Frappe vs Frappuccino: What’s the Difference?

Frappe vs Frappuccino: What’s the Difference?

Frappe vs Frappuccino– they both have similar-sounding names, you might even remember them both to taste vaguely the same.

Though the drinks share a lot of similarities, their differences are not just about how they’re made, but rather how they came to be.

Let’s find out how wildly different Frappes and Frappuccinos can actually be!


A Frappe is a chilled foamy coffee drink; sometimes blended, sometimes milky.

Today, it might not have a set recipe, though traditionally the base is almost always instant coffee and water and/or milk), and it can come in a variety of ways. It is more widespread in Europe, and you can even easily make one at home.

You can add whipped cream, ice cream, or even any toppings you might like.


A Frappuccino is basically a cappuccino mixed with a milkshake.

It is trademarked by Starbucks – which is why you probably haven’t found it anywhere else!

Like the Frappe, it can also include toppings and whipped cream, and even flavorings to make it taste a different kind of sweet each time.

But why they’re so different is, because the Frappuccino is trademarked by the coffee giant, there is more consistency when it comes to its recipe or ingredients.

The Frappe can vary wildly – it can taste different depending on where you get it from.

Key Differences

  • Origin


    The original Frappe was actually born in Greece.

    It started with water and instant coffee, ice, and a splash of milk, and was created out of wanting to make instant coffee without the avail of any hot water.

    This makes the traditional Frappe a bit less sweet and more bitter than a Frappuccino.

    We’ve told you above that the Frappuccino is trademarked by Starbucks, so one would think that this is how the drink came to be.

    But that’s actually not true!

    The Frappuccino was not inspired by the frappe either, but the same word was used to refer to a frothier drink, more similar to a Frappuccino, in different parts of the world.

  • Brewing


    The Frappe usually uses instant coffee, whereas a Frappuccino is made using brewed coffee.

    Using brewed coffee with a Frappe will give you a very different result– to the point where it wouldn’t even be called a Frappe.

    The instant coffee used with the Frappe enhances its bitter taste and the strength of the coffee flavor, giving it its distinct character.

  • Caffeine Content


    Essentially, the caffeine content of either drink will always depend on how much coffee you (or your Starbucks barista) have added to it.

    But the main difference here is that a Frappe will always contain caffeine because coffee is its staple.

    A Frappuccino, however, can skip the coffee and can be made without it depending on your order.

  • Taste


    As we’ve explained above, the Frappe was originally made to be less sweet than what we know the Frappuccino to be.

    But still, you can adjust its sweetness depending on what flavors or toppings you add to it.

    You know the Frappuccino to be a sweet drink if you’ve had it, and it’s even characterized by that sweetness.

    It’s mainly associated with its toppings and added flavors, and the most prominent example of that is Starbucks’s Caramel Frappuccino.


At the end of the day, most of the differences that can be attributed to a Frappe vs Frappuccino are mainly to avoid any trademark dispute.

You can get more choices of a Frappuccino, and it’s usually made with more cream and sugar.

But the Frappe was made with it being a coffee drink in mind. Sometimes, it feels like the Frappuccino hits the right spot for a sweet tooth – so we like to think of it as more of a dessert!