What Does Frappuccino Mean

What Does Frappuccino Mean?

Last updated on March 3rd, 2024 at 11:40

We all know what a Frappuccino is, but what does Frappuccino mean?

Some people think that it is an Italian word, and to be fair, it is very Italian sounding! The word is a combination of Frappé and Cappuccino.

Literally, the two beverages combined to create the famous Frappuccino.

Keep reading to discover the history, origins and coffee-free options and how much caffeine is in a Frappuccino and don’t miss the Menu hack for baby Yoda Frappuccino!

What Does Frappuccino Mean?

A Frappuccino is a range of blended iced coffee drinks at Starbucks. The base of a Frappuccino is either coffee or crème and then blended with other ingredients like syrups, sauce and then topped with whipped cream and depending on the beverage, spices are added.

You will find Frappuccino’s in convenience stores, vending machines as bottled coffee beverage. It is one of most popular coffee beverages in grocery stores.

What Is A Frappuccino
A Starbucks Frappuccino

Read: Is a frappe hot or cold? 

Frappuccino Origin

Surprisingly, a frappuccino does not originate or was invented at Starbucks. Its origins and the trademark are attributed to the coffee connection, a coffee shop chain based in Eastern Massachusetts owned by George Howell and created by his employee Andrew Frank.

Starbucks obtained the legal rights to make, use, market and sell Frappuccino’s and became the legal trademark owners when they bought the coffee connection chain of coffee shops in 1994.

Frappuccino first appeared at Starbucks with a variation of the original recipe a year later in 1995. Starbucks currently sells over US$3 billion annually of this beverage alone.

The name comes from frappe, (without the accent over the letter e) which is a thick ice cream milkshake, which in turn came from the French world lait frappé (with the accent).

The “ccino” termination is from the cappuccino beverage, a milk based espresso beverage with milk froth.

Frappuccino Pronunciation

The correct pronunciation of Frappuccino is with three syllables fra·puh·chee·now. Click play in the video below to hear the frappuccino pronunciation. 

What’s The Difference Between Frappé And Frappuccino?

In America a frappé and a Frappuccino are essentially the same beverage, a frothy blended coffee drink with ice and often flavored as required by the customer or a preset flavoring as per the drinks’ menu.

Elsewhere and particularly in Europe, a frappé and a Frappuccino are two distinctively different drinks. A frappé is a very popular Greek iced coffee beverage that is made with iced coffee.

The ingredients of instant coffee, sugar, milk (if desired) and ice are added to a cocktail shaker and shaken with vigor to create the frothy foam on top. Now, it is not uncommon for a frappé to be made with a high speed blender with crushed ice added.

(Although, I’ll add, many Greeks may shake their head at the thought of flavoring a frappé).

In modern coffee culture, it is common for a frappé to be flavored with syrup of choice.

The distinctive difference between the two beverages in Europe is whipped cream not being used in a frappé and Frappuccino using a shot of espresso.

Can You Get A Frappuccino Without Coffee?


Starbucks has a wide range of Frappuccino beverages with coffee that are good for you if you don’t need or want that caffeine kick and of course good for children.

Here is a list of the coffee-free and caffeine-free options for a Starbucks Frappuccino.

  • White Chocolate Crème.
  • Strawberries and Crème.
  • Vanilla Bean Crème.
  • Double Chocolaty Chip (has 10 mg of caffeine from the chocolate).

Basically, the Frappuccino’s marked Crème are coffee free. You can of course order your drink exactly how you want it to be and request any Frappuccino to be made with decaffeinated coffee.

Coffee Free Frappuccino
Coffee Free Frappuccino

Read: What is a Frappuccino?

Hacking The Menu At Starbucks – The Baby Yoda Frappuccino

You can order what is a cult coffee classic and not quite on the actual menu, the Baby Yoda Frappuccino.

Order a Matcha green tea Frappuccino with a drizzle of caramel on the cup with whipped cream and extra caramel syrup drizzled on the whipped cream and a caramel crunch topping.

It was at one time a limited edition beverage at Starbucks. They still have the ingredients on the menu, you can still order it.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Frappuccino Mean?

Is Frappuccino An Italian Word?

No, the word Frappuccino, although incorporated into our vocabulary thanks to the world’s most popular coffee shop, is a made-up word. It comes from combining frappé and cappuccino. It’s not a real word or an Italian word.

Why Does Starbucks Call It A Frappuccino?

The word Frappuccino is a portmanteau of frappé, a word meaning milkshake and cappuccino. Other famous examples of a portmanteau are brunch (from breakfast and lunch) and Internet (from interconnected and network).

Notably not all Frappuccino’s at Starbucks have coffee and thus are strictly speaking not a Frappuccino; however, the naming culture is up to the company that invented and trademarked the word.

Does A Frappuccino Have Coffee In It?

Most Frappuccino’s have coffee but not all of them do. There are a few that don’t have coffee.

Frappuccino’s with coffee:

  • Mocha Frappuccino.
  • Espresso Frappuccino.
  • Caramel Frappuccino.

Frappuccino’s that don’t have coffee:

  • Vanilla Frappuccino.
  • Strawberry Frappuccino.
  • Chai Frappuccino.
  • Matcha green tea Frappuccino.
  • Double chocolate chip Frappuccino.

If you want to turn the coffee-free Frappuccino’s into one that is caffeinated, just ask for a shot of espresso to be added. 

If you are concerned about your children and young teenagers, simply ask the barista what the options are for Frappuccino’s that are coffee and/or caffeine-free

What Is A Frappuccino Without Coffee Called?

There is no specific given name for a Frappuccino that does not have coffee. It is unfortunately still called a Frappuccino.

Is Frappuccino Stronger Than Coffee?

The caffeine content of a frappuccino ranges from zero to 185 mg of caffeine depending on which frappuccino and the drink size. Yes, the caffeine content is comparable to, and often more caffeine than a cup of coffee.

Check the following table. The details have been extracted from Starbucks website.

Frappuccino Beverage Caffeine Content Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Caffeine Content Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) Caffeine Content  Venti 24 Oz (720 ml)
Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino 0 mg 0 mg 0 mg
Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino 10 mg 15 mg 15 mg
Molten Chocolate Frappuccino 80 mg 110 mg 150 mg
Caramel Frappuccino 70 mg 100 mg 130 mg
Espresso Frappuccino 130 mg. 165 mg 185 mg
Hazelnut Frappuccino 65 mg 90 mg 125 mg
Mocha Frappuccino. 75 mg 110 mg 140 mg
Regular Caffe Latte 75 mg 75 mg 150 mg
Regular Mocha 90 mg 95 mg 175 mg
Flat White 130 mg 130 mg 195 mg
Cappuccino (regular) 75 mg 75 mg 150 mg

While some websites claim that the levels of caffeine in a Frappuccino are less than a regular cup of coffee, is simply not true. In some cases there is more, in other cases slightly less when compared to the regular coffee beverages at Starbucks. 

Final Thoughts – What Does Frappuccino Mean?

Frappuccino is a popular drink and obviously more popular in summer than winter due to being an iced drink.

 It is important to know what does Frappuccino mean – especially if you are in Europe, perhaps more so if you are an American in Europe due to distinct difference between a frappé and a Frappuccino and making sure you get the drink that you want, with nothing lost in translation of the inconvenient fact that a frappé and Frappuccino are the same drink in the US, but very different in Europe.

Join our fun, vibrant and active online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your Frappuccino images, recipes and creative coffee creations.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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