the day, Starbucks has a size that suits your needs.

So the next time you’re in line at Starbucks, confidently order your coffee using the size that best fits your caffeine cravings!

Choosing Your Preferred Roast

When it comes to ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is choosing your preferred roast. Starbucks offers a variety of roasts, each with its own unique flavor profile and intensity.

Whether you prefer a light, medium, or dark roast, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.

Blonde Roast Coffees

If you enjoy a milder, smoother flavor with subtle hints of sweetness, the blonde roast coffees are a great choice. This roast is known for its light body and bright, citrusy notes. It’s perfect for those who prefer a more delicate and nuanced coffee experience.

Some popular blonde roast options at Starbucks include Veranda Blend and Willow Blend.

Medium Roast Coffees

For a well-balanced cup of coffee with a slightly richer flavor, medium roast coffees are the way to go. These coffees have a medium body and offer a nice balance between acidity and bitterness. They tend to have more pronounced flavors and are great for those who prefer a classic coffee taste.

Starbucks offers a range of medium roast coffees, including Pike Place Roast and House Blend.

Dark Roast Coffees

If you prefer a bold, full-bodied coffee with rich flavors and a hint of smokiness, dark roast coffees will satisfy your cravings. These roasts have a robust flavor and are often associated with a stronger, more intense taste.

Dark roast lovers will appreciate options like French Roast and Italian Roast at Starbucks.

It’s worth noting that the roast level affects not only the flavor but also the caffeine content of the coffee. Contrary to popular belief, darker roasts actually have slightly less caffeine than lighter roasts. This is because the longer roasting process breaks down some of the caffeine molecules.

So, if you’re looking for a bolder flavor but less caffeine, dark roast coffees might be the perfect choice for you.

Remember, taste is subjective, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try different roasts until you find your favorite. Starbucks provides detailed descriptions of each roast on their website, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your preferences.

So go ahead, order that simple black coffee with confidence and enjoy the unique flavors of your chosen roast!

Options for Customizing Your Drink


When ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks, one of the first options you have is to choose the temperature of your drink. Whether you prefer your coffee piping hot or with a bit of a chill, Starbucks can accommodate your preference.

Just let the barista know if you want your coffee to be served hot, iced, or at a specific temperature in between.

Add-ins: Sugar, Cream, Milk

Another way to customize your black coffee is by adding in sugar, cream, or milk. Starbucks offers a variety of sweeteners, such as raw sugar, classic syrup, or flavored syrups like vanilla or caramel.

If you prefer a creamy coffee, you can choose from options like whole milk, 2% milk, soy milk, or almond milk. Just specify your preferences to the barista, and they will prepare your drink to your liking.

Asking for a Fresh Batch of Coffee

If you want your black coffee to be as fresh as possible, you can ask the barista for a fresh batch of coffee. This ensures that you are getting a cup of coffee that has just been brewed, maximizing its flavor and aroma.

The barista will be more than happy to accommodate your request, as they want to provide you with the best coffee experience possible.

It’s important to note that while Starbucks offers a range of customization options, they might vary depending on the location and barista. So, don’t hesitate to ask about any specific preferences or options that you may have.

Starbucks prides itself on providing a personalized experience, so feel free to experiment and create your perfect cup of black coffee!

Key Terminology to Know

Size Names

When ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks, it’s important to understand the various size names they use. Starbucks offers four size options: Short (8 oz), Tall (12 oz), Grande (16 oz), and Venti (20 oz).

Each size name corresponds to a specific amount of coffee, so make sure to choose the size that suits your preferences.

Regular vs Decaf

Another key terminology to know when ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks is the difference between regular and decaf. Regular coffee contains caffeine, which is known for its stimulating effects.

On the other hand, decaf coffee is made by removing most of the caffeine from the beans, resulting in a beverage with minimal caffeine content. If you prefer a caffeine-free option, make sure to specify that you want decaf when placing your order.

Brewed Coffee vs Espresso Drinks

Starbucks offers a variety of coffee options, including brewed coffee and espresso drinks. Brewed coffee is made by steeping ground coffee beans in hot water, resulting in a traditional cup of joe that is rich in flavor.

On the other hand, espresso drinks are made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee, resulting in a concentrated and bold flavor. When ordering a simple black coffee, you’ll most likely be looking for brewed coffee.

However, if you’re in the mood for a stronger and more intense coffee experience, you can explore the various espresso-based options on the Starbucks menu.

Putting It All Together: How to Order

Ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks may seem like a straightforward task, but with the various options and customizations available, it’s helpful to know the steps to ensure you get exactly what you want. Here’s a guide to putting it all together:

1. Choose Your Size

The first step in ordering your black coffee is to choose the size. Starbucks offers three sizes: Tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces), and Venti (20 ounces). Consider how much caffeine you need or your preference for a larger or smaller cup of coffee.

2. Choose Your Roast

Next, consider the type of roast you prefer. Starbucks offers a variety of roasts, ranging from lighter options like Blonde Roast to darker options like French Roast. Each roast has its own flavor profile, so choose the one that suits your taste.

3. Specify Black Coffee

When ordering, be sure to specify that you want a black coffee. Starbucks offers a wide range of beverages, so it’s important to clarify that you don’t want any milk or sweeteners added to your coffee.

4. Indicate Any Customizations

If you have any specific preferences or customizations, such as adding sugar or requesting a specific brewing method, don’t hesitate to let the barista know. They’ll be happy to accommodate your requests to make your coffee just the way you like it.

5. Provide Your Name and Pay

Finally, provide your name to the barista so they can call it out when your coffee is ready. Starbucks prides itself on providing a personalized experience, so using your name adds a personal touch. Once you’ve provided your name, proceed to the payment counter to complete your order.

Remember, ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks can be a quick and easy process once you’re familiar with the steps. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make specific requests to ensure you get the perfect cup of coffee to start your day.


Ordering a simple black coffee at Starbucks is easy once you know what to ask for. By determining the size and roast you want, using proper ordering terminology, and clearly specifying that you want your coffee black, you’ll get the perfect freshly brewed cup of Starbucks coffee.

With the steps and tips outlined here, you can walk into any Starbucks location and order a black coffee with confidence.

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