what’s the difference between a frappe and a latte

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Johny Morrisson

The main difference between Frappe and Latte lies in the type of coffee used. Frappe is made using instant coffee, whereas Latte is made using Espresso shots which give it rich coffee flavors. Frappe is a cold coffee beverage prepared by blending instant coffee, milk, and ice, while Latte can be served both hot or cold.

If you’re in the mood for something thick and milk-shake-like, go for the frappe. But, if you want a more legit iced coffee experience, the latte made with espresso is your best bet.

At their core, it comes down to blended indulgence versus the classic iced coffee approach. Both satisfy that hot weather caffeine craving in their own unique ways.

Frappe vs Latte the differences

So, which one will emerge victorious in the ultimate quest for coffee supremacy? Let’s dive into the Frappe vs Latte battle!

Differences at Glance:

Ingredients: Latte has concentrated Espresso shots while Frappe has Instant coffee.

Serving Style: Latte is typically served as a hot coffee drink in Ceramic cups while Frappe is served in tall glasses as a cold drink.

Taste: Latte has a rich texture with a strong coffee taste while Frappe feels like a cold shake with a little touch of coffee.

What is a Frappe?

A Frappe is a cold coffee beverage made of instant coffee, water, sugar, and ice, which originated in Greece.

It is typically served with whipped cream on top and can be further customized with flavors like chocolate or caramel. The Frappe gained popularity for its refreshing qualities, making it a go-to option during hot summer days.

While the traditional Frappé is made with coffee, these refreshing treats can also be made using tea, juice, and even hot chocolate!


The Origins and Variations of Frappe

The origin of the Frappe is quite intriguing, as it can be traced back to the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1957. According to Nescafe, the accidental invention of the Frappe can be attributed to Dimitris Vakondios, a Nescafé representative. 

Due to a lack of hot water, Vakondios improvised and mixed instant coffee with water using a shaker, creating a cold coffee drink. This unique creation rapidly gained popularity, spreading from Greece to various coffee shops around the world.

As the Frappe gained recognition, it underwent various transformations, resulting in an array of delightful variations.

For chocolate enthusiasts, there’s the Mocha Frappe, which incorporates rich chocolate syrup into the mix. If you love caramel, the Caramel Frappe adds a luscious caramel twist to the blend. 

Frappe has many diverse variations depending on your location. In Greece, when you order a Frappé, you’ll receive a delightful concoction made from instant coffee, sugar, water, and optional milk, all vigorously shaken in a cocktail shaker to create a frothy layer on top. 

Meanwhile, in Serbia, you’ll be treated to a Frappé accompanied by milk or ice cream, generously topped with freshly whipped cream. There is a variety that awaits you in different corners of the world!

Mocha Frappe

What is a Latte?

Latte is a famous milky coffee drink prepared with one or two shots of Espresso a lot of steamed milk and thin a layer of milk foam on top. 

While the traditional Latte consists of espresso and steamed milk, creative variations have emerged over time to cater to different preferences.

Starbucks and other specialty coffee shops have popularized many variations by adding Vanilla Syrup, Caramel sauce, Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Drizzle, Whipped Cream, etc.

To add a touch of artistry, a thin layer of frothed milk is delicately placed on top, creating an aesthetically pleasing design. With its smooth and creamy texture, the Latte offers a comforting and satisfying coffee experience that many adore.

Latte is typically served hot but can be made into an iced version by adding cold-frothed milk and ice cubes.


Difference in The Ingredients and Preparation Technique

Frappe doesn’t have a standard recipe it has many variations in different regions. Typically it includes instant coffee, sugar, water, flavoring syrups, and cold-frothed milk or whipped cream.

A frothy base is created by blending instant coffee with sugar and crushed ice which gives Frappe a thick texture. Then, cold-frothed milk or whipped cream is added to the top.

The Frappe is typically served in a tall glass filled with ice, creating a visually appealing and refreshing beverage.

This presentation is often accompanied by a straw, allowing for easy sipping and enjoying the layered textures of the Frappe.

A latte is made with espresso and steamed milk. Espresso is brewed and topped with steamed milk, with lovely latte art. The ratio of espresso to milk can vary according to taste.

Latte is traditionally served in a ceramic or glass cup.

Frappe vs Latte

Hot or Cold

The Frappe is primarily consumed as a cold beverage, making it a perfect option for warm weather. Its icy nature provides a refreshing sensation and can be an excellent choice for hot summer days

And, the Latte can be enjoyed both hot and cold.

However, the traditional way to enjoy a latte in Italy is as a hot beverage, typically consumed in the mornings.

Which tastes better?

The Frappe has a sweet and refreshing taste and a thick milkshake-like texture with only a hint of coffee flavor.

On the other hand, the Latte presents a smoother and milder taste. The presence of strong Espresso shots in the Latte creates a delightful harmony with the steamed milk and delivers a creamy and well-rounded flavor. 

In my opinion, the Latte takes the crown. Its rich and creamy texture, combined with the rich Espresso flavors, creates a satisfying and cozy experience.

And the Frappe made with instant coffee, has a very dull coffee taste as expected from the Instant coffee. Alas, I have no love for you, my powdered friend! I always prefer an Iced Latte over Frappe.

The difference in caffeine and calories

Frappes have less caffeine compared to Lattes. Lattes are typically made with a double espresso shot, and offer a concentrated source of caffeine, typically containing 120 to 130 mg in an 8-ounce serving. While Frappes have around 50 to 70 mg of caffeine in a regular serving.

The calories in Latte mainly depend on the milk, sugar, and syrups added to it. A simple 8 oz serving of Latte without any sugar or additives has around 90 to 100 calories.x

Frappes are heavy in terms of calories, with approximately 200 to 300 calories per serving, often due to added sweeteners and flavorings.

Considering caffeine and calorie content, lattes provide a stronger caffeine kick with fewer calories compared to frappes. If you seek a healthier beverage with higher caffeine and lower calorie content, Go For the Latte!

Type of milk and creamers

Frappes often incorporate regular cold-frothed milk, which adds a creamy texture and subtle sweetness to the beverage. Some variations may also include a splash of whipped cream, enhancing the richness and mouthfeel.

And the lattes are typically prepared with steamed or frothed milk, resulting in a velvety texture.

The milk used can vary, ranging from whole milk to alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk. Each milk option adds a unique character to the latte, influencing the taste with its creaminess, sweetness, or nutty undertones.

Frappe vs Latte | So what’s Better?

There’s nothing right or wrong in coffee! Coffee is always a delightful experience, right?

For me, the winner is a Latte as it is made with real Coffee, not with the dull and boring Instant coffee powder.

In hot weather, when you crave something sweet and refreshing the Frappe can be a nice beverage choice. Its sweet and refreshing nature provides a perfect respite from the heat.

So you are team Latte or team Frappe? Do let us know in the comments!

You’ll like to read a comparison of other delicious drinks:

Which is stronger: latte or frappe?

Latte has a stronger coffee flavor compared to Frappe.
First, frappes incorporate ice, which adds water to the mixture and dilutes the coffee flavor to some extent.
Second, lattes are made with intense espresso shots instead of instant coffee, providing a concentrated coffee taste.

Is a frappe a frozen latte?

No frappe isn’t a Frozen Latte. However, there is a colder version of the Latte known as Iced Latte. Basically, the difference is that the Frappe is made with Instant coffee and the Iced Latte is made with Espresso Coffee.

Is frappe the same as frappuccino?

No, the “frappuccino” is a trademark drink of Starbucks. Frappuccinos share similarities with Frappes as both are cold coffee drinks.
However, Frappuccino is made with regular brewed coffee or espresso, blended with ice and milk, which gives a thick, smoothie-like texture.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

1 thought on “what’s the difference between a frappe and a latte”

  1. Can I be team both? I crave the rich, velvety latte one day and the next I’m jonesing for the blended, slushy goodness of a frappe.


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