Does a Frappuccino Have Coffee

From leading the #Coffeegram to becoming a worldwide brand in ambiance-oriented coffee culture, Starbucks has proven its mass appeal. That also means that people who have nothing to do with coffee will end up at Starbucks because of their friends or a start-up job interview. Keep calm; not everything on the menu is coffee.

Starbucks Frappuccino does not have coffee if it has “creme” in its name. Otherwise, it has a shot of coffee that contains more caffeine than an average espresso. You can say “frappuccino without coffee” to ensure that the barista doesn’t accidentally add Frappuccino roast coffee to your order.

In this article, you will learn more about frappuccinos, including which ones have coffee, which ones don’t, and whether you can get decaf frappuccinos. You will also discover whether the beverage is addictive and how many calories coffee-free frappuccinos really have. By the end, you will be an undisputed frappe expert ready to order your drink like a pro.

How Much Caffeine Does a Frappuccino Have

A mocha frappuccino contains 70 mg to 130 mg caffeine which is higher than a standard espresso shot which contains 63 mg of caffeine. Different sized servings contain different amounts of caffeine, but regardless of which size you opt for, you can rest assured that you’re getting at minimum as much caffeine as you get from a regular shot of espresso.

Mocha Frappuccino SizeCaffeine per ServingComparative Serving
Tall (smallest)70 mgThe same amount of caffeine as 2/3 cup of black coffee
Grande (medium)95 mgAs much caffeine as two single-ounce shots of espresso
Venti (largest)130 mgSlightly more caffeine than a can of Redbull

If you’re wondering why mocha frappuccino has surprisingly more caffeine than one would expect from a coffee-milkshake drink, it is because chocolate contains caffeine as well, and chocolate syrup is one of the main additives of a mocha frappuccino. Moreover, every type of beverage from Starbucks contains higher caffeine than its outside equivalent.

In case you enjoy larger frappes but do not want to take in more caffeine than you need, you can simply ask the barista to use “less coffee.” When you say that, the barista will not increase the espresso added to your beverage and will just add more milk and chocolate syrup. 

Alternatively, you can order a decaf frappuccino that has coffee but nominal caffeine. It’s worth noting that “no coffee” frappe is different from a decaf frappe. Decaf frappucinos aren’t standard menu items at Starbucks because the frappuccino roast is a coffee powder that doesn’t come in decaf variety. 

To make a decaf frappuccino, the barista has to replace the frappuccino roast shot with a decaf espresso shot. For that, you must say “Frappuccino with decaf coffee” to make sure they don’t simply make a coffee-less frappe. 

The chances of saying “no coffee frappe” and getting decaf frappe are much lower, so if you genuinely want a Starbucks mocha milkshake with zero coffee, you don’t need to elaborate on what you want. Order your frappe “without coffee,” and you’re good.

How Much Caffeine Does a Bottled Starbucks Frappe Have?

Starbucks Frappuccino really put the franchise on the mainstream map as the drink became the mid-2000s’ most popular gateway beverage to coffee, replacing cappuccino [source]. Being incredible at branding, the coffee shop chain quickly monetized the name and slapped it on a bottled coffee drink that follows a somewhat similar recipe. 

While Starbucks bottled frappe contains similar contents as a regular frappe, their proportions are different, and the beverages’ respective texture is different as well. A bottle of Starbucks frappuccino contains 110 mg of caffeine, which is slightly more than two shots of espresso.

The bottled drink contains as much frappuccino as a serving ordered in-store. However, because of the absence of crushed ice and whipped cream, it does not have the same volume. You can pour bottled Starbucks frappuccino into half a glass of crushed ice and crumbled chocolate chips and top it off with whipped cream. This will make the bottled beverage taste more like a freshly made frappuccino. That said, the drink would have an even higher caffeine content because of chocolate crumbs.

Is There a Decaf Frappuncino?

No, there is no decaf frappuccino, but you can get a decaf espresso shot added to a coffee-less frappuccino to get a decaf version of the beverage.

This will cost you an espresso shot’s worth more than a standard coffee-less frappuccino. In terms of taste, a coffeeless frappuccino will taste more like a milkshake, while the decaf beverage will taste closer to the standard frappuccino.

One of the greatest differences between the two beverages is that of caffeine. While both options seem to be caffeine-free, the coffeeless version of the beverage has 30 times less caffeine than the decaf one.

Decaf Bottled Frappuccino

While Starbucks in-store frappuccinos do not feature a decaf option, their bottled counterparts come with a decaffeinated version. Whether it is a coffeeless frappuccino bottled and packaged as decaf or a standard frappuccino with a decaf espresso shot is unclear.

Is Decaf Frappunccino Caffeine-Free?

Decaf frappuccino is not caffeine-free because it contains cocoa and coffee beans. You can expect to consume 15mg to 30mg of caffeine when having a decaf frappuccino. This is slightly more caffeine than a cup of tea and is definitely capable of making a first-time coffee consumer noticeably more alert and awake.

Why Does Starbucks Use Coffee Powder for Frappuccinos?

Starbucks uses soluble coffee powder for frappuccino because it creates a better-textured beverage. The powder made by Starbucks blends in cold water, allowing ground ice to remain solid instead of dissolving due to a hot espresso shot. This is what gives the beverage its gritty semi-solid feel.

Is Frappuccino a Coffee or a Milkshake?

A frappuccino is a “coffee beverage” if it contains coffee and a milkshake if it does not. In either case, the beverage should not be consumed daily as it contains plenty of sugars, which can be addictive and unhealthy.

Can You Have a Frappuccino Instead of Coffee?

You can have a frappuccino instead of coffee and get a cup’s worth of your caffeine fix. However, plain coffee (and even coffee with creamer and sugar) contains far fewer calories than the average espresso. Substituting coffee with frappuccino every day is not good for your long-term health.

Are Frappuccinos Addictive?

Frappuccinos are addictive to varying degrees. The ones that contain caffeine are more addictive because they give one a caffeine rush as well as a sugar high, both of which one can get hooked to. Creme frappuccinos are less addictive and can hook one as much as any sugary drink.

All Starbucks frappuccinos with caffeine

Frappuccino NameCaffeine Content (Grande Serving)Worth Noting
Coffee Frappuccino 95 mg caffeine on average.This beverage is a plain ‘milk and coffee’ frappe without chocolate syrup. You cannot order a coffeeless frappuccino of this variety
Espresso frappuccino95 mg caffeine on average.It contains a standard espresso shot and has higher caffeine than the average frappuccino. It can coat more to get a decaf version of this beverage. The coffeeless version is not available. 

Mocha frappuccino 

100 mg caffeine on averageone of the most in-demand frappuccinos on the market, it comes in a coffee-free variety as well. You can also add a decaf espresso shot in the coffeeless version of this beverage, which will cost more.

Java Chip frappuncino 

105 mg caffeine on averageto get the most coffee-like taste without a lot of caffeine, you can get the sans-coffee version of this beverage. Java chip frappuccino might not be available in all Starbucks outlets.

Caffe vanilla frappuncino 

95 mg caffeine on averagea coffeeless serving of Caffe vanilla frappuccino tastes like drinking condensed milk. If you’re going coffee-free, skip this drink.

Caramel frappuccino 

90 mg caffeine on averagethis drink contains slightly less caffeine than the mocha frappuccino because of its lower cocoa content. This difference is nominal, though.

Peppermint mocha frappuncino 

95 mg caffeine on averageone of the few beverages that taste similar in coffee-free and with-coffee versions. Moreover, the odds of getting this at any Starbucks outlet are higher than other unconventional frappuccinos.

Mocha cookie crumble frappuccino. 

105 mg caffeine on averagethis is a Starbucks favorite with plenty of derivative beverages. You can get coffee-free and decaf versions of this in most outlets though prices can vary when you request a decaf espresso shot.

White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino95 mg caffeine on averageThis is a chocolate frappuccino that leans on the creamier side but does not hold back when it comes to caffeine content.

All Starbucks Frappuccinos Without Coffee

Frappuccino, in Starbucks terms, means “ice-blended.” The most common ice-blended beverages ordered are ice-blended versions of cafe mocha and cappuccino. The cold version of a latte is usually an iced latte that doesn’t feature ground ice. 

But if you do not like coffee, then you should order a “creme frappuccino.” Any item in the Starbucks menu called a “creme frappuccino” is simply an ice-blended milkshake or an ice-blended chai latte.

Here is a list of Starbucks frappuccinos that do not have coffee

  • Pistachio Creme Frappuccino – This beverage comes with a cookie-flavored topping and features a cocktail of syrups that leave a herbaceous yet nutty aftertaste in your mouth.
  • Caramel Ribbon Crunch Creme Frappuccino – Laced with a visible ribbon of caramel, this mouth-watering beverage is a coffee-free alternative to standard caramel frappuccino.
  • Chocolate Cookie Crumble Creme Frappuccino – Do you not want a mocha frappuccino? Well, you can say goodbye to mocha without letting go of the chocolate with this coffee-free chocolate shake.
  • Strawberry Creme Frappuccino – This instagrammable frappuccino has zero coffee and zero caffeine. It is fruity and creamy.
  • Chai Creme Frappuccino – What if chai latte were ice-blended? This is what that would taste like because this coffee-free drink is exactly that.
  • Double Chocolaty Creme Frappuccino – When you subtract the coffee from your mocha frappuccino, you might as well double-up on the chocolate.
  • Matcha Creme Frappuccino – Matcha enthusiasts don’t need to venture far away from their taste turf to get in on the frappe craze. This ice-blended matcha drink has zero coffee.
  • Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino – Tastes like ice cream, has no coffee.
  • White Chocolate Creme Frappuccino – A reasonable replacement for the white chocolate mocha frappuccino. Features no coffee whatsoever.

How to Make a Frappuccino at Home?

If you’re reading this article, you’re about to try a frappuccino. In my experience, that means you’re opening up the possibility of craving this expensive drink regularly. Here are the steps to recreate a similar-tasting beverage at home.

  1. Get a frappe mix – While Starbucks Frappuccino roast powder is available exclusively to Starbucks Baristas for in-outlet use, the secret is out, and multiple coffee product manufacturers have created frappuccino-like mixes that are just as good. Get a frappe mix like DaVinci Gourmet Mocha Mix, Hill Bros. Caramel Frappe Mix, or MOCAFE Frappe Java Chip Mix.
  2. Mix the frappe powder in cold water – The water in which you mix the powder should not be ice-cold. It should be slightly colder than room-temperature water. Add powder in proportion to the preparation instructions on the coffee mix bag/package.
  3. Pour the solution into the blender, then add ice – In this step, you’ll transfer the contents of the previous step alongside ice cubes (half the proportion of the solution) into a blender.
  4. Double-blend the beverage – Blending the contents twice with a one-minute pause has a different effect than holding the blending button down for a longer period. Check out my article on frappuccinos and double-blending to learn more about that. Once you double-blend the mix, you’re ready to serve it.
  5. Serve with whipped cream and syrup – This step is optional, but I believe a frappuccino is worth having only if it looks good!

Final Thoughts

Frappuccino doesn’t necessarily have coffee, though you have to be intentional about your order to avoid it. The standard frappuccino will have frappuccino roast coffee, and you’ll need to either order a “creme frappuccino” or say “without coffee” when ordering from the frappuccino menu. Decaf frappuccinos are considered custom-ordered drinks and might cost more as you will pay for a decaf espresso shot which will be added to your Creme frappuccino. 

Tim S.

Tim loves roasting, brewing, and experimenting with coffee. After years of perfecting this craft, working as a barista, and owning a small coffee service in college, he has decided to share his knowledge with the world.

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