What Is A Frappe – How It’s Made and How Is It Different From A Frappuccino?

We can tell you what is a frappe. And what the beverage is made of and all the possible variations. But why do you want to know this in the first place? Simply because the menus at a few coffee shops can be really intimidating.

When all you want to do is enjoy a cup of coffee that tastes rich, bold, and is caffeine-infused. And now you have to deal with terms you don’t understand.

So how to differentiate one from the other? You may have a long love affair with coffee but not with the fancy names that have started to come up these days. So how about we keep things simple and straightforward in this article? Let us introduce you to the world of frappes and frappuccinos.

What Does Frappe Mean?

It’s actually a French term, which means iced. And it came about around the middle of the nineteenth century. So does that mean frappe is often associated with cold coffee drinks? Yes, but not exactly. Traditionally, frappe was used for describing all kinds of frozen drinks. Even fruit juice or alcohol served with shaved ice. But, mind you, it doesn’t mean ice-cream.

So What Exactly Is A Frappe Made Of?

There’s no one single frappe recipe you know. The term means a cold, ice-blended drink, much the same as a slushie (once again, this is a French term that means beaten).

The Greeks serve sweetened coffee that’s made frothy by shaking it and then pouring that over cubes of ice. Then in France, a frappe is made of ice, ice-cream, and coffee blended together. And as for Americans, they go for the recipe that consists of coffee, ice, sugar, and milk with a topping of whipped cream of course.

You should also know that there are mocha frappes. These contain chocolate as well. But it goes without saying, at this point, that not all frappes have coffee in them. And these are often fruit juices blended with ice.

Where Does Coffee Frappe Come From?

Cafe Frappe is a term that started popping up during the middle of the nineteenth century. And it was a cold coffee drink back then. Some of these drinks had a slushie-type consistency while others had coffee and ice. But around the 1950s-1960s, the Greeks came up with their own version of Cafe Frappe. And this recipe included instant coffee.

During that time, the company Nestle introduced a delicious instant chocolate drink made for kids. You had to mix the chocolate powder with milk. And by chance, some employee at Nestle, meanwhile, decided to add his most favorite instant coffee to cold water because there was no hot water available.

With ice cubes over that and a good shaking, he got his coffee fix indeed. And the world is forever grateful for that!

Different Variations of Frappe

You can never get sick of having frappes at coffee shops because there are just so many variations for you to try. In Greece, the recipe consists of instant coffee granules. Another very popular one includes espresso. You add a double shot of espresso with ice and sugar.

Many coffee shops mix liqueurs as well, such as Kahlua. Then chocolate syrup and ice-cream variations exist too.

What’s the epitome of strange is Bulgarians preparing their frappes with not water but Coca-Cola. In Denmark, the water is replaced by cold milk. And Serbians like it with ice-cream, milk, and whipped cream.

How to Make A Simple Yet Delicious Frappe

Do you have a high-powered blender like the Ninja Professional BL610? The goal is to be able to prepare crushed ice. For that, a manual ice crusher also works, and so does a snow cone machine for that matter.

For sweetening your drink, feel free to add any unflavored sugar syrup or plain sugar. Whatever you use, make sure it dissolves easily. Or prepare your own unflavored sugar syrup at home. Just combine 250 ml of water and 100 grams of sugar.

Ingredients You Need

​Ice cubes (2-3 handfuls), whipped cream or ice-cream to serve (optional), 50 ml of whole milk, 200 ml of strong, chilled coffee, and 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar syrup.


  • Blend the coffee with milk, ice cubes, and sugar syrup. Always add a little bit of sweetener at first because you don’t want the sugar to overpower the drink. And if it seems less, you can always add more later.
  • Keep blending until all the ice in there turns foamy and into a slush.
  • Then pour the contents into a mug or glass. Add ice-cream or whipped cream.

What Is A Frappuccino?

What Is A Frappuccino

So what then is a frappuccino? The term consists of two words, right? There’s frappe and then there’s cappuccino. The former is what creates all this confusion between frappe and frappuccino.

Frappes have a thick, milkshake-like consistency and are often served with ice-cream. As for frappuccinos, they’re a blend of coffee and milkshake.

Back in the days, The Coffee Connection coffee shop in Eastern Massachusetts came up, trademarked, and sold the Frappuccino. And then later in 1994, Starbucks bought that company and acquired the rights over this drink. It didn’t take very long for them to alter the recipe. And the iced beverage is popular even today.

Frappuccino recipe contains different kinds of cold drinks, like a milkshake, iced coffee, and Italian cappuccino, along with other syrups and flavorings. You may have also seen Starbucks’ own bottled version of frappuccinos at their stores and vending machines, grocery stores, etc.

So now do you understand how frappes aren’t related to frappuccinos and vice versa?

How to Make A Frappuccino

Ingredients You Need

Crushed ice, very strong or espresso coffee, milk (could be whole, half and half, oat milk, almond milk, etc.), sugar (or a sweetener of your choice), and whipped cream as an optional topping.


  • Blend espresso, ice, sweetener, and milk.
  • Pour the contents into a glass and then bring on the whipped cream.

Different Frappuccino Flavors

There’s Mocha Frappuccino, which uses 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder along with the basic recipe.

Salted Caramel Frappuccino is also quite popular because of the inclusion of delicious caramel sauce either during the blending or after it as a topping.

Let’s not leave out Java Chip Frappuccino. In this, you can add chocolate chips (even the sugar-free kind).

Pumpkin Frappuccino is the last one on the list. You take about half a cup of pumpkin puree with one-fourth teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and blend it with the base recipe.

Frappe vs. Frappuccino – What Are the Differences?

1. Frappuccino Is A Special Drink Made By Starbucks

Starbucks owns the patent for frappuccinos. And they’re responsible for coming up with different varieties of frappuccinos. But, generally speaking, not all frappuccinos are coffee-based.

The recipe, for the most part, consists of a blend of ice-cream and coffee with a frosting of whipped cream. You can add just about any syrup of your choice. And also sprinkle the drink with any other toppings you like.

In the case of frappes, on the other hand, ice cubes are a part of the beverage. A frappe is prepared using a shaker (not a blender as in the case of a frappuccino) and then poured into a glass.

2. Frappuccino Uses Brewed Coffee While Frappe Uses Instant Coffee

More often than not, frappuccinos and frappes are made with coffee. The latter has instant coffee. Anything else will just cause the darker color and thick foam to get compromised. After all, the original invention was accidentally made using instant coffee. It’s the very ingredient that provides the bold strength and pleasant bitterness.

As for frappuccinos, they are made with brewed coffee. To be more specific, cold-brewed coffee since this is the best choice for iced, coffee-based drinks. Now filter coffee or espresso are also used sometimes instead of just cold-brewed coffee. It all depends on what you prefer.

3. Frappuccinos Have Lots of Sugar and Cream

There’s no frappuccino without cream, sugar, whipped cream, and sweeteners or syrups. At least there’s no good frappuccino without these ingredients. That means it’s a high-calorie drink, 150 to 250 calories. So you better keep away from it if weight loss is a priority. Instead, go for a frappe as it offers a lower number of calories (50 calories only).

With the use of instant coffee and mainly water, liquid or frozen, a frappe is a healthier choice indeed. It does have sugar of course, but that’s added just for the taste. You can even skip the sugar if you want to thoroughly enjoy the refreshing flavor of the instant coffee.

But then there are frappe recipes that replace milk with vanilla ice-cream. In this case, the calories can increase to 130-150, which is still less in comparison to a frappuccino.

4. Not All Frappuccinos Have Caffeine, Unlike Frappes

Every frappe recipe almost always has caffeine, irrespective of the ratio of instant coffee used. A standard 8-ounce frappe drink offers 93 milligrams of caffeine.

What about frappuccinos? Some of them are equipped with caffeine. And these usually have 165 milligrams of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving. Also, Starbucks frappuccinos use both espresso and coffee.

5. Frappes Are Mostly A European Drink

Frappe is mostly European because of its origin in Greece. The Eastern and Southers parts of Europe seem to know and understand frappes better. But not so much in Western and Central Europe, and even in America. No wonder, in the U.S., a frappe is often confused with a frappuccino.

On top of that, Starbucks (the pioneer of frappuccinos) is not as widely present in Europe as it is in America. Likewise, frappes are more popular in Europe.

Frappe vs. Milkshake – What Is the Difference?

Milkshakes are cold drinks made using milk and sweet flavorings like chocolate or fruit. They’re whisked or blended until the texture turns creamy and frothy.

On the other hand, this milkshake turns into a frappe once you blend it with ice-cream as well. Otherwise, a milkshake is just milk and syrup.

The Classic Example of Chocolate Milkshake vs. Chocolate Frappe

What do you order for then, is it going to be a chocolate milkshake or a chocolate frappe? How do you not get confused between the two items listed on the same menu? So here’s the deal.

A chocolate milkshake is just chocolate powder or syrup blended with cold milk until it turns foamy. And if you want ice-cream with this, then you should instead order a chocolate frappe, which is made with scoops of chocolate ice-cream, milk, and chocolate syrup. This gives you a thick, rich chocolate frappe concoction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are frappes and frappuccinos the same?

Only Starbucks sells frappuccinos because they have trademarked the drink. As for a frappe, the term is mainly used for coffee drinks that are foamy, iced, and blended with ice-cream.

Does a frappe have coffee in it?

Traditionally speaking, frappes are prepared with coffee. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make them with fruit juice, hot chocolate, or tea.

Do all frappuccinos have coffee in them?

Most of the frappuccino recipes contain coffee, no doubt about that. But you can make a frappuccino with less coffee and more flavoring. For example, Caramel Frappuccino. So you don’t have to deal with the jitters of caffeine.

What is a McDonald’s Frappe?

This frappe is thick, creamy, and blended with ice of course. McDonald’s offers two options – caramel and mocha, along with a topping of whipped cream. And they claim that the drink offers a hint of coffee.

Why is it called a frappe?

Frappe is actually a French word meaning iced. And it is what the term suggests, an iced drink made using coffee for the most part. And when coffee is not used, the ingredient is either fruit juice or liqueur with shaved ice.

So That’s About It!

Now, we hope, you have finally understood the differences between a frappe and a frappuccino. The similarities, however, include the fact that both are iced drinks. Therefore, perfect for hot days of the year. Also, both frappe and frappuccino are large beverages.

And lastly, in some countries, frappes are prepared with ice-cream and then a topping of whipped cream is added. In that case, they have a lot in common with frappuccinos. This mainly happens in some coffee shops and certain parts of Europe.

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