What Is A Frappe? Getting Up, Close, And Personal

A cold frappe goes great with a hot summer day. And let’s be honest, even if it’s not summer, we won’t mind enjoying a nice frappe anyway! The popular beverage is everywhere and is available in several flavors and forms. 

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Given the variations in the frappes sold, it is fair to wonder what is a frappe? This popular beverage is available in several forms. But there are a few things that separate a frappe from its competitors. Let’s dive in to get a closer look!

How Did Frappe Start? The Origin Story

Knowing where it came from and seeing where it is are good ways to understand what a frappe is. 

The first modern frappe came into being at the International Trade Fair in Greece, 1957.

A Nestle executive at the fair wanted a coffee, but there was nothing available to brew some. What this dude did have was a new product that included a shaker. This was supposed to be a way for kids to enjoy chocolate milk by putting the ingredients in the shaker. This executive skipped the chocolate and added instant coffee with cold water and ice in the shaker.

Thus was born the modern frappe. Incidentally, this remains the “traditional” way for Greeks to enjoy their frappe. As the popularity of the drink spread, the recipe was tweaked and changes made to suit various palettes. 

This is probably why the frappe you love and enjoy has a different taste, texture, and feel compared to the Greek version. The frappe has undergone a change from its cold water and ice beginnings.

Frappe vs Frappuccino

On its invention, the word Frappuccino was a portmanteau of “frappe” and “cappuccino”. To put it simply, a Frappuccino was where a cappuccino was added to a frappe. As lovers of the Frappuccino know, this isn’t necessarily the case nowadays. In fact, most Frappuccinos don’t include a cappuccino or espresso unless you specifically ask for one.

Many Frappuccinos don’t even include coffee! So yeah, the beverage has come a long way from its original naming. But as we know, many frappes follow a similar strategy. It may depend on where you buy them. Generally, there’s only a thin line separating a frappe from a frappuccino.

The biggest factor in the frappe vs frappuccino comparison is that the latter is a trademark owned by Starbucks. Only Starbucks and those who have been licensed by the company can use the name Frappuccino for the beverage.

The popularity of Frappuccino needs no introduction. Many companies have tried to recreate the success of the frappuccino. This is one of the reasons that the frappe sold in the USA is often a Frappuccino by another name. Starbucks sells the Frappuccino, its competitors sell Frappes.

Finding The Differences In Recipe And Preparation

As mentioned, the frappe and frappuccino available in the market are often similar. However, for the purpose of a distinction, we can take a look at the traditional recipes. They may not always apply, but they can be good indicators. 

A traditional frappe is made from cold water, ice, and instant coffee. This mix may be topped with whipped cream and other additives of your choice.

A Frappuccino sees the ingredients put together and churned in a blender so that they’re mixed well and adequately. This is followed by pouring a shot (or two) of espresso to the mix.

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Again, the traditional recipes aren’t necessarily the ones you’ll see in the market today. But they’re worth a look anyway, especially if you intend to whip up a frappe at home.

Frappe Vs Latte

When taking the lens to a frappe vs latte comparison, the differences become rather clear. Of course, we’re looking at a frappe and iced latte comparison; a conventional latte would make no sense here.

There is a clear distinction between both these beverages that doesn’t require delving deep into nuances. Traditionally, an iced latte is made by pouring chilled milk or cold frothed milk over a cool espresso. Blending or mixing is unnecessary.

The traditional frappe and iced latte can have a similar consistency. However, the texture and taste of the beverages are fairly different and easily distinguished.

Frappe vs Milkshake

Given the way things are, a frappe and milkshake can be as close competitors as a frappe and Frappuccino. The modern frappe and milkshake are practically the same beverage. In simple terms, both of them are blended drinks made from milk, flavoring syrup, and ice cream.

We can expect the frappe to have coffee, but that’s not always the case. Besides, some milkshakes can have coffee as well. It would appear that the distinction lives on in the name.

Another approach would be to see how the New England States make the distinction. After all, this is the region known for the popularity of milkshakes. The modern American versions like Frappuccino and frappe have also come from this region.

For this region, especially the state of Massachusetts, a milkshake is made from milk and syrup. If you add ice cream to the mix, it becomes a frappe! Well, that’s a simple and straightforward way to go with frappe vs milkshake distinction.

Another interesting point worth noting is that the New England States pronounce frappe as frap. The conventional pronunciation outside this region is frap-pay.

What Is A Mocha Frappe?

McCafe Mocha Frappe

Mocha Frappe is amongst the most popular frappes, made popular by the McDonald’s Mocha Frappe. If you’ve wondered what is a mocha frappe, the answer can be fairly straightforward.

A mocha frappe is pretty much a regular frappe. It includes chocolate syrup and flavor. Often, it is topped with a generous serving of whipped cream.

In several recipes, a mocha frappe starts its journey as an iced latte. You can add ice cream, chocolate flavoring, and chocolate syrup to the mix. The chocolate flavor is what earns this the “mocha” name. The frappe is often topped with whipped cream, which may again get a garnishing of chocolate syrup.

Watch your calories! Whipped cream is a big part of the calorie count and skipping it in your beverage can make a fair difference.

Often, people skip the ice cream and chocolate flavoring and use a Hot Fudge Dessert Topping instead. It works delightfully well with the texture and gives the frappe a chocolate flavoring.

What Is A Caramel Frappe?

Caramel Frappe

The answer to what is a caramel frappe is quite similar to that for the mocha frappe above. This frappe has the same basics, except the chocolate flavoring is replaced by caramel flavor and syrup.

A simple way to whip up a caramel frappe is to but all the ingredients in a blender. Generally, these would include milk, caramel sauce, and ice cream. Once the ingredients are properly blended, add a shot of espresso and top the beverage with whipped cream. You may garnish the whipped cream with caramel syrup.

It is possible to replace the ice-cream with low-fat frozen yogurt. It’s okay but doesn’t do much for taste. A better option is to skip the whipped cream. 

A Quick Conclusion

The frappe is a popular beverage. But, as we see saying what is a frappe for sure can involve walking some thin lines. The beverage might very well be defined by what a vendor or seller decides to call it. 

The Starbucks trademark Frappuccino can be very close to a frappe in texture and taste. In many cases, a milkshake or iced latte can be pretty similar too. Milkshakes, however, don’t usually include ice cream in the blend. Iced lattes on the other hand, often have a lower consistency than frappes.