Cappuccino vs Frappuccino | 4 Major Differences Explained

Last Updated on 27/05/2022 by Miki

Cappuccino vs Frappuccino – Have you ever wondered about the difference between cappuccino and frappucino? Both drinks are typically coffee-based and contain milk, but that is pretty much where the similarities end.

A cappuccino is an espresso drink with a layer of foam (usually laden with steamed milk and topped with cocoa powder). On the other hand, a frappuccino is a blended coffee drink, typically containing ice, milk, coffee, flavourings and sometimes syrup. The two drinks may sound similar but could not be more different. Cappuccinos are traditionally thought of as the more authentic, elite drink (believed to originate in Italy). Frappuccinos are more of a “fast food” beverage that is trademarked by Starbucks. Even though the drinks originate from different countries, they are both tasty.

In this post, we will discover the differences between cappuccino and frappuccino.

cappuccino vs frappuccino

1. Cappuccino vs Frappuccino – Cappuccino is hot whereas Frappuccino is cold

Everyone has their favourite coffee drink. Some prefer a hot drink while others prefer a cold drink. Personally, I don’t choose to have a cold drink even in summer. This is true not only for coffee but also for other drinks. I drink water at room temperature as I don’t really like it chilled. As for alcohol, my favourite is always red wine, which is at room temperature as well. When you think of the different combinations of coffee, there are so many options to choose from.

Cappuccino is a traditional Italian coffee drink that is basically espresso with steamed milk and foamed milk on top. It’s a hot drink with a subtle, sweet taste. If you enjoy a lighter coffee flavour with a hint of chocolate, a cappuccino is perfect for you.  On the other hand, frappuccino is a blended coffee beverage from Starbucks that is always served cold. All frappuccinos are iced drinks that may have vanilla, chocolate, or other flavours. A frappuccino is a delicious option for those who enjoy a bolder coffee flavour but want to stay cool too.

2. Cappuccino vs Frappuccino – Frappuccino is a sweet drink with various flavourings

Cappuccino is a hot, intense coffee drink that is commonly served as a breakfast drink. The coffee is brewed with a double espresso, steamed milk and milk foam to create a drink that is both strong and creamy. Cappuccino is typically popular as a breakfast coffee drink as it is not as sweet as a typical dessert coffee drink. That’s why cappuccino is considered both potent and breakfast friendly. On the other hand, frappuccino is a cold coffee drink that contains, among its other components, a chocolate or vanilla flavouring, ice and milk. The coffee drink can be served frozen or blended with ice, depending on the variety. This cold, sweet drink is popular as a coffee substitution for those looking for a sweet treat. I don’t recommend having frappuccino as your daily morning coffee due to its high sugar content.

There is not much variety in cappuccinos whereas there are several kinds of frappuccinos including vanilla, cinnamon dolce, dark chocolate, pumpkin spice and java chip. For a cappuccino, you can choose to put some chocolate powder or cinnamon powder on top, but you cannot really change the recipe for a cappuccino as it would end up making a different kind of coffee.

3. Cappuccino vs Frappuccino – Cappuccino is smaller than frappuccino

In short, cappuccinos are served in a small cup or mug while frappuccinos are served in a large glass.

Cappuccino is typically a 5-6oz (150-180ml) cup and is the perfect size for those who like to drink their coffee with less milk and more foam. This drink uses 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foam. On the other hand, frappuccino is typically a 12oz (360ml) for the smallest size followed by a 16oz (480ml) and 20oz (600ml). The drink is the perfect size for those that like their coffee with as much milk as possible. The size that you choose is really a matter of preference. Having said that, if you are conscious of your calorie intake, then you may want to opt for a small size.

cappuccino vs frappuccino
source: Starbucks coffee frappuccino by ajay_suresh

4. Cappuccino vs Frappuccino – Frappuccino doesn’t necessarily contain coffee

You may be surprised that the famous iced coffee drink does not always have coffee in it. Creme Frappuccinos at Starbucks don’t contain any coffee, so those are suitable for people who avoid caffeine intake. Actually, there are various beverages to choose from such as chai and matcha. In contrast, Coffee Frappuccinos contain coffee as the name may suggest. Starbucks uses Frappuccino Roast to make their Coffee Frappuccinos. If you want to have a decaf frappuccino, then you will need to ask for a shot of decaf espresso to use since there’s no decaf Frappuccino Roast.

On the other hand, a cappuccino has to contain an espresso shot. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be called a cappuccino. You cannot make up a cappuccino recipe randomly as it should contain the specific ingredients and the quantities to make the right ratio. Having said that, you can surely make a double shot of espresso or half shot according to your preference and have a choice of milk as well. But without the proper ratio of coffee, milk and foam, it might turn out to be a flat white or a latte instead.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you understand the difference between cappuccino and frappuccino. Cappuccinos are served up in a cup or mug with a shot of espresso, steamed milk and foam while a frappuccino starts with a blended beverage, which you can customise with flavour syrups. Typically whipped cream is added to top off the drink. Of these, the latter is dipped in the flavour syrup as mentioned whereas the other is usually sprinkled with chocolate or cinnamon on top. A cappuccino and a frappuccino are basically different drinks and which one to choose totally depends on your preference. Please let me know whether you are a cappuccino lover or a frappuccino drinker in a comment below 🙂

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