Frappe’s 3 avatars

How frappe was an accident, and Starbucks turned it into a global craze

Abhishek Rai
May 28, 2018 · 4 min read

Early coffee culture

When I was a kid ( 80s & 90s), people drank black coffee to punish themselves. It had just one taste, bitter. Very few drank it black.

Most sprinkled instant coffee powder on the top of the hot milk. Cold coffee was cold milk and a faint taste of coffee. Only difference between hot and cold coffee was the temperature.

CCD happened:

In 1996 CCD opened its first outlet. It had international drinks such as cappuccinos, latte, cold coffees and frappes. Barista opened its first cafe in the year 2000. Both helped in creating the speciality coffee culture in the country.

Young and old camped in these cafes with their favorite drinks. For some reason frappes became an instant hit. It cost higher than hot coffee, but it sounded cooler. One could sit longer with the drink or with their partners.

The original frappe

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Milk frappe, invented in Greece

Frappe is an accident. Blame Nescafe for making frappe popular.

In 1957, a salesman mixed instant coffee , ice and water in a shaker. It resulted in heavy coffee flavored foam. He topped it with ice and water. Unknowingly he created a new drink.

Freshly brewed coffee doesn’t help in forming the foam. Dry coffee powder doesn’t have oil in it. So, the foam is thicker, and it stays longer. Sugar adds to the viscosity and gives the cup a creamy mouth feel.


It’s recipe can not be simpler.

The coffee can be made either with a cocktail shaker or an appropriate mixer (e.g., a hand mixer). One or two teaspoons of instant coffee (traditionally Nescafe), sugar (to taste) and a little water are blended to form a foam, which is poured into a tall glass. To this is added cold water and ice cubes, and, optionally, milk (typically evaporated milk). The glass is served with a drinking straw.

New avatar of Frappe

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Frappuccino is a religion amongst youngsters around the world

Frappe in its new avatar has ditched instant coffee. Popular chains like Costa, Starbucks and CCD use espresso, milk, syrup and ice. Blending all together results in the new frappe.

So, it is dependent on expensive espresso machine, expensive espresso, and expensive blenders.

What about Kaapi Frappe:
What happens if we replace espresso with kaapi concentrate? Well, definitely a different taste profile. But, not the foam, we get from instant coffee powder. It will definitely have the usual flavour notes of nuts and chocolates.

While espresso frappes are difficult, because not everyone has an espresso machine at home, the other two are not difficult.

We will brew all the three frappes. First we will start with instant coffee powder.

Frappe Part 1: Instant coffee powder

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Easiest way to make frappe at home

At first we made frappe using instant coffee. We made it twice. Once we used a frothing machine. Next time we used a shaker. In both the cases results were great.

1. Instant coffee powder: 1 tea spoon
2. Water: 60ml/ 4–5 table spoons
3. Sugar: 1–2 tea spoon
4. 6 ice cubes
5. Cold water: 100ml
6. Milk: 60 ml

Step 1: Get the foam

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First there is a thick foam, then nirvana

We mixed coffee powder, water and sugar in a shaker. We mixed it for 3–5 minutes.
What we got was thick foam.

Step 2: Add water and ice cubes

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Then the foam rises, from the bottom of the glass

Now add 100 ml of cold water and six ice cubes. Watch the foam rise till the end of the glass.

Step 3: Garnishing

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Add a bit of milk to your ready frappe

It’s just adding milk to the mix. You can skip adding milk. We prefer with milk.

What are the key things one should keep in mind?
It’s all about foam. Since coffee powder is dry, without oil, it can hold the foam longer. So, make sure you get foam. Rest is as per the taste.

Part 2: We will make frappe using kaapi concentrate and espresso.

The Kaapi Project

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