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Coffee Types

Beginner’s Guide to Mocha

Many people around the world have a deep fascination with mocha coffee. But what’s the reason behind this fascination?

Well, this article explains everything you need to know about mocha including its basics and how it’s prepared.

Let’s start by describing what mocha coffee refers to.

Mocha coffee.

Mocha Coffee Defined

Mocha coffee refers to a type of espresso drink that’s prepared with some milk froth, espresso, and chocolate sauce.

To make mocha, you’ll need to start with preparing an espresso shot and into a 150 ml or 5-ounce cup. Next, you’ll add a similar amount of syrup or chocolate sauce. You’ll need to stir the contents gently to mix them. Next, you’ll add milk froth over the top, preferably in a very thin layer.

The resultant drink will be a small brew that’s often less than 3 ounces. Thus, it’s often served in demitasse cups. However, it’s also served in larger sizes, especially when buying it from coffee chains.

Why is mocha prepared that way? Who innovated this idea and why is it known as mocha?

Well, Mocha is an old coffee drink that was originally made in Mocha, a port city in Yemen. Many centuries ago, a lot of trading in Arabia was done through the port city of Mocha. Among the main goods traded through the city was coffee.

Coffee traded through Mocha was sourced from Ethiopia. The Yemenis found coffee from Ethiopia to have a flavor that resembled that of cocoa beans. As a result, coffee traded through Mocha was renowned for its chocolate-like flavor. During those years, chocolate was a rare commodity in most locations.

Over the time, actual cocoa powder and chocolate were introduced into mocha coffee. However, the process through which cocoa was introduced into mocha coffee is hardly documented. Although the port city of Mocha is hardly important today like during those old days, the name Mocha stuck in the coffee industry. Today, mocha coffee largely relies on syrup or chocolate sauce to bring out its flavor.

However, mocha coffee shouldn’t be confused with Moka. Moka coffee sounds more like mocha coffee. However, these two coffees are completely different. They differ in terms of the components used in preparing them and the spelling.

Like we’ve already discussed, mocha coffee includes chocolate and espresso as the main ingredients. On the other hand, Moka is a coffee brewed using a percolator or Moka pot.

The recipe behind mocha coffee is largely unclear. Sometimes, there’re numerous variations of the recipe. In some instances, mocha can be developed into a Viennese coffee. Viennese coffee is prepared by mixing chocolate ganache (2 parts), coffee (1 part), chocolate syrup (1 part), and topped with sprinkles and whipped cream.

Viennese coffee is more like a dessert rather than coffee. It’s enjoyed by many people. However, it’s not a kind of mocha coffee. Mocha contains more caffeine as needed. You can make it as highly concentrated with caffeine as you’d like. Since mocha is prepared with an espresso shot, it has high caffeine content like regular espresso.

However, you can’t really tell the accurate amount of caffeine in an espresso shot not unless you do lab tests. The caffeine content in espresso mainly depends on the amount of ground coffee used and the quality of the coffee beans used in the blend. Generally, a shot of espresso contains about 60 to 120 milligrams of caffeine.

If you prepare mocha using a double espresso shot, you’ll be doubling the caffeine content of the resultant brew.

Recipe for Homemade Mocha

It’s quite simple to make mocha from the comfort of your home. The ingredients needed are minimal. Besides, you can swap the ingredients that you may not have at hand as the recipe used isn’t very strict.

Actually, there’s no basic rule for making mocha. It’s not known why making mocha lacks rules, unlike latte or cappuccino. As a result, you can get creative when preparing mocha and customize it the way you want. After all, most people who like brewing coffee at home will love getting creative with chocolate.

Supplies needed:

  • A single espresso shot (can be swapped with a strong Moka brew)
  • Milk froth (can be swapped with whipped cream)
  • Chocolate sauce (similar amount as espresso and can be swapped with chocolate syrup, hot cocoa, or cocoa powder)

Steps involved:

Step 1- Brewing espresso

First, brew an espresso shot as per your preferences. Remember that mocha is a very flavorful coffee drink. However, the espresso ingredient in mocha will still stand out. Thus, make the espresso properly without making it too strong.

If you make the espresso properly, you’ll have a mocha brew with a great balance between the coffee and chocolate flavors. Regardless, you’re free to customize it according to your preferences.

Step 2- Mix an espresso shot with some chocolate sauce

Once your espresso is ready, get some chocolate sauce or the alternative you prefer. If you want to use chocolate sauce, add it in equal parts as the espresso. If you prefer using a regular espresso shot, consider adding 33ml/1-ounce of the chocolate sauce.

In case you prefer using chocolate powder or cocoa powder, first, pour it into a dry, empty cup. Next, slowly add espresso in little amounts to create a thick mixture. That way, the final brew won’t have cocoa lumps.

As the cocoa lumps disappear, smash them with a teaspoon while adding more espresso until you add it all.

When using cocoa powder, add ½ teaspoon of the powder for each ounce of the espresso. On the other hand, when using chocolate powder, add 1 teaspoon of the powder for each ounce of the espresso. Chocolate powder is sweetened and contains powdered milk, making it less bitter.

Step 3- Add milk froth

Upon mixing the espresso with chocolate, add milk froth in a thin layer. The milk froth should have large air bubbles. The bubbles shouldn’t melt into your brew.

Use your milk frother to make milk froth at home. Alternatively, you can make milk froth with an espresso machine wand. There’re other utensils that can be used in making milk froth at home.

If you don’t have the means to make milk froth, or frothing milk isn’t a thing for you, consider using whipped cream in place of froth milk. You’ll only need a little amount of milk forth or whipped cream to top your brew. However, you can add as much milk froth or whipped cream as you wish.


Most coffee and chocolate lovers would surely find it fun to make mocha at home. It’s a great coffee drink to make since you can easily customize it the way want. After all, there’s no rule on the amount of chocolate or espresso to use. Thus, you can get as creative as you want.


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