Fave Frappes


Cold sweat rolls off a clear cup under the hot sun.  Your wallet feels a little lighter, but it’s worth it because you’ve got a delicious coffee treat.  Yes.   Coffee, ice, corn syrup, maltodextrin… wait.  What?  What exactly are you drinking?  And what did you just spend five bucks on?

For many people, an icy cold Starbucks Frappuccino is a go-to summer staple.  It satisfies a sweet tooth and the need for a refreshment on a hot day; so, what’s not to love?

Here, the secrets are uncovered to what goes into these frosty treats.  And I found some surprising – even undesirable – secrets.

Starbucks has super customer service and a simple, clear way to look up nutrition information on their website.  However, when it comes to what actually goes into their beverages, the answers prove hard to find.  After submitting requests online to no avail (I received a seemingly-automated reply stating that the information about which I inquired could not be made public), I called the corporate number to get to the bottom of my question: What are the ingredients in the Frappuccino Blended Beverages?

Though I was repeatedly told this is “proprietary information,” the Starbucks representative hesitantly divulged the ingredients, and I was able to get the gist of the ingredients Starbucks uses.  She was helpful, searching specific drinks and listing every impossible-to-pronounce detail of their ingredients lists.  After several “Could you repeat thats?” and “spell that pleases” I had a pretty solid list of what makes up a Frappuccino.

To tell you the truth, I was pretty surprised – positively.  On the mass-produced corporate level that Frappuccinos fall into, Starbucks does a pretty good job of keeping ingredients whole and natural.  Of course, there are some exceptions, but it’s almost impossible to avoid artificial pitfalls on the global production scale.  Even the Light Frappuccinos use natural sweeteners, just different combinations and fewer of them – something of a rarity in our diet-frenzied culture.

Now I’m sharing this list and some nutrition facts with you, so you can make a more informed choice – even if just in this one small circumstance – about what goes into your body.  Below are the ingredients in the Mocha Frappuccino and Mocha Light Frappuccino, followed by the recipe for my at-home, quick and cheap Cocoa Fake-accino.  And you can still make all your own personal adjustments.

Mocha Frappuccino ingredients

  • Starbucks Frappuccino roast coffee
  • Milk
  • Starbucks Mocha Sauce (Corn syrup, water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial flavor)
  • Ice
  • Starbucks Syrup Base – (Water, sugar, erythritol, natural flavors, carrageenan, maltodextrin, Rebaudioside A, caramel coloring, potassium sorbate, citric acid; contains milk and gluten)*
  • Whipped cream (on regular – not light — Frappuccinos)
Tall Regular Mocha Frappuccino with skim milk – 180 calories, 40 grams sugar, 0.5 grams of fat

Tall Mocha Frappuccino Light – 110 calories, 21 grams sugar, 0.5 grams fat

Cost: about $3.50 plus tax

*Please note that this list is based on the proprietary information relayed to me by one Starbucks representative.  To attain a precise list contact Starbucks directly online or at 1-800-STARBUCK.

And now, for my homemade take on a filling, frozen, decadent drink.  How does it compare?

Cocoa Fake-accino

In a blender place:

  • ½-1 banana (frozen is best)
  • ½ – 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or any variety you like)
  • 1-2 teaspons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1-2 teaspoons peanut butter, optional
Replace half of almond milk with cooled espresso or coffee, if desired

Makes 1-2 servings

Nutrition: Approximately 120 calories, 14 grams sugar, 7 g fat (mostly from the optional peanut butter)

Cost: Around $1.50

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Categories: Home, Sections, Your Nutrition

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