Frappe vs. Frappuccino: Are They The Same Coffee Drinks?

Different flavors of frappuccino
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On a scorching summer day, few things rival the enchanting experience of sipping your preferred iced beverage, whether caffeinated or procured from your go-to coffee hunt.

For some, this may be a daily ritual, while for others, an indulgent luxury worth the time and expense of visiting Starbucks. However, every coffee lover is acquainted with the missteps of the coffee universe, or at least they believe so.

For instance, not only may your name be misspelled when placing an order, but there are times when your desired drink differs from what is delivered.

Ordering iced coffee requires the correct name. Your barista knows the coffee menu by heart, but maybe you got tongue-tied. You wanted a creamy swirl but ended up with a frothy disappointment.

It is a very normal thing to happen, especially when you are standing in a coffee shop and confused between a frappe and a frappuccino. However, just remember “frappe” and “frappuccino” may start with the same letters, but they are not the same!

So what exactly sets these two iced coffee drinks apart?

The distinction between a frappe and a frappuccino lies in the latter being a registered trademark of Starbucks. Thus they alone have the exclusive right to offer it.

On the other hand, the word ‘frappe’ is used for a much broader spectrum, describing chilled and frothy iced coffee drinks.

So, let us explore what frappuccinos and frappes are and the primary differences between the two trendy iced coffees.


Frappe vs. Frappuccino: At a Glance

Coffee usedInstant, filter coffeeConcentrated, hot coffee
Milk content½-1 cup½-1 cup
Caffeine content75-180 mg85-155 mg
Calories400-500 cal per serving400-500 cal per serving
TasteSubtly sweet with a more robust coffee flavorSugary, with a mild coffee flavor

What is a Frappe?

The word frappe, pronounced “frap-pay,” is a yummy iced coffee drink perfect for hot days. Mixing instant coffee, sugar, and milk with ice prepares a frothy and creamy frappe. Some people use brewed coffee instead of instant coffee.

The mixture is put in a shaker, frappe maker, or blender with ice to make it thick and smooth.

You can add your favorite toppings like chocolate, whipped cream, caramel, or other syrups to suit your preferences. As a result, you will get a sweet, chilled, creamy, and super-refreshing drink, perfect for a caffeine boost on a hot summer day!


The frappe originated in Greece in the 1950s. A Nescafe representative named Dimitris Vakondios dropped some instant coffee into cold water by mistake, and voila! The frappe was born.

Vakondios introduced the drink at the Thessaloniki International Fair in 1957, and it soon became a hit among the Greeks during the summer.

The frappe became so popular in Greece that it spread to other countries in Europe and the Middle East. Eventually making its way to the United States and other parts of the world, frappe became a common drink served at cafes and coffee shops.

Today, people all over the globe love the frappe for its refreshing taste and satisfying texture.

A glass of frape coffee

How to Make a Frappe?

Here’s how you can make a delicious, chilled traditional frappe at home on a hot day: 

Step 1

Grab a shaker or blender – a protein or cocktail shaker works excellently! 

Step 2 

Use around two teaspoons of instant coffee and equal amounts of sugar and water for a 12-ounce glass. Adjust the quantities based on your preference for sweetness and strength.

Step 3

Blend the mixture for about 5 seconds or shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds to create a smooth, foamy texture.

Step 4

Fill your favorite glass with crushed ice and pour the velvety coffee foam over the ice to cover it.

Step 5

Add water or milk to your glass until it meets your desired consistency.

Step 6

Finish it with a straw and enjoy your refreshing and delicious iced coffee drink!

Pro Tips 

  • To make your frappe extra indulgent, add condensed milk to the mixture for a creamy, decadent taste.
  • If you prefer a milder flavor, use a darker roast coffee and add more water or milk instead of a light roast.
  • Get creative with toppings! Add whipped cream, chocolate shavings, cookie pieces, chocolate syrup, or a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or caramel syrup to add extra flavor to your frappe.

What is a Frappuccino?

A Frappuccino is a frosty coffee drink born from Starbucks, made with a shot of espresso, frothy milk, and sweet syrups, all blended with ice to create a velvety texture. 

Frappuccino is a delectable drink that can suit everyone’s preferences, with flavors ranging from caramel to vanilla. The best part is you can customize your frappuccino with whipped cream, sprinkles, and more!

Due to their refreshing and satisfying taste, Starbucks frappuccinos have become a fan favorite for coffee lovers.

Just remember, frappuccino is a unique name for Starbucks, so you can only find this cool drink at their stores!

Related Read: What Is Frappuccino Roast? [A Complete Guide On Starbucks Drink]


A frappuccino came into being as a trademarked brand of blended coffee by Starbucks in the year 1995. The drink was created by George Howell, the founder of a coffee chain called Coffee Connection, which was later acquired by Starbucks in 1994.

The first frappuccino coffee was made by blending coffee roast with chilled milk, ice and a sweetener. The drink became an instant hit and eventually became among the most popular coffee drinks ever created by Starbucks.

However, with time, frappuccino has gone under multiple variations, as Starbucks introduced many different flavors like Caramel Frappuccino, Mocha, Java Chip, etc.

Today, this chilled coffee drink is one of the staple beverages by Starbucks and is enjoyed by coffee lovers all over the world!

a glass of frappuccino coffee

How to Make a Frappuccino?

To create your homemade Frappuccino, follow these simple steps:

Step 1

Choose your preferred coffee as an espresso pod or whole beans. Brew your coffee and let it cool in the fridge; it should be intense and short.

Step 2

Pour the cooled, concentrated coffee into a blender and add your choice of milk. Whole milk or rich oat milk work great!

Step 3

You can add sweeteners or flavorings of your choice, such as sugar, condensed milk, or another sweetener. 

Step 4

Add a handful of ice cubes to the mixture and blend well.

Step 5

Continue blending, adding more ice if needed, until the mixture is smooth and the ice cubes completely blend.

Step 6

Enjoy your delicious homemade Frappuccino! You can serve it immediately in a tall glass and savor the smooth and caffeinated taste.

Pro Tips

  • Use more robust coffee than you usually drink, as the milk and other ingredients will dilute the flavor.
  • Add enough ice cubes in step 4 to fill up the blender.
  • Add some chocolate flakes for a tasty mocha frappuccino, and top it off with cream and chocolate chips. It is sure to impress your friends with its decadent flavor!

Starbucks Frappuccino vs. Mcdonald’s Frappe

In the world of cold coffee drinks, the Frappuccino from Starbucks and the Frappe from McDonald’s are both popular choices. Which one you prefer is all about your taste preferences.

The Frappe from McDonald’s is definitely on the sweeter side. If you’re not a fan of sugary drinks, you might not like a frappe. However, it is the perfect drink for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth.

At Starbucks, you can have more control over the sweetness level by customizing your order and choosing a particular Frappuccino style. And if you’re a fan of coffee flavor, you can even request dark roast beans to be used.

Typically, Frappuccinos have a slightly weaker coffee flavor, so it’s the ideal drink for people who don’t prefer the bitter coffee taste.

home made vs starbucks frappuccino

Frappe vs. Frappuccino- What’s the difference?

Regarding coffee-based drinks, few treats are as beloved as the Frappe and the Frappuccino. But despite their similar names, these two drinks have some notable differences.

Coffee type

One of the main differences between a Frappe and a Frappuccino is the coffee used.

A Frappe has instant coffee or natural flavoring. It is a blended drink with a more pungent coffee taste.

On the other hand, a Frappuccino consists of strongly brewed or concentrated hot coffee. The hot coffee combines milk, ice, and flavored syrup to create the iconic blended beverage. It’s worth noting that this differs from an espresso Frappuccino, made exclusively with espresso.

One consequence of this difference in coffee used is that Frappes tend to have a more pronounced coffee flavor. In contrast, frappuccinos have a more subtle coffee taste, often overshadowed by the added syrups and flavors.

So a Frappe might be the better choice if you’re a coffee lover looking for a strong caffeine kick.

On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for a sweeter, more indulgent treat, you will love a Frappuccino.

Caffeine content

A frappe may be your better choice if you want a caffeine boost in your blended coffee drink.

Frappes generally contain 70-100mg of caffeine per serving, depending on the type of coffee beans used and how much instant coffee it contains.

On the other hand, a Frappuccino may not have caffeine, as it depends on the variation and customization.

A coffee Frappuccino typically contains 85-100mg of caffeine from the espresso shot. However, a Strawberry Frappuccino includes no coffee, so there is no caffeine.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine or trying to limit caffeine intake, go for a decaf coffee Frappuccino. Starbucks also has non-coffee-based frappuccinos like Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino or White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino.

Either way, you can indulge in a delicious blended coffee drink if you choose a Frappe or Frappuccino.

Strawberry Frappuccino


It can be tricky to determine how healthy a coffee drink is. The healthiness of a drink depends on a few factors, such as caffeine levels, calories, and sugar content.

Regarding caffeine, Frappes and Frappuccinos are similar, and neither is any stronger than other coffee-based drinks.

Unfortunately, both Frappes and Frappuccinos are high in calories. A single serving can contain 400-500 calories, most of which come from the drink’s 60-75g of sugar. The foamed milk and syrup also contribute to the calorie count.

While you can request a Frappe without sugar or a Frappuccino with a different type of milk, these modifications only slightly reduce the calorie count.

Labeling either of these drinks as healthy is hard, and they are among the most unhealthy options on the Starbucks menu.

Milk content

The milk content in both Frappes and Frappuccinos is the same. Essentially, they’re both like coffee milkshakes with some syrup thrown in – and they both typically have about 1/2-1 cup of cold milk mixed in.

If you plan to make a Frappe or Frappuccino at home, using 1 cup of milk is a good starting point. You can choose from full-fat, fat-free, or even dairy-free alternatives like oat, almond, or soy milk to customize your drink to your liking.

Related Read: Frothing Almond Milk at Home: A Hassle-Free Guide!


If you’re craving a sugary sweetness rush, the Frappe and Frappuccino will likely tickle your taste buds with their delightful flavors.

While the frappe offers a slightly less sugary experience with its balanced blend of coffee and sugar, the Frappuccino is a symphony of sweetness. With its high dose of flavored syrup, you can consider Frappuccino, the maestro of sugary drinks.

It’s quite a surprise that the vanilla ice cream Frappuccino, made with bitter and slightly sour espresso, is the sweetest drink on the Starbucks menu.

Nevertheless, the sweetness level of both drinks ultimately depends on how you like them. But these iced drinks are the perfect pick-me-up if you are looking for a sugar rush.

The bottom Line

While Frappes and Frappuccinos have some similarities, it’s important to note that they are not the same thing.

The main difference is their association with coffee shops – McDonald’s for Frappes and Starbucks for Frappuccinos.

It’s like the age-old debate between Coca-Cola and Pepsi – everyone has a preference!

Now that you better understand what each drink entails, you can confidently order your favorite cold coffee treat from any coffee shop.


Can frappes and frappuccinos be prepared hot? 

Neither Frappes nor Frappuccinos are served hot, as both are blended drinks made with cold water and ice cubes. Therefore, they are the most famous iced drinks. Even though some people argue that the espresso used in a Frappuccino could make the drink hot, the coffee is continuously cooled down before being blended with ice, resulting in a cold and refreshing beverage.

How long can a frappuccino last?

If unopened, a sealed Frappuccino can last a while in your fridge. However, it’s best to finish it the same day once opened. To avoid any potential health risks, check the use-by date before consuming.

Which is the healthiest frappuccino at Starbucks? 

Of all the Starbucks coffee drinks, the Mini Mocha Light Frappuccino has the lowest calorie count. This delectable treat consists of rich mocha sauce, non-fat milk, and ice, containing only 15 grams of sugar and a mere 80 calories.

How are a latte and a frappe different? 

Frappes use cold, frothed milk, while Lattes have hot frothy milk created using a steamer. The key difference lies in the milk temperature used in each drink.

Are frappes unhealthy?

It is not accurate to say that frappes are inherently unhealthy. A frappe containing only coffee and sugar has around 45 calories and offers few nutritional benefits or drawbacks. However, adding 2% milk to your frappe will increase the calorie count by about 18 calories, but it will also provide essential nutrients such as calcium, riboflavin, and vitamins A and B12.

Can I make a frappe with brewed coffee? 

Creating an authentic frappe using brewed coffee or espresso is impossible because instant ground coffee produces a frappe’s long-lasting foamy texture.

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