What Is Starbucks Frappuccino Roast? How To Use It & More

Updated on: January 23, 2024
Author: Alex DeCapri
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Starbucks Frappuccino Roast

Have you ever wondered about the mystery behind the Starbucks Frappuccino Roast? You’ve probably enjoyed it in several of your favorite drinks from this popular coffee chain… but what exactly is it?

In this article, we take you on a journey to uncover the secrets of this secret ingredient. Get ready to explore the world of the Frappuccino Roast and understand what makes it so special.

So, grab your favorite mug, and let’s answer the question: What is Frappuccino Roast?

What Is Frappuccino Roast?

Frappuccino Roast is a key component of Starbucks' beloved Frappuccino beverages. Originally introduced in the late 1990s, it is a specially crafted dark roast coffee blend of Italian and Espresso roasts. It starts as a coffee powder specifically formulated to dissolve in cold water.

What is Frappuccino Roast

As you can imagine, drinking this by itself will taste similar to instant coffee with strong bitterness and a heavy body. However, that’s exactly what Starbucks wants in order to balance out the intense sweetness of their Frappuccinos.

This powder is later transformed into a sweet syrup at Starbucks stores that baristas use to add measured “pumps” into different drinks.

Despite its name, Frappuccino Roast isn't something your local roaster can do, and it's not your typical bag of freshly roasted coffee beans…The powdery substance is mixed with water once it arrives at Starbucks stores, making it a concentrated syrup. This Frappuccino roast syrup is the "strong roasted coffee" flavor used in creating the signature flavor in Frappuccino drinks.

Frappuccino Roast Syrup

Confusing? Yes. But Starbucks is famous for creating its own vocabulary in the coffee world. Might as well learn the lingo and get on board, right?

This unique syrup, combined with other ingredients like milk, ice, and flavorings, results in the delectable Frappuccino beverages enjoyed by millions around the world.

Note: don’t be confused if you see people call this “frap roast” or “frapp roast.” They are simply two nicknames for this ingredient that I will also use throughout this post for simplicity’s sake.

Frappuccino Roast - The Pros and Cons

Frappuccino roast is a unique ingredient that has advantages and disadvantages. It goes well with sweet ingredients but not so much by itself…

Let’s go over some pros and cons!

The Pros

  • Convenience: Frapp Roast is easy to prepare as it dissolves quickly in cold water, making it a convenient option for creating Frappuccino beverages. Baristas need to be quick, especially at Starbucks (which is always crowded, right?).

  • Consistent Measurements: Once in liquid form, it allows for precise measurement, enabling baristas to consistently craft the perfect Frappuccino drinks all around the world. If you try a Frappuccino in some small town in the United States, it should taste the same as the one you order in Dubai.

  • Versatility: Its syrup form allows for various flavor combinations and customization, catering to a wide range of taste preferences and different styles of drinks.

The Cons

  • Freshness: Frapp Roast is similar to instant coffee, which we all know isn’t as fresh or tasty as freshly ground coffee beans.

  • Bitterness: Some people find the taste of Frapp Roast to be slightly bitter, especially when compared to traditional brewed coffee. You won’t want to drink this stuff on its own.

  • Additives: The syrup contains certain additives, preservatives, and gums to maintain its shelf life, which could be a concern for those seeking more natural coffee options. Frappuccinos also tend to come with at least one flavored syrup.

Why Does Starbucks Use Frappuccino Roast Instead of Freshly Brewed Coffee?

The quick answer is that Frapp Roast is specifically designed for use in cold beverages. Since it’s made to be mixed with cold water, it works perfectly with Frappuccinos and other cold drinks, making sure to keep the texture and help create a creamier foam.

Freshly brewed coffee is not nearly as bitter as the Frapp Roast, so opting for normal espresso might create a drink that’s just too sweet. Frappuccinos are already crazy sweet!

Plus, using the Frapp Roast saves time over espresso and helps standardize the recipes, making sure each drink tastes the same, regardless of when or where it was made.

How Much Caffeine Does Frappuccino Roast Have?

Frappuccino Roast Caffeine Content

Starbucks doesn’t list an exact figure for how much caffeine each pump of Frapp Roast contains. However, we can take individual Starbucks drinks and look at their caffeine content.

The grande (16 oz) Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino contains 95 mg of caffeine (1). It contains three pumps of Frappuccino Roast and some coffee. If the other coffee listed as an ingredient adds at least 20 mg of caffeine, it would make sense that each Frappuccino Roast pump has around 25 mg of caffeine.

Here is the caffeine content of some Frappuccino Blended drinks based on their size:

Drink NameCaffeine Content (Tall Size - 12 fl. oz)Caffeine Content (Grande Size - 16 fl. oz)Caffeine Content (Venti Size - 24 fl. oz)
Espresso Frappuccino Blended Beverage125 mg155 mg185 mg
Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Beverage75 mg105 mg145 mg
Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino Blended Beverage70 mg100 mg135 mg
Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino65 mg95 mg130 mg
Coffee Frappuccino Blended Beverage65 mg95 mg125 mg
White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage65 mg95 mg125 mg
Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino Blended Beverage65 mg95 mg125 mg
Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage60 mg90 mg120 mg

Where Can I Buy Frappuccino Roast?

Disclaimer: You can’t buy Frapp Roast powder from Starbucks. It isn’t for sale. That being said, I did find some packets for sale on eBay… but Starbucks does not actively sell these for personal use. Keep that in mind if you happen to discover some for sale online.

Frappuccino Roast Powder packets

If you want to make your own Frappuccino at home, you can create something pretty similar using Italian or dark espresso coffee roast instant coffee. Simply mix with cold water and sugar to create your own “pumps” of Frapp Roast to be added to your drink.

How Do You Make Frappuccino Syrup from Frappuccino Roast?

Starbucks makes their famous Frappuccino coffee syrup from dissolving Frap Roast powder in water. Then, they add sugar, xanthan gum, natural flavors, and other preservatives in order to create a thick syrup with a stable shelf life. Making a thicker syrup helps keep the texture of the Frappuccino nice and creamy.

How Many Frappuccino Roast Pumps Go Into Your Drink?

Short, tall, Grande, Vent, or Trenta? These are Starbucks’ famous drink size names. Each Frappuccino blended beverage comes standard with:

  • 2 pumps of Frappuccino Roast for a Tall (12 oz), 
  • 3 pumps for a Grande (16 oz), or 
  • 4 pumps for a Venti (24 oz).

You can, of course, add or subtract pumps depending on your personal preference and how wired you want to be on caffeine and sugar for the next few hours.

Popular Starbucks Drinks with Frappuccino Roast

Curious to see what these drinks taste like? Here’s a list of some crowd favorites that come loaded with Frap Roast pumps.

Note that all info provided is for the Grande size (16 oz) of each drink.

Popular Starbucks Drinks with Frappuccino Roast

Coffee Frappuccino® Blended Beverage

Starbucks describes this drink as when “coffee meets milk and ice in a blender for a rumble-and-tumble togetherness to create one of [its] most-beloved original Frappuccino® blended beverages.” (2)

  • Frappuccino Ingredients: Ice, Milk, Coffee Frappuccino Syrup, Coffee
  • Nutritional Info: 230 calories, 45 g sugar, 3 g fat
  • Caffeine Content: 95 mg
  • No. Frappuccino Pumps: 3

Espresso Frappuccino® Blended Beverage

Want something with a little more caffeine? The Espresso Frappuccino combines coffee with a shot of hot espresso and milk, which is then “blended with ice to give you a nice little jolt and lots of sipping joy.” (3)

This is my go-to when I enter a Starbucks, as I personally love the combination of espresso and Frappuccino Roast (and I maaay be slightly addicted to caffeine).

  • Frappuccino Ingredients: Ice, Milk, Coffee Frappuccino Syrup, Coffee, Brewed Espresso
  • Nutritional Info: 210 calories, 42 g sugar, 2.5 g fat
  • Caffeine Content: 155 mg
  • No. Frappuccino Pumps: 3

Related Read:

Psssst...do you know what are the strongest drinks at Starbucks? Check our article to find out!

White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Beverage

Craving something a little more decadent?  Starbucks claims that this mixture of white chocolate, coffee, milk, and ice might be the “best thing that happens to you all day.” (4) Spoil yourself with the added cream on top.

  • Frappuccino Ingredients: Ice, Milk, Coffee Frappuccino Syrup, Coffee, Whipped Cream, White Chocolate Mocha Sauce 
  • Nutritional Info: 420 calories, 61 g sugar, 17 g fat
  • Caffeine Content: 95 mg
  • No. Frappuccino Pumps: 3

Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

If the White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino doesn’t do it for you, maybe this Frappuccino will satisfy your sweet tooth.

“Frappuccino Roast coffee, mocha sauce, and Frappuccino chips blended with milk and ice, layered on top of chocolate cookie crumble and topped with vanilla whipped cream, mocha drizzle, and even more chocolate cookie crumble.” (5)

My mouth is watering as I write this. If you ever order this meal-in-a-drink concoction, please write me and let me know how it tastes.

  • Frappuccino Ingredients: Ice, Milk, Coffee Frappuccino Syrup, Coffee, Whipped Cream, Mocha Sauce, Frappuccino Chips
  • Nutritional Info: 480 calories, 55 g sugar, 24 g fat
  • Caffeine Content: 95 mg
  • No. Frappuccino Pumps: 3

Related Read:

The Best Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino Recipe for Home

Java Chip Frappuccino® Blended Beverage

Last but not least is the Java Chip Frappuccino. Starbucks claims this drink will bring you “endless java joy” in the form of mocha sauce, Frappuccino chips, and rich cream (6). I’m sold - what about you?

  • Frappuccino Ingredients: Ice, Milk, Coffee Frappuccino Syrup, Coffee, Whipped Cream, Mocha Sauce, Frappuccino Chips, Chocolate Cookie Grind Topping
  • Nutritional Info: 440 calories, 59 g sugar, 19 g fat
  • Caffeine Content: 105 mg
  • No. Frappuccino Pumps: 3

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Starbucks Frappuccino Roast and Espresso?

The difference between Frappuccino roast and espresso lies in their form and concentration. Frappuccino Roast is a concentrated syrup made from instant coffee, designed for cold beverages like Frappuccinos. Espresso, on the other hand, is a highly concentrated shot of coffee made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, commonly used as a base for hot coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

Are all Frappuccinos made with Frappuccino Roast?

Not all Frappuccinos are made with Frappuccino Roast. While many Frappuccinos use the Frappuccino Roast syrup as a base, the Creme Frappuccino drinks, like the Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino® Blended or the White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino Blended Beverage, don't contain coffee and use different ingredients to create the desired flavors (7).

How many calories are there in Frappuccino Roast?

As Frappuccino Roast is primarily used as a syrup base in beverages, its caloric content is negligible on its own. The caloric count mainly depends on the entire Frappuccino recipe, including additional ingredients like milk, sweeteners, and toppings.

Does Frappuccino roast contain coffee?

Yes, Frappuccino Roast does contain coffee, as it is made from coffee beans that have been roasted and processed to create a concentrated coffee syrup.

Is there decaffeinated Frappuccino Roast?

Starbucks offers decaffeinated options for some of its beverages, including certain Frappuccinos. However, there is no decaffeinated Frappuccino Roast. If you prefer a decaffeinated option, it's best to order a decaf Frappuccino by asking your barista to use decaf espresso instead. You can also order a Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage which does not contain Frappuccino Roast (and thus no caffeine). Obviously, avoid the matcha or chai Crème Frappuccinos for a caffeine-free drink.

How should I store Frappuccino Roast?

Frappuccino roast in powder form lasts a long time, but make sure you store it in a dry and cool place. The frappuccino roast syrup should be kept in the fridge and consumed within 48 hours.

Frappuccino Roast

Bottom Line

So, what is Frappuccino Roast? Now you know.

The Starbucks Frappuccino Roast is a specially crafted blend of Italian and espresso-roasted coffee beans, transformed into a concentrated syrup designed for icy beverages like a cold Frappuccino.

While it may not be suitable for standalone consumption due to its intense bitterness, it serves as the perfect base to balance the sweetness in Frappuccino drinks and other drinks with added sugary flavored syrup.

With its convenience, consistency, and versatility, Frappuccino Roast continues to be an essential component in creating the delectable Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino beverages enjoyed by customers worldwide.

If it’s time to swap your usual hot coffee for a colder option, you can’t go wrong with a Frappuccino! And tell us which is your favorite Frappuccino drink!

Alex DeCapri is a curious coffee writer and specialty coffee roaster. Currently, he is slowly making his way from the United States to Brazil in his camper van, visiting as many coffee farms as possible!

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

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