What’s The Difference Between Macchiato and Frappuccino?

A single cup of joe can have a lot of variations that are not always straightforward to keep up, particularly those made in gourmet coffee shops.

Today, we’ll discuss two of the most popular beverages you must have come across: macchiato and frappuccino. If you’re pondering which cup to go for, it’s better to find the answer to this question first: what’s the difference between macchiato and frappuccino?

Macchiato is the combination of espresso and a minimal amount of milk foam on the top. In contrast, frappuccino is a cold brew with ice cream, milkshake, and cappuccino blend.

Apart from revealing the dissimilarity between these two famous drinks, Top Reviews will also run the gamut of important sections relating to them.

What Is Macchiato?

The traditional macchiato is an Italian-style espresso drink usually topped with scanty frothed milk. No coffee shop trademarks it. Reach any store, and you will find some servings of macchiato.

Most recipes have unique flavors to appeal to many coffee lovers. Don’t underestimate its capability to foster your energy all day long just by looking at its simplicity.

People usually drink it in the afternoon for an energy boost. The ratio of espresso and milk is 2:1 - the espresso quantity is twice the milk quantity.

For a glass of double macchiato, the portion of espresso and milk goes twice as much as a standard cup. That’s why you can taste a bold texture.

Concerning the size, a classic cup or espresso glass or demitasse cup has a small size of 2-3 ounces.

Starbucks, a renowned coffee brand, also offers its own macchiato close to the caffe latte and timeless frappuccino.

You can enjoy it both chilled and hot. The blend contains a mixture of 1-2 espresso shots, milk, and condiments when served hot.

The flavor ranges from vanilla syrup to toffee nut syrup and many more. The top layer is either regular milk foam or sugary soft foam.

Some coffee shops also offer a classic version meant for those seeking a close version of a traditional drink.

What Is Frappuccino?

A blend of coffee, crushed ice, milk, syrup, and sweeteners

Frappe is well-known as a drink of Starbucks - an iced beverage with a delicate mixture of crushed ice and coffee.

Some recipes mix it with additional heavy cream, condensed milk, and syrup. We blend them smoothly until we gain a milkshake form.

No matter what you add to the mixture, its base must include actual coffee, sweeteners, and ice. The most common topping is whipped cream with syrup or sauce trickling on it.

Many people misunderstand that there’s something called hot frappuccino. Indeed, you will never find hot frappe anywhere.

Concerning caffèine content, frappuccino sometimes doesn’t contain any caffèine. You can twist this versatile drink by any means.

Let’s take strawberry and matcha frappuccino as an example. This beverage is a pleasant experience for those seeking a pure, sweet refreshment without too much caffèine.

However, it contains a lot of fat and sugar. That’s why we still recommend limiting your intake to the most since your health will not greatly appreciate it.

What’s The Difference Between Macchiato and Frappuccino?

It’s time to dig a bit deeper into how the traditional macchiato and Starbucks’s macchiato differ from frappuccino.

Frappuccino Vs. Traditional Macchiato

Traditional macchiato

Traditional espresso macchiato is a scanty coffee drink, often served in a dose of 60-90 ml. Meanwhile, frappe consists of various ingredients, served in large cups of 250-700 ml.

Thus, you can figure out that frappuccino is a dessert-like, sweet beverage, while the latter is more like a deep, strong coffee.

Besides, people always serve macchiato hot for the best dark taste, whereas they blend frappuccino with ice cream (or ice) and thoroughly chill it to offer customers a familiar taste.

Plus, the traditional beverage always has espresso as a primary ingredient. Though commonly, people add espresso to frappe recipes, it’s not a must to make frappe.

While many coffee stores try to duplicate and sell frappuccino under a brand-new name, the beverage belongs to only Starbucks, trademarked by this coffee brand.

On the contrary, you can enjoy the latter in almost any respectable venue.

Simply put, a macchiato is a hot, short, espresso-based drink containing only coffee and milk.

Meanwhile, frappuccino is a blended, icy beverage that can or can not contain espresso. Yet, the must-have ingredients are sweeteners, like sugar, chocolate chips, flavored syrup (or whipped cream), and milk.

Frappuccino Traditional Macchiato
Served in large cups (250-700 ml) Served in small cups (60-90 ml)
Usually cold Usually hot
Trademarked by Starbucks Sold by any coffee shops
  • Include ice cream, sweeteners, sugar, chocolate chips, milk, syrup (or whipped cream).

  • Not require espresso

  • Include espresso and milk.

  • Require espresso.

Sweet, icy, fresh Strong, bitter, deep

Frappuccino Vs Starbucks Iced Macchiato

The confusion is in the misunderstanding of what people think Starbucks’ drink is. Though it’s close to mocha or cafe latte, Starbucks calls it an iced drink with sweeteners and lots of milk - pretty similar to frappe.

That’s why drinkers find it very easy to mistake Starbucks’ iced macchiato for a frappuccino.

The most significant difference between these two beverages doesn’t lie in the flavor or taste but the texture.

In particular, they both consist of sweeteners and flavored syrups. But while Starbucks’ iced macchiato is not blended, frappuccino needs blending to achieve its special texture.

Besides, the former always requires espresso, whereas the latter does not necessarily contain it. Frappe usually consists of the frappuccino roast rather than espresso - the patented base that Starbucks adds to most of their frappes.

Thus, they might share the same ingredients, yet the way people prepare these two drinks is different. While macchiato is much more watery, frappuccino delivers a way sweeter flavor and thicker texture.

Frappuccino Starbucks’ Iced Macchiato
  • Include sweetener, flavored syrup, and milk.

  • Not require espresso

  • Include sweetener, flavored syrup, and milk.

  • Espresso is a must

Blended Not blended
Sweeter and thicker texture More watery texture

How to Make Macchiato at Home?

First thing first, you’ll need to prepare the right machine to guarantee a well-mixed blend.

Start by dialing a dual espresso shot and topping it with a lot of milk. Ensure that the milk shares the same quality and consistency as tenderized ice cream.

The basic preparation process should take you only 7-8 minutes. For frothed milk, you can froth it yourself or buy an external milk frother to do the job for you.

Grab a cup of 4 ounces. Pour the steamed and fizzed milk into the cup, then add the espresso shots. Now, it’s ready to enjoy.

If you’re into something cool and fresh, the iced recipe is good to go. The formula includes milk, espresso, ice, and your flavoring ingredient of choice.

The steps are just the same as making the original version. Add the elements gradually one by one until you achieve the right blend. Trickle a sauce on top or around the cup’s edges to level up the taste.

Apart from the brew type, ensure to use excellent-quality espresso beans since it will determine the overall taste and flavor of the drink.

How to Make Frappuccino at Home?

Put in strong coffee, milk, sweeteners, ice, and your toppings of choice

The first step is to prepare necessary equipment and tools and measure proper timing to gain perfection for the brew.

The process should take 5-10 minutes only and is far from complicated. 

It would be great to have a sufficient-powered blender, which allows you to make the beverage with ease.

Prepare the primary ingredients, including strong coffee or espresso, milk, sweetener, ice, and favorite toppings. Mix them well until you gain a nice blend. Now is the time to enjoy.

Here is the easiest homemade frappe recipe to try at home:

Source Youtube Rajshri Food

Macchiato vs. Frappuccino: Which One To Go For?

So, you’ve figured out how to distinguish between macchiato and frappuccino and what is special about them. It will be easy to know which one suits your taste better.

If you’re into sweet refreshments, nothing is better than frappe. You can reach a Starbucks coffee shop, order a cup of frappe, and voila!

A homemade drink is also a nice option. Though it will not deliver a complete barista-quality taste, it’s enough to satisfy your appetite.

Besides, the modifications are countless. You can add mocha, green tea, vanilla, and so many more as per your preference.

On the other hand, if you lean toward something bitter, dark yet delicious, a macchiato is a favorable deal. You can enjoy a creamy mouthfeel and intense taste strengthened by the frothy, smooth milk, not to mention some available variations.


With adequate knowledge of the ingredients put in the two drinks, you can easily tell what’s the difference between macchiato and frappuccino.

They differ from each other primarily in the ingredients and base flavoring. For those having a sweet tooth, frappe wouldn’t disappoint you. For those preferring a powerful flavor, the macchiato is the way to go.

We believe both beverages can please you with a unique, delicious taste, even if you’re a severe coffee snob.

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