What is the Difference Between a Frappe and a Frappuccino?

When most people think of coffee, they think of something steaming hot that warms you up as well as wakes you up. But recently, iced coffee has become incredibly popular and there are many good reasons why.

For a lot of people, their first introduction to an iced coffee is a super chocolatey blended drink, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce that probably has very little actual coffee in it. These frappes and frappuccinos are essentially caffeinated milkshakes and are most popular with teenagers and young people who are just beginning to discover that need for caffeine to carry them through the day. 

Frappe vs Frappuccino

So, what is the difference between a frappe and a frappuccino? Although blended iced coffees differ from one coffee shop to another, the main difference is branding. A “frappuccino” is a signature drink at Starbucks and so the name cannot be used by any other coffee shop or coffee brand.

But other than branding, there are still a few differences between frappes and frappuccinos.


As mentioned above, frappuccinos are specific to Starbucks, but they are different in other ways too. Frappuccinos have a lot of ice in them and are not just an iced coffee. Frappuccinos are thick and have so much ice that they are almost crunchy.

Frappuccinos are blended like all other frappes, but they are much thicker and sweeter drinks. 

As you would expect from a coffee shop, frappuccinos normally contain coffee. But a lot of Starbucks drinks, especially those on their iced menu, are not only decaffeinated but don’t have a coffee flavor at all.

Frappuccinos can be fruity or creamy or just chocolate flavored. If you enjoy a sweet iced drink but don’t like the normal consistency of a milkshake, a frappuccino can be a nice alternative.

What is the Difference Between a Frappe and a Frappuccino


“Frappe” is the name used by pretty much every other coffee shop that sells iced blended drinks. But that isn’t just to avoid a lawsuit with Starbucks.

Frappes are cold, blended coffees but they are usually a different consistency to a frappuccino. As they are a trademarked beverage, frappuccinos have to have specific features to be classed as a frappuccino. 

But frappes can vary from coffee shop to coffee shop, so you can always find something that you will enjoy if you try enough places.

Although the popularity of iced coffee has boomed in recent years, frappes are nothing new. The frappe was actually invented in 1957 in Greece by Dimitris Vakondios who worked as a representative of Nescafe. Since then, frappes have been a very popular way of drinking coffee throughout Greece and Cyprus.

Iced Coffee

Iced coffees are incredibly popular. They are mostly drunk during the hot summer months as a way of cooling down whilst also countering the tiring effects of the sun and the heat. Although it is nice to drink colder drinks when it’s hot out, some people actually argue that drinking something hot will cool you down better. 

It is believed by some that the heat of the drink will warm up the inside of your body, making it more comfortable in hotter temperatures. This does sound logical, but our bodies are much more complicated than that. Some studies have found hot drinks will cool you down whereas others have found that they have no effect.

But no matter the truth, iced coffee is becoming ever more popular and is being enjoyed all year round. But, as with frappes, they are nothing new.

The first iced coffee is said to have been made in Algeria in 1840 and is called “Mazagran”. Mazagran is a cold coffee made by combining coffee syrup with cold water. Locals apparently claim that it is the original iced coffee.

Iced coffees were popular throughout the 19th century and were generally hot coffees that had been cooled down with ice.

How to Make a Frappe

Making a frappe might not be quite as simple as an instant coffee or using a filter coffee machine, but it is worth the effort.

Here is a simple recipe for making a frappe:


  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • ⅔ cup of cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • Sugar (the measure of this doesn’t matter very much, just add as the same amount as you would to a normal coffee)


The method for making a frappe is very simple. Just combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until you have thick, foamy drink.

How long you blend for entirely depends on your preference and, just like a normal coffee, you can alter the measurements of the ingredients to suit your taste.

If you want to make a proper Greek frappe or a traditional iced coffee, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and then, once foamy, pour over the ice.

If you don’t want something too thick or just want a nice iced coffee, you can easily combine the ingredients with no ice, or even in a cocktail shaker if you have one. The best thing about coffee is how many different varieties there are and how many different ways you can drink it.

There are lots of traditions surrounding coffee and there are a lot of purists (and pretentious people today who seem to care a lot about what is just a nice drink), but ignore them. Coffee is a drink to be enjoyed or just to be chugged when you’re tired and need some energy.

Coffee isn’t something to become obsessed with any more than milkshakes or teas are. There’s nothing wrong with caring about what you put in your body or wanting your coffee to be a certain way, but there’s no reason to care how anyone else drinks their morning joe. 

Coffee is simply a drink that can be made in many different ways and it is meant to be enjoyed. When you come down to it, the best way to drink coffee is exactly as you like it.