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Five things to know about Frappe and Frappuccino

Coming into the coffee culture, you’ll find yourself seeing these two words – “Frappe” and “Frappuccino”. Frappuccino may be more familiar thanks to Starbucks. On the other hand, frappe is more foreign to our vocabulary unless you are a true coffee fan. Though are there any differences between these two drinks?

What is Frappe and Frappuccino?

Frappe started way back since 1957 when Nescafe’s researcher, Dimitris Vakondios, tried to come up with a way to make coffee without hot water. He combined Nescafe’s instant coffee, milk, and sugar in a shaker. The byproduct is a coffee drink that is extremely foamy. Although the original creation does not come with a fixed recipe, Nescafe commercialized the drink. It is made famous in Greece before gaining the European countries’ attention.

Frappuccino has a different story. Even though Starbucks claimed trademark over this drink, they are not the initial pioneer. Originally, a coffee shop in Massachusetts called Coffee Connection made the first Frappuccino by blending cream, coffee, and ice in a granita machine. Around that time Starbucks also created their version of the Frappuccino, though they used a blender instead. Starbucks eventually bought Coffee Connection and patented the Frappuccino. Now, you can only get a Frappuccino from Starbucks.

In current times, both the Frappe and Frappuccino carried one similarity which is having blended with ice. It is hard to distinguish between the two yet there are,

Difference between Frappe and Frappuccino

Despite their differences, these powders both contain emulsifiers. An emulsifier main function is to make sure the drink and crushed ice do not separate. If you blend ice with flavored drink powders without a binding agent (emulsifiers), the drink will not have the frappe-like smooth texture. In other words, the liquid and ice will be separated. When consumed, the liquid will finish faster and leave behind ice chips residue which is not something we want to happen in frappes.

FRAPPEASPECTFRAPPUCCINO
Made using instant coffeePREPARATIONMade using brewed coffee (most of the time)
Sweetness can be adjusted but usually is less sweet.SWEETNESS LEVELVery sweet from the addition of syrups and topping.
Widely known in Europe.POPULARITYWidely known in US or any country with a lot of Starbucks shops.
Caffeine content depends on the amount of instant coffee used.CAFFEINE LEVELDepending on the order, does not always contain caffeine.
Low calories depending on the ingredients used.CALORIE LEVELHigh calories from the flavors and topping.

Preparation

Click this picture for guideline how to make a simple frappe

In terms of preparation, the frappe is simpler, especially for an average home café. Instant coffee is much easier to get than having to go through grinding and brewing coffee beans. Though, the signature taste of freshly brewed coffee will always be far superior to its powder version. Instant coffee is purely for convenience. Nevertheless, many still enjoyed their frappe whether it included freshly brewed coffee or instant coffee. Unlike a Frappuccino that only use a cold brew coffee.

As for the tools, a frappe only needed an electric Frappe mixer (or a handheld milk frother you can buy from Shopee) or, if you’re looking for free muscle training, a hand whisk. The main goal when preparing frappe is to make sure the coffee mixture is foamy. Frappe does not require blended ice like Frappuccino, but some preferred their frappe to have a slushy-like texture. A Frappuccino, however, needs to have an ice blender to create a smooth texture which is why you need a high-powered blender if you plan to make Frappuccino at home.

Sweetness Level

The Frappuccino is well-known to be a very sweet drink. The number of flavored syrups and sweeteners added into the mix is attributed to the high sugar level in a Frappuccino. Let’s say you ordered Starbucks’ Caramel Frappuccino. The ingredients, as listed on their website, are caramel syrup, milk, ice, and the finished drink is topped off with whipped cream and a caramel sauce drizzle. Caramel appeared twice on the ingredients list, one being a part of the beverage and the other as a topping.

Unlike the Frappuccino, a frappe is less sweet because of the low sugar content. However, the sugar content of a frappe is based on personal preference. The Frappuccino has a fixed sweetness level as Starbucks’ barista must follow the company’s formula.

Popularity

When it comes to popularity, it depends on the region’s preference or the people’s feedback towards a brand.

The Frappuccino, as stated earlier, is a drink trademarked by Starbucks. In other words, you can only buy Frappuccino from the Starbucks coffee shop. No other shops can sell a Frappuccino without getting a lawsuit. The Frappuccino is widely accepted in the United States because of the large amount of Starbucks opened there.

In comparison with the frappe, there is not a lot of Starbucks store opened in Europe. So, the Frappuccino is least likely to gain as much attention as it did in America. But the frappe is Europe’s favorite coffee drink. Starting from its birth town, Greece, the frappe gained more and more attention throughout the continent. Each region has its own version of frappe, and a few even make frappes with Coca-Cola.

Caffeine Level

Both drinks are flexible with its caffeine level. For the frappe, its caffeine depends on how much instant coffee is used. On average, an 8 oz (236 ml) instant coffee drink has 93 mg of caffeine. Starbucks’ Frappuccino does not always contain any form of coffee. The Frappuccino started as a coffee-based drink, but Starbucks cater to its customers and their preference which soon led to the brand releasing non-coffee versions of the Frappuccino, Green Tea Cream Frappuccino, and Raspberry Frappuccino to name a few.

Calorie Level

A basic frappe contains only instant coffee, sugar, milk, and ice. It does not have flavored syrups or additional sauces which resulted in a frappe being low in calories. If a frappe is sugarless, the calorie content drops even lower. If a frappe is requested with syrups, the least it could reach is around 100 calories. On the contrary to the frappe, a Frappuccino has a whopping number of calories per serving. It is no surprise since a Frappuccino has more than a single pump of syrup plus the addition of other sauces or syrups during the preparation.

Summary

The Frappe and Frappuccino share similarities in appearance but still have the contrast that sets them apart. One being a trademarked brand beverage and the other as a general name for a drink, people showed positive feedback for both. It all comes down to preferences.

It is a café ‘secret’ to use a frappe or frappe base powder to produce an ice blended drink with a delicate texture. Why? Because these special powders contain emulsifiers that help bind together the ingredients to prevent the product become too grainy or the liquid and ice becoming separated. Read our guide on What is Frappe and Frappe Base Powder? to learn more.

MIX-LAH Ice Blended & Milkshake is a beverage premix powder formulated to speed up preparation time as the powder is flavored with sweetener and creamer included. Our beverage premix powder can create a very smooth and silky texture which resembles Starbucks’ Frappuccino quality. We offer a variety of flavors through our multiple series – coffee, chocolate, and fruit.

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