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Cappuccino vs. Frappuccino — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on October 30, 2023
Cappuccino is a hot coffee with steamed milk and foam. Frappuccino is an iced, blended coffee drink often with flavorings and whipped cream.
Cappuccino vs. Frappuccino — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Cappuccino and Frappuccino


Key Differences

Cappuccino is a traditional Italian coffee drink known for its layers of espresso, hot milk, and foam. It's typically enjoyed hot and has a rich, bold flavor from the espresso.
Frappuccino, a term popularized by Starbucks, refers to a line of icy, blended coffee drinks. These are often sweet, mixed with various flavors, syrups, and topped with whipped cream.
Cappuccinos are characterized by their distinct layers and often have a dusting of cocoa or cinnamon on top. They are a staple in many coffee shops and are known for their strong coffee taste.
Frappuccinos are more like dessert beverages, coming in a wide array of flavors ranging from coffee-based to fruit-infused. They're usually served cold with ice and are more about the blend of flavors than the coffee itself.
The art of making a cappuccino often involves skillful milk frothing to achieve the perfect creamy foam. It's considered a classic among coffee aficionados.
Frappuccinos, on the other hand, are more about customization and variety. They can include anything from chocolate to caramel, and even non-coffee versions are available.

Comparison Chart




Espresso with steamed milk & foam
Blended with ice, often with added flavors

Flavor Profile

Coffee-focused, less sweet
Sweeter, variety of flavors


Layered, foamy
Blended, smooth

Serving Style

Typically in a cup
Often in a tall glass or plastic cup

Compare with Definitions


He ordered a cappuccino every morning.


I cooled off with a refreshing Frappuccino.


Cappuccino is a staple in Italian cafés.


The Frappuccino was ice-cold and delicious.


His cappuccino was the perfect warmth.


She chose a caramel Frappuccino.


The cappuccino's foam was perfectly frothy.


He's a fan of Starbucks' Frappuccino range.


She prefers the less sweet taste of cappuccino.


They offer a pumpkin spice Frappuccino in the fall.


A cappuccino ( (listen); Italian pronunciation: [kapputˈtʃiːno]; Italian plural: cappuccini) is an espresso-based coffee drink that originated in Italy, and is simply prepared with steamed milk foam (microfoam).Variations of the drink involve the use of cream instead of milk, using non-dairy milk substitutes and flavoring with cinnamon or chocolate powder. It is typically smaller in volume than a caffè latte, with a thicker layer of microfoam.The name comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the colour of their habits, and in this context referring to the colour of the beverage when milk is added in small portion to dark, brewed coffee (today mostly espresso).


Frappuccino is a trademarked brand of the Starbucks Corporation for a line of highly-sweetened iced, blended coffee drinks. It consists of coffee or crème base, blended with ice and other various ingredients like flavored syrups, usually topped with whipped cream and or spices.


Espresso coffee mixed or topped with steamed milk or cream.


An iced cappuccino.


A serving of this beverage.


(uncountable) An Italian coffee-based beverage made from espresso to which milk that has been steamed and/or frothed is added; (countable) a cup of this beverage.


Any of various similar drinks.


A medium- to dark-brown colour like that of the coffee drink (sense 1) or the habit of a Capuchin monk.

Common Curiosities

Are Frappuccinos considered a dessert?

Often, due to their sweetness.

Is a cappuccino always hot?

Typically, yes.

Do cappuccinos have added flavors?

Traditionally, no. Just a dusting of cocoa or cinnamon.

Is cappuccino popular worldwide?

Yes, especially in Europe.

Can Frappuccinos have no coffee?

Yes, there are non-coffee versions.

Is milk foam essential in cappuccinos?

Yes, it's a key component.

What's the main flavor in a cappuccino?

The strong flavor of espresso.

Is a Frappuccino a Starbucks trademark?

Yes, it's a Starbucks-specific term.

Can cappuccinos be sweetened?

Yes, but traditionally they're not very sweet.

Is the milk froth in cappuccinos dense?

Yes, it's creamy and dense.

Are Frappuccinos high in calories?

They can be, depending on ingredients.

Can Frappuccinos be dairy-free?

Yes, with milk alternatives.

How much coffee is in a cappuccino?

One shot of espresso typically.

Are Frappuccinos available year-round?

Yes, with seasonal variations.

Can you customize a Frappuccino?

Yes, with various flavors and add-ons.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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