What is Frappuccino Roast? Uncovering the Starbucks Secret

What is Frappucino Roast

Starbucks Frappuccinos are a popular choice for coffee lovers seeking a sweet, refreshing treat. But what makes them unique? The answer lies in a special ingredient: Frappuccino Roast. I hear you asking, “What is Frappuccino Roast?”

Frappuccino Roast is a unique dark roast coffee blend specifically designed for Starbucks’ famous Frappuccino beverages that combines Italian and Espresso Roasts.

This article will explore what Frappuccino Roast is, how it differs from regular coffee, and why it’s key to creating that signature Frappuccino taste. So, let’s dive in and discover the secret behind this essential component of one of the most beloved coffee drinks!

Key Takeaways

  • Frappuccino Roast is a blend of Italian and Espresso Roasts designed for Starbucks’ Frappuccino beverages
  • The powder form and strong flavor of Frappuccino Roast balance the sweetness and creaminess of the drink
  • You can customize your Frappuccino by adding more pumps of Frappuccino Roast for a stronger coffee taste

What Is Frappuccino Roast?

Whole dark roast coffee and coffee grounds

Starbucks introduced Frappuccino Roast in the late 1990s to cater to the growing popularity of their Frappuccino beverages.

The distinctive flavor and versatility of this roast have made it a key ingredient in the Frappuccino lineup. Today, you can customize your Frappuccino by asking for additional pumps of Frappuccino Roast to make it stronger and more coffee-forward.

It’s essentially a powdered mix of dark espresso coffee and Italian coffee, which provide a robust and slightly bitter profile (much like instant coffee) that helps balance out the sweetness and creaminess of frappuccino drinks.

At Starbucks, this powder mix is mixed with cold water to make a concentrated liquid that can be used in large batches. Once the mixture is dissolved, it is placed in a frappuccino roast pump so that baristas can easily add it to any blended coffee drink.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what gives your favorite Frappuccino that perfect coffee flavor, it’s most likely the Frappuccino Roast!

What Makes Frappuccino Roast Unique From Other Starbucks Coffee Blends?

Different coffee beans mixed together

What sets Frappuccino Roast apart from other Starbucks coffee blends is the way it’s made. Starbucks carefully crafts each batch using top-quality beans from multiple origins. These coffee beans are artfully blended together to obtain a unique flavor that can’t be replicated by simply using the Espresso Roast or any other blend.

Unlike Starbucks’ Espresso Roast or Dark Roast, the Frappuccino Roast comes in a powder form that is formulated to work with cold water and blend smoothly with the other ingredients. That’s right – it’s not meant to be enjoyed by itself because the taste alone isn’t that great. However, when combined with the other components in a Frappuccino, it creates that perfect instant coffee flavor.

Another advantage of the Frappuccino Roast is the ability to customize the amount of coffee in your drink. Since its introduction, customers have been able to order more pumps of coffee in their Frappuccino to suit their personal preferences, which wasn’t possible with just the Espresso Roast.

Now that you know a bit more about the behind-the-scenes magic of your favorite Frappuccino beverages, go ahead and enjoy them with a new appreciation for the unique Frappuccino Roast that makes those cold, creamy drinks taste oh-so-good.

Frappuccino Roast Pros and Cons
Infographic showing pros and cons of Frapucino Roast

What Goes Into Making A Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino?

man and woman sitting in a coffee shop

Starbucks creates its Frappuccinos using a combination of the Frappuccino Roast and the Frappuccino coffee syrup (base), along with other ingredients like milk and ice. The process is designed to be quick and efficient, ensuring consistency across all their locations. Here’s a general overview of how a typical coffee-based Frappuccino is made at Starbucks:

  1. Frappuccino Roast: The frap roast powder is dissolved in cold water to form a concentrated coffee liquid used specifically to add the coffee flavor to Frappuccinos without the need for traditional brewing. Baristas pump a specific amount of this syrup into the blender. The number of pumps varies depending on the size of the drink (Tall, Grande, Venti).
  2. Frappuccino Syrup (Base): This syrup is then added to the mix. It’s a sweet base that also contains thickeners to give the Frappuccino its signature texture. The syrup is different from the Frappuccino Roast; it’s more about texture and sweetness, rather than flavor.
  3. Milk: Next, milk is added to the blender. The type of milk can vary based on customer preference, including options like whole milk, skim milk, and non-dairy alternatives.
  4. Ice: Ice is a critical component of any Frappuccino. It’s added to the blender in proportion to the drink’s size and other ingredients.
  5. Blending: Once all the ingredients are in the blender, they are blended together until the mixture reaches the desired smooth, creamy consistency.
  6. Serving: The blended Frappuccino is poured into a cup. At this point, additional toppings, such as whipped cream, flavored syrups, or sauce drizzles, can be added based on the specific type of Frappuccino or customer requests.
  7. Customization: Starbucks Frappuccinos are highly customizable. Customers can request adjustments to the amount of Frappuccino Roast, the type of milk, the level of sweetness, and the choice of toppings.

This process makes your favorite Starbucks drink distinct in terms of flavor, texture, and overall experience. The Frappuccino Roast provides the coffee flavor, while the syrup (base) ensures the right texture and sweetness.

How Many Frapp Roast Pumps Go Into Your Drink?

barista making coffee

Frappuccino roast pumps are essential in making the perfect Frappuccino. They provide the rich coffee flavor that blends seamlessly with the other ingredients to create a delicious, cold drink you can’t resist. That being said, the number of pumps used can vary based on the size of your beverage.

In general, the pumps of Frappuccino roast in each drink size are as follows:

  • Tall: 2 pumps
  • Grande: 3 pumps
  • Venti: 4 pumps

These numbers are the standard used by Starbucks, but of course, you can customize your drink to your liking. Feel free to ask for more or fewer pumps if you prefer a stronger or milder taste. It’s your Frappuccino, after all!

What’s In a Starbucks Frappuccino Syrup Base?

barista making frappe

The contents of the syrup base used for Frappuccinos at Starbucks, often referred to as the “Frappuccino syrup” or “Frappuccino base,” is a specially formulated syrup that serves multiple functions in the beverage.

This syrup is designed to sweeten the drink, add flavor, and most importantly, provide the signature texture that Frappuccinos are known for.

The specific ingredients of this commercial Starbucks coffee frappuccino syrup are proprietary, but typically, such syrups contain:


This could be in the form of sugar, corn syrup, or a blend of different sweeteners. The primary role of these sweeteners is to provide the desired level of sweetness to the drink.

Thickening Agents

Substances like xanthan gum are often used in these syrups. Xanthan gum is a common food additive that acts as a thickener and stabilizer. It helps to give the Frappuccino its characteristic smooth, creamy texture and prevents the separation of the blended ice and liquid.


Depending on the type of Frappuccino base, natural or artificial flavorings like vanilla or other extracts might be added to complement the overall taste of the drink.


To ensure the syrup remains usable over a period, preservatives like Potassium sorbate may be included.


As a primary solvent, water is used to dissolve and blend all the ingredients together into a consistent syrup.

How To Make A Frappuccino at Home

Male barista making frappe in a shaker

So, you’re craving a delicious Frappuccino and want to try your hand at making one using Frappuccino roast? Look no further! Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you create that perfect beverage in just a few steps.

Frappuccino Ingredients

First things first, gather your ingredients. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 1/2 cup of milk (any type will do)
  • 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee or 2 espresso shots (cool it down in the fridge)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to taste)
  • Flavored syrup (such as caramel, mocha, or vanilla, depending on your preference)
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (thickener)

If you’re not sure of which coffee beans to use, read our article Best Coffee Beans On Amazon: Top Finds For Your Perfect Brew In 2023. This article showcases some of the very best coffee beans that you can buy on Amazon to create a delicious beverage!


Now that you’ve got everything ready, let’s start blending your ice-cold treat!

  1. Prepare the Coffee: Brew a strong cup of coffee or espresso. If you’re using coffee, make it double-strength to mimic the intensity of the Starbucks Roast. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Make your thickener: Dissolve 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum in 2 tablespoons of water to form your thickener.
  3. Mix the Ingredients: In a blender, combine the cooled coffee, thickener, milk, sugar, and ice cubes. If you want a flavored Frappuccino, you can add a couple of tablespoons of flavored syrup or caramel sauce at this stage.
  4. Blend Until Smooth: Blend the mixture on a high setting until it becomes smooth and creamy. The consistency should be similar to a thick milkshake. If it’s too liquid, add more ice; if too thick, add a bit more milk.
  5. Serve with Toppings: Pour the blended mixture into a tall glass. Top it off with a generous amount of whipped cream. Drizzle some chocolate syrup or caramel sauce over the whipped cream for an extra touch of flavor and a Starbucks-like presentation.
  6. Customize: Feel free to customize your homemade Frappuccino. You can add vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or any syrup of your choice to create different flavors.

How recreate starbuck's frappuccino at home
Recipe Card for Homemade Frappucino

This recipe is just one of the many we have on our website. For more delicious coffee recipes, take a look at the recipe section of our website here: Recipes – espressoinsider.

Some other recipes that might interest you may include

  1. Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte Recipe: Easy And Delicious
  2. How To Make Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte At Home

Notes and Tips

ingredients to make coffee
  • If by chance, you get your hands on Starbucks’ frappuccino roast powder, dissolve in a 1:1 ratio (i.e. 1 tablespoon of powder in 1 ounce of water) and replace the brewed coffee for the full Starbucks experience.
  • If unavailable, you can also make the recipe without Xanthan gum. This will give you a Frappuccino that is slightly thinner than a Starbucks Frappuccino. However, it will still be a delicious and refreshing beverage.
  • Use a strong, bold coffee or espresso for the base. The strength of the coffee is crucial since it has to balance with the other ingredients without getting diluted.
  • Always cool the coffee or espresso before blending. Hot coffee will melt the ice too quickly, resulting in a watery Frappuccino.
  • Start with a smaller amount of sugar and adjust according to your preference. Remember, the whipped cream and flavored syrups will also add sweetness.
  • The amount of ice can significantly change the texture. Start with less and add more as needed for a thicker consistency.
  • You can increase the intensity of the coffee flavor by adding extra shots of espresso. However, note that the Espresso frappuccino has the highest caffeine content.
  • You can use any type of milk, including dairy-free options like almond, soy, or oat milk, which can alter the flavor and texture subtly.
  • This drink is best enjoyed fresh. However, if you need to store it, keep it in the refrigerator and give it a quick blend or shake before serving.


In conclusion, Frappuccino Roast is a unique and integral part of what makes Frappuccinos so distinct and beloved. Its smooth, mild flavor complements the other ingredients in a Frappuccino, providing a balanced coffee taste without overpowering the sweetness. Whether you enjoy a classic Frappuccino or like to experiment with flavors, understanding the role of Frappuccino Roast can enhance your appreciation for this popular beverage.

frappe coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy Frappuccino Roast for home use?

As of now, Starbucks does not sell Frappuccino Roast separately for home use. It is a proprietary blend used exclusively in their stores. However, for those looking to recreate the Frappuccino experience at home, Starbucks recommends using their espresso roast or a double-strength brewed coffee as a substitute.

These alternatives can provide a similar flavor profile and intensity, although the texture and ease of blending may vary.

How does Frappuccino Roast differ from Frappuccino Chips?

Frappuccino roast and Frappuccino chips serve different purposes in a Frappuccino drink. While Frappuccino roast is a powdered coffee mix, Frappuccino chips are small chocolate pieces often used to add texture, flavor, and visual appeal to various Frappuccino flavors.

So, the main difference is that roast provides the coffee taste, while chips enhance the drink with chocolatey goodness.

Does Frappuccino Roast contain the same amount of caffeine as regular coffee?

The caffeine content in Frappuccino Roast is generally lower compared to a standard serving of regular coffee or espresso. This is due to its formulation and the way it’s used in Frappuccino beverages, which often contain more milk, syrup, and ice relative to the amount of coffee.

However, the exact caffeine content can vary depending on the specific drink and its size. For those concerned about caffeine intake, it’s advisable to check the nutritional information for each specific Frappuccino flavor.

Veronica McCoy

Veronica McCoy

Hi there, I’m Veronica a caffeine addict and coffee lover. Coffee has always been more than just a drink to me; it’s a journey of flavors, stories, and traditions. This blog is where I share my appreciation for the subtleties of different brews and the nuances of coffee-making. Through careful observation and a genuine interest, I delve into the details that make each cup unique. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee lover or just starting to explore, I hope my insights offer a fresh perspective. Thanks for stopping by.

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