Dear world, you can thank Boston for giving you the Frappuccino

It all started with a little chain called The Coffee Connection.

–REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson

Starbucks encourages their customers to celebrate the holidays with seasonal Frappuccinos that blend flavors like peppermint mocha or chestnut praline with cappuccino, milk, ice, and a lot of sugar. But, as a recent Reddit post points out, when Starbucks customers take a sip of that sweet, blended drink, they should really be celebrating Boston. You see…

Starbucks started making their own iced coffee blended beverage around 1993 after employees noticed that some Southern California coffee shops were doing it. It wasn’t until the summer of 1994, though, that the company dubbed the creation with its now iconic name after acquiring a Boston chain called The Coffee Connection, according to the company’s website.


The Coffee Connection had a product called “frappuccino,’’ which was a cold, slushy coffee drink made using a soft-serve machine, and a name that was a combination of the words “frappe’’ — how New Englanders know milkshakes — and cappuccino.


George Howell, who opened Coffee Connection in Harvard Square in 1975, had debuted the drink of espresso, milk, ice, and sugar in 1992, according to Boston magazine.Starbucks paid $23 million for the chain and the rights to the frappuccino title.

The Frappuccino made its national (and Canadian) debut in the summer of 1995, according to the company’s website. The recipe was basic: Customers’ only flavor options were Coffee and Mocha, the drinks were made from ice double-strength brewed Italian Roast coffee, and you couldn’t even add whipped cream.

“The first week of launch we were tracking sales, and it was something like 200,000 drinks the first week – when we were hoping for 100,000,’’ said Starbucks employee Dan Moore, according to the company’s website. “The next week it was 400,000 and the next it was 800,000.’’

Today, Starbucks sells Frappuccinos in 66 countries and offers more than 36,000 different flavor combinations.

This holiday season, be thankful to Boston for coming up with the iconic drink. And really, where else than the land of Dunkin’ Donuts would give birth to one of the world’s favorite coffee orders?


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