2 Major Differences Between Frappuccino and Cappuccino


There are virtually endless ways to prepare or buy coffee. Some of these ways are more popular than others. Two of the most popular ways to take coffee are cappuccinos and Frappuccinos.

Cappuccinos are espresso-based drinks with steamed milk microfoam, typically served as a small, hot drink. Frappuccinos, on the other hand, are coffee-based drinks trademarked by Starbucks. Frappuccinos are typically served cold, with a lot of sugar, and topped with whipped cream.

Despite being highly sought after, the two drinks couldn’t be much more different, but they do have some similarities and overlap. We’ll explore that more below, as well as what frappes are, whether cappuccinos can be served cold, and how to make a Frappuccino at home.

What Is a Frappuccino?

A Frappuccino is a drink that Starbucks trademarks. As the name suggests, it’s sort of a blending of a frappe and a cappuccino. A basic Frappuccino is a blended drink with coffee, milk, and ice.

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However, most Frappuccinos are quite a bit fancier than that. They’re also popular enough that Starbucks uses a Frappuccino base in many of their drinks, using instant coffee. The Frappuccino base does not have milk in it, so most Frappuccinos can be made dairy-free.

Right now, Starbucks has nineteen different Frappuccinos on its menu. This doesn’t include “secret menu” items or seasonal items that aren’t currently advertised but are still available.

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Most of these have either chocolate, chocolate syrup, or caramel, all of which go really well with the cold, sweet taste of the Frappuccino. Generally, at least one pump of sweetener or sugary syrup goes into each Frappuccino.

Frappuccinos are highly customizable. You can add different syrups, such as or more caffeine, or substitute the dairy products for non-dairy alternatives or a thicker cream.

Most Starbucks baristas are very familiar with the different drinks and the different flavor combinations, so if you’re ever unsure of which Frappuccino to order, just let your barista know what you’re looking for.

Are Frappuccinos Coffee?

For the most part, yes, Frappuccinos are a blended coffee drink. While most people think of coffee as a hot, black liquid, those aren’t actually requirements for something to be considered a coffee drink. Frappuccinos aren’t made exclusively out of coffee, but they fall firmly into the class of coffee drinks, with just a few exceptions addressed below.

Do Frappuccinos Contain Espresso?

A standard Frappuccino does not contain espresso, instead of using instant coffee or a branded “Frap roast.” However, there are some Frappuccinos, such as the Espresso Frappuccino, that include espresso automatically.

In addition, Starbucks does allow customers to add espresso shots to their Frappuccinos. This does change the taste, but it works well for those who prefer a bit more coffee flavor in their Frappuccinos.

Are All Frappuccinos Caffeinated?

Not all Frappuccinos contain caffeine. The non-caffeinated varieties are popular for people who want a tasty treat but don’t want (or can’t have) caffeine.

They’re also a popular choice for parents who want to get their kids something from Starbucks without giving their kids a significant amount of caffeine.

Two of the best, most popular caffeine-free Frappuccinos are the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino (which tastes a lot like a vanilla milkshake) and the Strawberry Frappuccino.

There are other options, too, and Starbucks baristas are typically happy to point you in the right direction. You can also add espresso to the non-caffeinated Frappuccinos if you like the sound of the flavor but need a little bit of a kick.

What Are the Best Frappuccino Flavors?

Ask anyone their favorite Frappuccino flavor, and you’ll get a different answer. There are so many different options to fit any taste, and Starbucks is great at introducing limited or seasonal flavors. There are a few year-round Frappuccinos that are common on people’s top ten lists.

The Mocha Frappuccino is great for people who want that distinct, chocolate-and-coffee taste. It’s a classic for a reason and has a good balance of flavors.

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The Java Chip Frappuccino is like the Mocha Frappuccino except with a lot more chocolate taste and a lot more coffee taste. It has a flavor similar to that of mousse, and it’s rich and delicious.

The Chai Creme Frappuccino is great if you’re not in the mood for a coffee flavor. It has chai tea, plenty of creaminess, and is topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The flavors complement each other perfectly, and it’s great for mixing things up.

What Is a Cappuccino?

Cappuccinos originated in Italy, and they’ve stayed popular for a very long time. A classic cappuccino has a double shot of espresso and an approximately equal amount of steamed milk. Frequent minor variations include sprinkling a bit of cinnamon flavoring or chocolate powder on top. Part of what makes cappuccinos popular is that they all have a relatively similar taste, which means you know what you’re going to get if you order one at a decent coffee shop.

What Is the Difference Between a Cappuccino and a Latte?

A cappuccino is different from a latte because lattes have a good deal more milk (or milk alternative). Because of the increased amount of milk, lattes have less of a coffee flavor, and they also have a good 6-8 ounces of liquid, as opposed to a cappuccino’s 2-4 ounces of liquid.

What Is Latte Art?

Both cappuccinos and lattes, because of their espresso base and foamy, steamed milk, are great for making coffee art. Baristas (but you can learn to do it at home!) make designs using contrasting brown and white colors. This ranges from simple shapes like hearts all the way to intricate designs used in the World Latte Art Championship. Artwork in the foam of either of these drinks is typically referred to as latte art.

Are Iced Cappuccinos a Thing?

There is no such thing as an iced coffee cappuccino. However, because of the relatively small volume of a cappuccino, the ice tends to be a bit overwhelming to the drink. It ends up feeling like a sip or two of cappuccino and a cup full of ice. Additionally, the ice doesn’t mix well with the very foamy milk that’s generally a solid half of a cappuccino. The resulting drink is an iced coffee espresso topped with foam, which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for.

Most people prefer iced coffee lattes. This is because the milk is milkier instead of foamy, and there’s a better balance of liquid to ice. It’s also less drastic a taste reduction if the ice begins to melt.

Which Has More Caffeine: Frappuccino or Cappuccino?

Whether a cappuccino or Frappuccino has more caffeine really depends on the specifics of your Frappuccino. Cappuccinos don’t vary too widely in caffeine content, coming in at around 65 mg of caffeine per serving. Frappuccinos with caffeine usually start at 65 mg and can go up to as high as 190 mg of caffeine. Additionally, as discussed above, not all Frappuccinos have any caffeine at all.

How Do I Make a Frappuccino at Home?

To make a copycat Frappuccino at home, simply blend ice, milk, and instant coffee in a blender. Some of the easiest Frappuccino recipes to make at home include adding a bit of caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, or sweetened cocoa powder. You can even add all three! Some people like to add a bit of sugar or another sweetener. You can also use non-dairy alternatives to milk or use heavy cream for a richer drink. When it comes to making Frappuccinos at home, your imagination is the limit.

If you’re trying to make a specific flavor of Frappuccino, you can look up the copycat recipe before you intend to make it. This will ensure that you have all the ingredients on hand and ready to go.

What Is a Frappe and How Is It Different than a Frappuccino?

What exactly a frappe is depended on who you’re asking. In much of Europe, a frappe is traditionally not very sweet. It has the same basics as a Frappuccino (the Frappuccino was based on a frappe, after all), with ice and milk and coffee. Still, nothing else is generally added, especially not sweeteners. However, in New England, a frappe is just a thick milkshake made with ice cream instead of with ice and milk or cream.

What Is a Mocha Frappe?

A mocha frappe is a cold, blended, milkshake-like drink with chocolate and coffee flavors present. Make the more classic version of this drink, mix chocolate ice cream with an espresso shot, and dilute the drink with some milk. To make one like the McDonald’s version, instead mix instant coffee, milk, ice, chocolate syrup, and some extra sugar in a blender.

What Is an Espresso Frappe?

Like a mocha frappe, whether you use ice cream or milk and ice depends on what type of frappe you’re trying to create. , all you need to do is mix those and some espresso or instant coffee, and you have an espresso frappe! It’s just a coffee flavored milkshake, just like the basic Starbucks Frappuccino.

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