What Is A Frappuccino? Starbucks’ Iconic Drink & How to Make Your Own!

By Shabbir
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The Frappuccino is a very popular beverage found with many variations in coffee chains all over the world. But what is a Frappuccino, anyway? Is it the same thing as a frappe? And where does it fit in with iced lattes, cappuccinos, and all the other coffee beverages that we love?

The story of the Frappuccino

The Frappuccino originated as an offering by a coffee shop called the Coffee Connection. The Coffee Connection was later bought out by Starbucks, and they revived the drink into the Starbucks Frappuccino.

The Frappuccino is a trademark of Starbucks. That’s why you won’t find a “Frappuccino” in any other coffee shop, but you will find some variant that is very similar to it.

A Starbucks frappuccino on a cafe table with a blurred person sitting in the background.
A Starbucks frappuccino

Frappe vs Frappuccino

The Frappuccino is a combination of the words frappe and cappuccino. There’s a lot of similarities between a frappe and a frappuccino, but my best guess is that the second half was just added to make it sound more like a coffee drink!

The original New England Frappe is a thick milkshake with and ice cream. Frappuccinos are essentially milkshakes, but have one or more shots of espresso added in. However, there is no specific definition for a Frappuccino, so it can contain coffee, or not!

Also read: Frappuccino Vs Cappuccino

Varities of Starbucks Frappuccinos

Starbucks Coffee offers many different varities of the Frappuccino as you can see on their menu. Essentially, all of their blended beverages (whether they those frappuccinos contain coffee or not) are called Frappuccino.

Two Starbucks drinks, a mocha frappuccino and a matcha frappuccino, on a wooden table with a Starbucks logo in the background.
Two Starbucks drinks, a mocha frappuccino and a matcha frappuccino.

All Starbucks Frappuccinos are beverages made from milk, sugar, ice, and syrups tossed into a blender, and are topped with whipped cream. Here’s a list of the most current Starbucks Frappuccino coffee drinks.

Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino Flavors

  • Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino: Frappuccino roast coffee, Frappuccino chips, Frappuccino syrup, mocha sauce, whipped cream, chocolate cookie grind topping, milk, and ice (480 calories)
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino: coffee, milk, ice, caramel syrup, and topped with whipped cream and crunchy caramel sugar topping (470 calories)
  • Espresso Frappuccino: espresso, coffee, milk, and ice (210 calories)
  • Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino: coffee, ice, milk, vanilla bean powder, and whipped cream (400 calories)
  • Caramel Frappuccino: coffee, ice, milk, caramel syrup, and whipped cream (380 calories)
  • Coffee Frappuccino: coffee, ice, and milk (230 calories)
  • Mocha Frappuccino: Frappuccino roast coffee, mocha sauce, milk, and ice (370 calories)
  • Java Chip Frappuccino: coffee, milk, ice, mocha sauce, and Frappuccino chips (480 calories)
  • White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino: Frappuccino roast coffee, milk, ice, and white chocolate (420 calories)

The following seasonal flavors have been on the menu, but are not currently offered – May 7, 2024.

  • Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino: coffee, syrup, milk, ice, and pumpkin spice blended together (420 calories)
  • Apple Crisp Frappuccino: coffee, syrup, milk, ice, and apple/cinnamon flavoring (460 calories)
  • Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino: coffee, strawberry funnel cake syrup, milk, ice, and funnel cake pieces (410 calories)

Starbucks Creme Frappuccino Flavors

  • Lavender Creme Frappuccino: lavender blended with vanilla syrup, milk, ice, and whipped cream (370 calories)
  • Chocolate Cookie Crumble Creme Frappuccino: mocha sauce, frappuccino chips, milk, ice, cookie crumble, chocolate sauce (460 calories)
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Creme Frappuccino: Caramel syrup, milk, ice, caramel sauce, and whipped cream (420 calories)
  • Strawberry Creme Frappuccino: milk, ice, strawberry puree (370 calories)
  • Chai Creme Frappuccino: milk, ice, spicy chai, and whipped cream (340 calories)
  • Double Chocolaty Chip Creme Frappuccino: milk, ice, mocha sauce, and chocolate chips (410 calories)
  • Matcha Creme Frappuccino: Matcha green tea, milk, ice, and whipped cream
  • Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino: milk, ice, vanilla bean, and whipped cream (380 calories)
  • White Chocolate Creme Frappuccino: white chocolate sauce, milk, and ice (380 calories)

The following seasonal flavors have been on the menu, but are not currently offered – May 7, 2024.

  • Pumpkin Spice Creme Frappuccino: Pumpkin, fall flavors, milk, and ice (360 calories)
  • Apple Crisp Creme Frappuccino: apple flavors, milk, and ice (400 calories)

As you can see, these are full-on calorie-laden desserts full of flavored syrups and sugar shoved into a blender rather than a typical espresso drink. The calories for each beverage are based on the largest 16 ounce size.

Finally, there are also bottled Frappuccino that you can buy at a grocery store. Those also come in a few different flavors.

Even though those are called Frappuccino, they are not blended with ice, so these kinds of coffee taste more like an iced coffee than an ice-blended coffee.

Other coffee shop varieties of Frappuccino

Since the Frappuccino came from the Frappe, it’s worth looking at other varieties of the Frappe.

Another origin story of the Frappe is that it started out in Greece. Greek Frappes are made from instant coffee, water, sugar, and optionally milk, thrown into a cocktail shaker and mixed until a foam forms on top.

Then you have New England Frappes, which don’t have any coffee at all! They’re just a milkshake with ice cream on top!

You’ll find that all coffee shops have their own takes on the Frappe/Frappuccino listed on the menu. The real differences between frappe drinks from one coffee shop to the next are very minute, and the line is very blurry from one to the next.

Does a frappuccino taste like coffee?

Frappuccinos have a slight kick of coffee in them, but they are very sweet and taste more like the flavor that’s added in to them. A mocha Frappuccino tastes like chocolate, and a caramel Frappuccino tastes like caramel sauce!

Even though you’ll get the caffeine hit from a Frappuccino, you may not be able to perceive much coffee flavor thanks to all the sweet syrups and whipped cream!

The Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino and Coffee Frappuccino taste the most like coffee, so if you don’t want something too sweet, those are good menu options to consider.

How to make Frappuccino at home (recipe)

If you want to save some money and calories, you can easily make a Frappuccino at home using coffee beans or instant coffee.

What you’ll need

  • 1 cup of crushed ice
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp instant coffee OR 1 shot of espresso
  • Sugar or sweetener
  • (Optional) Flavor syrup
  • A high-speed blender
  • A large glass

What to do

  1. Add crushed ice, coffee, milk, sweetener, and syrup into a blender
  2. Put on the lid and pulse until ice is broken down and incorporated into the milk
  3. Optionally add whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate syrup or caramel sauce


Don’t overblend the coffee as the ice will completely melt! You need to blend just enough to make a thick drink.

Add a double shot of espresso or use twice the amount of instant coffee powder for a strong coffee.

Frappuccino is best served chilled, right out of the blender.

If you’d prefer to use a non-dairy milk, go fot i!

Do you need to refrigerate a Frappuccino?

Since Frappuccino is an iced coffee, you don’t really need to refrigerate it as it will stay cool for a long time.

But if you’re planning on having it after a couple of hours, keeping it in the fridge will help it stay fresh for longer.

Frequently asked questions

Do all Frappuccinos have coffee in them?

Not all Frappuccinos have coffee in them. Starbucks Frappuccino varieties are of two types: coffee and creme Frappuccino. The flavors are almost the same, but the main difference is that the former are coffee drinks and the latter are milk-based drinks.

Can you get a decaf Frappuccino?

However, you can ask for a decaf Frappuccino and the barista will make a shot of decaf espresso to use in your beverage.

What are Frappuccino chips?

ppuccino chips are proprietary additives for Starbucks drinks. They’re basically slightly modified chocolate chips. They’re designed to quickly mix into a beverage and not get stuck in a straw or in blender blades.

How long does a Frappuccino last in the fridge?

A Frappuccino can last up to a day in the fridge. Because they’re made with milk, it’s best to consume them within a day.

Are Frappuccinos hot or cold?

Frappuccinos are cold. They’re a type of iced coffee. You could heat it up and drink it, but don’t.


The story of the Frappuccino is a very interesting one, and while it’s incredibly full of sugar and fat, it’s fun to treat yourself every now and then!

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About Shabbir

Shab is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee Brewster. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.