Frappe Vs Frappuccino: What Is A Frappuccino & Frappe Explained

Who doesn’t love iced coffee? It has been a cultural staple for well over 100 years and is consumed more than ever today. 

Multiple variations and recipes have been introduced over the course of decades, and they still keep coming! 

Iced coffee is especially popular during summer when hot coffee becomes a little less favorable to enjoy in the sweltering heat. Whether brewed at home, savored in your favorite cafe, or always in hand as you run late for work, most people would agree that a sweet caffeinated drink is the best way to start off any morning. 

Two popular choices among coffee lovers are the frappe and the frappuccino. They sound similar, don’t they? Despite the names, these two drinks don’t share as many similarities as one would think. In fact, there are more differences to be discussed! 

difference between frappe and frappuccino

These differences come down to their origins, ingredients, tastes, coffee content, and more. 

In some cases, you may not even be drinking coffee! But first, let’s explore how these delicious delicacies compare with each other.

Similarities: Frappuccino vs Frappe

The most basic answer to the question of how frappes and frappuccinos arc alike boils down to one thing They both contain coffee; most of the time, we’ll get to that later.

Besides being coffee-related products, they are both blended iced beverages with sweet toppings. And both very mouth-watering! 

Frappes and frappuccinos share the same premise at heart: Combining the bitter bouncing-off-the-walls goodness of coffee with the added excitement of digging into your favorite dessert. 

Nothing gets better than that’ The names are also obviously related and derive from the French term ‘frappe,” meaning ‘chilled’ Any iced coffee is a frappe’ in French, but the name in English is reserved for one type of iced coffee. 

Perhaps the most striking similarity between the two is the intent of being more a treat than your normal cup of coffee.

Differences: Frappe vs Frappuccino

This is where things take a few unexpected turns. Here are five differences between frappes and Frappuccino that just might influence your next order.

is a frappe a frappuccino

1. Origin 

Where did the two drinks come from? Well, from quite different time periods and places! The frappe was invented in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1957.

Frappes have remained a popular beverage in Greece as well as across Europe and even the Americas. 

It was originally created as a simple drink, using only Nescafe coffee, milk, water, and sugar. A man who worked for Nestle at the time had invented instant chocolate milk, which became very popular.

As the experimentation with foamy iced drinks continued, coffee was added to the mix, and the frappe was born.

It seems as though the greatest recipes always happen by accident, right? The frappuccino, on the other hand, has very different origins. 

It was invented in Massachusetts! George Howell’s ‘The Coffee Connection’ chain invented the first frappuccino as a unique, trademarked product In the 1990s. 

Starbucks bought the rights to the chain and the product, allowing the trademarked Starbucks Frappuccino to evolve into what we see today. To this day. The real deal is only available behind Starbucks branding. 

That’s a very big contrast in itself! The frappuccino is a primarily branded beverage, whereas the frappe has more liberal origins.

2. Frappuccinos are less likely to contain coffee 

Most people prefer a frappuccino containing coffee, but many varieties are made with a creme base instead. Starbucks serves creme frappuccinos such as Vanilla beans, Strawberries & Creme, and Green Tea. 

So if you’re not a coffee drinker, this edition may suit you well; however, even when frappuccinos do contain a coffee base, there is very little flavor in the mix. 

You’ll be tasting the flavor of choice rather than the coffee in most cases. Therefore if you prefer the taste of coffee to its fullest, the drink as a whole may not be for you. 

Frappes are almost always made with coffee, and depending on the type you order, the greater the coffee taste. Sometimes they’re topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate or caramel, but they still contain the same simple ingredients as the classic Greek drink!

3. Frappuccinos are much more sugary! 

A vend Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino has 80 grams of sugar, while your average frappe only contains as much sugar as what’s added in the blend. 

Syrups cremes and more elaborate whipped toppings are found in frappuccinos. Neither beverage is exactly healthy, but if you’re going for the healthier option in comparison, that award goes to the frappe.

Some people just prefer their drink to be less sweet in terms of taste; that’s also where the frappe comes in. 

Think of the frappuccino as being more similar to a milkshake. It’s a sweet treat that is better consumed on occasion rather than making it a routine order.

The same could be said for frappes; however, if you normally prefer a creamy, sugary iced coffee in the morning, a simple non-topped frappe is still a good choice for the daily fix.

4. Frappes are traditionally made with instant coffee. 

Frappuccinos are made with brewed coffee. What’s the difference here? Brewed coffee is freshly ground and made in a coffee maker. This makes brewed coffee healthier, tastier, and more caffeinated. It sounds like a much better experience than instant coffee! 

However, different folks have different preferences. Instant coffee is made from the extract and is stirred in water, which explains how the idea for the frappe is derived from instant chocolate milk. 

Just because one doesn’t have a preference for instant coffee doesn’t mean frappes are less desirable. It is still a tasty, sophisticated blend that is loved around the world. Moreover, frappes can be produced any way you like. 

Every recipe can be different Frappuccinos are a specific recipe and never contain instant coffee unless you make one at home, of course. It all comes down to preference Coffee is coffee at the end of the day, and we can’t get enough of it!

5. Frappes taste more similarly to cappuccinos than frappuccinos. 

Who would have guessed?

While the cappuccino may be Italian in origin, its latte-like recipe can better be compared to the simplicity of the frappe. 

In contrast, cappuccinos are a hot drink. If you love frappes but feel a chill down your spine at the thought of drinking it during winter, a cappuccino is the next best thing! 

The frappuccino derived its name from the New England beverage ‘lait frappe,’ which contains cappuccino, rather than directly from the Greek original. 

All three coffees share some qualities, but when it comes to ingredients and taste, frappes resemble cappuccinos more than frappuccinos resemble cappuccinos – the very thing that inspired the Starbucks-owned drink. Odd. Right? 

This goes to show that frappes are much more coffee-based and less of a sugary treat, as mentioned before. 

This makes the frappuccino ideal for the person who wants the buzz of espresso without the taste of coffee or desires no caffeine at all. For some people, sugar and chocolate are enough to get a boost.

In summary, while frappes and frappuccinos are both delicious summer staples, they do tend to have more differences than similarities. The everyday coffee drinker may prefer the frappe. 

Making Them At Home

It’s quicker to make at home if you choose to use instant coffee. It’s more traditional, slightly healthier if consumed in moderation, and it bears more of a similarity to its hot counterparts. 

To choose a frappe means to experience a European favorite with an added caffeine boost to get your day started! Some may prefer the Starbucks Frappuccino if you have a Starbucks in your area. 

The downside is that although the frappuccino (or any beverage for that matter) can be recreated at home, it is a trademarked product in which the true recipe is finalized. 

There isn’t much room for experimentation, and if you were to open a coffee shop, you would not be able to serve this product under the same name. 

Despite the frappuccino’s availability, if you don’t consider yourself to be here for the coffee, but rather you’re a fan of caramel chocolate, fruity flavors, or even tea, this option is for you! 

Not everyone enjoys the taste of coffee or needs its buzz to get through the day. However, this is the less healthy option, so careful moderation must be put into place. Creme frappuccinos make a great treat for kids and adults alike with their variety of fun flavors.


The differences between frappes and frappuccinos aren’t exactly self-explanatory, which is why it’s important to know what to order based on your personal tastes. 

It is very easy to assume that they are the same drink or at least much more similar to each other than they are in reality. 

They are NOT the same thing, but rather two sweet drinks with quite different elements. Both have interesting histones, both are satisfying on a hot day, and both are undoubtedly delicious! 

Whether you’re ready to swing by your local Starbucks drive-thru or head to the grocery store so you can whip up your own fancy frappe, you can rest assured that you know the difference! Happy sipping1

Does A Frappe Have Coffee In It?

Frappes are a very popular chilled alternative to coffee which you can buy at most cafes and coffee shops. But if you’ve never tried one before, you might be wondering if it actually contains coffee as one of its ingredients.

Well, it’s actually a rather tricky question. Traditionally, frappes are made with coffee. Essentially, the classic frappe is a foamy concoction of ice, milk, coffee, and additives.

But it is actually a blend of flavors that includes various extras such as caramel and chocolate, not to mention a hefty dose of whipped cream, so there are usually alternative options available which do _not _contain coffee.

Because it’s important for restaurants to cater to those with intolerances to caffeine or other ingredients, it’s usually possible to request a frappe minus the coffee. 

So if you are in any doubt, the best thing to do is ask your barista. They will be able to advise you of your options, so you can enjoy your frappe with confidence.

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About David Dewitt

Hi, my name is David and I come from Columbus, Ohio. I am a amateur photographer, and a coffee lover. I love to write, and don't mind me a cup of joe!