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How to Make Your Own Coffee Base for Copycat Starbucks Frappes and More!

How to Make Your Own Coffee Base for Copycat Starbucks Frappes and More!

The Starbucks frappuccino is one of those coffee drinks you love or hate.

But did you know that you can make your own coffee base at home and customize it however you like?

In this post, I’ll tell you how to make your own coffee base without a trip to the nearest coffee shop.

I will also give you an alternative recipe for a blended coffee drink with a healthy boost.

Stay tuned for more recipes using a coffee base because the possibilities are endless!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate of Amazon, I may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information. I take no credit for the images appearing on this page. All photos courtesy of Canva.

What is a coffee base?

If there’s one thing that separates a Starbucks frappuccino from a homemade blended drink, it’s the texture.

The popular coffee beverage sold by the millions at coffee shops around the country has a smooth and creamy texture that’s difficult to recreate at home.

And if you’ve ever tried to make one at home, you may have ended up with a watery yet slushy consistency that was palatable but not particularly enjoyable.

The true secret to a blended drink that will be savored by coffee lovers everywhere is an ingredient that will tie everything together.

This ingredient will prevent the liquid from separating from the ice. And it will create a cohesive product that is rich, creamy, and oh so delicious!

According to the Starbucks website, this ingredient is xanthan gum.

The coffee shop conveniently adds the xanthan gum to their version of simple syrup for drink preparation ease.

And with a few simple ingredients, you can recreate this simple coffee base at home!

Coffee Base Recipe

Coffee Base Recipe

A simple recipe you can use in blended coffee drinks and more!


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum


  • Combine the sugar with the water in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Once it has cooled to room temperature, add the xanthan gum and stir.
  • Store in a bowl or jar with an opening wide enough to allow a tablespoon so you can scoop the mixture. You should keep it covered in the refrigerator and it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
  • A suggested serving is 1-3 tablespoons per blended drink, depending upon desired thickness.

What is xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is a food additive commonly used as a thickener, emulsifier, or stabilizer.

It is derived from plants and is often used in gluten-free baking or as an alternative to gelatin.

When added to the coffee base, xanthan gum will result in a drink that has a similar consistency to the Starbucks frappuccino.

How is xanthan gum made?

The process of making xanthan gum involves a specific type of bacteria and the fermentation of sugars.

Is xanthan gum safe to consume?

Yes, xanthan gum is considered to be safe for human consumption. It has been approved as a food additive by the FDA and is often used in gluten-free and low-carbohydrate products.

Xanthan gum can also be found in some cosmetics and personal care products.

Can you buy xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum can be purchased online or at some health food stores. It is typically sold in powder form and can be added to a coffee base or any other liquid to create a thicker consistency.


Does consuming xanthan gum cause side effects?

Some people report increased flatulence when consuming xanthan gum, but multiple studies have shown that it is generally well tolerated.

What is an alternative to xanthan gum?

For those looking for a healthier alternative to xanthan gum, psyllium husk powder is an option.

Be cautious when consuming psyllium husk, as it is commonly used as a laxative, although it can have the opposite effect in some people, especially when you’re not well-hydrated.

What about chia seeds?

Hailing from Central America, the humble chia seed is packed with micronutrients, including calcium, iron, and B vitamins. They are also a great source of antioxidants!

Some research even supports using chia seeds in weight loss and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

When mixed with liquid, chia seeds turn into a gel that can be used to thicken sauces.

And because they don’t have much flavor, they are incredibly versatile. They can be used in anything from smoothies to oatmeal.


Are there side effects of eating chia seeds?

Chia seeds are a form of fiber, and any time you rapidly increase your fiber intake, increased bloating and flatulence can occur.

But by slowly introducing chia seeds into your diet, you can cut down on the GI upset that accompanies a sudden fiber overload.

How should you substitute chia seeds for xanthan gum?

You can either soak the chia seeds before adding them to your drink or add the seeds whole.

Soaking them ahead of time allows the seeds to form the gel central to the frappuccino’s consistency.

Adding the seeds without soaking will eventually achieve the same effect, but you need to wait a bit before it reaches the same consistency.

If opting for this version, make the simple syrup and heat to your desired consistency. Allow it to cool.

Soak 1 teaspoon of chia seeds in either 1/4 cup water or cold brew coffee for approximately 30 minutes. Remember that you can also add the chia seeds without soaking them.

Combine ingredients as you would for the frappuccino, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t this coffee base recipe have coffee in it?

Not all frappuccinos have coffee in them.

And even if you’re making an iced mocha or caramel frappuccino, using either cold brew coffee or freshly made espresso enhances the coffee experience.

Several recipes for coffee base contain instant coffee granules, but for a true coffee enthusiast such as yourself, is there anything worse than instant coffee?

Adding the coffee component separately ensures only the finest ingredients in their freshest form!

It also enables you to make many popular drinks that don’t contain coffee, such as mocha chip or strawberry-flavored frappes.

Can you make a coffee-based frozen drink without an espresso machine?

Yes! To replicate the espresso flavor, you can brew a stronger cup of a medium-dark roast blend with a regular drip machine.

You can do this by using a higher ratio of coffee to water.

The ice and milk dilute the coffee flavor anyway, so you likely can’t brew a cup that’s too strong.

You can also consider brewing a batch with your French press or Moka pot.

Either option offers a great place to start experimenting with your brew in a fun, no-pressure way.

What kind of sugar should you use in the coffee base recipe?

You can use any type of sugar. Cane sugar is an excellent option, but white sugar also works well.

Brown sugar adds a slight caramel flavor to the base, a delightful complement to a caramel frappuccino.

Final Thoughts

I hope this recipe has inspired you to try your own version of Starbucks copycat recipes!

With an unlimited variety of flavor syrups and coffee base at your disposal, you’re sure to whip up something you absolutely adore!

And although the frappuccino is one of the most popular beverage choices at Starbucks, their version doesn’t offer the added health bonus of antioxidants or fiber.

But adding chia seeds to your home creation is one of the easiest ways to support your nutritional intake and need for an afternoon caffeine boost simultaneously.

If you loved this recipe, pin or share it with someone you know will love it as much as you!

And make sure to check out a few of our other posts:


Caramel Frappuccino® Blended Beverage: Nutrition: Starbucks Coffee Company

What Is Xanthan Gum & Where It Comes From | Bob’s Red Mill (

Chia Seeds: 7 Health Benefits (

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