What Is A Frappe? The Popular Beverage Decoded

The frappe is one of the most popular beverages available. Come summer, and we’ll all be jonesing for a frappe. Either that, or its Starbucks version, the Frappuccino. This delicious treat is popular across the world, though preparations can vary depending on local styles.

Let’s see what is a frappe and what separates it from other popular beverages. In most cases, the difference can be rather thin. The boundaries can overlap so greatly that it becomes difficult to separate one beverage from the other. 

Origins Of The Frappe

I suppose every superhero saga starts with an origin story. Origins of the modern frappe are in 1957. During the International Trade Fair in Greece, a Nestle worker had a hankering for coffee, but there was none available. What was available was a Nestle product. The product was aimed at producing chocolate milk for kids by putting the ingredients in the shaker.

This dude decided to improvise. He put instant coffee in the mixer along with cold water and some ice. A few minutes later, the modern frappe was born.

Incidentally, this is how the Greek frappe was born and continues to this day. As it spread, other countries added their own variations.

Eventually, in the USA emerged the Frappuccino, a portmanteau of “frappe” and “cappuccino”. It was prepared by using a cappuccino as the base for a frappe. 

Frappe Vs Frappuccino

Starbucks Frappuccino

In the conventional sense, Frappuccino emerged with using cappuccino and frappe together. It was originally developed and trademarked by The Coffee Connection chain in Massachusetts. Eventually, Starbucks bought the chain and Frappuccino became a registered trademark of the company.

Since then, the Frappuccino has undergone several variations. The modern Frappuccino doesn’t include cappuccino, Unless you specifically ask for it, there may not be a shot of espresso either. Starbucks uses its own special coffee powder for the beverage. 

But then there are several Frappuccino flavors that include no coffee whatsoever.

Frappe, at least in the USA, is mostly a Frappuccino by another name. Since Starbucks owns the Frappuccino trademark, competitors sell the Frappe. That’s about the length and width of the distinction between Frappuccino and Frappe in the modern era.

In the more traditional sense, however, there are subtle differences between a Frappe and Frappuccino. For our purpose, the lines of Frappe Vs Frappuccino are purely academic in terms of preparation. 

The traditional frappe is made from instant coffee, cold water, and ice. You may choose to top this beverage with whipped cream and other additives. The Frappuccino, however, has a single (or better, double) shot of espresso for its kick. The ingredients are often put together and churned in a blender to mix them better before the espresso is added. 

Again, the traditional ways have little influence on the modern market. In terms of preparation and taste, there aren’t many differences between a McCafe Mocha Frappe and a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino. 

Frappe Vs Latte

There are clear distinctions in the frappe vs latte battle. Or more appropriately, frappe vs iced latte. The old fashioned frappe or the Greek frappe is quite similar to the iced latte. An iced latte is made by pouring chilled milk over a cool espresso. There is no blending involved.

A Greek-style frappe is made by thoroughly mixing ice, cold water, and instant coffee. For modern frappe, the ingredients will likely be blended. It will have a base of espresso, though as we know, that is no longer a necessary requirement.

Frappe Vs Milkshake

Frappe vs Milkshake is a tougher distinction to make. These two beverages come together so obviously that it is difficult to separate one from the other. According to Webster, a milkshake is “a thoroughly shaken or blended drink made of milk, a flavoring syrup, and often ice cream.”

Well, that is pretty much the modern frappe!

So it would appear that distinction lives in the name. Another approach is to look at the New England states, where the modern frappe and Frappuccino have been invented. And milkshakes continue to be popular. In these states, especially Massachusetts, milkshakes are made from milk and syrup. Adding ice cream to the mix makes it a frappe!

Interestingly, these states pronounce frappe as frap, while in most other places, it is pronounced as frap-pay.

What Is A Mocha Frappe

McCafe Mocha Frappe

As its name implies, a mocha frappe is a frappe with the base of mocha. In a way, this would be your regular frappe, with chocolate flavoring, and topped with generous amounts of whipped cream. 

In many cases, the base is a latte or an iced latte. While ice cream can be included, many people prefer to choose something like a hot fudge dessert topping. This adds a touch of chocolate to the latte and gives it an excellent texture.

Other methods may be used that employ a touch of chocolate syrup during production. More chocolate syrup can find its way to the frappe for flavoring. Mocha frappes are often topped with whipped cream which can have another smidgen of chocolate syrup.

If you’re dieting, watching calories, or hoping to control your caloric intake, skip the whipped cream. That thing has a crazy amount of calories!

What Is A Caramel Frappe

Caramel Frappe

In principle, this is the same as the mocha frappe we discussed above. The larger difference is that we’re going to use caramel as a major ingredient for flavor and taste. In this case, we’re going to use a caramel mix or a caramel sauce.

Put all the ingredients in a blender and let it run for 20-d0 seconds. This should mix all the ingredients thoroughly and create a nice milkshake. Add ice cream if you will for a thick shake.

You can also use low-fat frozen yogurt in place of ice cream. However, is not the most satisfying option in terms of taste. It would be better to forego the smattering of whipped cream with caramel syrup additions on it.

So, What Is A Frappe

In the modern sense, decidedly calling a beverage exclusively a frappe can be difficult. To answer what is a frappe is mostly dependent on branding by the seller. However, in most cases, it helps to remember that Frappuccino is a Starbucks trademark. This is quite similar to the Frappe sold by other brands.

A milkshake can be pretty much the same as a frappe. In some cases, a distinction can be made where milkshakes don’t include ice cream, but frappes do!