Unless you’re a regular visitor to a coffee shop, it’s easy to get confused with all of the types of coffee available to you there. While many of them have fancy names such as cappuccino, espresso, latte, and Frappuccino, they all have one thing in common: they are all made with coffee plus a few added ingredients.
Both cappuccino and frappuccino are yummy, of course, and since different customers prefer different types of coffee, it’s good to know that there are differences between each kind. Some of these differences are subtle, and some aren’t, but if you’re curious about the differences between two of the most popular coffee drinks, then keep reading to learn more about Cappuccino vs Frappuccino.
We’ll do a deep dive into the world of cappuccinos and frappuccinos. One thing upfront, the main difference between cappuccino and frappuccino is that a frappuccino is always served cold. The cappuccino typically is served hot but some coffee shops can provide you with an iced cappuccino!
What Is a Cappuccino?
If you see someone drinking a light-brown coffee with white milk foam “artwork” on top out of a standard coffee cup, that person is likely drinking a cappuccino. Cappuccino is a combination of espresso and steamed milk, and it is usually served in six- to eight-ounce cups.
More often than not, cappuccino is one-third espresso (a shot of espresso), one-third steamed milk, and one-third milk foam. There are varying amounts of foam vs. steamed milk used in a cappuccino which then results in what is called a wet or a dry cappuccino!
The amount of steamed milk and milk foam is the main difference between a cappuccino and a latte! It is not only tasty but is very attractive as well; the more artistic the barista is, the prettier your cup of cappuccino will be in the end.
Cappuccino is associated with Italian coffees since it is said to have originated at an Italian monastery celebrating a victory in Vienna. And just what is espresso? It is merely a very hot and very strong coffee that is a result of having steam forced through ground coffee beans. If you like your coffee strong, you’ll love espresso, and you’ll love cappuccino even more.
Cappuccinos do not only come as hot coffees, you can also order an iced cappuccino at coffee shops like Starbucks, Costa, or Nero. Iced cappuccinos have become a lot more common in the last few years.
What Is a Frappuccino?
Although many people assume that a Frappuccino is a generic type of coffee, much as they think that “Kleenex” is the only type of tissue on the market, it is actually a type of coffee made famous by the Starbucks chain. In fact, the name Frappuccino refers only to the drink that is made a certain way and only at Starbucks.
The Frappuccino is a cold coffee that is made from a coffee or crème base and includes blended ice and ingredients such as flavored syrups, including chocolate. It is usually topped with either spices or some whipped cream, and it is a favorite among people who love their coffee ice cold. If you want it topped with whipped cream, you have to order it at a Starbucks store or simply add the whipped cream to your beverage at home.
In fact, the Frappuccino has become so popular that Starbucks has now packaged it in bottles that they sell in grocery stores, convenience stores, and in their own stores as well. Even some vending machines have these bottled coffees in them, which tells you how incredibly popular they are.
Today, Starbucks makes the Frappuccino in decaf form, and it can also be made with soy milk instead of dairy. As of now, they are the only store to make and sell the Frappuccino type of cold coffee mix.
Can You Get a Frappuccino Outside of a Starbucks?
Technically, you cannot get a Frappuccino from a store that isn’t Starbucks. This is because Starbucks owns the recipe and the name “Frappuccino.”
However, you can find copycat recipes online since a recipe cannot officially be copyrighted. You can usually find these recipes online, and even though the resulting drink may not taste exactly the same as a Frappuccino that you buy at Starbucks, it is very close in many cases.
Some locally-owned coffee shops offer something very similar to the Frappuccino, and they will usually change the recipe just a little bit so that it isn’t exactly the same as Starbucks’s recipe.
A Frappuccino-like drink recipe isn’t really that difficult to find, but just keep in mind that iced coffee that comes in different flavors and topped with whipped cream may not taste exactly the same as the Frappuccino that comes from Starbucks, even though it will still taste great if you find the right recipe.
Can You Get a Hot Frappuccino?
Frappuccino refers to an iced drink sold by Starbucks, which means that you cannot get a hot or warm Frappuccino. You are certainly free to warm the coffee Frappuccino up once you get it out of the Starbucks store, but since a Frappuccino is a trademarked name for iced coffees, you cannot really get one heated up in a coffee shop.
If you could do that, the drink would cease to be a Frappuccino and would be called something else. Plain and simple, a Frappuccino is an iced, flavored drink that is meant to be enjoyed cold and not hot, and that is how it is always made and consumed.
It’s one of the main differences when you compare Frappuccino vs Cappuccino that you only can get the cappuccino either hot or cold. A Frappuccino is always served cold.
Do All Frappuccinos Contain Coffee and Caffeine?
While most people drink their Frappuccino with coffee and caffeine, Starbucks makes the espresso Frappuccino so personalized that it is possible to buy them without these ingredients in them. In fact, decaf coffee is often used in a Frappuccino drink since so many people are trying to cut back on caffeine.
Besides, since either crème or coffee can be used as a starting point for a Frappuccino, you can easily choose the crème and forego the coffee altogether. The choice is all yours, in other words.
A Frappuccino can also come very personalized with options such as flavored powders, chocolate chips, espresso shots, and many others. As a general rule, Starbucks will make your Frappuccino any way that you want it, so you are always guaranteed to get something you love in the end. – Interested in finding out what Starbucks beverage is the strongest?
What Frappuccinos Have Fruit in Them?
Though only around for a few years, Frappuccino juice blends were available at Starbucks for a while, and they consisted of real fruit juices mixed with Tazo Tea and blended with ice. The company stopped making these products around 2008.
Also, Starbucks made a “Unicorn Frappuccino” around 2017, which was intended to last only a short period. The unicorn Frappuccino was made from ice, milk, both sour blue and pink powders, mango syrup, crème Frappuccino syrup, and blue syrup drizzled on top of the drink. Due to its high sugar content and a few other concerns, the drink came with great criticism, which is one of the reasons for its demise.
Today Starbucks makes no Frappuccino drink that contains fruit or real fruit juice, but this isn’t to say that you cannot find some of these recipes on the Internet or the drinks in local coffee stores.
Are Frappuccinos Loaded with Sugar and Fat?
Even though a Frappuccino is a yummy-tasting drink, it doesn’t contain as much fat and sugar as many people assume it does. Some of the nutritional breakdowns of an eight-ounce Frappuccino is this:
- Calories: 117
- Fat: 1.5 grams total, no trans fat (2% of RDA)
- Sugars: 19.3 grams
- Total carbs: 23 grams (8% of RDA)
- Cholesterol: 7 milligrams (2% of RDA)
And if you’re curious about where the 117 calories come from, the news is still good. Roughly 12% of the calories come from fat, which is far below the 30% recommended daily allowance, while 8% of the calories come from protein and roughly 80% come from carbs.
Except for people following a low-carb diet, the Starbucks Frappuccino is a fairly healthy drink. In addition to having no trans fat, it also has no alcohol and comes with 83 milligrams of calcium.
Do You Use Espresso Only for a Cappuccino?
Espresso is like black coffee on steroids. It is super strong and is used as the base for many different drinks, including but not limited to cappuccino – What Is the Difference Between Coffee and Espresso?
Espresso is not just American coffee made strong. It is made with coffee grounds that are ground much finer than usual, and fast bursts of water are mixed with the grounds in order to get that super-strong taste that people love.
Espresso is also the name of the machine (How to Use a DeLonghi Espresso Machine) that brews these beverages so that the cappuccino or whatever other espresso drink you’re trying to make comes out tasting just as it should.
In addition to cappuccino, espresso is also used in many other well-known drinks. These include the Caffe Americano, which consists of espresso and hot water. There’s also the caffe latte, which is made with a double shot of espresso and topped with steamed milk. And a drink called a red eye, made with filtered coffee and a shot of espresso – Is Filter Coffee Stronger Than Espresso? As you can see, espresso is used for many different drinks, not just cappuccino.
Many of the different espresso drinks are blended with foamed milk or steamed milk. Some of these espresso beverages even come with steamed half-and-half, making it a special treat!
Final Thoughts on Frappuccino vs Cappuccino
As you can see, there are quite a few differences when you compare Frappuccino vs. Cappuccino. The differences between a good Cappuccino and Frappuccino are vast. They start with the fact that a Frappuccino is an iced coffee while a cappuccino is usually served piping hot with a generous amount of steamed milk and milk foam. You can, however, in some coffee shops, get an iced cappuccino.
The ingredients also vary, especially in a Frappuccino because they are so personalized to the tastes and preferences of the customer. While many people insist that their coffee always be hot, many others prefer iced coffee because they love the taste of coffee and prefer something that they can drink all year long.
Deciding which type of coffee you like best when it comes to cappuccino and frappuccino is the first step in choosing a cup of coffee that you’ll love in the end. But the good news is that regardless of the taste you usually go for, it is easier than ever before to find good-quality coffee that tastes great from start to finish.