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All About Frappe- The Sweet Treat with A Surprising Backstory.

As Summer shifts into high gear, it’s time for frappés to shine and take center stage. Frappés are a refreshing, sweet treat that can be enjoyed any time of day. The beauty of the frappé is how versatile and customizable they are, allowing you to tailor your drink to your specific taste preferences. There’s just something about the creamy texture and whipped cream topping that make frappés a decadent and indulgent treat. With 5 Sparrows’ zero sugar, stevia sweetened Frappé & Smoothie Base, the opportunities for satisfying your summer sweet tooth (at half the calorie content of traditional versions) are endless.

A frappé is generally made with water, espresso, sugar, milk, and ice. It is typically blended to combine the ingredients and often topped with whipped cream and toppings such as chocolate or caramel sauce.

The History of Frappés

The first frappé was created in Greece in 1957 at the Thessaloniki International Fair by a Nestlé representative exhibiting at the fair. The frappé quickly grew in popularity in Greece and Nestlé capitalized on the drink’s popularity in the 1980s with persistent and effective marketing campaigns. Those efforts expanded the world’s interest in the drink beyond Greece and made Nestlé’s Nescafé brand synonymous with the frappé, often referred to as a 'Nescafé frappé' in Greece.

The popularity of frappés outside of Greece increased greatly in the early 2000s when Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. Many tourists and visitors became fond of frappés, and the Los Angeles Times even published an article featuring frappés in August of 2004.

The Difference Between Frappé and Frappuccino

Think frappés and frappuccinos are one and the same? Not quite. While the names are closely related and both drinks involve coffee and ice, there are some differences. Technically, a frappé must contain coffee, while a Frappuccino can take on any flavor profile the mad scientists at Starbucks can come up with. Do you recall the Unicorn Frappuccino?

Another fun fact? While Starbucks now owns the trademark for the name “Frappuccino”, it did not come up with it originally—a coffee shop owner in Massachusetts did. In 1994 he sold his coffee shop and the Frappuccino trademark to Starbucks.

The Evolution of The 5 Sparrows Brand Frappé

All 5 Sparrows Brand products start with a love of coffee and our customers. As a former barista, our founder, Melanie,I was always on a mission to make her customers’ drinks just right. When customers at her coffee shop started asking for sugar-free frappé alternatives that didn't contain Splenda or aspartame, Melanie started testing recipes for what would eventually become our frappé and smoothie base.

Getting the recipe just right was tricky and took a lot of trial and error. The main challenge was in achieving a smooth consistency that stayed emulsified when blended. After much experimentation, and testing different ingredients, we nailed it. Our frappé base is designed to let the star ingredients shine—whether that is coffee or fruit. It’s not overly sweet, and is very versatile.

Some of our favorite ways to use the frappé base is in a zero-sugar mocha frappe made by adding espresso along with our dark cocoa drink mix, Or blend up a salted caramel macchiato frappé by adding espresso and our sugar-free salted caramel mix. Don’t have brewed espresso? Instant espresso powder, like a Starbucks “Via” packet, works great in place of espresso.

In addition, because our frappé base is so adaptable, it also makes a great smoothie base. When blended with fruit, the base gives the smoothie a creamy milkshake-like quality while keeping the overall sugar content low. Try our lower-sugar strawberry smoothie, or our sugar-free spiced chai smoothie.

What Makes 5 Sparrows Brand Frappé Different

At 5 Sparrows we believe you shouldn’t have to give up good taste to enjoy something good for you. Our frappé helps you enjoy what you love while supporting your health at the same time. A 5 Sparrows frappé lets you enjoy the decadence of a creamy, blended beverage without the guilt that typically comes along with them. We don’t want you to have to choose between your health goals or the happiness that comes from enjoying your favorite treats.

Other frappés on the market either have an unbelievable amount of sugar or have a distinct “diet” taste that comes along with artificial sweeteners.

A grande Java Chip Frappuccino has 59 grams of sugar and a medium McDonald’s Mocha Frappe has 60 grams of sugar. That’s almost 5 tablespoons of sugar in a 16 oz. beverage. The daily limits for sugar intake recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) is 36 grams for men and 25 grams for women. For individuals with diabetes, that number is even lower. That means this one beverage can put you at more than twice your daily limit for total sugar intake.

When you compare the 5 Sparrows frappé to other sugar-free frappé products on the market, you’ll find the nutritionals are similar—zero grams sugar and a low carb count, etc. But that’s where the similarities end. The 5 Sparrows Brand frappé base lends to a creamy, smooth, shake-like consistency, while others result in an icy consistency.

Like all of our 5 Sparrows Brand products, our frappé base is sweetened naturally using stevia and erythritol. Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that has the unique qualification of being calorie and sugar-free. Stevia is about 200-400 times sweeter than sugar and because it isn’t absorbed by the body, stevia doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes.

Other sugar-free products on the market contain sucralose (aka Splenda), which has more negative side effects than natural sweeteners like Stevia.

Some of the potentially negative side effects of sucralose include:

  • In 2016 an independent Italian laboratory published a large study on mice. The study found that sucralose caused leukemia and related blood cancers in male mice that were exposed to it throughout their lives starting from before birth.
  • Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners may increase cravings for sugary foods.
  • One high quality randomized control trial, found that sucralose was shown to decrease insulin sensitivity in study participants, which may be a risk factor for developing diabetes.
  • Some animal studies have found that sucralose can alter the gut microbiome and increase inflammation. For some people, sucralose's indigestibility may also cause digestive discomfort.

Bottomline—Splenda is an artificial sweetener, which is a controversial category when it comes to health benefits and side effects. More research is still needed to determine potential long term adverse health effects of sucralose and other artificial sweeteners.

Cheers to Summer!

Frappés are a popular choice for many during the summer season. We know your want to cut sugar from your diet, but we also know that you don’t want to cut all the sweetness from your life. Our goal is to ensure you can enjoy health and happiness in the same cup.

This summer, try one of our popular recipes, or experiment with different flavors to create your own unique frappé recipe. Then sit back, relax, soak up the sun and enjoy a delicious frappé guilt-free.