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What is Mocha?

Mocha is a latte flavored with chocolate. It can also be called a café mocha, mocha latte, or a mochaccino. It keeps the traditional latte ratio of one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk, plus a thin layer of milk foam, but adds a dose of chocolate syrup. Often a mocha will be topped with whipped cream and sprinkled liberally with chocolate or cocoa powder.

Don’t be confused with Mocha Java coffee beans, so named because they were exported through the port of Mocha, Yemen, during coffee’s early history. This coffee-bean blend pairs coffee from Yemen and Indonesia. It is not a style of coffee drink, and it does not contain chocolate.

What Is Mocha

Where does Mocha coffee come from? 

The original Mocha was the coffee prepared from the Mocha Java beans. These beans, a blend from the Yemeni port of Mocha and the Indonesian region of Java, were said to have a naturally chocolatey flavor, even without chocolate. They are also the reason why coffee is called Java. However, Mocha now refers to an espresso-based drink to which chocolate has been added.

The modern chocolate Mocha was developed in Turin, Italy, in the 18th century. It was initially a layered drink made from cream, chocolate, and espresso, and it was called the bicerin after the cafe where it originated. The drink soon spread around Europe and to North America.

How is Mocha made?

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 18 g finely ground coffee
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 6 ounces milk
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Cocoa powder (optional)

AT A GLANCE

BREW TIME

10 minutes

YIELD

8-ounce mocha latte

A few extra notes:

  • Special equipment: Espresso machine with steam wand, milk steaming pitcher and thermometer (optional)
  • A dark roast is the best choice as it has a strong coffee flavor and enough bitter notes to stand up against the sweetness of the chocolate, but all coffee types can be used in a mocha.
  • Milk chocolate syrup is traditional, but you can also use white or dark chocolate to alter the flavor of your mocha. Check out this article to pick the best chocolate syrup for coffee!
  • The best choice is 1% or 2% dairy milk.

Step 1: Grind your Beans

Use the finely ground coffee to prepare a double shot of espresso into a preheated 8-ounce latte glass. 

Step 2: Mix Chocolate Syrup and espresso

Whisk the chocolate syrup into the espresso.

Step 3: Prepare the milk

Add the milk to the steaming pitcher and use the steam wand on the espresso machine to steam the milk. You want the milk to be approximately 160 ℉ and texture like wet paint. You can use a thermometer to know when you’ve hit the right temperature.

Step 4: Add the milk to the chocolate-espresso mix

Pour the steamed milk into the mix of chocolate and espresso. You can create latte art if you want.

Step 5: Add whipped cream

You can top your mocha with whipped cream and/or cocoa powder.

If you want to level up your mocha, here are a few ideas:

What are the differences between a mocha and a cappuccino?

Both the Mocha and the Cappuccino, along with many other different coffee drinks, are espresso-based beverages that include steamed milk, but other than that, they are pretty different. A cappuccino is an espresso with steamed milk and a good amount of frothed milk. Mocha is an espresso with chocolate and steamed milk and only a small amount of milk froth. As a result, the cappuccino has a lighter texture and stronger coffee flavor. Mocha has a denser, creamier texture and a prominent chocolate flavor accompanying the coffee.

A mocha more closely resembles a latte than a cappuccino, though there are also differences. Learn all about it in our mocha vs latte article.

What are the benefits of mocha?

A mocha has several unique health benefits compared to other espresso-based milky drinks thanks to the addition of chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals. This is especially true if you’re using dark chocolate syrup. Dark chocolate can improve your cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and even improve brain function.

There are also advantages to combining chocolate and coffee. Not only do you get double the antioxidants, but chocolate can temper the anxiety sometimes produced by coffee. At the same time, you’ll still enjoy improved mental alertness and an energy boost.

Is mocha coffee good for weight loss?

No, mocha coffee is not good for weight loss, at least not when compared with other coffee drinks. The chocolate syrup adds calories in the form of fat and sugar, as does the whipped cream topping. At Starbucks, a medium mocha has 360 calories, compared with 190 for a caffé latte and 120 for a cappuccino.

Does mocha coffee make you fat?

No, mocha coffee does not make you fat – unless you consume a lot of it. It is OK to enjoy the occasional mocha as part of a balanced diet, especially given the potential health benefits of cocoa and coffee. If you are worried about your weight, you can skip the whipped cream topping and use 1% or skim milk.

FAQs

Yes, a mocha coffee contains sugar, more often than not. It doesn’t have added sweetener, but typically chocolate is added in the form of chocolate syrup, which usually contains sugar. It is possible to have a sugar-free mocha if cocoa powder is used in place of chocolate syrup. This will be a more bitter drink, but some sweetness will be present from the naturally occurring sugars in milk.

A mocha coffee tastes like a chocolate-y coffee, but this description doesn’t do it justice; a mocha is so much more. The bitterness of the espresso shot combined with the sweetness of the chocolate and the creaminess of the milk makes for a silky smooth, sumptuous beverage.

Yes, a mocha has coffee in it. You make mocha using espresso, and espresso is a form of coffee made using an espresso machine and high pressure. A typical mocha made with a double shot of espresso uses about 18 grams of ground coffee beans, which contains between 60 and 100 mg of caffeine, depending on the beans used.

Mocha is a drink that includes both coffee and chocolate. Also known as a caffè mocha or mocha latte, it consists of chocolate, espresso, and milk. Often the term “mocha” is used on food products to designate anything that combines the flavors of chocolate and coffee, such as mocha ice cream or a mocha cookie.

Julia Bobak
I love trail running, rock climbing, coffee, food, and my tiny dog — and writing about all of them. I start every morning with a fresh Americano from my home espresso machine, or I don’t start it at all.

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