What Are Frappuccino Chips At Starbucks? (Chocolate Chips?)

Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by brewthatcoffee

What Are Frappuccino Chips At Starbucks? (Java Chips Or Chocolate Chips?)

If you’re a Starbucks supporter, chances are you have tasted a frappuccino at some stage, but what exactly are the frappuccino chips that Starbucks uses? Recipes use frappuccino while some advertise java chips, but are these the same thing? And why do they describe them as chocolaty instead of chocolate chips?

Frappuccino chips at Starbucks are pretty much the same as java chips. Often you will hear people referring to Frappuccino java chips, and the term is used interchangeably. It’s a chocolaty chip made up of different ingredients, but due to its lower cocoa content cannot be legally called chocolate.

When ordering a Starbucks frappuccino, it can get confusing as to what the terminology means. Are they all the same, or do they have different purposes? We clarify the differences or similarities and explain what frappuccino chips are and how you can use them.

Java Chips Explained

As per the United States Food and Drugs Administration, Java chips are not legally allowed to be called chocolate as the percentage of cocoa is lower than the minimum 15% that allows items to be classified as sweet chocolate.

Java chips contain 12% cocoa and are made up of other ingredients. Compared to chocolate chips, java chips break down quickly into smaller pieces and dissolve easily in liquid, allowing the fragments to pass through straws.


Java is an Indonesian island and was the leading producer of coffee in the 1800s, during the time when coffee started to rise in popularity across the globe, thanks to the Dutch influence when they managed to smuggle coffee beans out of Arabia.

The conditions on the island of Java were perfect for growing coffee trees, and they soon coined the term java as shorthand for coffee products, making it sound more exotic than Dutch coffee.

Fast forward a few centuries, and the coffee giant Starbucks franchise transformed the coffee culture by establishing blended frappuccino coffee drinks. This became more than just a coffee but became coffee-based confectionaries that gave rise to the java chip, which was named an homage to the historical roots of coffee as it’s an ingredient to the desired frappuccino.


Java chips are made up of more than just chocolates. They are made up of five main ingredients such as cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, cookie crumbs, salt, and chocolate mass, which are each made up of other sub-ingredients.

An alkali process has chemically manipulated the cocoa powder used for java chips to reduce the acidity, also known as the Dutch process. It also improves the color and flavor of the chips.

The confectioner’s sugar is a fine sugar that resembles dust, made up of vanilla, palm kernel oils, soy, milk, sugar, lecithin, and more cocoa processed with alkali, while the extra ingredients prevent the powdered sugar from caking.

The cookie crumbs are made using key ingredients such as alkali-processed cocoa, palm oil, palm kernels, salt, wheat flour, and sugar.

The chocolate mass is a semi-solid paste that intensifies the flavoring and gives the chips a deeper color.

The salt brings out the highlights in the ingredients enhancing the flavors.

Due to the product containing milk and wheat flour, this is by no means a dairy-free, gluten-free or vegan-friendly product.

What Java Chips Taste Like

Java chips are described as having a rich chocolaty taste derived from the chocolate mass and cocoa powder ingredients. The confectioner’s sugar makes the chips sweet and melts quickly in hot or cold drinks.

Along with the added sweetness of cookie crumbs, they add texture with a delightful crunch along with a prominent taste of cookies, a bit like crushed Oreos, since they are a key ingredient in the java chip.

The combination of all the ingredients offers crunchy, chocolaty flavored morsels that melt like sugar drops.

Nutrition Info

Java chips or frappuccino chips are used sparingly, and a serving at Starbucks is generally a scoop that is about 38g.

The nutritional information for one scoop of java chips is as follows;

  • Calories 170
  • Total fats 6g (of which saturated fats are 5g)
  • Sodium 110mg
  • Total carbohydrates 29g (which includes dietary fibers 1g and total sugars 22g)
  • Protein 1g
  • Calcium 61g
  • Iron 1mg
  • Potassium 169mg

Are They The Same As Frappuccino Chips At Starbucks?

What Are Frappuccino Chips At Starbucks? (Java Chips Or Chocolate Chips?)

The Coffee Connection chain, owned by Goerge Howell, originally developed and sold the frappuccino and trademarked the name. Starbucks acquired the Coffee Connection chain in 1995, gaining the rights to sell, market, and produce the frappuccino.

Java chips are common outside the Starbucks chain and are sold worldwide. So, the term frappuccino chips became part of the coffee chain’s trademark name and marketing as one of the ingredients commonly used for the frappuccino blend that Starbucks solely uses.

The terms are used interchangeably, so to avoid confusion between java chips and frappuccino chips, the two can sometimes be combined and advertised as java frappuccino chips.

So, in short, java chips and frappuccino chips are the same things.

Java Chips vs. Chocolate Chips

Using the term chocolaty is not a catchy advertising phrase the coffee giant uses. The term chocolate is regulated, and the term is reserved for products that contain a minimum percentage of 15% cocoa.

Java chips contain only 12% cocoa, so they are not considered chocolate but can use the term chocolaty.

Java chips are made specifically to break down and melt quickly in drinks so they can pass through straws. On the other hand, chocolate chips are manufactured to retain their shape during baking due to a higher concentration of cacao butter. Although they both contain percentages of cocoa that are somewhat similar, they are also vastly different.

However, depending on the manufacturers of java chips, there are some exceptions to the rule; where some of these chips contain enough cocoa to be legally named chocolate, but these are rare.

Ways To Use Frappuccino Chips

Luckily frappuccino chips are not restricted to only one use. These chocolaty morsels can be used in different ways. Even if it is a bit unconventional, they still make great-tasting alternatives and treats.

For Beverages

Frappuccino chips aren’t reserved for cold blended coffee drinks, although it is the most popular use for them. You can add some frappuccino chips to warm coffee to sweeten the taste and create a mocha-flavored drink.

Milkshakes are another excellent option for frappuccino chips. They add texture and flavor to an ordinary milkshake.


Frappuccino chips are less sweet than chocolate chips, making them a great snacking option. It is also ideal for adding some sweetness and flavor to granola cereals, or if you prefer making your own granola bar, they are a great addition to the healthy snack.

Increase the flavors of your protein shakes by adding a handful of frappuccino chips without making your shake overly sweet, as they are not as sugary as chocolate chips.

You can also eat them straight out of the bag if you are craving a chocolaty snack or treat.


We have all seen the frappuccino topped whipped cream with droppings of frappuccino chips as decorations. Still, it’s not restricted to whipped cream coffee drinks. For added texture flavor, you can enjoy a serving of frappuccino chips to decorate desserts like ice creams, parfaits, mousses, and puddings.


Frappuccino chips can easily replace chocolate chips in baking if that’s all you have available. Their quick melting abilities make them great to add to brownies, cakes, or cupcakes. It can even be used in cookies, granted it may not be the best for chocolate chip cookies.

Frappuccino Chips FAQs

Here are some more frequently asked questions that you may have concerning frappuccino chips.

In a way, yes and no. Frappuccino chips are a form of chocolaty chips but also contain other ingredients that make them easier to melt and break down in liquids when blended. They contain less cocoa than chocolate chips and are not as sweet.

Frappuccino chips do not contain coffee itself, but they do contain a small amount of caffeine, about 15mg. This comes from theobromine, a natural stimulant found in cacao nibs and has the same effect as caffeine.


The term frappuccino chip is exclusively used for Starbucks drinks since they bought the rights and tradename for frappuccino back in 1995. Still, it’s the same as java chips, a term that can be used outside of Starbucks. Although similar to chocolate chips, some differences prevent them from being called chocolate, even though they make ideal substitutes.


















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