What is Frappe? 5 Steps

It’s hard to keep up with all the chilled and iced coffee drinks out there, so what is Frappe? Let’s learn more about this popular Greek coffee beverage.

What is frappe?
A Frappe is an iced drink traditionally made with instant coffee, water, sugar, and crushed ice

The café Frappé is one of the most popular cold coffee drinks; it’s been compared to a slushie or even a milkshake, as it is much more like a dessert than a standard coffee drink.

A Frappe is an iced drink traditionally made with instant coffee, water, sugar, and crushed ice. Once the ingredients are blended, you get a foamy drink, which is much more refreshing than a latte or a cappuccino. The taste of a Frappe is dependent on how it is made, but it’s generally a cool, refreshing brew, ideal for a hot summer’s day.

Who Created The Frappe?

You might see the Frappe referred to as a Greek frappé or the Nescafé Frappé. That’s because Nescafé played a role in its creation.

In 1957, Dimitris Vakondios, who was a Senior Brand Manager at Nescafé of Nestlé Hellas, invented the drink after experimenting with coffee beverages. The drink was an accidental creation at the Thessaloniki International Fair but has endured the test of time. Although the word frappe comes from the French word for “shaken,” the drink does not have French origins and is still incredibly popular in Greece.

What is Frappe?
The word frappe comes from the French word for “shaken”

The original drink contains instant coffee, milk, water, and sugar. Today, you can find it in your local coffee shop, alongside cold brew and other chilled coffee drinks.

While the original creation had a strong coffee flavor, your barista can make all sorts of variations, like a mocha frappe or a vanilla frappe. You might also be interested in our explainer on can you make instant coffee with milk.

Nescafe Classic Instant Greek Coffee
$17.00 ($2.41 / Ounce)
  • Product of Greece
  • 7 Ounce cans
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03/06/2024 03:45 pm GMT

Can You Make A Frappe With Brewed Coffee?

Can you prepare a Frappe without using instant coffee? The answer is no; the result would be a different drink with a different taste altogether, should you use other types of coffee such as espresso or brewed coffee. Since the first frappe coffee was made using instant coffee, it has therefore been a rule to use instant coffee.

The instant coffee enhances the Frappe’s bitter taste, giving it its distinct character. It also enhances the strength of the coffee flavor. You can use whatever instant coffee you please, but Nescafe seems to be the most popular by far as they were the original.

With that said, some people like to add chocolate syrup or other flavors to balance the bitterness of this coffee beverage. You may even find it topped with whipped cream or even vanilla ice cream. You might be interested in our round-up of the best Greek coffee brands.

Frappe Vs. Frappuccino

A Frappe is an iced coffee drink made with instant coffee, whereas a Frappuccino is strongly associated with Starbucks. A Frappuccino is not always a coffee drink, but when they are, they usually contain coffee concentrate.

Unlike the Frappuccino iced drink, the Frappe contains caffeine in one way or the other. The caffeine content of the drink depends on the instant coffee you use. However, the range of caffeine is 27-173 mg, depending on the kind of coffee beans used in the instant coffee.

It’s not uncommon to find some Robusta coffee in instant coffee. This is due to the fact that it is cheaper to produce and contains more caffeine, but its taste is not as beloved as the Arabica coffee you’re likely to find in a café. So, instant coffee is usually a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, meaning you can still expect quite a kick from it.

Frappes also tend to be lower in calories. Frappes are often served without sugar to pronounce the taste of instant coffee. In addition, instant coffee contains barely any calories.

However, adding milk and syrups can up the calorie content.

Since the Frappe drink was first invented in Greece, it has been a common drink in Europe, mostly in Southern Europe. However, you will not miss the drink in central and western Europe. Cyprus is also known for its popularity of Frappe, given its close ties with Greece.

Whereas, since Starbucks is more prevalent in the US, Frappuccinos are more popular there.

Frappe Vs. Milkshake

The debate concerning the difference between Frap drinks and milkshakes has remained unsettled for a long time. The fact is a milkshake and Frappe are two different drinks.

Their differences are seen in their content and how they are prepared, and their taste. A milkshake is a blended drink consisting of milk and ice cream with added flavors. Depending on your preferences, milkshakes come in various flavors, from strawberry to vanilla and chocolate.

For a Frappe, while it may rarely be served with ice cream, ice cream is not an essential ingredient, but instant coffee is. You can have flavored Frappes, but they generally stick with safer flavors like chocolate or vanilla; you’re unlikely to find a banana Frappe like you would with milkshakes.

How To Prepare A Frappe Drink

How To Prepare A Frappe Drink
If you are shaking in a cocktail shaker, you can increase the time to 30 seconds

There is no one standard frappe recipe, as there are so many variations of this recipe.

Materials Needed


  • Blender or cocktail shaker
  • A tall glass
  • Straw


  • Instant coffee
  • Ice
  • Cold water
  • Sugar
  • Cold milk
  • Flavored syrups (optional)


Step 1: Gather The Ingredients

Add your instant coffee of choice to a blender along with cold water and sugar. You can also add any desired sweetener or flavored syrups.

If you are preparing Frappe for a 12-ounce glass, use two teaspoons of coffee and an equal amount of sugar and water. However, feel free to make the coffee as strong as you want.

Step 2: Blend

Blend for about five seconds or more, if needed. If you are shaking in a cocktail shaker, you can increase the time to 30 seconds. The result is a smooth foam.

Step 3: Prepare The Ice

Place some ice cubes in the glass, then slowly add the coffee foam.

Step 4: Add Water

Add water to the mixture until the glass is full. You can also add milk, depending on your preference.

Step 5: Serve & Enjoy

Grab a straw and enjoy your Frappe drink.

Some Tips For Making A Frappe

  • If you want your Frappe to taste sweeter, consider adding more milk and slightly less coffee.
  • If you want your Frappe to have a strong coffee taste, use less milk and more coffee.
  • Using light roasts is also likely to result in a sour taste in your Frappe. Therefore, make a habit of using dark roast.

FAQs About Frappes

Can You Make A Frappe With Hot Water?

You do not need to brew your instant coffee with hot water to make a frappe. Since all the ingredients go in the blender, you do not need to brew the coffee at all, as it will simply mix with the other ingredients. Hot water would likely throw off the temperate of your drink.

What Is The Greek Version Of A Frappe?

The Greek version of a Frappe is the original Frappe recipe; instant coffee, water, sugar, and milk. Nescafé is the most popular choice for this drink, and they have even released a Greek instant coffee to allow their customers to brew a frappe at home.

Are Frappes Healthy?

Frappes are a great treat every now and then, but they can have quite a lot of sugar. Fortunately, there is room to play around, so you can cut down on the sugar if sweet drinks leave you feeling unwell.

Do Frappes Always Contain Caffeine?

Generally, Frappes are made from caffeinated instant coffee, but there’s no reason why you can’t make it with decaf if that’s your preference. You can also use less coffee for less caffeine if you don’t have decaf.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.