Frappuccino vs Cappuccino: 2022 Definitive Guide

What’s the difference between Frappuccino and Cappucino?

coffee has been around since the 15th century, and there are hundreds of thousands of different variations worldwide.

Even an outlet of Starbucks claims to be able to whip up over 80,000 combinations of coffee! So if you feel overwhelmed while standing in those long coffee queues and reading all those eloquent coffee names, know that you are not alone.

While it will not be possible to talk about the hundreds of coffee varieties available nowadays, we can certainly tackle a couple of the most popular ones.

Let us delve deep and learn about two coffee drinks that might be familiar to you, at least by name. The Frappuccino and cappuccino.

If you are not an avid coffee drinker or simply beginning to explore the various coffee options, you might think these two drinks are closely related just by the way they are named.

But the truth is that they are pretty different from each other.

The one thing frappuccinos and cappuccinos have in common is that they are both made with coffee, milk, and sugar (though there are exceptions there too).

Let us learn about these two delicious drinks and see what makes them a popular choice among coffee lovers!

What is a cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a hot, steaming cup of coffee made with a shot of espresso. It was traditionally consumed in Italy in a simpler style, much before espresso machines came into being. Cappuccino was originally just coffee with cream and sugar added to it. But that is no longer the case!

With the advent of espresso and coffee machines came a new way of making cappuccinos. There is a specific ratio most coffee makers follow when creating the perfect cup of cappuccino. It has to comprise equal parts (1/3rd each) of a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. 

Cappuccinos are made in layers and served in cups that can hold 150–180 mL of liquid.

First, steamed milk is poured into the bottom third of the cup.

Then a middle layer of espresso shots is carefully added to maintain distinct layers.

Finally, milk froth is gently spooned onto the espresso layer to create the upper portion. Both microfoam and dry (large) foam are used for the top layer.

Of course, you do not always need to visit a coffee shop or have barista-level skills to make a cup of cappuccino.

Handcrafted beverages are expensive, and a cup of gourmet cappuccino can cost anywhere between 3 and 15 dollars.

If you own a coffee maker or an espresso machine and a milk foamer, you can recreate a delicious blend of cappuccino from the comfort of your home.

Make your own cappuccino at home with this amazing Expresso Machine and Milk steamer:

What is a frappuccino?

You don’t need to be a coffee fan to be aware of Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee giant and the largest coffee chain in the world.

Did you know that you can buy a Frappuccino only at Starbucks?

First developed by a Boston-based coffee shop, the drink came to be owned by Starbucks when they bought the coffee shop in the 90s.

Soon after, Starbucks recreated and released its specialty frappuccino products.

The word frappuccino is a blend of frappe, a sweet blended iced beverage (made with or without coffee), and cappuccino, an espresso-based coffee.

Frappuccino is a combination of ingredients that makes it a mix between a thick milkshake and cold coffee. It is a frozen beverage created of milk, sugar, coffee, ice, cream, flavored syrups, and toppings and can be custom-built.

Frappucino is quite often mistaken to be a coffee-based drink. It can be made decaffeinated and even without adding any coffee.

It is highly customizable and can be customized using non-dairy alternatives, flavored syrups, chocolate, extra coffee shots, and even some seasonal mixtures. 

And if you want to recreate this sweet drink at home, you can!

Frappucino is a more forgiving blend that does not require any specially crafted coffee solution.

All you need is a blender to crush some ice together with milk (choose dairy or nondairy), whipping cream, sugar, chocolate syrup, a sweetener of your choice, and coffee (instant coffee works just as well!). 

Or even easier, you can even pick up a bottle of chilled frappuccino from retail stores where they are sold in many flavors nowadays.

While the name Frappuccino belongs to Starbucks, you can find very similar concoctions available in most other coffee chains and cafes.

They go by very different names, that’s all!

Cappuccino and Frappuccino: What makes them different?

Frappucino sounds a lot like cappuccino. They are, however, two distinct beverages.

Both are coffee-based drinks, and frappuccino can be considered a blended form of cappuccino. But on the whole, they have different traits, especially when you consider the ingredients, taste, cost, and even temperature. 


Cappuccino was first introduced and enjoyed in Italy. The traditional form was still being consumed at the beginning of the early 1900s.

After the invention of espresso machines, the cappuccino as we know it became popular.

The Frappucino was invented much later in Boston. It was born out of an idea to combine a rich milkshake or frappe with a cappuccino. Frappuccino is a trademarked drink owned by Starbucks.


Cappuccino consists of three layers – a single or double espresso shot, steamed whole milk, and milk foam.

Some variations have cream, and you can even opt for non-dairy substitutes or add on other flavors.

Frappuccinos have crushed ice, sweeteners, milk, and whipped cream. You can add flavorings, toppings, and syrups of your choice.


Cappuccino is served hot or as a warm drink.

But there are coffee shops that serve cold cappuccinos, like Starbucks with their iced cappuccinos.

Frappucinos are ice-blended drinks that are always served cold or chilled. 


Coffee, as we know, comes with a host of health benefits, such as increased metabolism and weight loss when consumed in moderation.

The espresso in cappuccino is a good source of these benefits. With just milk and sugar(which is avoidable), cappuccinos are a healthier version of coffee and can be consumed every day.

On the other hand, frappuccino should be considered more like a treat. This sweet, creamy, milkshake-like coffee is high in calories and contains a lot of sugar and sweeteners.

It has none of the health-boosting properties of coffee and is best consumed in moderation.


Cappuccino is usually served in smaller-sized cups and does not have a lot of flavorings or additions.

But they can be costlier than your average cup of coffee, especially the handcrafted ones served in gourmet coffee shops.

The Starbucks Frappuccinos can run pretty expensive as well. This has to do with the ingredients and the brand-related cost of being a Starbucks exclusive.


Cappuccino and frappuccino can be made to order, and you can get custom styles for both drinks.

Frappucinos can be tailor-made in a variety of flavors and toppings with choices of dairy substitutes and extra coffee shots. Cappuccino also offers some level of flexibility when it comes to substitutions.

Cappuccino and Frappuccino: Starbucks

It would not be wrong to say that Starbucks has played an important role in changing the coffee culture and how we all buy and consume our daily coffee.

The company, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021, was instrumental in influencing the coffee industry and introducing the plethora of coffee drinks we all enjoy today.

We talked about cappuccino and frappuccino at length. Let us take a look at how Starbucks creates these beverages and how they differ from each other when personalized by the Starbucks brand.

Starbucks Cappuccino

We talked about the traditional 1:1:1 ratio followed while creating the perfect cup of cappuccino.

While Starbucks does utilize the same ratio, they make it a point to sell the coffee in their specific cup sizes rather than stick to the traditional sizes.

The Starbucks cappuccino sizes range from the 8 oz. “Short cup” to the 20 oz. “Venti cup”. The calories also change from 70 to 200 per serving as you go up in size.

A cappuccino’s foam layer is a very important component, and soft, creamier foams taste better than large, dry ones. Starbucks lets you choose between dry, wet, and even very wet foams.

They also have a selection of cappuccinos that come in different flavors and toppings, and even cold ones, called iced cappuccinos.

The cost for a cup of cappuccino can range from $2.95 to $3.95

Starbucks Frappucino

Starbucks serves a variety of coffees, but it is the frappucinos that take the crown.

Once sold as a summertime drink, frappucinos are now the most popular pick for most people at Starbucks.

The new and seasonal offerings and availability at retail stores add to the attraction and increase its appeal among sweet-coffee lovers.

There are plenty of varieties of frappucinos that can be blended into existence by a Starbucks barista, and they usually fall into the coffee-based or cream-based category.

Like cappuccinos, these come in the typical Starbucks sizes.

Frappuccinos, however, cannot be ordered in the Short size. 

The rich ingredients often found in the smoothie-like frappuccinos make them very high in calories.

A popular drink like the caramel frappuccino has around 510 calories if consumed in the Venti size and costs around $5.

They usually cost more than other coffees, and depending on the ingredients and substitutions, prices can go even higher. 

Here are some of the best frappuccinos, according to Starbucks patrons:

  1. Espresso Frappuccino –  The perfect drink for the mornings if you’re a coffee lover.
  1. Snickers/Twix/Ferrero Rocher Frappuccino –  Secret menu drink for candy and chocolate fans.
  1. Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Frappuccino – A delicious plant-based frappuccino for the holidays.
  1. Mocha cookie-crumble Frappuccino –  It’s coffee and dessert in a cup!
  1. Caramel Frappuccino – An absolute treat for caramel lovers.
  1. Vanilla bean Creme Frappuccino – A refreshing summer drink that’s quite like a milkshake! No caffeine and therefore great for kids.
  1. Chai creme Frappuccino – A wonderful spiced drink that’s fine for a chilly day.
  1. Pumpkin spice Frappuccino – The popular pumpkin spice blended drink you will crave in the fall months.

Frappuccino vs Cappuccino vs Latte

It is easy to be confused about what’s what when you are surrounded by many different coffee varieties, as we are today.

They differ from shop to shop and region to region.

We hope you know a bit more about cappuccino and frappuccino now.

Another popular name you have probably come across is the latte.

Let’s have a look at how lattes are similar to or different from frappuccinos and cappuccinos.

So what is a latte? Latte is short for “café latte’, and like cappuccino, it is also an Italian-originated drink made of espresso shots.

The constituents of both cappuccinos and lattes are the same: espresso, milk, and foam. But they differ when it comes to layer creation and milk content.

While one-third of a cappuccino is steamed milk, a latte uses about two servings of milk for one serving of espresso.

It is topped with a thinner layer of milk foam and has the appearance of gradient layers.

Like the other coffees, lattes are also available with substitutions, flavorings, and toppings. Due to its higher milk content, a regular latte also has more calories than a cappuccino.

Latte differs from frappuccino, almost like how cappuccino does. Unlike frappuccinos, a latte is a hot beverage (though iced versions are available).

While espresso is a mandatory part of a latte, a frappuccino can be made caffeine-free too. And unlike the frappuccino, which is Starbucks-owned, café lattes are available at most coffee shops around the world.

A fun fact about lattes is that they are usually served in coffee shops with lovely latte artwork. It is created by pouring microfoam onto the espresso and creating beautiful patterns.

The decorations are part of what makes lattes a very enjoyable experience!

Conclusion on Capuccino vs Frappuccino

Being curious about coffee can teach you a lot. If you are adventurous and willing to learn, you can open yourself to exploring and relishing various kinds of coffee served by different regions and cultures.

And never let fancy coffee names intimidate you if you want to try something different. Your local baristas will be glad to help you. Enjoy the process of discovering new coffee drinks and keep experimenting!

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