The Frappuccino is a beverage loved all over the globe and is available in several different formats. It’s cold, delicious, and sweet and can give you that small coffee fix at the same time.
But, there is a difference between the frappe and other similar beverages such as the iced latte and milkshakes. But what is that difference?
We have written this article to tell you all you need to know about the Frappucino, from what it is, to how it is different from a Frappe, to how to make one yourself.
So keep reading to discover the amazing drink that is the Frappuccino.
What Is A Frappuccino?
A Frappuccino is a trademarked brand of Starbucks. This means the beverage can only legally be sold by the popular coffee company or by those who are permitted by Starbucks to use the trademark.
The Frappuccino is a portmanteau of two famous coffee drinks; the ‘frappe’ and the ‘cappuccino’ and was developed and trademarked in Massachusetts.
It was created by a company known as the Coffee Connection and this chain was eventually acquired by Starbucks who bought the Frappucino to the market after making a few simple changes.
The Difference Between A Frappe And A Frappucino
The traditional Frappe gained popularity in Greece many decades ago and is now consumed all over the world.
The Greek way of making a Frappe includes instant coffee, sugar, water, and sometimes milk combined in a cocktail shaker. They would then shake this until a frothy layer is formed.
The Frappe which is most commonly known in the US however is the New England version. This beverage is more of a milkshake with an ice cream topping.
The difference between these beverages is the coffee content. A Frappe is a milkshake made thick with ice cream, whereas a Frappuccino adds a shot of espresso/cappuccino to the mix.
The recipe for a Frappuccino however over the years has evolved so much that a lot of versions of the Frappuccino no longer contain any espresso or cappuccino.
Furthermore, a lot of versions where you might think you taste coffee do not have actual coffee in them. Instead, they have a coffee base and the most common coffee powder is Frappuccino roast.
This tastes similar to instant coffee but is reserved to make Frappuccinos.
The recipe you find at Starbucks today includes sugar, milk, flavored syrups, and lots and lots of whipped cream. Coffee and ice are commonly used and you can even just pour in an espresso shot for an extra kick.
All the ingredients are usually popped in the blender until a thick layer of froth is formed. Once this is all blended, extra whipped cream and garnishings are added on top.
Although there is a difference between traditional Frappes and Frappuccinos, both beverages are similar and nowadays other chains serve their Frappes in similar ways to the Starbucks Frappuccino.
A McCafe Mocha Frappe from McDonald’s for example looks the same and has a similar consistency.
Following on from this, other companies are now designing their own versions of the Starbucks Frappuccino, yet still call it a Frappe so they can legally sell it.
Is The Frappuccino Just A Glorified Milkshake?
The Frappuccino is not simply a milkshake and this is because of the coffee content. When we look at it through a New England lens, however, a milkshake includes milk with lots of syrup and is blended to make a perfect consistency.
A New England Frappe however is topped with ice cream and a Greek frappe is simple a mix of instant coffee, ice, and water, shaken in a mixer.
Frappuccino is therefore a New England Frappe but you usually add a shot of espresso or coffee.
Though these drinks are similar, the line dividing them up is constantly broken as coffee shops are expanding.
Modern coffee shops for example completely skip the ice cream in their beverages and replace it with a thickener which helps to bind the ingredients and better the consistency.
Similarly, a lot of Frappuccinos, including the ones served exclusively at Starbucks now skip the espresso content altogether.
Another difference between the Frappuccino and Frappe and the milkshake is that the Frappe and Frappuccinos allow you better control over the ingredients.
In a coffee shop, you can add to remove, or add extra ingredients to a Frappe or Frappuccino so that you can better suit your tastes more than you can with a traditional milkshake.
These are the most common ingredients used in Frappuccino:
Frappuccino Roast Coffee
Starbucks uses a special type of instant coffee for their coffee-based Frappuccinos.
The Frappuccino Roast was introduced to replace the traditional shot of espresso and its advantage is that compared to traditional espresso, it improves the texture of the Frappuccino.
Traditional espresso also causes the other ingredients to expand and this leaves less room in the cup. The special roast does not have this issue.
Popular flavors of Frappuccinos that use this type of coffee range from espresso, white mocha and normal mocha, Java chip, and caramel.
Frappuccino Creme forms a base and like most beverages, does not contain any coffee. It is commonly used for special event flavors such as the Halloween Frappuccino but is also used in the vanilla flavor, Green Tea, and Double Chocolate Chip.
Sauces And Syrups
Various flavors call for different flavor sauces and syrups.
They add flavor, whilst also serving as a base for your Frappuccino. Some use both syrup and sauce and an example of this is the caramel Frappuccino which uses caramel syrup and caramel sauce.
A traditional Frappuccino syrup is also used in some Frappuccinos and this is responsible for the flavor of the coffee.
In a lot of cases, this kind of syrup includes the coffee flavor without you having to add actual espresso to the drink.
Finally, a Frappuccino is not a Frappuccino without a big dollop of whipped cream on top.
Calories And Sugar Content
Although Starbucks Frappuccinos can be delicious, the calorie and sugar content is particularly high. Although caffeine content is low, sugar makes up for this.
Most sauces and syrups used in the beverage are synthetically crafted as it is more economical and convenient. However, this loads the drinks with calories and sugar as much as the whipped cream on top does.
As a result of this, it is recommended to enjoy your Frappuccinos in moderation, but think how great it will taste if you leave it a couple of weeks between each one. The wait is worth it.
Calories Broken Down
Below we have included a list of the common Frappuccino flavors and how many calories are in each one.
These calorie numbers are for a Grande size made with whole milk and whipped cream.
Coffee Frappuccino = 240 calories
Espresso Frappuccino = 230 calories
Chai Creme Frappuccino = 360 calories
Java Chip Frappuccino = 470 calories
Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino = 500 calories
Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino = 490 calories
Caramel Frappuccino = 420 calories
Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino = 430 calories
Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino = 420 calories
Mocha Frappuccino = 410 Calories
Matcha Green Tea Creme Frappuccino = 430 calories
S’mores Frappuccino = 490 calories
White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino = 420 calories
Strawberry Frappuccino = 390 calories
From above, it’s obvious how many calories and just how much sugar is in your average frappuccino.
However, with some small simple changes, you might be able to save a large amount of these calories without having to substitute too much on taste.
If you switch to non-fat milk or almond or coconut milk, for example, this can reduce the number of calories in your drink significantly.
Although whipped cream is seen as a staple part of the Frappuccino, giving this up could help you cut those calories.
The list of calories we have included above is also only for grande sizes and by cutting down this serving size, you will automatically save calories.
Starbucks now also makes ‘light’ versions of some of the drinks listed above, so if you are trying to cut back calories, ask your barista if there is a light version of your favorite drink.
Starbucks has several different flavors which come out only at special events or for particular seasons.
Examples of this include the S’mores Frappuccino or the Pokemon GO Frappuccino which was tied to the specific event.
Common flavors do have a shelf life too and new ones are constantly being added as older ones are removed.
Christmas time is also a popular time of year for new and exciting flavors of Frappuccinos to come out and most recently, customers could enjoy the Toasted White Chocolate Frappuccino, which was filled with rich flavors and aromas of white chocolate and is said to have a taste which is unique to Japan.
Halloween is also a great time to experience a special flavor of Frappucino and special drinks over the years have included the IT frappucino, the green tea Franken Frappuccino, and the vampire Frappuccino.
A popular limited-time beverage is the Unicorn Frappuccino and this gained fame for its interesting approach.
Consumers of the drink loved how the flavor changed, as did the color. However, as the cup could hold around 500 calories with 76 grams of sugar, it received a lot of criticism and it is no longer available.
How To Make A Frappuccino At Home
To make a version of the simple Frappuccino at home, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1-1.5 cups of crushed ice
- One-Shot of Espresso that has been left to cool down (Two if you want to make it strong)
- ¾ cup of milk
- Whipped Cream
Place the first four ingredients straight into your blender and let it run for around 30-45 seconds. Then simply pour into a cup and top with as much whipped cream as your heart desires.
If you want to treat yourself or impress your friends, garnish it with some chocolate syrup or some chocolate shavings and add some of your favorite syrup toppings.
If you want to make a caramel Frappuccino, simply copy the recipe above, using the same ingredients but add in ⅓ cup of caramel sauce and caramel syrup.
Avoid putting the caramel syrup into the blender with the other ingredients and instead save it for later when you have poured the mixture into the cup.
You can then top with whipped cream and apply generously to the top. You could even swirl the caramel syrup around the edges of the cup before pouring the mixture in for an extra caramel explosion.
If you fancied something lighter, perhaps try the strawberry Frappuccino. Simply use the same ingredients but you will also need, strawberry puree sauce, simple syrup, and strawberries.
Add all of the ingredients that should be put in a blender and then pour into a cup that has been lined with around 1 tablespoon of strawberry puree.
Topped with whipped cream and an extra strawberry on top and you are good to go.
Frappuccino Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Frappuccino Made Of?
A Starbucks Frappuccino contains different ingredients depending on what flavor you go for.
Although a lot contain coffee, creme-based ones usually do not contain any coffee at all but when coffee is included, the Frappuccino Roast Coffee is the one.
A variety of different sauces and syrups are needed not only to enhance the flavor but also to help blend the drink into that perfect consistency and texture.
Frappuccinos are always topped with whipped cream, but you can ask for it without if you are trying to cut back on the calories.
What Is A Caramel Frappuccino?
One of the most popular flavors of Frappuccino is the caramel Frappuccino. This drink does contain coffee but is still made with ice, milk, coffee Frappuccino syrup, and plenty of caramel syrup.
It is also topped with a hefty dollop of whipped cream making it a total sweet treat. The Frappuccino syrup is made up of water, salt, natural and artificial flavors, potassium sorbate, citric acid, xantham gum, and sugar.
However, considering this drink is a whopping 420 calories, it should be consumed in moderation.
What Is The Difference Between A Frappe, A Milkshake, And A Frappuccino?
Through a New England lens, a milkshake includes milk with plenty of syrup and is blended to make a creamy consistency.
A New England Frappe is topped with ice cream and a Greek frappe is simple a mix of instant coffee, ice, and water, shaken in a mixer.
Frappuccino is a New England Frappe with added coffee, yet modern Frappuccinos don’t all contain coffee and the coffee can easily be replaced by other flavorings.
Is The Frappuccino Only Sold At Starbucks?
Frappuccino is a Starbucks trademark. This simply means the beverage can only legally be sold by the popular coffee company or by those who are permitted by Starbucks to use the trademark.
Is A Latte Different From A Frappuccino?
A latte is made from espresso and milk and served warm. An iced latte is made with the same ingredients but the espresso is left to cool.
A Frappuccino however is always served cold and modern Frappuccinos sometimes do not contain any espresso at all.
This is the main difference as although lattes can be flavored too, they always contain at least one espresso shot.
What Does A Mocha Frappuccino Taste Of?
If you want a chocolate coffee iced treat, this could be your new favorite drink. It’s both filling and light and the espresso flavor combined with cocoa makes for a delightful sensation.
The difference between a traditional mocha and a Frappuccino however is that a Frappuccino is always served cold and foamy, whereas a mocha is warm and is made purely of chocolate and coffee.
We hope by reading this article you have learned a little more about what the Frappuccino is and are keen to run to your nearest Starbucks to try one out as soon as possible.
Even if you don’t like coffee, you are now still able to enjoy a modern Frappuccino, where the coffee is substituted for another flavor.
Although the drink is a trademark of Starbucks, don’t be afraid to try and make one yourself using one of the recipes we have provided in this article.
But remember Frappuccinos are loaded with calories and sugar, so keep them only for special occasions or when you fancy a naughty treat. Now, what are you waiting for, go and try a Frappuccino today!
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