National Frappé Day: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Famous Blended Beverage

by Jahasia Cooper Updated: August 4, 2022 3 min read
CLICK HERE to subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive promotions and regular updates on everything coffee!

It’s National Frappé Day and we couldn’t help but have our hand in enjoying the day that gave us a deliciously blended drink, synonymous with hot summer days. Summer is long gone, however, we thought it’d be fun to do some research about the frappé and share with you 5 facts that you might not have known about the frappé.

Frappes Have Been Around Since the 1890s

Photograph of frappe.I wanted to believe that this deliciously blended coffee was a notoriously popular staple of the millennial generation but it turns out that frappes date back to the 19th century. Electric blenders weren’t invented until the early 20th century, so the most popular way to make this chilled drink was through a shaker, ice, and flavorings and was a popular drink in Boston. The frappé referred to a frozen slushy that didn’t contain any dairy products or coffee and it wasn’t until the early 1900s, that fans of the frappé began to add ice cream to the drink.

It was Invented By Accident

The modernized frappe that we love today was actually invented by accident at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1957. Dimitris Vakondios, an employee of the Nestlé company, took a quick break from work to make his instant hot coffee. He realized that he couldn’t find hot water so he decided that using cold water for his coffee was better than having no coffee at all. He added ice, instant coffee and cold water in a shaker, and created Greece’s famous chilled beverage, the Frappé.

Frappe in Greece.

Frappes Are Made Differently Around the World

After Greece claimed the frappé as its most popular drink, countries around the world followed suit, creating their own variations of the chilled beverage. In Denmark, drinkers created their own frappé using cold milk in place of tap water, and Bulgarians often used coca-cola in place of water.

The frappé is even made differently across the U.S. In New England, a frappé doesn’t include coffee at all, but instead adds a scoop of ice cream and cold milk into a blender to create what’s also called a ‘thickshake’. The New England version is not to be confused with a milkshake however, you will be served a nice cold glass of flavored milk.

The Greek Frappé Has 3 Levels of Sweetness

Skétos (plain), Métrios (medium) or Glykós (sweet) frappés are up for grabs in Greece. The varying degrees of sweetness are determined by how much sugar is added to this delicious drink.

Skétos (plain) - two teaspoons of coffee and no sugar

Métrios (medium) - two teaspoons of coffee and two teaspoons of sugar

Glykós (sweet) - two teaspoons of coffee and four teaspoons of sugar

The varying degrees of sweetness caters to whether or not you have a strong sweet tooth and even lets you enjoy the drink without the added sugar.

Closeup photograph of a frappe.

The Frappe Is Made with Instant Coffee

This was by far the most surprising fact to me. Most baristas and coffee connoisseurs stay far away from instant coffee. I’ve always thought that the typical American frappé was made with a double shot of espresso with blended milk and ice, but the original greek frappé was and still is, depending on where you go, made with instant coffee.

Did you know any of these fun facts about frappés?