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Frappe vs Latte: The Differences Explained

CoffeeAffection_Frappe VS Latte_v1_Sep 1 2023

A frappe and a latte are totally different from each other, from the ingredients to the preparation, and let us not forget taste and texture. First, we will explain what these drinks are, then we will break down the differences between frappe vs latte for you.

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What is a Frappe?

A frappe is a frozen coffee drink. It is typically made with instant coffee, and cooled to room temperature. This is blended with milk, ice, simple syrup for smoothness, and sometimes flavoring. The flavors that can be added vary from vanilla bean to chocolate chips to caramel.

Greek coffee frappé
Image Credit: Tomas Mehes, Shutterstock

When served, a frappe has a consistency close to a milkshake. If you’re craving coffee and it’s hot outside, or you just like frozen drinks in general, a frappe can give you the best of both worlds.

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What is a Latte?

A classic latte is a hot beverage. After espresso shots are pulled into a cup, a generous amount of steamed milk is added. Lattes are also topped with foam.

a glass of latte macchiato on white table
Image Credit: rkarkowski, Pixabay

Just like a traditional coffee frappe, lattes typically don’t come with added flavors. You can add a range of flavors, like peppermint, hazelnut, or cinnamon, if you choose to enjoy a flavored latte.

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Frappe vs Latte: What’s the Difference?

Now that you know what frappes and lattes are, it’s time to focus on what makes them different. Keep reading to learn the biggest differences between these tasty drinks, from temperature to caffeine.

1. Temperature

The main difference between a latte and a frappe is the temperature. This also affects the texture of the two drinks. As you read above, a frappe is a cold blended drink. Lattes can come iced but are classically served hot. Lattes also require espresso shots to be pulled, while the coffee in frappes is pre-made and added to the blender.

2. Different Ingredients

Room temperature coffee is used in frappes because it keeps the ice from melting before being blended. It also gives the drink a thicker consistency than if hot coffee or espresso was used. A dairy product with high-fat content, like whole milk or half and half, also goes into a frappe. This helps keep a thick consistency. In contrast, lattes can be made with skim, 2%, or whole milk, or sometimes even milk alternatives.

3. Texture & Taste

A frappe’s texture will be thicker and creamier than that of a latte, not to mention much colder. Lattes are smoother than frappes, because frappes have small ice chips in them, which gives them a different texture profile.

A frappe will be sweeter than a latte since it has a simple syrup added. The addition of this simple syrup is also why frappe flavoring will taste sweeter than flavor added to a latte. Lattes will give you a more intense coffee flavor than a frappe for two reasons. Water is added to a frappe in the form of ice, which waters down the coffee flavor a little, and lattes use intense espresso instead of instant coffee.

4. Caffeine Level

Lattes have a slightly higher caffeine content than frappes. Lattes have 75 to 150 mg of caffeine, depending on which size you get. Frappes can range from 65 to 125 mg.

Highlighting the Differences

So what’s the bottom line in the great frappe vs latte debate? Lattes and frappes are both delicious coffee shop treats, but you’ll want to know the difference before you start ordering! Here are the main differences:

Temperature: A latte is a hot drink, while a frappe is a cold blended drink.

Ingredients: Lattes have hot espresso, while frappes have room-temperature instant coffee.

Texture: Lattes have a smoother texture, while frappes have a thicker consistency.

Flavor: Lattes have a stronger coffee flavor, while frappes are sweeter.

Caffeine: A latte has a little more caffeine than a frappe.


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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