Frappuccino Vs. Iced Coffee 10 Key Differences

A sweet Frappuccino and a refreshing iced coffee are delicious drinks that would make a refreshing energy booster in the summertime.

However, choosing between them would be hard, and for this reason, it helps to know what makes them differ from each other before you hold up the queue at Starbucks.

Iced coffee can be any type of coffee, cappuccino, latte, flat white, etc., poured over ice.

A Frappuccino is a sweet and creamy blended iced coffee line, trademarked by Starbucks, and it is made in a particular way with milk, heavy cream, spices, and sweet syrups.

Let’s examine ten differences between a Frappuccino and an iced coffee:

Frappuccino Vs. Iced Coffee: Ten Differences

1. Ingredients

The main ingredient in Starbucks’ Frappuccino is their signature Frappuccino syrup. Each of the Frappuccinos, whether coffee-based or crème-based, include a Frappuccino syrup as part of their base.

In addition, Frappuccinos use an ingredient called Frap roast, which is a powdered mix paired with cold water rather than hot coffee. This gives the drink its characteristic texture and sweetness – it is also the glue that holds the mixture together.

After the syrup and the Frap roast, the two other ingredients are milk and ice. The quantity of ice and milk is specific to the size ordered.

At Starbucks, the barista decorates the cup with syrup then puts whole milk in the cup, unless you request an alternative. With the milk, goes the ice into the blender.

Whipped cream is usually added to the top of your drink. If you were to make a Frappuccino at home, you would need the following ingredients:

  • Strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 cup of milk
  • A sweet syrup
  • Sugar
  • Ice cubes
  • Whipped cream
  • A glass jar with a lid

As there is more than just one way to make an iced coffee, you can use any brewing style, such as espresso.

French press, instant, in a Keurig, etc. Once you have made your coffee, let it cool down to room temperature, then add ice to the coffee.

Consider the following ingredients you will need to make an iced coffee; there is an option to create a milk-based coffee:

  • Freshly ground coffee
  • Your preferred coffee maker
  • Filtered water
  • Milk (or plant-based alternative)
  • A simple syrup
  • A glass jar with a lid

2. Method


Let’s look at how baristas make a Caramel Frappuccino as one of the most popular Frappuccinos. For a clearer picture of what goes into the drink and the time and effort it takes to complete, consider the following steps:


Add 3/4 of a cup of crushed ice to the blender.


Add one cup of whole milk, but you can opt for an alternative.


Add two pumps of the Frap roast or Crème base (if you are making a decaf version).


Add one shot of vanilla syrup, then blend all the ingredients. Once you can hear that the ice is crushed up, add the caramel syrup to decorate the cup, then pour the Frappuccino into the cup.


Squirt some whipped cream on top of the drink and drizzle with caramel.


Since you can make an iced coffee in any way, use the brew method of your choice. Make sure that you use fresh coffee beans, and a medium to dark roast is best.

You should ground your coffee beans before brewing. If you would like a milk-based iced coffee, make a cappuccino or latte, let it cool down and pour it over ice.

Make sure you don’t pour hot coffee over ice as this will melt the ice immediately, watering down your iced coffee. Let’s look at one way to make an iced coffee:


Make sure you have good-quality medium to dark roast beans, to begin with and grind the beans every time you brew.


Whether you are using a pour-over, Keurig, or French press, brew your coffee according to your chosen method.


Let the coffee sit out with a lid for a few hours or overnight to cool.


In the morning, add ice cubes to the cold coffee, along with a syrup of your choice.

3. Caffeine Content

Many Starbucks Frappuccinos don’t contain coffee; as a result, most Frappuccinos don’t have much caffeine, if any.

This is excellent news for individuals with caffeine sensitivities or who want a sweet coffee that doesn’t have them hopping off the walls.

But, on the other hand, it is certainly not a good drink if you want a caffeine kick in the morning, but just sugary sweetness.

Iced coffee is undoubtedly the better option than a Frappuccino if you want to kickstart your day. It has more caffeine than espresso but less than cold brew.

A 16-ounce cup of iced coffee generally contains about 165 mg of caffeine.

4. Temperature

There isn’t much difference in temperature between a Frappuccino and an iced coffee. Even though both drinks are prepared differently, they both involve ice.

5. Milk

Classic Frappuccinos are made with whole milk, although you can ask for a milk alternative. You can create an iced coffee with milk, plant milk, or water.

Frappe coffee, which is like Frappuccino, can be made anywhere.

The milk is frothed before being poured over ice. Cold brew coffee is made with cold milk and isn’t frothy. There are so many ways to make an iced coffee, with or without milk.

6. Flavors

If you are making either coffee at home, you can add any flavor you like. Frappuccinos are not complex coffee drinks, they have a hint of coffee, but they are more about syrups and sweetness.

Depending on the type of Frappuccino variety you order at Starbucks, you will have chocolate, caramel, vanilla, raspberry, and hazelnut flavors from the syrup.

Whereas iced coffee uses pure coffee, and that flavor will go through the coffee if you use milk.

If you use cold brew over ice, this method will pick up on the most complex flavor notes hidden in the coffee.

7. Calories

Iced coffee can be one of the healthiest coffee drinks with the fewest calories, as long as you don’t add dairy or sugar. One coffee cup of plain iced coffee contains less than 20 calories.

At Starbucks, a tall cup of iced coffee with milk contains 80 calories. As you add sugar and dairy, the calories increase.

A Frappuccino, on the other hand, is highly calorific in comparison. A 16-ounce Caramel Frappuccino contains 370 calories. Let’s look at the calories content of other Frappuccino beverages:

  • Espresso Frappuccino – 140 calories in a Tall drink
  • Chai Crème Frappuccino – 230 calories in a Tall drink
  • Cinnamon Dolce Crème Frappuccino – 230 calories in a Tall drink
  • Mocha Frappuccino – 250 calories in a Tall drink
  •  White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino – 250 calories in a Tall drink
  • Strawberry Crème Frappuccino – 250 calories in a Tall drink

8. Sweetness

Sweetness is one unique characteristic of the Frappuccino. They all taste syrupy, whether they have a crème or coffee base.

If you have a sweet tooth, the Frappuccino should be your main refreshment, although if you want to try the unsweetened variety, the green tea Frappuccino is an option.

Iced coffee doesn’t need to be sweet, you can have it plain without sugar or dairy, or it can be as sweet as you like with sugar, cream, and syrup; the choice is yours.

9. Variety

There are various Frappuccino drinks with all types of flavors; you can even buy Frappuccino drinks in bottles.

Starbucks is the only company that offers this kind of variation, and it is an excellent pick-me-up that lets you enjoy the beverage longer.

There are many different types of iced coffee recipes; as for bottled iced coffee, many companies manufacture their own bottled iced coffee drinks.

However, if you want to be certain of a flavorful iced coffee, Starbucks bottled Frappuccino is the way to go.

10. Preparation Time

Frappuccinos can take a long time to make. They are one of the most time-consuming drinks to prepare at Starbucks.

If time is a concern for you, iced coffee might be a better alternative. Once your brewed coffee is cold, you can pour it over ice, and voila, it’s ready.

Frappuccino Vs. Iced Coffee: Which Drink Is Better?

It’s hard to say for sure which coffee drink is better, as it all depends on what you are looking for in an iced beverage. Each variety has its strengths and weaknesses.

Iced coffee is ideal if you prefer a smoother coffee. It offers total control over the amount of flavor and sweetness you wish to add.

On the other hand, if you love Starbucks and sweet drinks, Frappuccino will entice your appetite.

You cannot order a Frappuccino just anywhere, but if you wanted to try making one at home, numerous online recipes are scattered online to get you started.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several differences between a Frappuccino and an iced coffee.

Frappuccinos are prepared a certain way at Starbucks, whereas iced coffees can be prepared in various ways using different brewing techniques.

If you would like a low-calorie, refreshing coffee drink, a plain iced coffee is a drink for you. Otherwise, if you crave something sweet and creamy, then a Frappuccino is an excellent option.

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