Smoothie Bar

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Everything You Should Know About Frappe Powders & Bases

Selling frappes in your coffeeshop is practically a must. These frothy, frozen delights don’t just fly out the door in the summer months — they’re top performers year-round, no matter where you’re located. In fact, many coffee shops do more than half of their business in frappes or smoothies.

But understanding which frappe mixes are are right for your shop can be downright daunting. Should you choose a frappe powder? Or a frappe base? What’s the difference? Should you add coffee to your frappe mix or should you use one with coffee pre-added? What’s the difference between a chiller, a cooler and a frappe?

No worries, we’ve got the answers! This handy guide will make designing your frappe program and choosing the right frappe product easy. We’ll explain the differences between frappe mix products and why different products work well for different types of coffee shops. And then we’ll talk brands — what makes each brand unique and what purpose they’re best for. Let’s get started!

What’s the difference between Frappuccino’s, frappes, chillers and coolers?

There is no difference. They’re different names for the same frozen drinks, and all wholesale mixes for these drinks fall into the “frappe mix” category. (“Frappuccino” is the trademarked name for a well-known chain’s frappe products.)

What is frappe powder?

A frappe powder is either a coffee or non-coffee powder that includes emulsifier, flavoring and sweetness and is designed to be blended with ice. To make a frappe using frappe powder, all you need to add is ice and milk (or a dairy substitute) to your powder. You get a consistent frappe every time, with no other ingredients needed. Both coffee and non-coffee frappe powder flavors are popular — your choice will depend on your shop concept and customer preferences.

If you run a coffee shop, you’ll probably want to add your own coffee to showcase your roaster. If coffee is auxiliary to your business and you’re looking for a speedy, accurate drink prep process, you can probably stick to a frappe powder that includes coffee.

What is frappe base?

Frappe base is a powder product that contains emulsifier and sweetness. It serves as a base for your custom drink creations, but doesn’t contain the same flavoring agents that frappe powder does. Instead, you get to add your own! Whether you’re adding coffee, chocolate or other flavors, a frappe base lets you get crafty and bring out your inner mixologist.

Should I use frappe powder or frappe base?

Frappe powders are best suited for operations that may have very high volume or high staff turnover. If you need to make drinks quickly while maintaining product consistency and keeping food costs in check, frappe powders are the perfect choice. And if you have staff who do multiple jobs, like making drinks and food, frappe powders’ simplicity (only three basic ingredients) and ease of preparation offers assurance that your frappes will turn out the same every time.

Frappe bases, on the other hand, are suited for concepts that focus on handcrafted menu items and/or showcase local brands. A frappe base lets your creativity shine. You can tweak flavor profiles by adding exactly the amount of chocolate desired, or make your frappes more coffee-forward to highlight a favorite roast. If you’re passionate about barista training (to maintain consistency when preparing more complicated drinks) and your customers don’t mind waiting a bit longer for their orders, frappe base could work well for your shop. Some frappe bases do include coffee. They work well in shops that don’t have easy access to coffee (mobile units, fairgrounds, etc.) or concepts that don’t center on coffee, like ice cream shops.

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