Starbucks Frappuccino vs. Latte: how do they compare?

The decision to order a late or a Frappuccino can be confusing to any Starbucks customer because they are both great drinks. When people get to Starbucks and discover that they can’t choose between a latte and a Frappe, they often ask the barista for suggestions, which can take some time especially if there is a queue. I once accompanied a friend who couldn’t settle for a single drink, so I got inspired to write this post and scrutinize each one. By the end of this read, you will find out the better drink between the two.

What are the differences between the Starbucks Frappuccino vs. Latte?





Syrups(vanilla, mocha, caramel) whipped cream toppings, coffee, tea, or cream, milk, ice

Steamed milk or cold milk, coffee, or tea, syrups(optional), Toppings(Optional)

Taste Profile

Very sweet, coffee or tea taste, creamy, ice cream-like sweetness

Creamy texture with toned down coffee or tea taste

Caffeine content/ Nutritional Value

130mg for a Tall serving, 201 calories for Grande, 42g of sugar,



Most of them are available all year round

Most of them are available all year round

Roast Type

Frappuccino Roast

Blonde, medium, and dark roasts

Starbucks Frappuccino vs. Latte-How they Compare

Starbucks Frappuccino

What it’s made of-Ingredients

A Starbucks Frappuccino is a blend of various ingredients. The most basic Frappuccino is made with espresso shots, milk, ice, and coffee espresso. Additionally, we have a tea Frappuccino that trades the espresso with either black or green tea. Starbucks also has a variety of Frappuccino blends that have no caffeine. These are called crème Frappuccino blends, and contain neither coffee nor tea. Frappuccino blends are topped with whipped cream and any other customization. You can ask for drizzles, chocolate chips, or fruit toppings to make it better.

On the other hand, a latte is made with steamed milk and coffee or tea. You can get a cold latte with cold milk and coffee or tea. The latte can also be customized with plant-based milk options or nonfat milk. The ingredients for the latte revolve around milk and coffee or tea. You can opt for a topping or have it as it is. The most common topping is cinnamon powder or caramel drizzle.

The Frappuccino blends give one an option of caffeine or no caffeine, but the latte must contain either coffee or tea. For this reason, the Frappuccino wins in the ingredients category.

Taste Profile

Frappuccino blends are the sweetest drinks at Starbucks. The taste depends on the ingredients selected or customization. The basic espresso Frappuccino gives a sweet mild coffee taste that descends into a creamy milky taste. It’s like an ice cream drink with coffee. If you opt for green tea Frappes, you will pick up earthy green tea tones in a nice bend of milk and cream. Additives like vanilla and cinnamon enhance the sweetness of the drink further.

The lattes are creamy and sweet depending on the ingredients chosen. Dairy milk lattes are the creamiest and have a thick, full-bodied taste. The lattes can be flavored with vanilla and taste great. One can also opt for caramel and cinnamon dolce syrups for additional flavors. The latte is versatile in taste and can be as sweet as you would wish.

Both of these dinks are versatile in taste, but the Frappuccino blends take the lead in this category. They are more versatile in taste and can be customized in more ways than the latte.

Caffeine content/Nutritional Value

The Starbucks Frappuccino is known for its high caloric content. A Grande espresso Frappuccino contains 210 calories, 210mg of sodium, 42g of sugar, 3g of proteins, and 48g of carbohydrates. The caffeine content in a tall is 130mg. A Caffe latte Grande contains 190 calories, 7g of fat, 19g of Carbs, 13g of proteins, and 11g of sugar.

These figures can significantly increase with various variations of Frappuccino drinks. The latte is relatively low on carbs depending on the choice of ingredients. If you opt for a skinny late, you can cut back on carbs and fat. Other options like plant-based milk can also cut down on carbs and fat.

Health-wise, the latte wins in this category as it is low in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar. The latte has a chance to reduce these contents even further.


The Frappuccino blends and lattes are easily accessible. You can order from an expansive menu in-store or on the mobile app. However, some Frappuccino blends are seasonal and only come at specific times of the year. The Frappuccino at Starbucks have easily accessible ingredients except for the seasonal pumpkin spice and peppermint Frappuccino that are only available during the holiday season. Similarly, some lattes are also seasonal. You can find the pumpkin spice latte in the fall only.

The two drinks are easily available and can be accessed all year round, except for the few seasonal drinks. This makes it a draw for this category.

Roast Type

Starbucks recently formulated a special roast for its Frappuccino called the Frappuccino roast. This coffee option comes in powder form and is added to coffee-based Frappuccino blends. This roast is used in place of hot coffee and is added to cold water. The roast is strong but blends well with other ingredients. Lattes are made with espresso shots.

The espresso shots can be blonde or regular. You can expect a fluctuated caffeine boost in each of the espresso roasts. For the blonde, the caffeine is very high, and you will also have to deal with high levels of acidity. Normal espressos are made with medium roasts and have moderate flavor and caffeine.

In this category, we settle for a draw as all the roasts achieve a separate purpose for the individual drinks.

Starbucks Frappuccino vs. Latte: A comparison Overview

Starbucks Latte-Overview

Starbucks Latte

A Starbucks latte can be coffee-based or tea-based. Both of these drinks will have a caffeine boost depending on the type of tea used. Lattes typically have milk in them, but the milk option depends on individual preferences. I liked the plant-based milk options that gave an interesting twist to the traditional latte. I had the choice of soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. I also liked the nonfat milk option as it cut down on my fat intake.

Starbucks hot lattes require steaming of milk and the foam is what tops up the latte. You can have flavor syrups added such as vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon dolce. I tried all the latte variations on different days to make an informed choice. I liked the drink’s versatility and the different flavors that are achieved with every variation. The Latte has retained its popularity in Starbucks due to its toned-down espresso taste and the modifications available.

What I liked

  • The expansive variations of the latte.
  • The high caffeine boost.

What I didn’t like

  • There are no non-coffee options.

Who it’s best suited for

  • This drink is best suited for coffee and tea lovers.

Starbucks Frappuccino-Overview

Starbucks Frappuccino

Starbucks has the most expansive Frappuccino menu. You can have your Frappe with coffee, tea, or crème. This drink is packed with sweetness and can be modified as much or as less as one would prefer. I liked the crème-based Frappuccino blends for those days that caffeine was not cutting it for me. The coffee-based Frappuccino blends were excellent for energy from both the calories and caffeine. I liked the green tea Frappuccino mostly because green tea in itself doesn’t have such a great taste, but contains many health benefits. The Frappuccino toned down the earthy taste of green tea to give it an ice cream-like taste.

What I liked

  • The expansive choices at Starbucks.
  • The great taste of each Frappuccino.

What I didn’t like

  • The high sugar levels in some Frappuccino blends.

Who it’s best suited for

  • This drink is best for sweet teeth. There is ample sugar in the syrups and creams used to make the drinks.

Final Verdict: So, which is better? Starbucks Frappuccino or Latte

The Frappuccino blend takes the lead in this comparison. As much as they are high in sugar and calories, they taste great and bring refreshment on hot days. They are available in so many variations. You have the choice to modify as much or as less as possible. You can also opt for non-caffeine drink options with the crème Frappuccino blends. Most of the Frappes are available all year round and the seasonal ones are worth waiting for.


Which one tastes better between a Frappuccino and a latte?

A Frappuccino blend tastes better and has a wider variety to choose from as compared to a latte.

What is the difference between Frappuccino and a latte?

A Frappuccino is a blend of ingredients that is accomplished in a blender, while a latte is comprised of mainly coffee or tea and steamed milk.

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