What is a Frappuccino

What is a Frappuccino

Starbucks Frappuccino is a popular Starbucks iced coffee drink with sales in excess of $ 2 Billion in a year. The revenue from Frappuccinos forms about 10% of the total Starbucks sales in a year.

In this article, we will go through all the nuances and varieties of this popular drink. Read the complete article to know all about the Frappuccinos!

What is a Frappuccino at Starbucks

Frappuccino is a blended iced coffee drinks line sold at Starbucks, vending machines, and at convenience and grocery stores as bottled coffee beverages. It has either a coffee or a crème base which is mixed with ice and flavored syrups and blended together. The blended drink is topped up with whipped cream and other spices and served cold.

The word Frappuccino is a portmanteau word, which means that parts of different words are combined to form a new word. The word Frappuccino is made by combining Frappe and Cappuccino. The word Frappe is used in New England for a milkshake served with ice cream. Cappuccino has espresso shots served with frothed milk.

Barista Serving Frappuccino

Origin and History of the Frappuccino

Andrew Frank of the Coffee Connection, a coffee shop chain belonging to George Howell operating in Eastern Massachusetts, created the drink. The trademarked drink was named and sold by the company till the chain was purchased by Starbucks in 1994. As a result, they obtained the right to make and sell the drink worldwide.

In 1994, Starbucks formed an alliance with PepsiCo and named it North American Coffee Partnership to sell Pepsi’s network for distributing their ready-to-drink products. Frappuccino was the first product to be distributed under this partnership.

The bottled frappuccino with the 9.5 oz bottles was started in 1996. Starbucks currently sells 9.5 and 13.7 oz bottles in 19 different flavors, including Mocha, Pumpkin spice, caramel, vanilla, etc.

Frappuccino Drinks No Longer Available at Starbucks

The following categories of Frappuccino blended drinks have been discontinued by Starbucks and removed from their menu.

Juice blends: These drinks were made with real fruit juices and blended with Tazo tea and ice. They were discontinued in 2008.

Frappuccino lights: These drinks had low sugar frappuccino base, no fat milk, and no whipped cream.

Limited editions: Zombie, Unicorn, and Frankenstein were introduced as seasonal variations in 2017 and 2018.

What is in a Frappuccino

As stated earlier, the traditional Frappuccino could be considered a fusion of a number of ice drinks, with the main ones being the Frappe (ice cream, milk, and syrups blended together) and the Cappuccino.

The current Frappuccino recipe has an instant coffee mix, ice cubes, additives like milk, sugar, whipped cream, flavored syrups, and an emulsifying agent (usually Xanthan gum).

Types & List of Frappuccinos at Starbucks

The Frappuccino blended drinks currently available at Starbucks can be categorized into the following varieties:

Coffee-based Frappuccinos: Made as a blended coffee drink with an instant coffee blend (known as Frappuccino Roast or Frapp Roast specially formulated by Starbucks to be used cold) or hot espresso. You will normally get two, three, or four pumps of Frapp roast into your drink for Tall, Grande, and Venti-sized drinks, respectively, unless you specifically request more coffee.

These drinks include:

  • Pistachio Frappuccino
  • Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino
  • Espresso Frappuccino
  • Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino
  • Caramel Frappuccino
  • Coffee Frappuccino
  • Mocha Frappuccino
  • Java Chip Frappuccino
  • White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

Decaffeinated Frappuccino: You can request the decaffeinated coffee version, and the instant coffee mix is replaced with the coffee from the espresso machine as the Frapp roast does not have any decaf alternative.

Frappuccino Blended Crème: These drinks, also known as crème based frappuccinos, use a coffee-free base and contain very little or no caffeine. All the coffee-based Frappuccino drinks can be converted to Crème based Frappuccino and served with slightly different names. You can customize your Frappuccino Blended Crème by adding any syrup or sauce of choice (chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, caramel sauce, etc). These drinks include:

  • Pistachio Crème Frappuccino
  • Chocolate Cookie Crumble Crème Frappuccino
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème Frappuccino
  • Strawberry Crème Frappuccino
  • Chai Crème Frappuccino
  • Double Chocolaty Chip Crème Frappuccino
  • Matcha Crème Frappuccino, also known as Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino
  • Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino, also known as Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
  • White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino

If you are in love with Frappuccinos, look out for limited edition Frappuccino flavors like the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino or Gingerbread Frappuccinos, which Starbucks offers from time to time, mainly in the summer seasons.

How do you customize a Frappuccino?

Non-Dairy Alternatives: Starbucks started with nondairy alternatives by introducing Soy milk in the United States and Canada in 2010. This has since been extended to many countries. The non-dairy alternatives include almond, oat, and coconut milk options in addition to Soy milk.

Other modifications: In addition to espresso shots, you may request different flavored syrups, flavored powders, and frappuccino chips, which are similar to chocolate chips. You can ask for extra or less ice while ordering. You can add more syrups, sauce, and even espresso shots at a surcharge.

Glass of Frappuccino

Does a Frappuccino have coffee in it?

This question has been answered in the previous section. You have the option of having either coffee or crème base (no coffee) in your Frappuccino. These include

  • instant Frap roast powder in your brewed coffee,
  • shots of espresso,
  • decaf coffee, or
  • no coffee at all (creme base) in your Frappuccinos.

What size does a Frappuccino come in?

The Frappuccino drinks are sold in three sizes.

  • Tall Frappuccino – 12 fl. oz.
  • Grande Frappuccino – 16 fl. oz.
  • Venti Frappuccino – 24 fl. oz.

What does a Frappuccino taste like?

A Frappuccino iced drink with all its syrups and sauces, topped with whipped cream, is very thick, sweet, and creamy but with a smooth taste. You can customize the flavor to your preference, but it will still be very sweet for everyone’s liking.

Do Frappuccinos taste like coffee?

With so many flavorings, syrups, and other additions, the real coffee flavor gets overshadowed unless you order a very strong coffee base with extra pumps of Frapp roast or additional shots of espresso. The real job coffee does in coffee-based Frappuccinos is to try to contain some of the sweetness in the drink.

How to Make a Frappuccino at Home

All that you need to make a satisfying Frappuccino at home is a good blender and a few simple ingredients listed below.

What is a Frappuccino - Recipe to Prepare


  1. 0.35 to 0.75 oz (12 to 23 g) of finely ground coffee beans.
  2. Single or Double espresso shot or normal strong coffee.
  3. Whipped cream for serving.
  4. Ice Cubes.
  5. 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative.
  6. Sugar or Honey. You can try a sauce or flavored syrup like chocolate or caramel, depending on your preference.


The steps for the preparation of the homemade Frappuccino are:

  1. Prepare the espresso in the Espresso machine or the Moka Pot coffee maker, available at your home.
  2. Pour the coffee, milk, sweeteners, and ice in the blender.
  3. Blend the ingredients till you get a creamy texture.
  4. Add the sauce or syrup of your choice into the glass at the bottom.
  5. Pour the blended ingredients into a glass.
  6. Top the drink with whipped cream, chocolate chips, a frost of cocoa powder, etc.
  7. Serve it immediately.

How much caffeine is in a Starbucks Frappuccino?

The amount of caffeine in the Starbucks Frappuccino depends on the types of coffee in the base, instant or espresso, and the summary of the indicative amount is

Instant Frapp Roast coffee base:

  • Tall Glass – 60 mg.
  • Grande – 90 mg
  • Venti – 125 mg

Espresso Shots in coffee:

  • Tall Glass – 125 mg.
  • Grande – 155 mg
  • Venti – 185 mg

The actual caffeine content may vary slightly based on the actual drink ingredients.

Can you get a caffeine-free Frappuccino?

This has already been answered in the section on types of Frappuccinos at Starbucks. While the creme base does not contain any caffeine, other ingredients may contain them. These ingredients are Chocolate (other than white chocolate), Chai, Matcha, etc.

Chai and chocolate drinks have about 10 to 20 mg of caffeine in tall drinks and 20 to 40 mg in Venti. Matcha Crème Frappuccino has 50 mg in tall and 95 mg in Venti.

Are Frappuccinos bad for you? – Nutritional Facts

Frappuccinos are for occasional indulgences when you are with the family on a hot summer day but have too high calories and sugars for regular consumption. Some of the associated numbers are summarized below.

A. Frappuccinos drinks with a coffee base excluding espresso and coffee Frappuccinos have an average value of calories and sugars as under

  • Tall – 293 calories and 40 g sugars.
  • Grande – 420 calories and 53 g sugars.
  • Venti – 510 calories and 74 g sugars.

B. Espresso and coffee Frappuccinos

  • Tall – 150 calories and 30 g sugars.
  • Grande – 220 calories and 44 g sugars.
  • Venti – 300 calories and 58 g sugars.

C. Creme base Frappuccinos

  • Tall – 275 calories and 33 g sugars.
  • Grande – 395 calories and 50 g sugars.
  • Venti – 480 calories and 63 g sugars.

Comparison to other Coffee Drinks

Let us see how Frappuccino compares with other drinks with coffee and milk and what are the major differences.

Frappe Vs Frappuccino 01

Frappuccino vs Frappe

We have produced a separate article on the differences between the Frappuccino and the Frappe and suggest you go through that to know and decide between these two drinks.

Frappuccino Vs Latte

The main differences are:

  1. Lattes are normally consumed hot, unlike Frappuccinos, which are always served cold. There are Iced Latte drinks, but the sales of lattes in the hot coffee form remain much higher.
  2. The proportion of steamed milk ranges from 75% (1:3) in a traditional latte to approx 90% (1:9 ratio) for larger Latte drinks. The milk provides the characteristic sweetness of a latte and masks its strong coffee flavor, though it has a unique ability to adapt to various sweeteners and syrups. It is served with a thin layer of milk foam that provides its texture. Frappuccinos have a coffee or creme base with whipped creams and a variety of syrups and sauces for their smooth and very sweet taste. Milk and its alternatives form a very small proportion of the volume.
  3. Frappuccinos are usually made from an instant coffee roast, but lattes are invariably based on an espresso. Frappuccinos do come with an espresso base, and all decaf Frappuccinos (with a coffee base) have espresso in them, but the proportion of instant coffee bases is much higher.

Is there a warm version of a Frappuccino?

No, the Frappuccinos only exist as blended iced coffee drinks, and no warm version exists.


Did you make a Frappuccino at home? How was the experience? Share it with our readers in the comments section below.

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