Do you know the difference between a Frappuccino and a cappuccino? If not, then you’re in for a coffee-lovers treat!

Quick Answer: What’s the difference between a Frappuccino and a cappuccino?

The main difference between a Frappuccino and a cappuccino is that Frappuccinos are blended while cappuccinos are not. Frappuccinos are cold and typically have more sugar, while cappuccinos are served hot and have less sugar.

Frappuccino vs. Cappuccino: What Are the Differences?

In this article, I’ll break down the differences between these two types of coffee drinks so you can decide which one is right for you.

Spoiler alert: they’re both delicious! But if you want to know which is better for you, keep reading.

Frappuccino vs. cappuccino, how do they differ?

Before going in-depth about each difference and what makes the Frappuccino and cappuccino unique, you can have a look at the table below for a quick overview:

Coffee?Yes, Frappuccino RoastYes, one espresso shot
Milk added?YesYes, 2 oz (60 ml)
Flavor notesSweet and creamy tasteA smooth and creamy flavor
Calories per servingBetween 140 and 590 calories38 calories
Caffeine contentBetween 10 and 185mg of caffeine68mg of caffeine
Topping?Whipped creamMilk foam topping and a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder
Sweeteners added?Various sweetening optionsOptional

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between these delicious drinks.

Now that you know what parts they differ, it’s time to go in-depth about each of them. Let’s get started:

What is the temperature difference between a Frappuccino and a cappuccino?

A Frappuccino is iced, and a cappuccino is hot, so there’s a big temperature difference. The Frappuccino gets colder the larger size you order (and will stay colder for longer), while the cappuccino will not stay at the right temperature for long.

The ideal temperature for serving a cappuccino is between 155 (68 °C) and 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73 °C).

This will ensure that your milk is heated to the right temperature and that your coffee will stay hot long enough for you to enjoy it.

Homemade cappuccino.

On the other hand, a Frappuccino will be served ice cold, as it’s prepared with crushed ice.

The Frappuccino will hold its structure for a long time, but I still enjoy it as soon as possible for that refreshing touch.

Optionally, you can also get an iced cappuccino. This will be as cold as a Frappuccino, and it’ll have a more robust coffee flavor.

You can check out this recipe here if you want to try it.

What is the difference in taste between these drinks?

Frappuccinos are cold coffee drinks that are blended with ice and milk. They tend to be sweeter than cappuccinos because of the addition of various sweeteners.

Cappuccinos are espresso drinks that have been topped with steamed milk and foam. They usually have less sugar than Frappuccinos and a more intense coffee flavor.

There are many variations to both drinks. For example, you can get a French vanilla cappuccino that is sweetened with vanilla syrup. This will come close to the sweetness level of a Frappuccino:

Homemade French vanilla cappuccino.

Most traditional cappuccinos will not be sweetened at all, so you’ll be able to enjoy the espresso flavor with a light sweetness from the milk used.

Is a cappuccino stronger than a Frappuccino?

A cappuccino is stronger than a Frappuccino because it contains more espresso and uses fewer sweeteners, if any at all.

Espresso is a concentrated coffee that is brewed by forcing pressurized hot water through finely ground coffee beans and is stronger than regular coffee.

So it’s best to order a cappuccino if you already like coffee a bit but are not a fan of drinking straight espresso coffee.

Dusting a cappuccino with cinnamon.

A Frappuccino, on the other hand, has an overall sweeter flavor and isn’t as strong in terms of coffee flavor.

Many Frappuccinos don’t contain coffee at all, making it an overall sweet drink. You can check out this complete guide to see which Frappuccinos have coffee and which don’t.

How much caffeine is in a Frappuccino vs. cappuccino?

A cappuccino has around 68mg of caffeine, and a Frappuccino has between 10 and 185, depending on the version and size of your Frappuccino.

You can also get a cappuccino with a double espresso shot (commonly called a doppio espresso). This will increase the amount of caffeine to 136mg. (Source)

Single and doppio espresso next to each other.
Single espresso on the left. Doppio espresso on the right

Most coffee-based Frappuccinos have anywhere between 60 and 185mg of caffeine, while some crème-based Frappuccinos will have a little caffeine, and most have no caffeine at all.

For example, a Tall (12 oz or 355 ml) caramel Frappuccino has 60mg of caffeine, while a Venti (24 oz or 710 ml) chocolate cookie crumble crème Frappuccino only has 20mg of caffeine.

Starbucks matcha Frappuccino, ready to drink.
Starbucks matcha Frappuccino

You can check out this article for a complete overview of the amounts of caffeine in the Frappuccinos currently available at Starbucks.

How many calories are there in a Frappuccino and a cappuccino?

A Frappuccino has between 140 and 590 calories, depending on the type and size of your Frappuccino. On the other hand, a cappuccino has 38 calories.

The calories for the cappuccino are calculated when using whole milk. You can lower the number of calories when using low-fat milk or one of your favorite dairy-free alternatives!

You can also increase the number of calories if you like to sweeten your cappuccino with syrups or other add-ins, such as whipped cream (which is one of my favorite combinations).

Frappuccinos can contain a lot of calories depending on the flavor you’re getting and the size, but start at 140 calories.

Starbucks java chip Frappuccino, ready to be enjoyed.
Starbucks java chip Frappuccino

If you want to find out the calories for each available Starbucks Frappuccino, you can check out this overview here.

Which is better, a Frappuccino or a cappuccino?

You might already have a new favorite coffee between these two. There is no right or wrong either way, and it depends on what you’re looking for.

A Frappuccino is more like a milkshake (especially the crème-based versions), while a cappuccino has more of a coffee taste.

A side-by-side comparison of a Frappuccino and a cappuccino.
Frappuccino on the left. Cappuccino on the right

If you’re not sure which might fit you better, I suggest the following:

  • If you’re looking for something sweet and creamy, go for the Frappuccino
  • And if you want something with more coffee flavor, go for the cappuccino.

While I’d usually pick a cappuccino over a Frappuccino, an ice-cold Frappuccino during the summer months is the perfect treat, in my opinion.


So there you have it! The next time you’re debating between a Frappuccino and a cappuccino. Hopefully, you’ll remember this article and be able to make an informed decision.

The bottom line is that if you want a tasty, cold drink with some caffeine and sugar, go for the Frappuccino. However, if you prefer something hot and less sweet, order a cappuccino instead.

And if you’d like to make some delicious coffee at home, you can check out a few of my favorite coffee recipes below:

Coffee recipes to try

Write A Comment

Pin It