What are Frappuccino Chips? (Java Chips Explained)

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If you are fond of ordering frappuccino drinks at Starbucks, you may be familiar with some of their blended drinks with frappuccino chips.

Most people confuse frappuccino chips for a java chip frappuccino which is a blended drink that gets frappuccino chips as one of its ingredients.

But What Exactly are Frappuccino Chips?

Frappuccino chips are special chocolate chips that break down smoothly when blended and melt easily on your tongue. They have a rich chocolatey flavor and the delicious sweetness of cookie crumbs. Frappuccino chips are one of the main ingredients in some Starbucks blended drinks.

Java Chips

Frappuccino Chips vs Java Chips

Java chips is another name for frappuccino chips. Whereas they are known as java chips outside Starbucks, Starbucks calls them frappuccino chips as part of its trademarked frappuccino brand.

Some people like to call them frappuccino java chips.

Now that we know frappuccino chips are also called java chips, we can use the names interchangeably.

What are Starbucks Frappuccino Chips Made of?

There are five main ingredients in Starbucks java chips:

  • Confectionery sugar. It is made of vanilla, sugar, palm kernel and oils, milk, soy lecithin, and cocoa processed with alkali.
  • Cocoa. This is cocoa that is processed with alkali to lower its natural acidity and improve its color and flavor.
  • Cookie crumbs. They are made of alkali processed cocoa, palm oils and kernel, salt, wheat flour, and sugar among other ingredients.
  • Chocolate mass. It is a semi-solid or solid chocolate paste that adds a deeper color and a more intense chocolate flavor.
  • Salt

From the ingredients, you can tell that Starbucks frappuccino chips are neither gluten-free nor dairy-free as they contain wheat flour and milk.

In fact, there is a real danger of cross-contamination of other drinks and food items from the ingredients with gluten through Starbucks equipment such as the blenders.

3 Ways to Use Frappuccino Chips in Drinks

  • Blend frappuccino chips with the other ingredients. This is the usual way of making a java chip frappuccino. Java chips are specially formulated to melt fast and mix with the other ingredients when crushed in a blender.
  • Use them as a topping. Since frappuccino chips soften and melt on the tongue, you can switch up your favorite drinks by sprinkling some java chips on top.
  • Melting java chips in a hot drink. Unfortunately, java chips don’t mix well in cold drinks unless you blend them. However, you can melt them in hot espresso or steam them in milk to add the rich flavors and subtle sweetness of dark chocolate to your drink.

Caveat: All good things in life have a caveat to using them, and java chips are not exempted!

***Adding large amounts of frappuccino chips to other bitter ingredients such as espresso and dark mocha sauce can make your drink overly bitter and undrinkable.***

Are Starbucks Frappuccino Chips Chocolate?

Although frappuccino chips contain chocolate, they are different from regular chocolate chips as they do not meet the FDA’s classification of chocolate. The amount of chocolate liquor (mass) by weight in frappuccino chips is below the 15% FDA minimum requirement.

Unlike regular chocolate, frappuccino chips have a special formulation so that they can dissolve fast in hot drinks and melt easily when crushed in blended drinks.

Nevertheless, you are guaranteed rich chocolate flavors when you add java chips to your drinks.

Do Frappuccino Chips have Caffeine

Frappuccino chips on their own have no coffee but contain caffeine due to the chocolate in them. Frappuccino chips and coffee nibs are two totally different products.

Therefore, frappuccino drinks with java chips and no coffee will have significantly lower amounts of caffeine than coffee frappuccinos with java chips.

For example, double chocolate chip creme frappuccino has 15mg of caffeine as compared to 105mg of caffeine in java chip frappuccino.

So, although java means coffee, java chips are not the same as coffee chips.

In addition to caffeine, chocolate chips have theobromine – a natural stimulant with similar effects as caffeine. Theobromine is responsible for the bitter flavor of dark chocolate and is toxic to dogs.

Where to Buy Frappuccino Chips

Starbucks frappuccino chips are hard to find for purchase. However, there are fantastic alternatives such as Callebaut Couverture dark chocolate callets that blend well into your frozen drinks. They also melt excellently in espresso and other hot drinks.

These milk-free callets come in 5.5 lbs bags and are available in a pack of one, a pack of two, and a pack of four bags.

Buy frappuccino chips
chocolate callets


  • Blends easily
  • Milk free
  • Semi sweat so you need not worry about cloying your drink
  • Smooth in hot drinks
  • You can pop them directly into your mouth as they are not bitter
  • Terrific for baking and tempering as well as in trail mix


  • They are not what Starbucks uses if you want a 100% match

Starbucks Drinks with Frappuccino Chips

Now that we have the lowdown on frappuccino chips out of the way, let’s look at the Starbucks drinks that have java chips.

1. Java Chip Frappuccino

Java chip frappuccino is a base drink with frappuccino chips. Starbucks has developed newer and richer frappuccinos by building on the success of the java chip frappuccino.

This delicious treat is a blend of java chips, frap roast, milk, mocha, and base syrup. Whipped cream and mocha sauce provide a delicious topping.

2. Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

It’s simply a java chip frappuccino with a layer of whip cream and cookie sprinkles at the base of the cup. The top is also sprinkled with cookie crumbs to complement the standard whip and mocha sauce topping.

3. Double Chocolatey Chip Creme Frappuccino

It is similar to the java chip frappuccino except that it gets creme base syrup instead of the coffee frappuccino syrup and it doesn’t get frap roast.

The toppings remain the same – whip and mocha drizzle.

4. Chocolate Cookie Creme Frappuccino

This is a creme version of mocha cookie crumble. It has no frap roast or espresso and it gets creme base syrup instead of a coffee base.

The base layers and toppings are similar to a mocha cookie crumble frappuccino.

5. Oreo Frappuccino

Nothing brings out the taste of cookies and cream like an oreo frappuccino with heavy cream and vanilla bean powder. See the foolproof tips for ordering oreo frappuccino.

6. Molten Hot Chocolate

This drink debuted years ago as a February drink but only a few licensed stores bring it back. To order a molten hot chocolate, ask for mocha-infused steamed milk poured over melted frappuccino chips.

Molten hot chocolate uses a special whipped cream and is finished with a mocha and decaf ristretto drizzle. Read more about molten hot chocolate here.

7. Add Java Chips at an Upcharge

Frappuccino chips are a year-round ingredient that you can add to any frappuccino at less than a dollar upcharge.

Simply order your choice of a frappuccino and ask for java chips to be blended together. For example, a caramel brulee frappuccino with frappuccino chips blended in it.

There is no extra charge for adding extra java chips to a frappuccino that usually comes with the chips.

Wrap up

We have seen that frappuccino chips are also called java chips. Java chips are a special type of chocolate nibs that melt quickly when crushed in a blender.

The bad news for gluten intolerant and dairy intolerant persons is that java chips have both gluten and dairy.

Other than the standard frappuccinos that get java chips you can add java chips to your favorite frappuccino at a less than a dollar upcharge.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

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