What does double blended mean in a Starbucks frappuccino?

If you do not like chunky bits in your beverage, you might not be a fan of the Starbucks frappuccino, a beverage known for striking the perfect balance between liquid and solids. The straw that comes with the beverage often fails to funnel all the chocolatey solids to your mouth, which might make you wish the drink was blended a little bit more. Enter the double blending option.

Double-blended in a Starbucks frappuccino means that the beverage has been blended twice to even out chunky chocolate and ice bits. Some baristas use the frozen banana blender setting or simply run the blender for a longer period, both of which do not give the same results as double-blending.

In this article, you will learn more about the different settings of frappe blending and what each one entails. More importantly, you will find out how you can ensure that your frappuccino is actually double blended. Towards the end, the Starbucks blender and the brand’s frappuccino preparation method will be revealed so you can make the drink at home. Let’s start by going over the frozen banana setting.

What is the frozen banana setting?

Smoothies are made from frozen fruits that can get smoother upon crushing. If you’ve had Acai bowl, the Brazilian dessert knowns for being good for your heart, you’ve consumed a banana blended smoothie. Very few fruits have the consistency and the softness of a banana, which is why not all fruits get their own setting.

The frozen banana setting is a mode in Starbucks machines that pulverizes frozen bananas (or other frozen fruits) to make a paste. This setting is used to make fruit smoothies and milkshakes. In some instances, baristas choose to use the frozen banana setting instead of running the blender twice.

This saves time but can also affect the final drink. To detect whether your barista used the frozen banana setting, you must listen carefully for the blender to stop and start again. If the blender runs once only, but for a longer period, the barista is using the frozen banana setting. There’s no advantage to detecting this after your drink is made. That’s why I recommend requesting your frappe to be double-blended the following way.

“Double-blended frappuccino but please not the number three button, just blend it twice,” this ensures that the barista doesn’t opt for the frozen banana setting (button number three) when making your coffee. They usually opt for the number three to save a few seconds, and if they know there might be an argument if they choose the lazier route, they’ll put in a few more seconds making coffee than wasting minutes arguing about it.

Number three vs. Double blended

Now you know how to get your Starbucks frappuccino double blended instead of blended like a frozen banana. But the question is whether it is any different? After all, most people cannot detect whether their frappe was double blended or made with the frozen banana setting.

Double blended frappuccino is smooth and fluffy because more air gets trapped inside it when the blender is run twice. With button number three (or the frozen banana setting), bigger chunks are further broken down just like double blending, but it flattens the drink too much, making it too liquid.

Frozen banana setting is more like triple blending, which can affect the texture of a frappucino and make it more like a milkshake. Starbucks frappuccinos are known for being chunkier than the frappes served by other coffee chains. 

If you’re not a Starbucks regular and get your frappe from Tim Hortons, the second cup, Gloria jeans, or Seattle’s best, you should probably request frozen banana setting because that will make the frappuccino just as liquid as the frappes served by other chains.

How is Starbucks frappuccino made?

Starbucks frappuccino is made with an espresso base, whole milk, crushed ice, and chocolate syrup. The beverage can be made at home, but its consistency and texture wouldn’t match the one made by Starbucks because of the chain’s blender settings.

To get the same kind of frappuccino at home, you would need a 48 ounce Vitamix blender, which is used by the coffee chain. This product will allow you to have the same kind of chunky espresso if you like it that way. You will also have the frozen banana blending option alongside the choice to double-blend your frappe.

Remember, you don’t even need to have an espresso maker to make your own frappuccino. Yes, Starbucks frappes have an espresso base, but it isn’t tamped and brewed like regular coffee beverage espresso. Starbucks frappes feature an espresso shot’s worth of instant coffee, which is added to a blender alongside whole milk, ice, and chocolate syrup. In some countries, Hershey’s chocolate syrup is used, while in others, Starbucks brand frappuccino syrup is added.

Is Starbucks frappuccino the same as coffee?

If you’ve read my articles on cappuccino and latte, you already know that most coffee beverages at Starbucks and other coffee shops feature a shot of espresso. In other words, you get the same amount of caffeine from a latte as you do from taking an espresso shot. Since cocoa has caffeine as well, certain chocolatey drinks can have more caffeine in them than the purer drinks considered “Real coffee.” Is the Starbucks frappuccino one of them? Unfortunately not.

Starbucks frappuccino is not the same as coffee because it contains espresso made from instant coffee. Getting a serving of Starbucks frappuccino is the same as consuming a cup of instant coffee, at least in terms of caffeine.

The extra sugar in the frappuccino makes the beverage more effective in giving you instant energy. However, this energy boost is followed by a caffeine and sugar crash. It is up to you to decide whether that’s more feasible for your situation than having a cup of black coffee.

Final Thoughts

Double blended frappuccinos are light and fluffy compared to their chunkier counterparts. In most cases, a frappe blended for a longer period has a similar texture, but to be sure that your frappe is actually blended twice, you’ll have to request the barista to actually run the blender twice instead of using the frozen banana setting.

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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