Latte Vs. Frappe (A Quick Guide With Pictures)

The Latté and the Frappé are both iconic drinks in their own right, but they could not be more different. These two drinks are prepared with vastly different methods, and the drinking experience of these drinks is totally different. Despite this, these two drinks are often incorrectly grouped together.

The Latté is a large espresso-based drink that can be made with various recipes, but always with espresso and very smooth textured steamed milk and served hot. The Frappé is a cold drink that is served over ice and is often prepared with instant coffee that has been foamed without milk. 

Let’s take the time to explore both of these unique and iconic coffee drinks to see how they compare and determine what makes them so unique and bring clarity to how these drinks are prepared. This is Latté Vs. Frappé.

The Latté 

brewing latte

The Latté is a traditional Italian breakfast drink that is prepared with strong espresso and a large volume of milk.

The milk in the Latté is the key to this unique espresso-based drink. The milk in the Latté must be steamed and heated, but it must not be allowed to foam as it does with other espresso-based drinks such as the Cappuccino.

Latté milk must be very smooth, silky, and very textured but with as little foam as possible. This is what gives the Latté its signature mouthfeel and drinking experience that sets it apart from all other coffee drinks.

There are various recipes for the Latté, but the traditional recipe calls for two shots of very high-quality espresso and a large amount of milk. 

The espresso should amount to about 2oz, and the milk should have a volume of around 7 – 10oz. This makes the Latté the largest of all espresso-based drinks. The typical Latté should have a total volume of 9 – 12 ounces, but some modern variations are as large as 16oz.

The Latté is one of the most challenging drinks to prepare due to the particular nature of the milk that is used for this drink. This is a strong drink and is typically enjoyed with breakfast, and is a great way to kick-start the day.

The Frappé

frappe

The Frappé is a very unique drink. There is nothing like it in the coffee world. There is much disagreement around the origin of the Frappé, but many believe that this drink originates from Greece, as do many iced coffee drinks.

The traditional recipe for a Frappé involves using sugar, instant coffee, cold water, and ice. The coffee and sugar are combined in a tall Frappé glass and then thoroughly mixed and formed with a small amount of cold water.

The key to this drink is using an electric Frappé mixer to create the drink. This is the easiest way to produce the signature “whipped” or “foamed” texture from the coffee. 

This method of creating the Frappé creates a thick head of foam from the coffee, sugar, and water. After this, there are various other ingredients that may be added to taste, but this is the base of the traditional Frappé.

There are other versions and variations of the Frappé that are based on espresso, but these lack the signature coffee foam of the traditional drink.

The Frappé, regardless of preparation, is always served cold and poured over a generous amount of ice.

Preparing A Latté 

making a latte

To prepare a latte, the barista will require an espresso machine to pull the high-quality espresso required for a latte and to create the hot textured milk using a steam wand.

The first step is to pull a double shot of fine espresso and texture the milk with steam. While the espresso is pulling, use steam to heat and texture the mount until it is too hot to touch and the texture of the milk is smooth and silky but not foam.

The lack of foam but the presence of thick, creamy texture is the key to Latté milk. 

Once the milk and espresso are properly prepared, pour the espresso into a tall Latté glass or mug. Then add the milk slowly and carefully, being sure to mix the espresso and the milk thoroughly as you pour.

The Latté must be served hot and strong, and extreme care must be taken when preparing this drink. 

Preparing A Frappé

making a frappe

Preparing the traditional Frappé, or any Frappé for that matter requires the use of an electric Frappé mixer. There are various versions of these machines, but a machine of this type is required for preparing this drink well.

The first step for preparing a traditional Frappé is to add the desired amount of instant coffee grounds into a tall glass. Most people enjoy using about 2 tablespoons of instant coffee for this drink.

Next, add the desired amount of sugar to the coffee. After this, pour in a small amount of chilled water until it covers the coffee and sugar in the bottom of the glass.

Swirl the mixture until all of the powder is wet by the water. The next step is to use the electric Frappé mixer to froth the coffee, sugar, and water mixture. 

This will thoroughly mix the ingredients and generate a thick head of foam in the glass. This is the Frappé. 

After this is completed, cold water or cold milk may be used to fill the remaining space in the glass, and a generous amount of ice is added to the drink to keep it cold. The Frappé is typically enjoyed with a straw.

The non-traditional versions of the Frappé use a single shot of espresso, milk, sugar, and sweet syrup combined in a glass and whisked with the electric Frappé mixer. This does not generate a foam, but the entire mixture is still poured over a large amount of ice in a tall Frappé glass and enjoyed with a straw.

The Bottom Line

The Latté is exclusively made with espresso, textured milk and is served hot.

The Frappé is usually made with instant coffee and cold water and is served with ice to keep it cold.

The Latté is a very strong but well-balanced drink that is meant to be a breakfast drink to start your day well. The Latté is strong and made with expertly crafted textured milk.

The Frappé can be enjoyed any time of day, but, as it is a cold drink, it is usually drunk during the summer. This signature mark of this drink is frothed instant coffee and ice. 

There are versions of the Frappé that are prepared with espresso, but they lack the signature Frappé foam. 

The Latté is designed for a more traditional coffee lover, while the Frappé is ideal for those who prefer to experiment with their coffee and try something different from time to time.