Frappe vs Frappuccino

Frappe vs Frappuccino

You are a devoted coffee lover if hot, summer days cannot stop you from indulging in your cup of joe. Thankfully, you can still enjoy it cold or chilled with ice. Frappes and frappuccinos are popular caffeinated drinks especially during hot weather and they are easy to obtain since most coffee shops offer them. Read on and let us get to know the differences between frappe vs frappuccino. 

Frappe vs frappuccino: What are their differences?

1. They do not have the same ingredients.

Frappe is an iced-based drink made with blended instant coffee and served with whipped cream and toppings. Ice may be added before or after beating the coffee and additives like vanilla, sugar, milk and other sweet sauces. It is also often called frappe coffee, Nescafe frappe or Greek frappe because it was invented through experimentations by Dimitris Vakondios, a Greek Nescafe representative in Thessaloniki.

Frappuccino is a cappuccino, an espresso-based coffee drink prepared with steamed milk foam, blended with ice and milkshake. It is served with other flavorings and topped with whipped cream along with chocolate shavings or sprinkles. Milk may also be substituted by using cream using non-dairy milk.  This type of caffeinated drink is also known as a trademark brand of the Starbucks Corporation for their line of sweetened, iced and blended coffee drinks. 

2. They use a different type of coffee and brewing method. 

When making frappe, instant coffee is used while frappuccino usually utilizes brewed coffee. 

3. They originated from different places. 

Frappes are commonly found in Europe and Greece since this is where they originated.  The 2004 Greece Olympics paved the way for the frappe to become known worldwide because of the advertising and national television coverage of the event. 

Frappuccino originated from Massachusetts, the USA where it was developed, named, trademarked and sold by George Howell’s coffee shop, The Coffee Connection. It was created by then-employee, Andrew Frank.  Starbucks gained all the rights to market and sell the caffeinated drink when it purchased The Coffee Connection in 1994. However, the coffee chain made a different recipe as opposed to the original one. 

4. The frappuccino is a patented drink while the frappe is not. 

While frappes are offered by countless coffee shops and refreshment outlets, it is not the case with a frappuccino. The latter is a patented drink that Starbucks exclusively makes.  This means you cannot buy it at local coffee shops. Frappuccinos are also sold in bottles and follow recipe guidelines where there are no restrictions when creating frappes. 

5. Frappes always contain caffeine, unlike frappuccinos. 

Frappes always contain caffeine because coffee is a vital ingredient. Frappuccinos do not always include coffee therefore some variants do not have caffeine like the Strawberry Frappuccino and Creme Frappuccino. 

6. Frappuccinos are high-calorie drinks 

Frappuccinos tend to pack on more calories compared to frappes. The former is usually made with sugar, sweetened and flavored whipped cream and a variety of syrups while the latter is mainly made with sugar, ice and instant coffee.

Frappe vs frappuccino: History and origin  

Frappe was first created in 1957 at the Thessaloniki International Fair.  Giannis Dritsas, from the Nestle Company, was introducing a new product for children, a chocolate drink produced by mixing it with milk and shaking it with a shaker. Dimitris Vakondios, Dritsas’ employee, was looking for a way to have his instant coffee drink but cannot find hot water at that time so he mixed the coffee with cold water and ice cubes and mixed them in a shaker. Vakondios’ improvised experiment gave way to the popularity of frappe in Greece. 

The term “frappe” is a French term that means drinks chilled with ice. In the past years it was often called Nescafe frappe. 

Frappuccino is a blending of two words; “frappe”, from the French word “lait frappe”, a milkshake with ice cream and “cappuccino”, an espresso coffee with frothed milk. The term was trademarked in Boston, Massachusetts and the original frappuccino drink was developed, named and trademarked by George Howell’s coffee shop, The Coffee Connection.  It was created by then-employee Andrew Frank. Starbucks gained the rights to sell the drink after they purchased The Coffee Connection in 1994 and introduced it under the Starbucks name starting in 1996.

As of the present time, there are 36,000 possible combinations of the Frappuccino drink according to a Starbucks spokesperson. 


Most people assume that frappes and frappuccinos are the same things. However, there are a lot of differences between them. One contrast of the frappe vs frappuccino is that they use different coffee types and brewing methods. They also do not have the same ingredients and they differ in how they are prepared. Most importantly, frappes always contain caffeine unlike frappuccinos since there are variations that do not contain coffee like Strawberry Frappuccino and Creme Frappuccino. 

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