Difference Between Cappuccino And Frappuccino

Cappuccino and Frappuccino are very popular beverages. Though the similarity in names can be confusing, both of these are very different drinks and easily distinguishable. The difference between cappuccino and frappuccino is easily evident. 

Cappuccino is always a hot drink. On the other hand, the Frappuccino is cold.

That’s a straight-up clear cut way to differentiate between the two. However, there’s a lot more going on here, and there is a deep relationship between cappuccino and Frappuccino. Let’s go exploring.

Read more: Buy the best espresso beans

Frappuccino VS Cappuccino: The Recipe

Basics Of The Cappuccino – The Globally Popular Coffee Drink

The cappuccino starts with a shot of espresso. To this are added milk froth and steamed milk. Voila! There’s your cappuccino.

Sounds easy, right? Getting the shot of espresso right and frothing milk are both an art by themselves. You can add sugar or cinnamon to suit your taste. 

Though people add other ingredients like vanilla, the recipe to a classic cappuccino is quite rigid. When additives make way to the brew, the recipe changes and it is no longer a cappuccino. For example, adding some chocolate syrup will place the brew in the category of mocha, not a cappuccino.

Small changes are perfectly capable of changing the recipe. That reminds me of this old (and hilarious) video of Gino responding to a suggestion for a small change in the recipe.

Frappuccino – Yes, It’s Related To The Cappuccino

Frappuccino is a portmanteau of “frappe” and “cappuccino”. Originally, it was supposed to be a frappe livened up with a shot of cappuccino. The brew was developed and trademarked in Massachusetts by a chain called The Coffee Connection.

Eventually, this chain was acquired by Starbucks, and Frappuccino became a Starbucks trademarked. As the recipe and the brew developed, the Frappuccino changed in character. The origins of the name no longer hold true – most Frappuccinos have nothing to do with cappuccino anymore. And thus widens the gap between Frappuccino and Cappuccino.

7 Differences Between Frappuccino And Cappuccino

1. The Temperature Says It All

Well, here’s the most obvious difference in the Frappuccino VS Cappuccino saga. A cappuccino is always hot and a Frappuccino is always cold. As we see from the recipes above, a hot shot of espresso and hot steamed milk make a cappuccino.

Frappuccinos are necessarily iced beverages and decidedly cold. Even in the original format of Frappuccino where a cappuccino was added to a frappe, hot cappuccino would be cooled down by the frappe pretty quickly.

2. The Recipe For Cappuccino Is Fixed, The Frappuccino Is Flexible

Again, as mentioned earlier, the cappuccino has a fixed recipe. Frothed milk has to be added to espresso. Given the huge number of Frappuccino options available, it’s easy to establish that the recipe is flexible. 

It could be said that a Frappuccino is whatever Starbucks deems fit to slap the label on. Although given the current range, we can say that the Frappuccino is a cold, blended beverage.

3. Cappuccino Is For Everyone, Frappuccino Belongs To Starbucks

Cappuccino is a classic brew. As long as you put the recipe ingredients together, you have yourself a cappuccino. Well, it can be a terrible cappuccino, but you can call it a cappuccino. It is available and can be made practically everywhere.

Starbucks owns the Frappuccino® trademark. Only Starbucks (or outlets explicitly allowed by Starbucks) can sell the Frappuccino. You could whip up copycat Frappuccino recipes at home, but legally, the Frappuccino name belongs to Starbucks.

4. A Cappuccino Always Needs An Espresso

A cappuccino must always contain an espresso shot. As we know, the recipe is specific and requires a shot (or two) of espresso. You could use strong coffee as a stand-in, but an authentic cappuccino always needs espresso.

Frappuccinos don’t contain espresso. Given its origins and name, when the brew was first launched, it often included adding a shot of espresso to the cup. Modern Frappuccinos no longer have espresso added as a default. You can get a shot of espresso added if you prefer. 

In fact, there are several recipes where Starbucks recommends that the customer get an espresso shot added affogato-style. But then again, there are several Frappuccinos where the espresso shouldn’t be added (unless you want to ruin the beverage).

Starbucks doesn’t use espresso even for Frappuccinos that contain coffee. They use their own special ingredient. It’s called the Frappuccino Roast Coffee and behaves quite similar to instant coffee. 

The coffee chain decided that adding a hot espresso to a cold beverage didn’t quite do much for the texture of the drink. So they gave up on espresso as default ingredient and moved on to the Frappuccino Roast Coffee.

5. A Frappuccino May Not Contain Coffee

However, you choose to make your cappuccino, it is bound to have coffee as an ingredient. So there will be some caffeine in a cappuccino, though decaf is good too.

Several Frappuccinos don’t contain coffee or caffeine. It is no longer an essential ingredient for a Frappuccino. Many of the more popular Frappuccinos don’t contain any coffee.

6. Frappuccino Calorie Counter Is High Above Cappuccino

If you’re watching your diet, the number of calories is a massive difference between cappuccino and Frappuccino. The only calories in a cappuccino are those brought in by frothed milk and (if you choose to add it) sugar. The espresso shot by itself barely contains any calories.

Frappuccinos are practically calorie bombs. There are heaps upon heaps of calories here due to the presence of various ingredients, including milk and sugar. Depending on your choice of flavor, the Frappuccino will contain syrups or sauce thus adding more calories to the mix. 

Many recipes contain ice cream – that’s another hit for the calorie meter. Got whipped cream? That’s easily another big batch of calories.

Hitting a few hundred calories is no big deal for a Frappuccino. Many popular picks will easily keep you in the 400-500 calorie range.

7. Beverage Volume

This is more of a random difference since neither drink is bound by a specific volume for serving. However, in general use, there are some fixed numbers, especially if you’re getting your order from a commercial establishment. 

A cappuccino is usually available in an 8 oz serving. Something like 6 oz is possible too, though eight remains the common choice.

Frappuccino usually takes in a large brew size. Starbucks offers three variants viz. tall at 12 oz, grande at 16 oz, and venti at 24 oz.

The Different Lives Of Cappuccino And Frappuccino

Given the large offerings of coffee and coffee-based beverages, people can be confused by similar sounding names. Though their names are similar and there is a relation in the creation of these beverages, they are entirely different products. 

There are several differences between cappuccino and frappuccino. Differences between these two drinks are not small details – they are fundamentally different items.