Are you wondering about those delicious chips the baristas sprinkle over your Frappuccino at Starbucks? What are Frappuccino chips at Starbucks, and what are they made of? Can you make them at home?
“Frappuccino chips” refer to the trademarked name Starbucks uses to call their java chips. They may look like regular chocolate chips but contain several different ingredients. These are confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, cookie crumbs, chocolate mass, and salt.
If you are wondering if java chips are gluten-free, then the answer is they are not. If you seriously have gluten sensitivity, inform your barista that you don’t want it on your drink.
Read on to learn more about what Frappuccino chips are at Starbucks. You will also know whether you can use it for other things besides caffeinated drinks.
What Are Frappuccino Chips?
What are java chips or Frappuccino chips? Starbucks calls the chocolate-flavored chips that they sprinkle over their signature coffees Frappuccino chips. However, they are technically just java chips.
Even though they are called “java chips,” these are not coffee nibs. They are “chocolate” chips similar to those used in your cookies.
They were named Frappuccino chips at Starbucks mainly because they were commonly used there. Another reason is that Starbucks trademarked the name.
Now, why are they called java Frappuccino chips? What are they made of?
Starbucks Frappuccino Chip Ingredients
The main Starbucks Frappuccino chip ingredients are as follows:
1. Confectioner’s Sugar
This is not just your regular powdered sugar. It contains other ingredients, including vanilla, palm oil, soy lecithin, and more.
Specifically, it is alkali-processed cocoa to neutralize much of its natural acidity. This can result in improved color and taste.
3. Cookie Crumbs
These are the regular cookie base that Starbucks uses for their chocolate chip and oatmeal-raisin cookies. These are the particles that will carry the chocolate mass and cocoa.
4. Chocolate Mass
This is a semi-solid chocolate paste. It adds deeper color and more intense chocolate flavor to the chips.
The salt enhances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
What Do Frappuccino Chips Taste Like?
Although called java chips, they taste like chocolate more predominantly. However, the java chips could taste like good chocolate depending on the amount of cocoa used for making them. The taste could also be just a hint of chocolate.
The Frappuccino chips used by Starbucks taste like their ingredients state – chocolate-coated cookie crumbs.
The soft texture makes the Frappuccino chips easily crumble and melt in your mouth. Java chips made with a higher cocoa content are a bit harder. They would also have the same texture as regular chocolate chips.
Why Are Frappuccino Chips Not Called Chocolate Chips?
Now, why are java or Frappuccino chips not called chocolate chips? What are the differences between Frappuccino chips vs. java chips?
You can only call a commercial product “chocolate” if it uses cocoa containing at least 15% cocoa liqueur. This is according to the FDA. As it happens, Starbucks’ Frappuccino chips only contain 12%, so you cannot call them chocolate.
However, some coffee shops that make their java chips use more chocolate. They can technically call them chocolate chips if they want. However, that won’t sound quite as cool when you’re in the coffee business.
Java chips are also technically not the same as chocolate chips. The reason is that they are primarily for use in coffee. These chips have a slightly lower cocoa content.
This causes them to melt quicker in beverages than the chocolate chips used for baking. However, this does not mean you can’t use java chips for cooking.
Where Can You Add Java Chips?
As its name suggests, Frappuccino chips, also called java chips, are common ingredients in blended coffee beverages. However, you can also eat them as is. You may also use them in baking, similar to how you would use chocolate chips.
Here are some of the different ways that you can enjoy java chips:
1. Blended Drinks
As you may already know, the most popular use of java chips is as an ingredient in blended drinks. In most cases, they are coffee-based drinks. You can often see java chips sprinkled on top of an iced latte. This can give the drink a bit more sweetness and cut the bitterness of the coffee a bit.
Sometimes, you can see the chips being melted into the coffee to give it a more chocolatey flavor. You can then top it with whipped cream and a sprinkling of java chips.
2. Baked Goods
Although this might not seem likely, you can use java chips for baking. You could need chocolate chips for baking cookies, but all you have are java chips. Although they are not quite as sweet as chocolate chips, they work well in baked goods.
Other baked goods where you can use java chips include brownies, cakes, and loaves of bread. Although they don’t have quite as much cocoa, some people like using java chips instead of chocolate chips. This is especially true if they only want a hint of chocolate flavor.
3. Ice Cream Toppings
You can also use java chips as an ice cream topping. I found that this goes well with coffee-flavored ice cream. Also, try adding this on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also pour a bit of espresso on top.
Also, if you have a sweet tooth, you can nibble on java chips as a snack. These are better for you than chocolate as it does not have as much sugar. However, you should still not overeat as it will be bad for your health if you do.
How to Use Frappuccino Chips in Drinks
1. Blend with the Other Ingredients
This is the most common way to use java chips in blended drinks. Often, you can do it when making java chip Frappuccino. Because java chips melt easily, it does not take much to incorporate them into cold beverages.
2. Toppings For Cold Whipped Drinks
Because java chips easily melt on your tongue, it makes for a great topping choice for blended drinks. Although java chips are common in Frappuccino, you can also use them with other flavors. I find that blended strawberry frappes go well with java chips.
3. Mix with Hot Drinks
To mix java chips in cold drinks, you must use a blender. However, that is not the case at all when crafting hot drinks. You can drop them into the cup before serving. You may also steam a couple of pieces together with the milk to give it a slightly sweeter flavor.
Also, java chips will not jam the blender’s blades, unlike regular milk chocolate chips. This can be quite a problem even when using heavy-duty machines.
Remember, though, that you need to use java chips in moderation. Use too much of this ingredient, making your drink way too bitter. This is just like dark mocha sauce and other slightly bitter ingredients.
Again, what are frappuccino chips? Frapuccino chips are special chocolate chips that easily break down when blended. Plus, it also melts easily in your mouth. As for the taste, it has a rich yet sweet chocolatey flavor. And Starbucks use these chips in some of their famous drinks.
Alternatives to Frappuccino Chips
You can easily find java chips in many specialty stores and online retail websites. However, if you are in immediate need of them and you don’t have any, you can find alternatives.
So are there any viable alternatives you can use instead of java chips? The answer is yes. There are several ingredients that you can use to replace java chips in a pinch, namely:
1. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
Although regular chocolate chips work well as alternatives to java chips, you can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips. They are perfect if you want a more authentic taste. Regular chocolate chips are a bit too sweet and do not have even the slightest bitterness to them.
Use dark chocolate chips in your coffee if you want a richer chocolate flavor. However, if you don’t like your beverages that sweet, go for semi-sweet chocolate chips. You will get the additional chocolate flavor, but without the added sweetness.
2. Roasted Cacao Nibs
Although they look identical to chocolate chips, cacao nibs are healthier as they do not contain added sugar. These are dried and cracked cacao beans if you are unfamiliar with cacao nibs. Essentially, they are unprocessed cacao beans.
At first, you will get a strong chocolate taste. After that, there will be a somewhat lingering bitter aftertaste. They do not taste exactly like real chocolate chips, but they are close enough.
3. Regular Chocolate Bars
You can also use a regular chocolate bar to replace java chips. Just place the bar of chocolate in the fridge until it hardens. Then, chop it into small pieces.
You can then use the chips as you would java chips. Use a dark chocolate bar if you want a taste similar to actual java chips.
Are Frappuccino Chips Vegan?
The Frappuccino chips that Starbucks use are not vegan. The reason is that they contain milk, as do most other brands that you can buy.
However, you can make your java chips using vegan chocolate chips. You can find a lot of easy-to-follow recipes online. Alternatively, you can use other products as alternatives to java chips.
However, when choosing a brand of chocolate chips, make sure it is completely vegan. Most dark chocolate chips are completely free from animal products. However, others are not. You need to carefully read the ingredients list to ensure that you are getting vegan-friendly.
Are Frappuccino Chips Gluten-free?
If you are wondering about the Frappuccino chips that Starbucks uses, they contain gluten. Among the ingredients in the Frappuccino chips that Starbucks uses are cookie crumbs containing wheat. Also, most processed chocolates have at least some gluten.
If you genuinely have gluten sensitivities, be extra careful when ordering your drink. Even though Frappuccino chips contain very little gluten, they can still harm people with celiac disease.
You can make your drink gluten-free by asking the barista not to include the Frappuccino chips from your drink. Use dark chocolate chips instead.
Do Frappuccino Chips Contain Caffeine?
On their own, Frappuccino or java chips do not contain caffeine as they do not use coffee anyway. Many people mistake Frappuccino chips for coffee nibs, but they are entirely different products. Adding Frappuccino/java chips to any drink will not add caffeine.
However, instead of caffeine, chocolate products do contain theobromine, which is also a natural stimulant. Theobromine’s effects are similar to that of caffeine.
It is also the substance responsible for giving dark chocolate its signature bitterness. Also, theobromine is a substance that is toxic to dogs and other animals.
Starbucks Drinks with Frappuccino Chips
If you are unfamiliar with the vast drink menu at most Starbucks stores, here are other drinks that contain Frappuccino chips:
1. Java Chip Frappuccino
This is the basic Frappuccino but made with additional Frappuccino chips. It is one of the most popular blended drinks that Starbucks sells.
The drink consists of a frap roast, mocha, milk, base syrup, and Frappuccino chips. It is then topped with a whipped cream dollop and a mocha sauce drizzle.
2. Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino
This is a Java Chip Frappuccino. What makes it different is a layer of whipped cream and cookie crumble placed at the bottom. It also has whipped cream and mocha sauce as toppings. Moreover, there is an additional sprinkling of cookie crumbs on top.
3. Double Chocolatey Chip Creme Frappuccino
This drink came from the Java Chip Frappuccino. However, it uses a cream base syrup instead of Frappuccino syrup. It does not also use the frap roast, just the regular roast. The toppings are still the same – whipped cream and mocha syrup drizzle.
4. Chocolate Cookie Creme Frappuccino
This is the crème version of the popular Mocha Cookie Crumble. It does not use the usual coffee base syrup. It has the crème base, instead. The other ingredients remain the same as the Mocha Cookie Crumble.
5. Oreo Frappuccino
This cookies-and-cream-based drink benefits from the addition of Frappuccino chips. The chips balance the sweetness of the cookies and cream by adding a bit of bitterness.
6. Molten Hot Chocolate
This was once just a February-only drink that debuted years ago. Starbucks only licensed a few select stores to put this drink on their menu. If your local Starbucks does not have this on its menu, you can have it custom-made.
Ask your barista to pour mocha steamed milk over a base of Frappuccino chips. You can combine it with whipped cream and finish with a mocha syrup drizzle.
7. Any Drink You Order
It might not be on the menu, but you can ask your barista to add Frappuccino chips to your drink. This is possible for less than a dollar upcharge. Frappuccino chips are available all year round, so you can order them whenever you want.
For instance, you can ask for added Frappuccino chips on top of your Crème Brulé Frappuccino for that added kick. Don’t worry, though. Your barista will advise against using this ingredient if they think it would not go well with your drink order.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Java Chips and Frappuccino Chips the Same?
Technically, these two products are the same. Although the Frappuccino chips used by Starbucks use their closely-guarded recipe, they are still java chips. Starbucks calls them “Frappuccino chips” because that is the drink usually added to.
Also, they use this term because Starbucks trademarked the name “Frappuccino chips.” This is also why other coffee shops cannot use the term. They call them what they are – java chips.
What Makes Java Chips Different from Chocolate Chips?
Although java chips also contain chocolate, there is not enough of it to technically call them chocolate chips. Another significant difference between the two products is that java chips melt quickly.
This prevents them from jamming the blenders used in coffee shops. They are “chocolatey” chips meant primarily for blending in coffee-based beverages.
What Makes Starbucks’ Frappuccino Chips Different from Regular Java Chips?
You might notice that Frappuccino chips have a slightly different taste and texture than other coffee shops’ java chips. The reason is that the chips used by Starbucks contain cookie crumbles. This ingredient makes their Frappuccino chips a bit softer and easier to melt.
In Closing – What Are Frappuccino Chips at Starbucks?
Frappuccino chips is the name that Starbucks trademarked for their in-house java chips. Starbucks has a recipe for java chips that makes them taste and feel different from those you can buy.
Frappuccino chips may look like regular chocolate chips, but they contain more than just chocolate. These include confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, cookie crumbs, chocolate mass, and salt.
One thing to remember, though, is Frappuccino or java chips contain gluten. If you suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, ask your barista to substitute the Frappuccino chips. In that case, they can use gluten-free dark chocolate chips instead.