Recently, it was in the news that a Starbucks customer in Dallas, Texas bought a Frappuccino which totaled about $54.00 and went into a personal cup that was about 128 ounces. The news called it “the most expensive drink ever,” though I have some doubts if that’s the case. About a year ago, a Starbucks customer in Wisconsin did the same kind of thing, buying a more expensive drink. The Wisconsin customer also used a very large personal cup and paid cash for his drink!

What came out of this was an awareness of what Starbucks can offer their customers in personal cups. Yesterday, I had a conversation with an official Starbucks spokesperson (Linda Mills), and she told me the following update to their policy on using personal cups for blended beverages:

“As you know, we love the personalization we can offer customers. But, from time to time we need to clarify and reemphasize a guideline for our partners and to ensure our core benefits can be enjoyed by all our customers.  In this instance, that blended beverages and espresso drinks  cannot be served in sizes larger than a Venti (24 oz cold cup/20 oz hot cup) – including personalized beverage request. This clarity will help our partners  deliver a consistent experience and quality beverages for our customers, and rewards program benefits that can continue to be enhanced and relevant.”

The bottom line is this means the largest cup a Frappuccino may be served in is the Starbucks Venti Cup. The largest cup size an iced tea or iced coffee may be served in is the Trenta cup size. So if you’re ordering a Frappuccino, don’t be alarmed to hear your barista say that the largest cup size for a Frappuccino is the Venti size, and that your personal cup (if larger than 24 ounces) would not be acceptable.

By the way, to be clear, I don’t want any of what I’ve written to discourage you from using a personal cup. It’s good for the environment for you to not use a plastic throw-away cup, and you’ll save ten cents on your beverage. My previous article on the personal cup discount is here. And while you’re cooling off with a Frappuccino in your personal cup, be sure to be reading the book I wrote, Tales of the Siren: A StarbucksMelody – any Starbucks fan will love the stories of friendship, coffee passion, and examples of servant leadership via the Cliff Burrows’ stories.

I thought it would be worthwhile to pass on this updated policy.