Inspire Beverage Business

Frappe vs Frappuccino: An In Depth Explanation

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. Despite both being ice blended drinks, they have their differences. 

But before we get to that…

What is Frappe and Frappuccino?

Frappe started way back since 1957 when Nescafe’s employee, 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. It was given a long shake which resulted in an extremely foamy coffee drink. 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 theirs involved a high-powered blender. Starbucks eventually bought Coffee Connection and trademarked 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,

Differences between Frappe and Frappuccino

A short summary of the differences between frappe and frappuccino


In terms of preparation, the frappe is more simple especially for an average home cafe. Instant coffee is much easier to get than having to go through the process of roasting, grinding and extracting coffee beans. Though, the significant taste of freshly brewed coffee will always be far superior to its powder version. The instant coffee is purely for convenience. Nevertheless, many still enjoyed their frappe whether it included freshly brewed or instant coffee. Unlike a Frappuccino that only requires a cold brew (for coffee-based Frappuccinos). 

As for the tools, a frappe only needed an electric Frappe mixer (or a handheld milk frother that you can buy from IKEA) 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 turns foamy. Frappe does not require blended ice like a Frappuccino, but some do enjoy a slushy-like texture. A Frappuccino, however, needs to have a high powered blender to create a smooth texture. 

Sweetness Level

The Frappuccino is well-known to be a very sweet drink. The number of flavored syrups and sweetener added into the mix attributes 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.  


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 word, you can only buy Frappuccino from any 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 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, with some making frappes with Coca-Cola than coffee. 

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 such as the Green Tea Cream Frappuccino, and the Raspberry Frappuccino to name a few. 

Calorie Level

A basic frappe contains only 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 syrup is added, 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 in a single drink. 

End Note

The frappe and Frappuccino share similarities in appearance but still have contrasting factors that set them apart. One being trademarked brand beverage and the other is a general name for a drink. People showed positive feedback on both. It all comes down to preferences. 

It is a cafe ‘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 become separated. Read our guide on What is Frappe and Frappe Base Powder? to learn more. 

MIX-LAH Ice Blended & Milkshake


MIX-LAH Ice Blended & Milkshake is a beverage premix powder formulated to speed up preparation as the powder is flavored and sweetened with creamer included. Our beverage premix 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 fruits. Visit our ecommerce shop on Shopee, Lazada and GFB Official Store

For more inspiration and information, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.