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What Is A Frappuccino?

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You have long seen the Frappuccino listed on the menu at your favorite Starbucks.

As one of the most popular chilled drinks, you will see several orders for them come through while waiting in line.

Their popularity only rises in the hot months of summer when everyone is looking for a refreshing break from the heat.

But, the popularity surrounding the famed drink begs the question – what is a Frappuccino?

Where did it come from, and does it mean anything?

Let’s have a closer look at the beverage’s origins and how it found its home on the Starbucks menu.

What Is a Frappuccino?

To answer this question briefly, a Frappuccino is a blend of coffee and cream with a milkshake consistency.

The Frappuccino is specific to Starbucks.

The company created the beverage to combine both a frappé and cappuccino into a creamy and cool coffee concoction.

What Is The Meaning Of Frappuccino?

A frappé is an iced coffee that often contains dairy and instant coffee.

This style of drink originated in Greece.

A cappuccino is an espresso mixed with milk.

Combining the two gives you a milkshake-style treat that contains milk – hence, the term Frappuccino.

While Frappuccino is not an actual term that relates to coffee drinks, Starbucks trademarked the moniker to have a beverage unique to their retail chains.

Therefore, you will see that Frappuccino is always capitalized, while other coffee-based drinks like mocha, latte, and cappuccino are not.

How Do You Pronounce The Word ‘Frappuccino?’

Although the drink makes up over 20% of all coffee sales at Starbucks, not everyone who goes to order one knows how to say its name correctly.

The number of repetitive letters can cause a bit of hesitation, as it is not common within the English language.

However, the proper way to pronounce Frappuccino is “frah-puh-chino.”

The History of the Frappuccino

Although their possession of a trademark on the name Frappuccino may insinuate that Starbucks was the original creator of the beverage, they purchased the rights from another coffee company.

Additionally, Starbucks went on to acquire that entire company!

Where Did The Frappuccino Originate?

While Starbucks itself got its start in Seattle, Washington, the Frappuccino was born in New England.

It was there that a marketing executive named Andrew Frank developed the Frappuccino for Coffee Connections.

Not only did Andrew come up with the name, but he also developed the recipe.

At the time, in 1992, it contained milk, espresso, and sugar.

That simple ingredient list is a far cry from the number of flavorings and ingredients the drinks contain today.

When Did Frappuccino Debut At Starbucks?

In 1994, Starbucks acquired both the Coffee Connections business and the rights to the name Frappuccino, under the direction of Howard Schultz.

The purchase price was $23 million.

One year later, in the summer of 1995, Starbucks launched the Frappuccino in two flavors – coffee and mocha.

Do All Frappuccinos Have Coffee In Them?

No, not all Frappuccinos have coffee in them.

While you will see indicators on the menu that certain variations of the drink have coffee, such as the Java Chip Frappuccino, others have different terminology and don’t contain coffee.

Can You Get A Frappuccino Without Coffee?

Yes, it is possible to order a Frappuccino without coffee.

Most coffee-based options on the menu come with a blended creme option.

Some of the most common include

  • Chocolate Cookie Crumble Creme Frappuccino
  • Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino
  • Strawberry Creme Frappuccino
  • Double Chocolately Chip Creme Frappuccino
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Creme Frappuccino

As you can see, all of these options have the term Crème in their name.

When you see the inclusion of that word, you’ll know the drink doesn’t contain coffee.

Some Frappuccinos have a tea base instead of coffee.

While certain tea varieties have some level of caffeine, not all do.

If you are looking for a Frappuccino rooted in tea instead of coffee, look for the following options

  • Chai Creme Frappuccino
  • Matcha Creme Frappuccino

What Does a Frappuccino Taste Like?

It’s safe to say that you won’t be disappointed when you experience a Frappuccino for the first time.

The consistency resembles a milkshake, and the syrup gives the drink various sweet flavor profiles to enjoy.

Does A Frappuccino Taste Like Coffee?

While the Frappuccinos that have a coffee base will taste like espresso throughout, it is not intense or overwhelming.

When you combine the coffee with cream, syrups, and additional toppings, the flavor blends in with the other elements.

It’s meant to be a background note, rather than the star of the show.

The Pros And Cons Of Drinking Frappuccino

Trying a Frappuccino for the first time can be exciting!

The different coffee styles available all have their specific tastes, and experimenting with all of them can help you determine what variables you enjoy and which ones you don’t.

When drinking a Frappuccino, there are various pros and cons related to the experience that are worthwhile to note.

Advantages Of Drinking Frappuccino

  • Refreshing On Hot Days
  • Dessert-like Quality
  • Comes In Various Styles and Flavors

Disadvantages Of Consuming Frappuccino

  • Higher Amount of Calories and Sugar Than Other Options
  • Can Melt In High Heat
  • Requires Refrigeration If Not Consumed Immediately

Is There Any Health Risk Of Consuming Frappuccino?

Frappuccinos do not pose any health risk on their own.

However, it is best to consult with your primary care physician before consuming if you have concerns about any of the ingredients or the nutritional levels of the Frappuccino.

Are Frappuccinos Bad For You?

While Frappuccinos are not nutritionally sound, they are not bad for you if consumed in moderation.

How Many Calories In A Frappuccino?

When you are looking to see how many calories are in a Frappuccino, you want to pay attention to the different types and variations of the drink.

Each style will have its own set of nutrition information due to implementing other ingredients.

For example:

  • Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino: 470 Calories (Grande)
  • Peppermint Mocha Crème Frappuccino: 390 Calories (Grande)
  • Java Chip Frappuccino: 440 Calories (Grande)
  • Double Chocolately Chip Crème Frappuccino: 410 Calories (Grande)
  • Matcha Crème Frappuccino: 420 Calories (Grande)

Differences And Similarities Between A Frappuccino And Other Beverages

It can be difficult to properly discern the differences between a Frappuccino and other specialty drinks.

While they are often made with the same ingredients, the process and amounts can differ.

Frappe Vs. Frappuccino

One of the most challenging beverages to differentiate is the frappe from the frappuccino.

To answer this appropriately, you need to remember – what is a Frappuccino?

What Is A Frappe And Is It The Same As A Frappuccino?

The short answer is no – a frappe is not the same as a Frappuccino.

As discussed earlier, the frappe originated from Greece and has instant coffee as its base.

The frappe can include the addition of milk but is always served iced.

What Is The Difference Between A Frappe And Frappuccino?

While a frappe is made with instant coffee, a Frappuccino comes with espresso.

Although both drinks are served cold, the Frappuccino is blended to a milkshake consistency.

Iced Coffee Vs. Frappuccino?

There are several elements that both an iced coffee and a Frappuccino have in common.

However, they are still two very different drinks.

What Is Iced Coffee?

When it comes to iced coffee, the ingredients are simple.

To create this energizing and refreshing beverage, all you need is coffee and ice.

Many individuals will add different flavors or cream to add more taste, but just as many enjoy it black.

What’s The Difference Between An Iced Coffee And A Frappuccino?

There are several ways in which an iced coffee and a Frappuccino differ.

For starters, while both beverages are served cold, a Frappuccino is blended to resemble a milkshake.

Additionally, while you can add milk and flavoring to iced coffee, it is more commonplace in a Frappuccino.

Latte Vs. Frappuccino

With the continuous evolution of coffee drinks, the latte and the Frappuccino are becoming more similar.

However, their creative processes are still unique.

What Is A Latte?

Historically, a latte has been served hot with the inclusion of an espresso shot, frothed milk, and flavoring.

However, over time more coffeehouses have been offering iced lattes with the same ingredients but served cold.

What Is The Difference Between Latte And Frappe?

While a latte is commonly served hot with milk foam, a frappe is always offered cold.

If you drink an authentic frappe that follows the Greek recipe, your frappe will be iced.

However, Americans have adapted this format to introduce blended versions.

What Is The Difference Between Latte And Frappuccino?

A Frappuccino is specific to the Starbucks brand due to trademarks.

However, the differences between a latte and a Frappuccino are night and day.

While we previously mentioned that a latte is often served hot but can also be iced, a Frappuccino is always cold and blended.

A latte always includes espresso and steamed milk, whereas you can make a Frappuccino without that component.

Milkshake Vs. Frappe and Frappuccino

The most significant difference between a milkshake, frappe, and Frappuccino is that a milkshake is the only one of the three that doesn’t include coffee.

While some companies, such as popular restaurant chain Arby’s, have coffee-flavored milkshakes, they aren’t made the same way a coffeehouse does.

A Vanilla Bean Frappuccino at Starbucks most closely resembles a vanilla-flavored milkshake at your favorite ice cream shop.

How Does The McDonalds Frappe Compare To Starbucks Frappuccinos?

While the authentic frappe involved milk and instant coffee, the McDonald’s frappe is more in line with what you get at Starbucks in a Frappuccino.

Essentially, both menu items are the same.

However, due to the trademarks in place, other companies can’t use the term Frappuccino.

Frappuccino Recipes

Now that you have an answer to the question of what is a Frappuccino, you likely are wondering what goes into the popular drink.

While there are many different recipes and menu options, there are common ingredients that you will find in each.

Frappuccino Ingredients – What’s In Your Frappuccino?

Typically, when you order your Frappuccino from Starbucks, you will find that your ingredient list includes the following

  • Whole Milk
  • Ice
  • Coffee
  • Frappuccino Syrup
  • Whipped Cream
  • Flavoring Syrup

Not only will these ingredients vary depending on what menu item you choose, but you can also customize the drink to fit your needs.

If you prefer skim milk instead of whole, for example, you can make that switch.

How To Prepare A Frappuccino

Preparing a Frappuccino includes combining all necessary ingredients and blending them to create a thick milk and coffee drink.

While a Frappuccino is specific to Starbucks, you can acquire similar beverages from other coffee shops or restaurants.

Can You Make A Frappuccino At Home?

Yes, it is possible to make Frappuccino at home.

You will need to have a quality blender and the ingredients to create the drink of your choice, but many people have created recipes for at-home alternatives to the Frappuccino.


To make a tasty Frappuccino at home, gather all the necessary ingredients, including

  • Two cups of ice
  • One cup of coffee, chilled
  • One cup of milk
  • Three tablespoons of sugar
  • Flavoring of choice

Place all of the ingredients into your blender.

Combine on high until thoroughly blended.

Serve chilled with a straw.

Frappuccino Starbucks Menu

In trying to replicate your favorite Starbucks Frappuccino, you will want to ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand.

What Is In A Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino?

There are various toppings that Starbucks includes in their recipes.

For instance, the Cookie Crumble has Oreo cookie pieces mixed into the ingredients.

Additionally, many holiday drinks include peppermint, white chocolate, pistachio, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, and cinnamon.

Starbucks is constantly rolling out new menu options, so keep your eye out for one that appeals to you!

Frequently Asked Questions

At times, researching something you are interested in doesn’t always give you the information you’re looking for.

Our frequently asked questions aim to bring clarity to your inquiries.

Does A Frappuccino Have To Be Refrigerated?

Yes, if you do not finish drinking your Frappucino shortly after ordering, it is necessary to refrigerate it to preserve the ingredients and the consistency.

Wrapping Up

Many people see it on the menu but wonder – what is a Frappuccino?

While a Frappuccino is specific to Starbucks, they are not the ones who created the popular drink.

The Frappuccino is a combination of a frappe and cappuccino, a top choice for many.

What is your favorite Starbucks Frappuccino?

Let us know in the comments!


August 25, 2022 0 min read


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