While the words frappe and latte may sound similar, these two coffee beverages are actually quite different. Yes, both are made with coffee, but the similarities pretty much end there.
If you're interested in learning the difference between a frappe vs. latte, keep reading. Here we'll cover the basics of each beverage and the main differences between them.
What Is A Frappe? (History & How They Are Made)
A frappe is an iced drink that has been blended, shaken, or beaten for a creamy, foamy consistency.
Traditionally, frappes consist of ice, instant coffee, milk, and other additives to sweeten the beverage, like sugar, vanilla, whipped cream, or sweet sauces.
The original cafe frappe dates back to 1950s Greece at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki.
Workers from the Nestle company started experimenting with instant coffee by shaking it with ice and then adding milk, and voila, the frappe was born.
A frappe can be made in a few different ways.
Some people choose to stick with the traditional instant coffee + milk + ice method, while others use a more potent espresso instead of instant coffee.
The espresso version is made by shaking a double espresso with some white sugar in a shaker containing ice and then pouring it directly into a glass and adding milk if desired.
What Is A Latte? (History & How They Are Made)
The latte is undoubtedly one of the most popular coffee drinks of all time. It is made by combining espresso and steamed milk, which makes sense since cafe latte literally translates to coffee and milk.
The origins of the latte can be traced back to 17th century Europe, but it’s likely that people were drinking latte-like beverages long before that. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the beverage became more commercialized and started appearing on the menus of public cafes in the US.
To make a latte, the first step is to make a single or double shot of espresso. From there, you’ll need to steam milk or a dairy-free milk alternative, which can be done in a few different ways. If you don’t have a fancy steamer, the easiest method for steaming milk is to use a milk frother tool; you can easily find one online or in a local supermarket for ~$10.
Frappe Vs Latte: Key Differences Explained
So what’s the difference between a frappe and a latte? There are several differences that are worth noting, and you can learn about each one in the table below:
Taste & Texture
In terms of texture, a frappe is thicker and creamier than a latte. It often has a “chewy” consistency due to the small (or even large) ice chips in the drink.
The overall taste of a frappe can be described as sweet. Most frappes are used with white sugar or another sweetener, so this is definitely a drink for anyone with a sweet tooth.
A latte’s texture is smoother than a frappe, especially when the milk has been steamed properly.
In terms of taste, the traditional latte has no added sweetener. However, many people choose to add a sweetener or flavored syrup.
While a frappe can be blended, shaken, or beaten with ice, it is always served cold. A traditional latte is served hot, but it’s possible to order an iced latte if you prefer a refreshing cold coffee beverage.
Since frappes are traditionally made with instant coffee, figuring out the caffeine content can be tricky. Depending on the amount of instant coffee used, the caffeine can range from 60 to 120mg.
The caffeine content of your latte depends on the amount of espresso added. If it has a single shot, then the beverage will have around 65mg of caffeine. But if the latte has a double shot of espresso, the caffeine content could be 120mg or more.
The coffee contained within a frappe is instant (although it’s also possible to make a frappe with espresso). The coffee content of a latte depends on your personal preferences.
Traditionally, a latte contains 1 shot of espresso, but you can order it with a second shot - or even a third!
There’s no official rule of thumb for how much milk is required in a frappe. You can add lots of milk, a small amount, or none at all.
When it comes to the amount of milk used, a latte has a fairly straightforward recipe. If you’re drinking a 1-shot espresso latte, 6 parts steamed milk should be added.
For every additional shot of espresso, take away 1 part milk (so 2 espressos would need 5 parts milk, 3 espressos would need 4 parts milk…)
The calorie content of your frappe depends entirely on the additives/sweeteners you’re using. If you prefer a lower-calorie drink, consider foregoing the whipped cream and sweet sauces.
The number of calories in a latte depends mostly on the type of milk being used. You can ask for full-fat, low-fat, or even a low-cal dairy-free alternative, like oat, almond, or soy milk.
If you go for a traditional latte with full-fat milk, you’re looking at about 190 calories in a 16-ounce drink.
Preparation & Art
While it’s possible to make a frappe look “pretty” by adding whipped cream and swirls of sweet sauces, like chocolate syrup or caramel, there’s no frappe “art” like there is with the latte.
Latte art is a big reason for ordering a latte. Many baristas have the skills to create stunning designs in the froth, like a heart or flower.
Frappes come in numerous variations. You can add sweeteners, flavored syrups, whipped cream, and more.
Lattes also come with plenty of options for variations or additions. You can order your latte iced, hot, flavored, sweetened, unsweetened, etc.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do cappuccino and mocha drinks differ from the above two coffees?
Comparing a frappe vs. latte vs. cappuccino or mocha vs. latte vs. frappe is like comparing apples to oranges. While all of these beverages fall under the "coffee drink" category, there are a lot of differences between all of them.
A cappuccino is more similar to a latte than to a frappe. Just like a latte, it consists of espresso and steamed milk, but it is topped with a thick layer of milk foam, which isn’t the case for a latte. Plus, a cappuccino has a higher ratio of espresso to milk, so it is more robust in terms of coffee flavor.
A mocha is a coffee drink that utilizes chocolate. It generally consists of espresso, chocolate, milk, and milk foam. This is an ideal drink of choice for coffee lovers who also love chocolate.
Can you make a hot frappe?
Frappes are traditionally iced beverages that are served cold. While it’s technically possible to make a hot frappe, it’s not the way things are done in the coffee world. Your better option is to order a hot latte with your favorite sweet additives and have it topped with whipped cream.
Do you have to use instant coffee for a frappe?
The traditional method for making a frappe is to use instant coffee, but another option is to use espresso or concentrated coffee.
Now that you know the difference between a frappe and a latte, you should have no trouble ordering your favorite coffee drink. If you’re still not sure which one is right for you, this is the perfect time to do some taste-testing!