There's some misconception about how Starbucks' most popular drinks are made.

I always thought that Starbucks frappuccinos were made using espresso. However they are, in fact, used with a coffee powder called the Frappuccino roast.

If you're interested in learning "what is Frappuccino roast?" then I have the facts for you.

I'll cover everything there is to know about the innovative Frappuccino base, including how to make a Starbucks-quality Frapp at home.

Starbucks knows all too well that their famous Frappuccinos are some of the company's best sellers.

Most coffee drinkers (including me) assume that the blended beverage is created using hot espresso, similar to a cappuccino or latte.

But that's not actually the case - Starbucks uses a special type of coffee known as the Frappuccino roast to improve the taste and consistency even further.

The Frappuccino roast is a unique powdered blend of Italian and Espresso roasts that is specially designed to dissolve instantly in cold water.

This allows the barista to craft your favorite coffee Frapps without ruining all the yummy extras that make it so good.

Starbucks Frappuccino Roast

How Is It Different From Other Drinks?

Starbucks baristas are aware that using hot coffee in a cold drink wouldn’t do the beverage any favors.

That's why the Frapp roast is designed differently to dissolve in cold water, keeping true to the creamy consistency of all Starbucks frappuccinos.[1]

To be completely honest, this blend isn't the best-tasting coffee in the world. It comes in a powder form, and it's potent and bitter, just like instant coffee.

There's a reason for that, though. The strong taste and bitterness help balance out the overpowering sweetness Frappuccinos are known for.

You would want to avoid drinking it on its own - learn from my mistakes!

Is Frappuccino Roast A Powder Or Pump?

Frappuccino roast is manufactured as powder.

Once it hits Starbucks stores, this powder is combined with cold water so it can be used in large batches. After it dissolves, the mixture is placed into pump bottles so that it can be easily added to any blended coffee drink.

The number of Frappuccino roast pumps depends on the size ordered - tall, grande, or venti - as well as the customer’s preference. The great thing about the pump system is that it’s easy to customize the drink based on how strong the customer wants it.

For example, the standard tall Frapp comes with two Frappuccino roast pumps, but you can ask for more if you prefer a stronger coffee taste.

I'm typically happy with the set number of pumps, but do occasionally add one more if I really want to cut through the sweetness (or get a caffeine boost!).

Pros & Cons Of The Frappuccino Roast

Frappuccino roast is a very specific blend that's only recommended for making certain drinks. It's ideal for creme Frappuccinos and cold beverages, but not so great for straight sipping.

Here are a few more benefits and drawbacks to the Starbucks frappuccino roast:


  • Similar to instant coffee, it combines well with water, milk, whipped cream, etc.
  • Contains enough caffeine to give drinkers an energy boost
  • Has a long shelf life (in powder form) and can easily be stored at home
  • Makes it easy to create any Starbucks trademark frappuccino at home


  • The bitter taste is not ideal for drinking on its own
  • Requires additives (milk, sugar, cream) to cut the bitter taste, which can be very high in calories

What’s The Difference Between Frappuccino Roast & Espresso?

The Starbucks Frappuccino roast was designed specifically to be used in, well, Frappuccinos, and there are a few resounding differences between it and espresso.

The most significant difference between espresso and Frappuccino roast has to do with temperature.

An espresso coffee blend is designed to work best with hot water. In comparison, Frapp roast is specially formulated for cold-water use.

Freeze-dried coffee, like Frapp roast and instant coffee, contains less oil than grounds from espresso beans. That not only helps it to dissolve better in a cold coffee-based drink but also allows for a richer foam.

BaristaHQ Tip: If you choose to substitute espresso to a Frappuccino, the drink will lack a Frappuccino's signature creaminess. I also find that it tastes too sweet because espresso is not nearly as bitter as Frapp roast.

How To Make A Frappuccino Using Frappuccino Roast?

One of the greatest things about Frap roast is that you can purchase it for at-home use. That means you can make a Starbucks coffee Frappuccino without stepping foot outside of the house.

Ingredients Required

Making a Frapp roast at home means that you can customize the drink to your exact liking.

You can make a mocha Frappuccino, a vanilla bean version, a strawberry creme Frappuccino, or just stick with the traditional coffee syrup.

There are tons of additions and alterations that you can make to your DIY Frapp, but for simplicity's sake, here are the base ingredients that every frappuccino drink needs:

  • Frappuccino roast
  • Whole milk, skimmed milk, cream, or non-dairy alternative
  • Sugar
  • Xanthan gum[2]
  • Ice
  • Additives (flavored syrup, whipped cream, chocolate chips, etc.)

Procedure To Make A Perfect Frappuccino

Before getting started, you’ll need a blender. Starbucks baristas use high-power, professional-grade blenders, but any blender will do the trick.

  • 1
    Once you have all your ingredients, the first step is to create the Frappuccino base. To do this, mix 2 tablespoons of water with 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum. This ingredient is traditionally used as a thickening agent, so it will enhance the creaminess of the drink.
  • 2
    Add the thickening mixture to the blender, followed by 2 pumps of Frappuccino roast (or more, depending on preference), sugar (or a sugar-free alternative), milk, and ice.
  • 3
    Blend until the drink is thick and creamy. Don't be afraid to give it a taste test as you go to see if another Frappuccino roast pump or more sugar is needed.
  • 4
    Add any optional additives, like flavored syrup, caramel, Frappuccino chips, chocolate sauce, etc.

Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong way to make your Frappuccino. This is YOUR drink, so make it how you like it.

If that means ditching the whole milk and using coconut milk instead, go for it!

Usage Measurements

Knowing how much frappuccino roast syrup to add when making the drink at home can be tricky.

The number of pumps of Frappuccino roast you choose depends on two things: how much caffeine do you prefer and how intense of a coffee flavor is ideal for your taste buds?

To help you out, here’s a quick measurement guide that’s used by Starbucks baristas all over the world:

  • 2 Frappuccino roast pumps for 12-ounce drinks (tall size)
  • 3 Frappuccino roast pumps for 16-ounce drinks (grande size)
  • 4 Frappuccino roast pumps for 20-ounce drinks (venti size)
This is just the recommended amount based on the Starbucks menu. You can add more Frappuccino roast if that's what you prefer, or even do just 1 Frappuccino roast pump for a less potent coffee flavor.
Starbucks Frappuccino Roast at Home

How Much Caffeine Is In A Frappuccino Drink?

It's a common misconception that Frappuccino drinks contain very little caffeine content.

To put things into perspective, 2 pumps of Frappuccino roast is equivalent to 1 shot of espresso.

Depending on how much Frapp roast you use, you could get a nice little energy kick from sipping on a cold Frappuccino.[3]

So if you order a standard tall Frappuccino, you'll be getting the same caffeine content as a single espresso shot.

If that’s not enough for you, here’s what to do:

  • Ask for more coffee, aka more Frappuccino roast pumps
  • Add espresso shots to the iced coffee drink
  • Order a different type of frap, like the espresso Frappuccinos, mocha Frappuccino, or Frapp using coffee syrup
If you want a decaf version, there's, unfortunately, no decaf Frapp roast available as of right now. However, you can still order a decaf Frappuccino by asking your barista to use decaf espresso instead.

How To Easily Store Frappuccino Roast For Longevity

The special Frappuccino roast was made to have a fairly long shelf life, at least in its powder form.

Once you mix the powder with water, though, the mixture only lasts for about 48 hours, so be smart about how much you make at one time.

According to Starbucks recommendations, one pack of the roast blend should be mixed with 1 liter of water.

Once it’s dissolved, store it in an airtight bottle, and keep it in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Frequently Asked Frappuccino Roast Questions 

Do all Frappuccinos contain Frapp roast?

If you're ordering a coffee frappuccino, then yes, it will always contain Frapp roast.

However, you can ask for an espresso Frappuccino, or ask the barista to use coffee Frappuccino syrup in place of the Frapp roast pumps.

Does frappuccino roast have caffeine?

Yep! Espresso shots have about double the caffeine of one pump of frap roast.

That means that a traditional tall Frappuccino, which has 2 pumps of frap roast, contains the same amount of caffeine as a single shot of espresso.

How many pumps of Frappuccino roast should I use in my Frappuccino?

It depends. If you like a strong coffee flavor or you’re feeling sluggish and need additional caffeine, you can add more than the recommended amount.

The general rule of thumb, though, is to use 2 pumps in a tall drink, 3 pumps in a grande, and 4 pumps in a venti.

How many calories are there in a Frappuccino roast?

The roast itself doesn’t contain many calories at all.

That being said, Frappuccinos can be very high in calories depending on the choice of milk - skim, whole, or heavy cream - as well as any additives.

How many times can I reuse the coffee grounds from a Frappuccino roast?

Because the grounds are designed to dissolve in cold water, you won't be able to reuse your Starbucks Frappuccino roast.


While it's not recommended to use Frappuccino roast in your French press or Moka pot, this coffee blend is perfect for making Frappuccinos.

It dissolves well in cold drinks, which is a must for getting that thick and creamy texture that Frappuccinos are best known for.

Plus, the intense bitterness of the Frap roast is a perfect way to offset the signature sweetness of a coffee frappuccino.



Caitlin Shaffer


Caitlin Shaffer
Caitlin Shaffer, is a knowledgeable coffee expert and passionate writer. Her articles are a mix of personal experiences, insights gained from her travels, and interviews, offering an extensive view of the global coffee scene. Caitlin enjoys embarking on new travel adventures, often to destinations celebrated for their unique coffee offerings, from Indonesia to Italy and Colombia, adding a worldly flavor to her articles. Her go-to coffee? Cold brew with homemade vanilla syrup – a personal favorite that keeps her love for coffee fresh and exciting.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... cold brew with homemade vanilla syrup.

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2 thoughts on “What Is Frappuccino Roast? (New Starbucks Drink Guide)”

  1. Hello,

    What is the ratio for the Starbucks frappuccino roast to water if i don’t want to dissolve the entire pack into on liter of water. I want to use it sparingly so I like to make just 20 oz of frappuccino for one serving.

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