Frappuccino has to be one of my favorite coffee-based beverages ever. Not only is it tasty, but the smooth texture and ice-cold base make it refreshing and energy-boosting at the same time. However, making one at home can be tricky, especially if you want that smooth texture you get in Starbucks. So, why is your frappuccino turning out too watery?
There are several possible culprits behind a watery frappuccino. You might be putting too much ice inside it. If the base mixture isn’t chilled, it’ll separate and leave you with a watery frappuccino. Short blending or lack of a connective additive like xanthan gum will cause the same issue.
You can avoid all these problems if you know what you are doing and have that perfect frappuccino at home instead of paying three times the amount in a shop. Keep reading to learn what a frappuccino is, what ingredients you should use, how to get that perfect texture, and avoid the beverage becoming too watery or the ingredients separating from one another.
What Is a Frappuccino?
A frappuccino is a sweet, cold coffee-based beverage sold in coffee shops all over the world. Starbucks trademarked the frappuccino in the mid-90s after they purchased a coffee shop chain called The Coffee Connection. An employee named Andrew Frank made the first frappuccino, and Starbucks gained rights to it after the purchase.
Later on, they perfected the recipe and made it a global hit. The name is derived from two words representing two drinks: the base for a frappuccino – frappe and cappuccino. Frappe is an icy, smooth beverage made of ice cream, milk, ice, and flavored syrups. People commonly use mocha and vanilla syrups to provide a consistent texture to the frappuccino.
The ingredients are blended to create a frappe. To make a frappuccino, you add cappuccino into the frappe base before blending. At least, that was the recipe initially. Nowadays, the recipe is a bit different, using some additives to improve texture, consistency and to keep the ingredients from separating. That’s why Starbucks frappuccinos are so smooth, and yours are watery.
Why Is My Frappuccino too Watery?
When Starbucks makes their frappuccinos, they have a few advantages, including better equipment and food additives that make it perfect. I’ve tried getting that perfect texture and smoothness a hundred times, but my frappuccinos were always too watery.
If I got the consistency right, the ingredients started to separate quickly, yet again leaving me with only a shadow of what you get in the coffee shop. A friend of mine told me a little secret that changed everything – xanthan gum.
It’s a food additive used quite commonly to increase the viscosity of a liquid. However, it does so much more for your frappuccino. First, it gives it that smooth texture, denser than coffee but lighter than a frappe. Second, it keeps all the ingredients from separating. Therefore, even if your frappuccino sits for a while, it will remain as good as the moment you made it.
Only a pinch of xanthan gum is needed to give you that great density you want. It’s completely safe and common to use, but if you want to avoid using xanthan gum, I’ve noted several things that help while trying to get to the perfect recipe.
Adjust the milk-to-syrup ratio
I noticed that the amount of syrup you use determines many things: the density, the taste, and the smoothness of your frappuccino. So, if you feel like your frappuccinos are turning out to be too watery, try putting less milk and more syrup in. Just don’t go overboard, as it might ruin the drink if you put too much syrup in the mixture.
Refrigerate the frappuccino base before blending
You might be failing to get the texture you want because the base of your frappuccino is too warm when blending. Instead of cooling every ingredient separately, I often make the base first (I use espresso, milk, flavored syrup, and a bit of ice cream) and then put it in the fridge to cool down for an hour or two.
That way, when I add ice into it and start blending, the ice doesn’t melt as fast, preventing that watery texture. It’s not the best solution, though. It doesn’t prevent the ingredients from separating with time, but it’s a good start.
Use less liquid than you usually use
If you want to make the original thing using a cappuccino, you’ll need a lot more liquid in the blender to get any taste of the coffee. You see how this can cause problems with the density of the drink. That’s why I use espresso instead. It gives you that strong coffee taste without having to put in too much liquid.
What’s even a better trick is to make the espresso and freeze it. Then, you put the espresso ice cubes into the frappuccino to get the ultimate results. Keep in mind that you still need to put in milk, syrup, and ice. So, the less liquid you can use with your coffee part of the drink, the better.
Blend for an appropriate amount of time
As with any other beverage that requires blending, the more you make, the longer you need to blend. With a frappuccino, it takes a bit longer to get all ingredients to blend properly, as you have to use many ingredients and a lot of ice. Always blend your frappuccino for about a minute, regardless of how much you’re making.
How to Make a Perfect Frappuccino at Home?
Let’s face it – you might never make a frappuccino that’s exactly like Starbucks, but you can come as close to perfect as possible. And, you can make it exactly how you like, so that’s another plus. You can make several different flavors by changing only one or two ingredients, especially the syrup and the ice cream (if you’re using it).
This is a recipe for an espresso mocha cappuccino I love to make at home. Make different flavors simply by changing the syrup flavor. You’ll need:
- 100 ml of frozen espresso cubes
- 100 ml of coconut milk
- ½ tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon mocha syrup
- ¼ cup of vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup of ice cubes
- A pinch of xanthan gum
Freeze the espresso in ice cubes. Make a mixture of coconut milk, sugar, and mocha syrup and cool it for an hour. Take it out and add the frozen espresso, the ice cubes, and the vanilla ice cream. Add the xanthan gum, and blend it for 45-60 seconds (depending on the strength of your blender).
Use more syrup if you want it to taste more like a frappe or more espresso cubes if you want a stronger coffee taste. Xanthan gum will provide the perfect texture. If you find the frappuccino too viscous, put in less, or skip xanthan gum completely if you find it better that way.
Best Frappuccino Ingredients
You can use what you like the most, but note that you can’t make a good frappuccino without good ingredients. Bad espresso can ruin the entire drink, so you better use good coffee to get it right. A hot favorite is the Lifeboost Espresso. It is clean and smooth tasting. Most importantly, it is 100% organic and has low acidity.
Alternatively, I also suggest the Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee. Many believe it’s overrated, but I find the taste perfect for frappuccinos.
The Jordan’s Skinny Mixes Syrup Trio is what I always use, as all three flavors are delicious (mocha, vanilla, and salted caramel), giving me options when making my frappuccinos. Also, I love the texture they provide, and I made the ratio written in the recipe with this particular mocha syrup.