Decoding the Distinctions: Frappe vs. Frappuccino vs. Cappuccino

Frappe vs Frappuccino vs Cappuccino – Exploring the differences

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a coffee shop menu, trying to decipher the differences between a frappe, a frappuccino, and a cappuccino, you’re not alone. These three specialty coffee drinks can often sound similar, but they each have their own unique characteristics. In this article, we’ll delve into the details and explore the differences between frappes, frappuccinos, and cappuccinos.

What is a frappe?

The term “frappe” typically refers to a blended coffee or similar blended beverage found in coffee shops. Originally invented in 1957, frappes are a popular beverage in warm weather regions such as Greece and Cyprus. In the United States, a frappe is typically a smooth blended coffee made with espresso, milk, ice, and desired flavors. It has a creamy texture and is often served in tall glasses with straws. However, it’s important to note that in different regions, “frappe” can also refer to milkshakes or non-coffee blended drinks, so it’s always a good idea to check with the locals.

Iced coffee vs. frappe

While frappes are blended coffee drinks, iced coffee refers to any coffee served over ice. Iced coffee can be regular drip coffee poured over ice or any espresso-based beverage served cold on ice. The difference lies in the texture and consistency, with frappes being blended to a creamy, milkshake-like texture, while iced coffee retains a more liquid form.

Frappe vs. smoothie

Frappes and smoothies share similarities, but the key difference lies in the frothy texture of a true frappe. While smoothies are blended to create a smooth and creamy consistency, frappes are shaken or blended specifically to create foam. Frappes are typically coffee-based blended drinks, while smoothies in the United States are usually made with fruit.

What is a Frappuccino?

Frappuccinos are a beverage invented, named and trademarked by Starbucks. A Frappuccino is a blended beverage with a base of either coffee or cream, blended with ice and flavored syrups, and topped with whipped cream and additional toppings such as chocolate or spices. Starbucks offers a wide variety of Frappuccino flavors and options, with about 30 different varieties on the menu. In other coffee shops, these blended drinks are often referred to as frappes or simply blended drinks.

Are Frappuccinos coffee?

Frappuccinos can be made with or without coffee, depending on the customer’s preference. Starbucks coffee Frappuccinos are made with Starbucks special Frappuccino roast coffee and whole milk. The amount of caffeine in a Frappuccino can vary depending on the size and specific ingredients. Crème Frappuccinos, on the other hand, are coffee-free and flavored only with signature flavors and spices or syrups requested by the customer.

Frappuccino vs. Latte, what’s the difference?

Frappuccinos and lattes are both coffee and milk-based beverages, but they have distinct differences. A Frappuccino is a cold blended beverage, while a latte is traditionally a hot coffee. Lattes are always made with espresso, while Frappuccinos can be made with regular coffee, espresso, or no coffee at all. The main difference is in texture and preparation. Lattes have a layer of microfoam on top, while frappuccinos are blended to a creamy, milkshake-like consistency.

What is a cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a type of latte made with more foam and less steamed milk. The traditional ratio for a cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk foam. However, modern variations often have more milk and foam, especially in larger sizes. Cappuccinos are typically served in 6- to 8-ounce cups and offer a balance of rich espresso, creamy milk, and velvety foam.
Understanding the differences between frappes, frappuccinos, and cappuccinos can help you make more informed choices when ordering your favorite coffee shop treats. Whether you prefer the blended creaminess of a frappe, the indulgent flavors of a frappuccino, or the classic elegance of a cappuccino, each drink offers its own unique experience. So the next time you find yourself facing a coffee shop menu, you can confidently navigate the choices and enjoy your favorite beverage with newfound knowledge.


What is the main difference between a frappe, a frappuccino and a cappuccino?

The main difference is in the preparation and ingredients. A frappe is a blended coffee drink made with espresso, ice and milk. A frappuccino is a Starbucks trademarked blended beverage similar to a frappe. A cappuccino, on the other hand, is espresso topped with steamed milk and a layer of milk foam.

How do frappes and frappuccinos differ from iced coffee?

Frappes and Frappuccinos are both blended coffee drinks, while iced coffee refers to any coffee served over ice. Frappes and Frappuccinos have a creamy, milkshake-like consistency, while iced coffee is more liquid.

Are Frappuccinos always made with coffee?

Frappuccinos can be made with or without coffee. Starbucks’ Coffee Frappuccinos are made with their special Frappuccino Roast coffee, while Creme Frappuccinos are made without coffee and flavored with syrups and spices.

How is a cappuccino different from a latte?

While both cappuccinos and lattes are coffee and milk-based beverages, the key difference is in the ratio of ingredients and texture. A cappuccino has more foam and a smaller layer of steamed milk, while a latte has a layer of microfoam on top and more steamed milk.

Can you make frappes with different flavors?

Yes, frappes can be made with different flavors. Coffee shops offer a range of options, including flavored syrups, chocolate, caramel, or even fruit flavors to customize the taste of a frappe to your personal preference.

How is a frappe different from a smoothie?

While both frappes and smoothies are blended drinks, the main difference is in the texture. Frappes are blended specifically to create foam, giving them a frothy consistency. Smoothies, on the other hand, are typically made with fruit and blended to create a smooth and creamy consistency.