Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Turns Out Starbucks Is Not The Inventor Of The Frappuccino

July 11, 2018

If you're like most of us out there, we just assumed that Starbucks has been the one and only creator of the beloved Frappuccino.  Turns out we would all be wrong. 

George Howell the owner of a cafe in Cambridge, Mass. known as Coffee Connection visited Seattle in 1989 to explore more for his business.  While there, he stopped at a shop known as Torrefazione Italia Cafe.  That's when he first laid eyes on the frozen concoction.  "There it was. A frozen cappuccino was being made in a granita machine. The second I tasted it — it was just a fantastic, simple drink. I knew it was going to be big."   Howell learned that it was just a simple combo of  "very strong coffee, sugar and milk." 

After going back to Cambridge, he worked on perfecting the mix. "The key to the Frappuccino that we created was getting it balanced so that the texture did not have any crystallization. It [needs to be] very smooth, sort of like a soft ice cream, but different — if you have a glass and turn it to the side, [the drink] should go into your mouth. [Frank] came up with 'Frappuccino.' The second he said it, we all said, 'That’s the name!'”   They debuted the Frappuccino in the summer of 1992.   "People were lining up out the door for it." Howell said.

Then in 1994, Starbucks bought out The Coffee Connection and the Frappuccino along with it.  

"We created the name. I have never taken credit for creating the concept," said Howell. "It’s really something where you learn from everything around you and you bring it out in the right way. And that’s what we did."

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