What Is A Mocha?

Coffee, as it comes, can struggle to appeal to those with a slightly sweet tooth.

You can add sugar, whipped creams and syrups, but some of these can actually take away from the overall coffee flavour. Luckily, a mocha can give you a chocolate twist with the coffee still coming through.

Chocolate and coffee are infamously a famous pairing which works well together, too.

Cafe mocha is essentially a chocolate flavoured variant of a cafe latte. Depending on how much chocolate is in it, it may also be best described as a hot chocolate with shots of espresso in it. The chocolate will usually be added to the espresso, as opposed to a little sprinkle of powder on the top.

Traditionally, it is made up of espresso, milk, and chocolate. It can include one or two shots of espresso depending on taste preferences and is usually finished off with a layer of milk foam.

If you order a mocha in a cafe, it will usually be served with two shots of espresso (around 60ml) and around 2oz (50ml) of chocolate, so the two are well balanced. There will then be 1oz of steamed milk, with the drink finished off with a milk foam layer.

In Italy, it is even traditional to add a bit of booze in the form of Sambuca, and drinks such as Baileys or Brandy are commonly added right here in the UK, although we probably wouldn’t recommend that for your 11 am boost on the coffee run at work…

Mocha Beans

Mocha wasn’t actually just some fancy name derived from the French/Latin/Spanish for something like “chocolate coffee” like you will find with a lot of the other fancy coffees on the market.

Mocha Beans
Mocha Beans – slightly darker than traditional coffee

Mocha drinks are actually made from a specific type of coffee bean, grown in Mocha, Yemen. These beans are harvested from the coffee-plant species Coffea arabica, which is native to Yemen but has since spread throughout the Coffee Belt. It was thought to be the first species of wild coffee bean to be cultivated.

These beans have a natural chocolate flavour, which is enhanced by the addition of further chocolate by baristas.

How Is A Mocha Different From A Latte?

These are often the two most confusing variants of coffee when it comes to trying to choose something to order in a cafe with a large queue forming behind you.

There are a lot of similarities – both latte and mocha coffees need steamed and/or frothed milk, using a steam wand on an espresso machine, or a milk frother.

But a latte is usually 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, and 1/6 foamed milk – not a hint of chocolate in sight. Mocha obviously has the edge for any chocolate lovers out there then, but it is also often a bit stronger with less milk added.

Mocha gives you a stronger coffee experience, whereas a latte is ideal for anybody who wants just a hint of coffee with a creamier, softer blend.

So…What Is A Mocha Latte?!

This is simply a latte (as described above) with a shot of chocolate syrup added to it. So, there is not quite as much chocolate there, and it will be sweeter.

Then there is the mochaccino, but don’t panic – this is just a cappuccino embellished with a few squares of dark chocolate or with a shot of chocolate syrup added.

How To Make A Mocha At Home

You don’t necessarily need the real mocha beans to recreate the taste at home – any Arabica beans will do. We say Arabica because Robusta is usually a bit more bitter so is best when drunk plain.

  • One shot of espresso (around 3oml)
  • 1 tsp drinking chocolate
  • 250ml milk

Method:

  1. Make the espresso with a machine, then pour into the bottom of a large cup (300-350ml capacity)
  2. Add the drinking chocolate, and mix well until combined
  3. Steam the milk using a steam wand until there is around 4-6cm of foam on top
  4. Slowly pour the milk into the cup, creating coffee art if you wish

You can use two shots of espresso for a stronger hit, although you may also want to double up on the chocolate powder in this case. If you are using a filter or drip method to make the coffee, you may also want to add some chocolate powder to the grounds before you pour over the water for even more of a cocoa boost.

Using proper dark chocolate will also make more of a luxurious twist. Just shave it finely and add to the coffee. Either way – save the chocolate syrups for your iced coffees or ice cream!

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