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What is a Frappé?

What Does Frappé mean?

The word Frappé in French literally means ‘iced’ and it originated in the mid 19th century. Though we now associate the word with a cold coffee drink, it was traditionally used to describe any partly frozen drink (such as a fruit juice) or a liqueur served over shaved ice. So how did it become such a popular coffee shop fixture? We have the Greeks to thank for that!

Origins of Coffee Frappé

References to a few types of cold coffee drinks named ‘Café Frappé’ started popping up around the mid 19th century. Some had a slushy consistency and others were similar to coffee served with ice. It was not until 1957, when the Greeks invented a version of the café frappé using instant coffee, that it firmly established itself as a popular coffee beverage.

Story goes, a representative of the Nestlé company was exhibiting an instant chocolate drink for children made by mixing the chocolate base with milk and shaking it in a shaker. An employee of the Nestlé representative was on his coffee break when he realized he was out of hot water to make his beloved instant coffee. He then had the bright idea of mixing his instant coffee granules with cold water and ice cubes in the shaker to get his coffee fix. The rest, as they say, is history.

Traditional Versus Modern Preparation

The frappé, as the Greeks make it, is a pretty simple recipe. In a cocktail shaker or mixer you add one or two teaspoons of instant coffee granules, sugar to taste and a little water. Using a shaker helps you get the characteristic frothy layer at the top of the coffee. This can be served with or without milk.

The version that is now popular in coffee shops all over is made using a blender. You typically dump ice cubes, milk, sugar, strong coffee, a little water, flavorings or syrups of your choice (even alcohol!) in the blender, give it a good whirl and pour it into a tall glass. Top it with whatever your heart desires – whipped cream, ice cream, melted chocolate – you cannot go wrong here.


  • 1 1/4 cups ice cubes

  • 3/4 cup cold-brewed coffee or extra-strong brewed coffee

  • 1/2 cup Farmer's All Natural whole milk

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

  • Farmer's whipped cream optional, to garnish.


  • Combine the ice, strong coffee, milk, and sugar in a blender and pulse/puree until frothy and ice is pulverized.

  • Taste and adjust sweetener if desired.

  • Pour into a tall glass or jar and serve with a straw.

  • Optional: Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Colorado Dairy, Wholesale Dairy, Colorado All Natural Dairy, Colorado Wholesale Dairy, Colorado Milk

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