Frappe vs Latte: 5 Differences & A Surprise!

The world of coffee drinks is unbounded, so it’s perfectly normal to get confused with all the drink types and their variations. In this article, we’ll help you note the differences between the frappe vs latte so you won’t puzzle a barista by ordering a ‘hot frappe’.

Frappe vs Latte Topics

  1. What is a Frappe?
  2. What is a Latte?
  3. How Both Drinks Are Different
  4. Surprising Differences
  5. The Bottomline
  6. More Questions

Trying out different coffee drinks is fun until you like one and don’t remember what it was. Remember that milkshake-looking refreshing cup that you thought was a type of latte? That’s frappe, the latte’s distant relative. And even though these cousins may sound alike, that’s where the similarity ends.

What is a Frappé?

Frappe is a thick, foamy coffee drink made by mixing instant coffee, water, milk, and ice in a shaker or blender. Some additives often follow in, like ice cream, sugar, or flavoring syrups.

Frappe is recognized as a summer drink, served cold in a tall glass, topped with whipped cream.

Frappe was invented by a Nestle employee in Greece looking for an alternative way to have his instant coffee. He combined water, sugar, coffee, and ice in a shaker. It grew to be the crowd’s favorite among the tourists in Greece and found its way across the ocean.


What is a Latte?

Latte is a hot coffee drink made with a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a thin layer of milk foam. It’s often topped with some latte art.

Traditionally it’s made with 1/3 coffee and 2/3 steamed milk. The standard size is around 10 to 12 oz, and you can combine it with flavoring syrups.

The latte was popularised in the late 1950s, but it was created way back, almost at the same time as the espresso. The name comes from the Italian words cafe a latte that means coffee and milk. It’s consumed drunk worldwide with every nation having its own variations.

Caffè Latte

Frappe vs Latte

We’ve learned what latte and frappe are, but exactly how different are they? It’s not just the temperature and preparation method that separate these two coffee drinks. The taste, calorie, and caffeine content are entirely different. Read on to find out which one is more likely to become your go-to drink in the battle of frappe vs latte.

Frappe Latte
Cold Hot but can be iced
240 calories per serving (8 oz) 120 calories per serving (8 oz)
– Blended ice, coffee, milk & syrup
– Whipped cream or ice cream
– Other toppings
– Espresso
– Steamed milk
– Milk froth
– Sweet
– Minimal to no coffee flavor
– Creamy
– Lightly sweetened from milk
– Stronger coffee taste
– Milky
Typically served in a glass.
Thick consistency, finished with whipped cream.
Served in a mug.
Distinct layer of froth (with latte art at times).
Originated from:
Originated from:

1. Temperature

Frappe is made with cold water, milk, and ice. Sometimes even ice cream is added. It’s a favorite among those that enjoy iced drinks. Latte, on the other hand, requires hot milk and coffee in the process. Iced lattes are offered at some cafes, but traditionally latte is served hot.

2. Calorie Content

Due to the many additives, frappe has more than double the calorie content of latte for an 8 oz serving. Frappes you can get at most large cafe chains contain one-third of the recommended daily calorie intake.

Lattes are lower on the calorie scale due to the lighter, less caloric ingredients.

Frappe Calories

  • Starbucks: 380 cals (Grande, Caramel Frappuccino) (1)
  • McDonalds: 510 cals (Medium, Caramel Frappe) (2)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 590 cals (Medium, Frozen Coffee) (3)

Latte Calories

  • Starbucks: 190 cals (Grande) (4)
  • McDonalds: 190 cals (Medium) (5)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 170 cals (Medium, Whole Milk) (6)

3. Composition

The ingredients for frappe need to be at room temperature or cooler, to prevent the ice from melting during the preparation. The best, thick and foamy frappe uses whole milk, or even half and half.

Lattes need hot ingredients and can be made with skim milk or even dairy-free substitutes.

Blended Frapp Mixture
Homemade Frappuccino

4. Taste

You can easily forget you’re having coffee when drinking frappe. The taste is closer to a milkshake due to the high sweetness, creamy consistency, and weak coffee taste.

Lattes have a more pungent coffee taste and light sweetness coming from the milk. They’re less viscous and milkier.

5. Appearance

Frappe is served in a tall glass, with ice chips, and drank with a straw. It can be completed with whipped cream, syrups, or a scoop of ice cream on top.

Latte is served in a mug with light milk foam on top. Experienced baristas will create some fascinating art on the surface of your latte.

Frappe vs Latte Appearance
Layers of a Frappe vs Latte

These Differences May Surprise You…

You can get frappe with Oreo, blueberry, mint, or chocolate flavoring, with tea, or with almost no caffeine. Lattes are not as versatile – you can get them with a limited number of flavors and never caffeine-free.

Instant Coffee Is Used in Frappes

Instant Coffee
Instant coffee granules using in frappes

While lattes work best with espresso, frappes are best made with instant coffee. The frappe foam might look similar to the espresso crema, but it’s way thicker and long-lasting.

Freshly brewed coffee has a high oil content and can deliver a short-lived foam. Spray-dried instant coffee contains almost no oil, which ensures almost solid foam to form and stay longer.

Frappes May Not Even Contain Coffee At All

Did you know that frappes can actually be caffeine-free? You can easily get the coffee out of frappe and still get a tasty drink.

If you get the coffee out of the latte, you’ll end up with a glass of hot milk! Lattes don’t work with fruit flavors, while fruit-flavored frappes are amazing.

The Bottomline

Frappe Vs Latte

Frappe and latte are both drinks for those who prefer a lighter coffee taste and milky variations. Temperature and appearance are the main giveaways that will help you distinguish one from the other.

The long list of differences continues with ingredients, taste, caffeine content, and caloric count. You can enjoy both the same, but it’s essential to know the differences before ordering your next cup.

More Questions

Do frappes have caffeine?

The original frappe is made with two spoonfuls of instant coffee and can deliver as much caffeine as four espressos! The caffeine content in the frappe can comfortably go unnoticed due to the sweet taste. However, you can customize the caffeine content by cutting the coffee and using other additives.

What’s the difference between an Iced Latte and a Frappe?

The iced latte is made by brewing a cup of espresso and pouring it over ice in a tall glass. The milk is shaken with ice and optional sweetener and added on top. Frappe, however, can’t be made with espresso. All the ingredients in the frappe are also blended together and at room temperature.

What’s the difference between a Frappe and Frapuccino?

Both Frappe and Frappuccino are blended, foamy, iced coffee drinks. The only difference is that Frapuccino is a trademark registered by Starbucks, so they’re the only ones allowed to use that name. It’s made with in-house instant coffee and high-powered blenders. Frappe is the commonly used word worldwide; it’s a synonym for the classic Greek frappe.

Verified Sources

Wondering where your info comes from? We totally understand. Hey Joe only obtains our information from reputable sources. Contents from this article are sourced from the following publications:

  1. Starbucks Frappuccino:
  2. McDonald’s Frappe:
  3. Dunkin’ Donuts Frappe:
  4. Starbucks Latte:
  5. McDonald’s Latte:
  6. Dunkin’ Donuts Latte:
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