What Is A Frappe

What Is A Frappe

Summer months are approaching, and there is no better way to treat yourself than with a nice and refreshing iced coffee drink. This time we suggest an instant coffee drink, very popular in Greece and fast catching up worldwide.

Read the complete article to know What is a Frappe, its variations, and how to prepare it!

What is a Frappe?

The drink has many names, like Greek frappe, frappe coffee, Nescafe frappe, and simple Frappe. It is a frozen or iced coffee drink containing instant coffee, milk, water, and sugar prepared by beating, shaking, or blending these ingredients in a cocktail shaker, milkshake machine, or electric milk frother.

Greek Frappe 02

Frappé Origins

Frappe is a French word that loosely means a drink chilled with ice. In the 19th century, in the absence of any clear distinction, many iced cold coffee drinks and slushes were called Frappes.

However, the drink in its current form originated in Greece during the Thessaloniki International Fair in 1957. A demonstration by a Nestle representative of a new drink prepared by shaking chocolate and milk in a shaker was ongoing. During the break, in the absence of any hot water, an employee mixed instant coffee with water and ice cubes in the shaker, and the new drink was born, which rapidly gained popularity in Greece.

Nestle, with its intense marketing campaigns, made the drink popular, so much so that it was often termed the Nescafe Frappe.

Café Frappé Today – Variations and Terminologies

Prior to 2004, immigrants and tourists coming to Greece used to relish the drink and contributed to its growing demand. Frappes gained tremendous popularity outside of Greece after the Athens Summer Olympics in 2004.

Variations in Greece

In Greece, the inclusion of milk is an option and is not added unless specifically asked for. Evaporated milk, also known as unsweetened condensed milk, is used, and the drink is termed “frapógalo.”

Cyprus uses milk instead of water, and some of the beach bars in Greece may add liqueurs like Baileys Irish cream or Kahlua to the Frappe Iced Coffee drinks. YOu can request the addition of vanilla ice cream in many coffee shops.

Variations in Other Countries

  1. Bulgaria: Soft drinks (like Coca-Cola) are used in place of water.
  2. Denmark: Milk is used in place of water.
  3. Serbia: Use ice cream and whipped cream on top.
  4. Balkan countries like Albania: May use more bitter coffees.
  5. New England Frappe: Uses ice cream and is more like a milkshake.

Freddo Espresso and Freddo Cappuccino

Freddo Espresso is now a popular drink, which was first introduced in Athens in 1991. It is a Greek iced espresso, also considered a high-quality frappe.

Freddo Cappuccino has cold milk foam topped over the Freddo espresso.

How To Make A Frappe

As you will see, making a frappe at home is quite simple. You need a few basic ingredients and a hand cocktail shaker or an electric frother.

Coffee Used

As stated earlier, the Greek Frappe makes use of instant coffee granules, which are coffee solids in the crystallized or powdered form. These coffee solids, also known as soluble coffee crystals, are in the dehydrated form.

They are made by spray drying or freeze drying the water in which the volatile and soluble contents of the coffee beans have been extracted using pressure and a high temperature of 175 °C.

The spray-dried instant coffee practically contains no oil, thereby allowing a thick foam to form on top of the drink. The foam may appear like the crema from an espresso machine, but the absence of any oil makes it thicker, more consistent, and longer lasting. It is a colloid consisting of all three phases coffee solids, water, and air bubbles.

The foam has the property that, depending on the sugar content and the initial bubble size, the water drains from the foam for 2 to 10 minutes before the foam finally becomes dry and starts to break away.

If you try to make the Frappe with brewed coffee or even with the usual instant coffee that is freeze-dried, the foam will not last very long, as both these types of coffee have much more oil. Similarly, the bubbles in the Frappe’s prepared in a handheld shaker are finer and last long.

Milk Content

You can have the traditional Greek version of the Frappe with or without adding milk to it. A coffee shop in Greece will generally not add milk unless you specifically request it. If cold milk is added to a Frappe, it is the evaporated milk, which is the unsweetened condensed milk.

Such kinds of milk are prepared from cow’s milk by evaporating 60% of the water and canning them to be shelf stable. While using them, you need to mix 150% of water by volume to bring the water content to near its original amount.

You can try out dairy-free alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk if you want.


The Greeks specify the sweetness while ordering their frappes. If you are preparing your frappe iced drink with two teaspoons of instant coffee, the usual options are:

  • No sugar – Such drinks are known as “Sketos,” meaning “plain.”
  • Two spoons of sugar or the amount of sugar matches the amount of coffee. These drinks are called “Metrios” or “medium.”
  • If you have a sweet tooth and want to double the amount of sugar than the concentrated coffee (4 spoons), you need to order “Glykos” or “sweet.”

A sketos will bring out more coffee flavor than the heavily sweetened ones.


These drinks are to be savored occasionally, like on a hot day. Their high calories and sugars make them not a very healthy choice, particularly if you are struggling with any of these conditions and looking to reduce your caloric and sugar intake.

This, of course, depends on the quantity of milk, sugar, whipped cream, syrups, and other ingredients you are adding to your drink. 8 oz milk made from 3.2 oz of evaporated milk will contain about 120 calories, and each teaspoon of sugar has about 16 calories.

So a 12 oz tall glass of a traditional frappe with 8 oz milk and two teaspoons sugar will contain about 160 calories and 31 gm of sugar.

If you do not use milk or sugar (or limit the sugar) in your frappe, you will hardly consume 30 to 40 calories and 10 – 15 gms of sugar.

What is a Frappe - Recipe

Ingredients – What’s In A Frappe?

  1. Spray dried instant coffee – 2 teaspoons.
  2. 3.2 oz of evaporated milk mixed with 4.8 oz of water to make 8 oz.
  3. 4 oz of cold water.
  4. 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar (to taste).
  5. 4 to 5 ice cubes.


The steps to prepare a Greek original recipe frappe drink at home includes:

  1. Mix two teaspoons of instant coffee, two oz water, and sugar into a cocktail mixer and shake them till you can get a consistent airy foam.
  2. Prepare the milk using the canned evaporated milk and water by mixing them in a ratio of 1:2.5 (40%: 60%).
  3. Pour the ice cubes or crushed ice into your tall glass, followed by the coffee from the cocktail shaker. Add more water (if you like) and milk, which is best served cold.
Greek Frappe 01

Caffeine Content

Each teaspoon with a 2-gram serving of instant coffee can have 50 to 90 mg of caffeine, depending on the blend and brand. The usual thumb rule is to use about 200 ml of water to prepare an instant coffee drink with one teaspoon (2 g) of coffee. Hence instant coffees usually have a lower caffeine content than the coffees brewed by other methods.

Popular Frappe Drinks

Some of the popular frappe drinks include:

  1. Caramel Frappe: The drink is made with caramel sauce and simple syrup.
  2. Frappe Mocha: Made with chocolate sauce and simple syrup. You can top it up with whipped cream. You can try it with a milk chocolate sauce or white chocolate sauce for a milder taste.
  3. Choc-mint Frappe: A popular post-dinner treat. Made with chocolate sauce, mint flavoring, simple syrup, and milk. It is frequently garnished with chocolate shavings and mint leaves.
  4. Hazelnut Frappe: Uses hazelnut milk as a dairy-free option and a teaspoon of vanilla sugar.
  5. Horchata Frappe: It is a Latin American drink that uses Horchata powder, almonds, sesame seeds, tiger nuts, or rice milk with vanilla or cinnamon flavorings and simple syrup.
Frappe Coffee 02

Frappe vs Frappuccino

Frappuccino is a trademarked Starbucks blended drink, acquired from the Coffee Connection – a coffee chain started by George Howell. The word Frappuccino is a portmanteau made from two words, Frappe and Cappuccino.

This iced coffee drink has a crema or an espresso base and is blended with flavored syrups like caramel or chocolate syrup and ice, and it is topped with spices and whipped cream. It does not have any instant coffee. It has a smoothie-like texture. Common Frappuccino drinks are

  1. Caramel Frappuccino.
  2. Mocha Frappuccino.
  3. Strawberries n’ Cream Frappuccino.
  4. Vanilla Bean Frappuccino.
  5. Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino.

We have a separate article where we have highlighted the difference between a frappe and a Frappuccino in detail.

Frappe Vs Frappuccino 01


I hope that you made a Frappe for you using all the above information and further suggest that you try out different variations till you hit your sweet spot. Do share your experience in the comments section below.

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