Fancy drinks at coffee shops are all the rage now. The world of coffee has evolved so much more than the days of black or white coffee. Today's coffee shops have espresso, cappuccinos, Frappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos to name just a few.
What is a Cappuccino?
A Cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink made from one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk and one-third frothed milk. Espresso is very strong coffee, made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans. Like other coffee based drinks, Cappuccino can also be served with sweeteners and flavored syrups.
Origin of Cappuccino
Cappuccino is said to have originated at an Italian monastery to celebrate a victory in Vienna. The recipe of using "one-third" of each ingredient originated in Italy and has gained worldwide popularity in recent years. Like other coffee based drinks, Cappuccino can also be served with sweeteners and flavored syrups.
U.S. vs. Italian Cappuccino
Unlike the original Cappuccinos served in Italy, U.S. Cappuccino recipes are often varied based on preference. A "wet cappuccino" for example, contains more steamed and milk foam giving it a creamier, milder espresso flavor. A "dry cappuccino" includes less milk but more frothed milk resulting in a more pronounced espresso taste.
Decorating the top of the milk foam by pouring the foam into a pattern has gained widespread popularity and beautiful examples of this artwork is often shared on social media like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Can you get a cold Cappuccino?
Yes! While Cappuccino's are typically served as hot coffee drinks, Iced Cappuccinos are also available. In this case the drink is served over ice cubes. This drink is particularly popular during the summer.
What is a Frappuccino?
Perfect for a steamy summer afternoon, the Frappuccino is one of the most popular trademark drinks offered by Starbucks. A basic Frappuccino tastes like a coffee flavored milkshake where milk, coffee and ice are blended into a creamy drink. Fancier versions are topped with whipped cream and may have additional ingredients blended into the milk-coffee shake base like mocha sauce, java chips, peppermint and sugar syrup. Some Frappuccino do not contain no coffee.
A Mainstream Frozen Coffee Drink
You can technically only get a "Frappuccino" at Starbucks, since Starbucks owns both the recipes and the trademark name. However this yummy drink has gained so much popularity, that similar drinks are often sold at your local coffee shop, restaurants and fast food chains.
Frappuccino vs Cappuccino
A Cappuccino is a hot espresso based drink made with steam milk and micro-foam. It is typically served in a coffee cup as a hot drink. A Frappuccino is a cold coffee based dessert drink, trademarked and sold exclusively by Starbucks. The base is made by blending coffee, milk and ice. Fancy versions are topped with whipped cream and may contain additional layers of flavor like mocha sauce, java chips and cookie crumbles. Frappuccinos are popular, that similar drinks are sold at local coffee shops, restaurants and convenience stores.
- Brand. Originally from Italy, a Cappuccino is a hot beverage made with steam milk, micro-foam and espresso. A Frappuccino is a typically coffee based, blended ice dessert drink, trademarked and sold exclusively by Starbucks. While you can only get a Frappuccino at Starbucks, this type of drink is so popular, that similar drinks are often sold at local coffee shops, restaurants and fast food chains.
- Temperature. Frappuccino is a blended ice drink and is this always cold. Cappuccino is typically served hot but colder versions exist where the Cappuccino is served over ice.
- Ingredients. A Cappuccino is a hot espresso based drink made with steam milk and micro-foam. A Frappuccino is a blended ice, dessert drink. While it is typically coffee based, non-coffee versions are also available.
- Taste. A Cappuccino tasted like a foamy hot coffee with milk and a Frappuccino is a blended ice dessert drink. Frappuccino's typically have a base of blended coffee, milk and ice. Fancy versions are topped with whipped cream and may contain additional layers of flavor like mocha sauce, java chips and cookie crumbles. Some Frappuccinos have no coffee at all and contain other flavors like strawberry, pistachio and cookie dough.
- Texture. Cappuccinos have a foamy texture while Frappuccino's taste more like a milk shake.
- Cup vs. Glass. A Cappuccino is typically served in a cup while a Frappuccino is served in a tall glass.
- Appearance. A Cappuccino is served in a coffee cup and has white foam on top. It is a hot beverage so the drink may also have steam rising from the top. A Frappuccino is served in a tall glass, with a straw. It usually has a light brown or colored base and is topped with whipped cream with syrup or other garnishes like cookie crumbles. A Frappuccino is also a blended ice drink and thus the outside of the blank will have some moisture due to condensation.
- Layers. A Cappuccino always consists of only two major layers: (1) a coffee mixed with steamed milk base (2) a microfoam topping. A Frappuccino can consist anywhere from one to multiple layers. For example, basic Starbuck's Coffee Frappuccino Blended Beverage consists of a glass of blended coffee, milk and ice. The Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino consists of seven layers: The bottom part consists of three layered ingredients: whipped cream, cookie crumbles and mocha sauce, the middle part consists of one layer of blended cookie crumbles, mocha sauce, java chips, milk, coffee and ice and the top layer consists of three individual layers: whipped cream, cookie crumbles and mocha sauce
- Brewing Technique. Cappuccino is made with espresso which is a strong coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee using special tools like an espresso machine or a Moka pot. At Starbucks the Frappuccino is made with Frappuccino Roast Coffee which is similar to instant coffee. It has a strong, bitter taste which helps balance out the sweetness of the Frappuccino and has the additional benefit of dissolving quickly into cold water.
- Caffeine. An typical 8 ounce cup of Cappuccino contains about 75 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content will be higher depending on the number of espresso shots used which would increase if more espresso is requested or a larger sized beverage is ordered. The amount of caffeine in a Frappuccino will vary depending on the amount and strength of coffee used. A 12 ounce serving (tall, smallest size) of the basic Starbucks Café Vanilla Frappuccino Blended Beverage contains about 65mg of caffeine. Other Frappuccino beverages like a tall Starbuck's Espresso Frappuccino Blended Beverage has 125mg of caffeine.
- Calories. A single serving of Cappuccino contains about 140 calories, 12g of sugar and 5g of fat. A basic 12 ounce Coffee Blended Frappuccino Blended Beverage from Starbucks (no additional, whipped cream, toppings etc) has about 160 calories, 31g of sugar and 2.5g of fat. The calorie content increases sharply for fancier Starbucks Frappuccino drinks which can include a variety of other flavors like chocolate syrup and ground up cookies. There are 350 calories, 40g of sigar and 17g of fat in the 12 ounce Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino.
- Cost. Frappuccinos typically cost about $1-$2 more than Cappuccinos. The price of a Frappuccino can also go up depending on the number of add-ons you pick. As of 3/10/23, an 8 fl oz Cappuccino cost about $4.85, while a 12 fl oz Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino costs about $5.75.
How to make a Cappuccino at home
Its easy to make barista-quality Cappuccino at home once you know a few tricks. The secret to a good Cappuccino is to make each component separately and then layer the drink. Below is a brief description of how to make a Cappucino at home. For further details please refer to my post on How to Make a Cappuccino.
Pour the espresso into a third of the cup. Using a large spoon, cover the milk froth in its container and pour in the steamed milk at the bottom, until the cup is two-thirds full. Spoon the foamy milk froth on the coffee surface. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon or cocoa powder over the Cappuccino foam if desired. Serve immediately.
How to make Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino
Its easy and cost effective to make Frappuccino's at home. Below is a copycat of my favorite Starbucks Frappuccino recipe. Please refer to my Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino Recipe for details.
Make the cookie crumble. Remove the white cream filling from six Oreo cookies. Place the Oreo cookies into a blender and blitz it 2-3 times. The cookies should be made up of some fine and some small cookie crumbs. Set aside.
Make the Frappuccino base. Make 2 ounces of very strong coffee or espresso. Pour the milk and espresso into the blender. Add all but 1 teaspoon of the Oreo cookie crumbles. Set aside the 1 teaspoon of cookie crumbles for garnish. Add a third of the chocolate syrup and the ice. Blend.
Assemble the Frappuccino. Add an inch of whipped cream and drizzle a little of the mocha sauce on the bottom of the serving glass. For an authentic Starbuck's "look", apply a little of the mocha drizzle to the sides of the glass. Pour the blended Frappuccino mixture into the glass. Swirl the whipped cream on top. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cookie crumbles on top. Serve immediately.
Yes! While Cappuccino's are typically served as hot coffee drinks, Iced Cappuccinos are also available. In this case the drink is served over ice cubes. This iced coffee drink is particularly popular during the summer.
Cappuccino art is a method of preparing coffee by etching the thick, classic cappuccino foam into a simple pattern like a rosette. Cappuccino art patterns are much simpler than latte art where the microfoam is poured into the espresso into more complex patterns ranging from simple nested hearts, laurel leaves to swans, pirate ships and dragons.
Frappuccino are typically considered a type of coffee because it is a cold coffee blended dessert drink that is served in a tall glass. However, some Starbucks Frappuccino recipes contain no coffee at all. These include White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino and Pistachio Crème Frappuccino. Thus some Frappuccinos are simply dessert drinks and would not be considered coffee.
You can technically only get a "Frappuccino" at Starbucks, since Starbucks owns both the recipes and the trademark name. However this yummy drink has gained so much popularity, that similar drinks are often sold at local coffee shops, restaurants and fast food chains.
Traditional Frappiccinos contain coffee and caffeine. However Frappuccinos are easily customized and can be made without coffee or with decaffeinated coffee if the caffeine content is a concern. Some popular Starbucks Frappuccino recipes have not sugar at all like Matcha Frappuccino.
Frappuccino fruit blends are made of a mixture of fruit juice and tea, then blended with ice. Fancy versions of this drink were offered by Starbucks from time to time. However the drink was not as popular as coffee based Frappuccinos.
Like a dessert, Frappuccino can have a high sugar content depending on the drink. Starbuck's Caramel Frappuccino (16 ounces) has 380 calories, with 16g of fat and 54g of sugar, while the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino has 480 calories. If the calorie count is an issue it can be reduced by customizing the drink. The Starbucks menu offers numerous lower calorie choices such as plant based milks. Note that options that increase the caloric content are also offered. For example, you can add caramel sauce and caramel syrup or choose to use half-and half milk in the crème base.
Cappuccino is an espresso-based drink. However the drink can be customized for those who prefer a milder and creamier coffee version by substituting espresso with regular black coffee.
Which drink to choose depends on your personal preference at the time. Pick a Cappuccino is great if you are looking for a fancier version of hot coffee. A Frappuccino is a delicious choice if you are in the mood for a coffee based dessert. It works particularly well as a portable dessert when you are on the go.
Unlike Cappuccinos, a Frappuccino typically contains coffee not espresso. However, Starbucks does offer the option of adding shots of espresso to coffee Frappuccinos for those who want a stronger coffee flavor. Some Starbucks Frappuccino recipes contain no coffee at all like White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino and Pistachio Crème Frappuccino.
An Iced Cappuccino is a cold drink, not a Frappuccino. A Cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink made from equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk. To make an Iced Cappuccino, you simply serve the Cappuccino over ice. A Frappuccino is a cold coffee based dessert drink, trademarked and sold exclusively by Starbucks. The base is made by blending coffee, milk and ice. Fancy versions are topped with whipped cream and may contain additional layers of flavor like mocha sauce, java chips and cookie crumbles.
Technically Starbucks is the only place where you can get a Frappuccino as it is a drink that is sold and trademarked by Starbucks. The Frappuccino style beverage is one of the most popular beverages sold at Starbucks and similar blended ice drinks are available widely including local coffee shops, restaurants and fast food chains.
There is no such thing as a hot Frappuccino as it is a drink made with blended ice, milk and coffee.
Not all Frappuccino's are caffeinated as you can easily choose to either use decaffeinated coffee or pick a Frappuccino recipe without coffee. Starbuck's Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino for example is made with vanilla bean, milk and ice and topped with whipped cream. Other popular no-coffee Starbuck's Frappuccino recipes include Strawberry Crème Frappuccino and Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.
In addition to the staple flavors available all year, Starbucks also offers highly anticipated seasonal flavors which are offered for a limited time only. The best Frappuccino flavors include Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino and Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.
The proportion of steamed milk and milk foam to coffee is the main difference between a cappuccino and a latte.
A Frappuccino is made with blended espresso (strong brewed coffee), milk and ice. Fancy versions blended with different flavors and topped with whipped are very popular in the U.S. While Frappuccinos are trademarked and sold exclusively by Starbucks, versions of this drink are available in local coffee shops and restaurants. A Frappe is a less fancy, foamy coffee drink from Greece, made by blending instant coffee, ice and milk.
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