Frappuccino vs Cappuccino

Frappuccino vs Cappuccino

Do you have a personal preference when it comes to your coffee drink? Are you more into stronger brews or those that are topped with whipped cream or latte art? Whichever you may prefer, it is ideal to identify and get to know about your favorite cup of brew. In this article, let us identify the differences between frappuccino vs cappuccino and get to know more about these popular coffee drinks. 

Frappuccino vs cappuccino: What are the differences?

These are the differences between frappuccino vs cappuccino:

1. A frappuccino is an iced drink while a cappuccino is a hot coffee drink. 

Frappuccinos are cold and iced drinks that are usually made with a mix of coffee, milk, sugar and ice. These are blended until the mixture resembles a milkshake. These drinks are topped with whipped cream and drizzled with syrup or sauce. 

Starbucks gains the exclusive right to market and sell frappuccinos and its standard size is between 12 fluid ounces to 24 fluid ounces. At present, there are more or less 36,000 possible combinations of this drink according to a Starbucks spokesperson. 

Meanwhile, cappuccinos are espresso-based Italian hot drinks that are made of one shot of espresso and equal amounts of milk microfoam and steamed milk. The standard size for the drink is between five to six fluid ounces. Since cappuccinos are served hot they tend to give you that caffeine kicks faster than iced ones. Cold coffee drinks like frappuccinos need to be brewed a bit stronger compared to hot coffee drinks. 

What makes cappuccinos stand out is the renowned latte art on top of these drinks that baristas creatively make. The images may vary from cartoon characters to a flower or even emojis and you can have them personalized, too. 

2. A cappuccino always contains caffeine but not all frappuccinos do.

Cappuccinos have caffeine because they are made with a shot of espresso and almost always have 120 to 170 mg per .004 to .006 ounces of caffeine content.  However, caffeine content may vary depending on the coffee brand and the type of coffee beans that are used. If you prefer a decaf cappuccino, you can also request it from the barista.

Meanwhile, frappuccinos do not always contain caffeine and some variations do not have coffee in them. Examples of such variations are Strawberry Frappuccino and Creme Frappuccino. These drinks are ideal for people who are staying away from caffeine but it can also be tricky since they tend to be sweetened.

3. Cappuccinos have fewer calories compared to frappuccinos. 

Cappuccinos tend to have fewer calories because they contain less sugar and fats compared to frappuccinos. A single espresso shot nearly has zero calories and cappuccinos only contain certain calories due to the steamed milk that is added to produce a velvety foam.  A sugarless cappuccino only has about 36 calories although you can opt to add sugar if you want. 

However, this is not the case with frappuccinos since most variations contain more or less 400 calories because of additives like condensed milk, cream, whipped cream and a variation of syrups and sauces. This makes frappuccinos ideal as occasional treats but not as habitual drinks. 

4. Cappuccinos are specific beverages, unlike frappuccinos that have countless variations. 

Cappuccinos follow a certain recipe and if you do certain tweaks like adding more milk or coffee it would result in a different coffee drink. If your cappuccino does not follow the one part espresso and four parts milk ratio it is not a cappuccino at all. Dividing or halving the milk is already an espresso macchiato which is one part espresso and one part milk foam. 

If the ratio is one part espresso and two parts steamed milk with no foam it will already be a flat white. You will also get a caffe latte if you add milk foam on top of a flat white. 

On the other hand, frappuccinos are flexible and the ratios can be adjusted according to your preference.  

Frappuccinos can also be made using any coffee while cappuccinos specifically need an espresso shot. Starbucks uses Frap roast for frappuccinos which is instant coffee made with room temperature water.  Frappuccinos also come in bigger sizes compared to cappuccinos which are usually placed in a five-ounce cup.

Similar drinks to frappuccinos include the frappe, mocha and affogato while drinks that are quite the same with cappuccinos include the latte, breve and macchiato.


If you can’t make up your mind which one you like most, frappuccino or cappuccino, you can always choose both of them.  These drinks have many differences in terms of caffeine content and calories. They also differ when it comes to water temperature since frappuccinos are iced drinks while cappuccinos are always served hot. 

Image: / nitrub