Frappe vs Frappuccino

Frappe vs Frappuccino

Finding it difficult to make a choice between Frappe and Frappuccino? Both are refreshing iced coffee drinks to be enjoyed on a hot summer day with their characteristic textures and tastes. This article on Frappe Vs Frappuccino will make all the distinctions absolutely clear for you.

What Is A Frappe?

A Frappe is an iced drink made with simple ingredients like instant coffee, milk, sugar, and water. It is prepared by shaking or beating the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, milkshake machine, or electric milk frother. Instant coffee has solids from the coffee beans in crystallized or powdered form.

Frappe Coffee 01

History of Frappe

The word Frappe in French means a drink chilled with ice and served cold. Its accidental invention in Greece is attributed to a Nescafe representative during a demonstration of a new chocolate drink at the Thessaloniki International Fair in 1957.

As the story goes, the employee mixed instant coffee with cold water and ice cubes in the shaker as he was unable to find any hot water for his instant regular coffee. And the rest, as they say, is History.

Realizing its potential, Nescafe carried out intense marketing campaigns in Greece to make the drink popular that it is sometimes referred to as the Nescafe Frappe.

What Is A Frappuccino?

Do you know about the portmanteau words? The parts of different words are combined to form a portmanteau word. The word Frappuccino is a portmanteau of Frappe and Cappuccino. But, the Frappe drink, while coining the term, was taken from New England, which is a milkshake with cream and ice.

Frappuccino in its current form is a Starbucks-trademarked blended iced coffee drink, common on Starbucks’ menu at their outlets and even sold at vending machines and convenience & grocery stores. It may have a coffee or creme base blended with flavored syrups and ice and topped with other spices and whipped cream.

The popular varieties include Caramel Frappuccino, Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, Mocha Frappuccino, Strawberry Frappuccino, etc.

Frappuccino 01

History of Frappuccino

Frappuccino originated as an iced Cappuccino blended with the Frappe. Andrew Frank of the Coffee Connection first created it. The coffee connection was a coffee shop chain in Eastern Massachusetts opened by George Howell. Starbucks acquired the chain in 1994 and, along with it, all the rights to make and sell the drinks worldwide.

Similarities In Frappe & Frappuccino

Before going into their differences, let us look at some of their similarities.

To start with, both are iced drinks which makes their sales go up in the summer months. Both are usually iced coffee drinks, though frappuccinos are available in non-coffee versions.

Both are bigger drinks with serving sizes upwards of eight fl oz. Frappuccinos at Starbucks coffee shops start with the tall size with a twelve fl oz serving and are also available in 16 and 24 fl oz sizes. Frappes are usually served in eight to ten fl oz in Greece. But, at McDonald’s, the serving sizes are Small (12 oz), Medium (16 Oz), and large (20 Oz).

We will discuss the differences between the drinks in the next section, but the two drinks appear very similar in taste and feel if you add whipped cream or ice cream to your frappes.

Frappe Vs Frappuccino

Now let us examine the main differences between frappe and frappuccino. We shall be making the comparison with the traditional Greek Frappes more than the McDonald’s Frappes.

Coffee Used – Instant Coffee or Espresso.

The Frappes are almost always made with spray-dried instant coffee granules. This type of coffee, due to its manufacturing process, is devoid of any coffee oil and allows a very thick foam to form on top.

Any other brewed coffee, even if it is made with freeze-dried instant coffee, will not get you the thick, consistent, and long-lasting foam the way spray-dried instant coffee does.

Frappuccinos can have their own formulation of an instant coffee blend known as the Frappuccino Roast or Frapp Roast. You can ask for espresso shots from the espresso machine in place of the Frapp roast. You can get the decaffeinated Frappuccino if you are trying to restrict your caffeine intake.

You can even have a coffee-free Frappuccino if you want or order it for your children. These are known as the Crème based Frappuccino and have very low or no caffeine content.

Milk Content

Any coffee shop in Greece will not add milk to your Frappe unless you specifically ask for it. A traditional Frappe will use evaporated milk, which is unsweetened condensed milk. The drink will be named “frapógalo” in this case. You need to add 150% cold water to prepare the cold milk from a can of evaporated milk.

Frappuccinos gives you all the standard milk options (whole milk, 2% skimmed milk, non-fat, heavy cream, milk alternatives, vanilla ice cream, half and half, etc.)

Added Sugars

If you are in Greece, you need to specify the amount of added sugars in your Frappes while ordering them. The options are Sketos or plain (No sugar), Metrios or medium (2 teaspoons), and Glykos or sweet (4 teaspoons). If you order sketos, you can enjoy the real coffee flavor in your iced coffee drink.

Starbucks Frappuccino has loads of sugar in it, and there is no way to contain or reduce them. You can only avoid ordering additional syrups and sauces if you find the drinks too sweet.


The coffee for the Frappe is prepared by adding instant coffee, water, and sugar to a cocktail shaker and shaking it to get a consistent and airy foam. This coffee is poured over the ice cubes or crushed ice in the glass, followed by water (if needed) and milk.

Starbucks Frappuccinos are blended coffee drinks prepared by adding the coffee or creme base with flavored syrups, milk, and ice and blending them together. Whipped cream and other spices are added to the blend before serving it.

The texture of the Brewed Coffee.

Frappe Coffee 03

The foam in the Frappe, prepared by shaking, appears like a creme from an espresso which is a lot thicker and more consistent. This provides it with a velvety texture. How long these bubbles last will depend on the initial bubble size and the sugar content.

In the Frappuccinos, ice blends with the drink to give it a smooth, thick, and creamy texture, almost like a smoothie.


As previously stated, sketos preserves the coffee taste more than other versions, being less sweet. You can control the amount of instant coffee you want to add to your drink, adding more if you are a fan of strong coffee like me. You can add milk to reduce the bitter notes if you don’t like them.

The difference between a frappe and a frappuccino with regard to the taste is more defining to me. I find that the real coffee flavor in a Frappuccino gets overshadowed by the syrups and flavorings that get added to it. I need to order extra pumps of instant coffee or espresso shots to balance out the sweetness of the drink.

Frappuccino 02

Caffeine Content

As per Nescafe, a 2 gm serving (one teaspoon) of their instant coffee carries caffeine in the range of 50 to 90 mg, depending on the blend. Usually, 2 g of instant coffee is used with 200 ml of water. Hence a ten-ounce serving of iced coffee will have 70 mg of caffeine, considering the blend with the median caffeine content.

A tall glass of a Frappuccino will have a 60 mg caffeine content if the standard number of pumps for instant Frapp Roast are used and 125 mg if espresso shots are used. You have the option of going for the creme-based Frappuccino, which has minimal or no caffeine in them (except Matcha Crème Frappuccino, which has 50 mg), or for the decaf espressos to reduce your caffeine intake.

Healthiness & Nutritional Facts

Both these drinks are usually calorie and sugar-heavy drinks, good for occasional indulgences. Frappe, out of two, is more flexible and is available in low-calorie and sugar versions if consumed without the addition of milk, heavy cream, ice cream, and sugar.

The calorie and sugar count of a tall glass of Greek Frappe with 8 oz of evaporated milk and two teaspoons of sugar will be 160 calories and 31 gm, respectively. With no milk and limited sugars, this intake can be restricted to 30 to 40 calories and 10 – 15 gms of sugar.

The caloric and sugar intake of the tall glass of Frappuccinos are as under

  1. Using a coffee base (excluding the specific espresso and coffee Frappuccinos) – 293 calories and 40 g sugars.
  2. Espresso Frappuccino and Coffee Frappuccinos – 150 calories and 30 g sugars.
  3. Creme-based Frappuccinos – 275 calories and 33 g sugars.


Frappes in Cyprus and Denmark contain normal milk (not evaporated milk), and you can even get liqueurs added to your Frappes in some beach bars in Greece. Some coffee shops will add vanilla ice cream scoops or whipped cream to your Frappes, particularly in Serbia. Other variations include the use of Coca-cola in Bulgaria, bitter coffees in Albania, served like a milkshake in New England, Freddo Espresso, and Freddo Cappuccino.

As previously stated, Frappucinos are served as Coffee Frappuccino, non-coffee creme-based drinks, and decaf versions, where the coffee versions include the choice between espresso shots and Frapp roast.

Extra Additions

In Frappe drinks, you can add caramel sauce and simple syrup to have a Caramel Frappe, chocolate sauce in a Frappe Mocha, chocolate sauce and mint flavoring in Choc-mint Frappe, Hazelnut & vanilla sugar in Hazelnut Frappe, and Horchata powder, almonds, sesame seeds, tiger nuts, or rice milk with vanilla or cinnamon flavorings in Horchata Frappe.

Frappuccinos use nondairy alternatives like almond, oat, coconut, or Soy milk. Other additions include the use of flavored syrup (like Chocolate syrup, Cinnamon Dolce syrup, Caramel syrup, etc.), flavored powders, and frappuccino or chocolate chips.


As is evident from above, the Frappes do not have a standard recipe. It is more common in Europe, particularly around Greece and Cyprus.

Frappe Coffee 02

Frappuccinos have managed to find favors in all the countries (Total 81) where Starbucks has a strong base. These 83 countries include Africa – 4, Asia – 26, Europe – 27, North America – 15, South America – 7, Australia and New Zealand. But 61% of its coffee stores are in USA and China.

It is estimated that approximately 10% of the total Starbucks revenue is generated by Frappuccinos. But coffee experts consider its growth trajectory is now on a decline due to increased health awareness among consumers.

Bottled Distributions

Frappuccinos were the first product to be distributed under the North American Coffee Partnership between Starbucks and PepsiCo to distribute ready-to-drink products in 1996. Starbucks currently sells 19 flavors in 9.5 and 13.7 oz bottle sizes, and its revenues from bottled drinks crossed $ 2 Billion in 2017.

Frappes are most sold in coffee shops. McDonald’s, through its coffee arm, McCafe, started bottled distributions in the 2010s, including Frappe. It entered into an alliance with Coca-cola in 2017 to distribute the Frappes.


Frappuccinos drinks are sold under the Starbucks trademark, with Starbucks owning the exclusive rights to sell the drinks worldwide.

Frappe is usually associated with Nescafe as the delicious iced coffee drink was invented by them, but there are no trademarks or exclusive rights owned or acquired by any company.


We hope that all the distinctions between the two popular ice drinks with almost similar names are clear to you and you have already tried a homemade Frappuccino and Frappe to find out the real difference in taste. If you still need any more clarification, feel free to write to us in the comments section below.