Frappuccino vs. Cappuccino vs. Latte: Differences

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Frappuccino, cappuccino, and latte are all very delicious and similar in taste. Despite their similarities, they all contain milk and foam but aren’t the same beverages. So, what are the differences between Frappuccino, cappuccino, and latte?

Frappuccino, trademarked by Starbucks, is coffee or cream-based, mixed with ice and flavorings, such as syrups or fresh fruits, and whipped cream on top. Cappuccino is an espresso-based drink with milk foam served in small cups. Latte is also espresso-based, but it has more milk than a cappuccino.

Latte and cappuccino are proper coffees and very similar to one another. On the other hand, Frappuccino is a cold and sweet beverage that doesn’t necessarily have to contain coffee. However, these three are often mistaken for one another; therefore, in the following text, I will describe the differences among them.

Frappuccino vs. Cappuccino vs. Latte: What Are the Differences?

Frappuccino, cappuccino, and latte differ in preparation, ingredients, taste, origin, appearance, etc. Before we compare them in detail, here’s a cheat sheet to help.

Preparation and Ingredients

The ingredients for Frappuccino vary, as it can have different tastes. However, the base is either cream or coffee. The preparation process includes blending crushed ice, sugar, and cream or coffee and adding milk and whipped cream.

If you want other flavors in your Frappuccino, then it will contain syrup or fresh fruit added before blending.

Cappuccino and late differ in only one aspect, the milk amount. While cappuccino has milk foam, the latte contains milk and milk foam. The foam is thicker in the cappuccino and is visibly separable, while in the latte, the foam is more of a part of the coffee and milk than separate from the drink; it is also softer and milder.

The preparation method for cappuccino and latte is the same. They are both espresso-based, topped with milk foam, whereby the cappuccino has an extra step, which is adding the milk.


Frappuccino is the sweetest of the three, although the sweetness is debatable, as you can add sugar to any of these drinks. However, sugar is an actual ingredient in the Frappuccino; therefore, we label it the sweetest. It is bubbly and gentle with an expressive milkiness, even when it contains coffee.

It is very soft and gentle and can also taste like berries, strawberries, or other flavorings. The whipped cream is optional but preferable as it increases its candyness.

When comparing latte and cappuccino, I must say that cappuccino is the stronger of the two. Although latte and cappuccino contain nearly the same amount of espresso, the smaller amount of milk in the cappuccino lets the espresso’s expressive taste out in the open.

At first, cappuccino is also foamy, but after the first two-three sips, the foam is gone, and all you are left with is espresso with some milk.

Latte is milkier and milder than cappuccino due to the higher milk amount, which mildens the coffee flavor. The latte foam is more of a creamy topping than actual foam, so you can taste it all the while you are drinking your coffee. The latte foam is heavier and sinks, mashing up with the drink.

The cappuccino foam is lighter, and it floats and perishes. Both cappuccino and latte are bitter-tasting, as sugar isn’t an ingredient, but you can always add it and make the coffee sweeter.

And, of course, they all taste like coffee since they include espresso. Espresso is made using dark roasted coffee beans instead of light roast coffee, which you can learn more about in the article on light roast coffee.


Frappuccino was trademarked by Starbucks in 1996. Many think that Frappuccino is an Italian coffee, and justifiably so, as the name sounds Italian, but it was actually invented in the USA. The name is a combination of frape and cappuccino.

Cappuccino originated in Italy in the 1700s. It first appeared in Venice as a descendant of the drink “Kapuziner” drank in Vienna.

The latter also appeared in Italy in the 1900s. As the name says, it was invented as a combination of coffee and milk or a “latte.”

Appearance and Serving

Frappuccino has a more playful appearance, while cappuccino and latte are more elegant. Frappuccino is white or the color of the added flavoring and foamy. It is usually served in a standard plastic coffee cup, as it is more of a “to go” coffee than a “seated” coffee, and it resembles more a milkshake than coffee.

Cappuccino is served in a small porcelain coffee cup with a small bag of sugar on the side and small plastic or metal spoon. It has white foam on the top, whereby the drink is more of a brown color.

Latte is served in a larger cup than a cappuccino and is white and brown on the surface and light brown as a drink.

Many cafés have their way of serving these coffees. Some serve them in glass cups or glasses; they draw shapes with the frothed milk.

Frappuccino vs. Cappuccino vs. Latte

Nutrition and Caffeine

Of the three, Frappuccino is the most sugary, the latte is the milkiest, and the cappuccino has the highest caffeine amount, though very close to the latte.

The Frappuccino is the fattiest because of the milk, whipped cream, and added flavorings. The cappuccino is the least fatty, while the latte is somewhere in the middle between the two.

They don’t have a very high nutritional value. Still, the Frappuccino is most likely to be richest in protein and any other nutrients contained in the potentially added flavorings and fresh fruit.


In terms of popularity, all three are popular in Europe and the USA, while less popular in Asia, as Asians prefer tea over coffee.

They have different audiences as well. While Frappuccino is fun and bubbly and loved by the younger consumers, latte and cappuccino appeal more to the more adult ones.

However, when it is a matter of taste, we cannot place a clear line in this regard, as everyone likes different things. The bottom line is that all three of these drinks are beloved by many and very popular.

Frappuccino vs. Cappuccino vs. Latte: Which One Is the Best?

To say that one is the best wouldn’t be fair, as the three of them have their audiences and appeal to different people. If you are in the mood for something sweet and milky, go for the Frappuccino, and if you want to have a cup of coffee at a café, maybe chat with a friend and wake up, go for either the latte or the cappuccino.

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