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When summer hits the UK everyone seems to walk around towns and cities with an iced coffee beverage in hand, one of which being the Frappé. Sales of this super popular cold beverage explode as the temperatures soar, but many don’t actually know what the magical drink contains and where its origins lie.

Keep reading to find out what a Frappé is and learn how our parent company Nestlé had an instrumental role in its creation.



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What is a frappé?

The Frappé as the UK know and love is pronounced ‘frap-pay’ and when loosely translated from French, it literally means ‘iced’. The iced drink is generally made up of water, espresso, sugar, milk, ice and is shaken, blended or beaten to combine the ingredients. It tends to be served with whipped cream and toppings such as sweet sauces and presented in a tall glass.

Traditionally a Frappé is made with coffee, but it doesn’t have to be! Some are made with tea, juice and even hot chocolate.

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Frappé’s around the world

A Frappé is one of those drinks that what you get really depends on where you are in the world. In Greece, if you ask for a Frappé expect a couple of tablespoons of instant coffee, sugar, water and milk (if you want them), which will then be put into a cocktail shaker and shaken to get the frothy layer on top. If you’re in Bulgaria, don’t be surprised if it’s served with a soda instead of water; Denmark substitutes the water for milk and Serbia serves the Frappé with milk or ice cream and freshly whipped cream on top. However, one of the really different frappe variations is in Boston, where it’s actually a milkshake made with ice-cream and is simply pronounced like ‘frap’.

So, if you’re a Frappé lover, be prepared that it may not always be what you think!

Frappé origins

The ‘Café Frappé’ started appearing in the mid-19th century with some drinks possessing a slushy-like texture and others appearing similar to an iced coffee. However, the Frappé really kicked off in 1957 at the Thessaloniki International Fair in Greece. The story goes that a representative from Nestlé was demonstrating an instant chocolate drink for children with a chocolate base that was added to milk then shaken in a shaker. When on their break, an employee of the Nestlé representative realised there was no hot water to make their coffee, so instead they mixed the instant coffee granules with cold water and ice cubes, mixed it in the shaker and voila, the Frappé was born.

The Frappé as the Nestlé representative’s assistant prepared is still incredibly popular in Greece today and you can find it in most coffee shops across the country!

What’s the difference between a Frappé and a Frappuccino?

The Frappé and the Frappuccino trips many people up and most think they’re the same thing, but they’re completely different!

The Frappuccino is an iced cappuccino that’s trademarked by Starbucks, but it didn’t actually begin with them. The beverage started off with The Coffee Connection in 1992 as a coffee mixed with milk, sugar, coffee, ice, all combined and mixed in a frozen yogurt machine which gave it a very creamy and smooth texture. Starbucks purchased the company in 1994 and then tweaked the recipe to be the Frappuccino you know today.

Now you know what a Frappé is! Want to learn about more coffee types? Find out what a mocha is, next.


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