What is mocha - origin, how to make it & variations

What is mocha - origin, how to make it & variations
what is mocha

After reading many opinions regarding the question that remains unanswered, “what is mocha?” we decided to put an end to this debate once and for all.

Read this guide to understand what this drink is, its origin, and the ingredients involved in it that make it so AH-MAZING!

What is Mocha?

Mocha is a specialty coffee drink made using a particular coffee bean that distinguishes it from any other coffee. In simple words, it is a blend of espresso, chocolate, and milk/cream. Chocolate is introduced into the espresso, and then steamed milk is added. 

Some people describe it as ‘dreamer’s coffee. It is a perfect drink for those who don’t like a strong-tasting coffee but seek bitterness with some caffeine kick and the sweetness of chocolate. 

Origin of Mocha

The term “Mocha” took birth in the year 1773. Coffee beans which are known as “Mochas,” became popular in Europe in the 1700s, and since then, everyone has been gushing over the delicious drink.

The drink was named after Mochas – coffee beans shipped from Al Mokaport in Yemen.Mochacoffee was first created in the United States. The drink was inspired by a beverage served in Turin, Italy, called “Bicerin.”

Bicerin and Mocha are different in the way that both are made using the same ingredients but look and taste different! Unlike Mocha, the ingredients aren’t mixed in Bicerin but rather layered in a glass one after the other.

what is mocha
what is mocha

How to Make Mocha at Home – Best Mocha Recipe

If you are as obsessed with this beautiful creation as we are, then you’re in luck! We’ve discovered the best mocha recipe for you, so you can make this drink at home whenever you crave it!

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

You can’t cook instant noodles in 2 minutes, but you can have a steamy cup of Mocha ready in just 3 minutes!


  • 1-2 tbsp. granulated sugar to taste
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 cup hot coffee (ideally espresso, but you can use a regular one)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)


1.    Combine sugar, cocoa powder, and water in a pot or microwave-safe bowl. Use a stove or microwave to heat it up until it becomes a smooth sauce.

2.    Mix the coffee, cream (optional), and milk, pour it into the sauce, and continue heating until it starts steaming. When cooking on the stove, keep whisking the mixture until it becomes foamy.

3.    Your mocha coffee is ready! Pour it into a cup, top up with whipped cream (optional) and enjoy!


Do you know what the best part about Mocha Coffee is? It has so many options that it becomes hard to stick to one! Every coffee place you go to will make it differently and you will experience unique flavors of the same beverage.

Scroll down to see the different modifications of Mocha that you’re likely to experience.

Chocolate Milk and Cocoa Powder Instead of Chocolate Syrup

As we have mentioned above, that Mocha is made with coffee and chocolate. Mostly, coffee shops use chocolate syrup in it, though some people nowadays opt for chocolate alternatives like chocolate milk and cocoa powder.

With cocoa powder, you can control the level of chocolate you want in your Mocha. However, you have no control over the amount of chocolate you’re putting in your Mocha when you opt for chocolate milk as an alternative.

White Chocolate Mocha and Dark Chocolate Mocha

Whenever you order Mocha, they ask you whether you want a white or a dark one. What they mean by that is whether you would like white chocolate syrup or dark chocolate syrup in your Mocha.

Use of Regular Coffee Instead of Espresso

Let’s not neglect the role coffee plays in the composition of such a delicious beverage. Ideally, espresso is used to give it the optimal taste. Still, if you’re running low on espresso, which you will be if you start making Mocha at home DAILY, then you can use regular coffee to save yourself from the hustle of going out during odd hours for just an espresso shot.

Iced Mocha

We won’t say it’s a modification of the original Mocha as it’s just making a mocha and adding ice. You can dress it up with syrup, whipped cream, and sauces. Sipping this iced coffee beverage on warmer days is soul-refreshing and sweetly satisfying.


What are the Health Benefits of Mocha?

Mocha coffee comes with various health benefits due to the addition of chocolate which is loaded with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is healthier than other espresso milk coffees, and you can reap more benefits when you use the dark chocolate syrup in Mocha. Dark chocolate is responsible for lowering blood pressure and improving brain function and cholesterol.  

When introducing chocolate into coffee, you get double the amount of antioxidants. This dream combination also boosts energy and improves mental alertness. Moreover, chocolate helps to temper the anxiety that comes with caffeine. 

 How much caffeine does a mocha coffee have?

A cup of mocha coffee typically contains a single or double espresso shot with 64 mg or 128mg of caffeine respectively. However, Mocha contains chocolate that has also caffeine, which pushes the caffeine level of mocha coffee to 152mg for 350ml.

Mocha vs. Latte: What’s the difference?

Latte and mocha coffee is pretty similar but not the same. Both drinks are espresso-based milky drinks, but Mocha is made with one additional ingredient, i.e., chocolate. However, the mocha latte features chocolate. Mocha comes with a lot of variations. Some variations of Mocha may contain the less or same amount of milk as the caffé latte. For instance, a mocha macchiato is made using a touch of steamed milk, while a mocha latte has the same coffee-to-milk ratio as a regular cup of latte.

Can You Make Mocha Without an Espresso Machine?

The simple answer is yes. The traditional recipe of Mocha calls for espresso coffee, usually made with an espresso machine. However, you can make Mocha without the involvement of an espresso machine. You can use a French press, Aeropress, and pour-over dripper to make espresso for mocha coffee. Brew espresso using the above-mentioned brewing methods, and make a cup of hot chocolate. Now pour the freshly brewed coffee into the hot chocolate and add steamed milk to the top of the drink. Add a sweetener of your choice and garnish this milky layer with whipped cream. Top your Mocha with the dusting of the chocolate sprinkle.  

Mocha at Starbucks

Mocha is one of the popular coffee drinks at Starbucks, and the most liked versions of Mocha are White Chocolate Mocha and Peppermint Mocha. However, you can also give a treat to your taste buds by ordering Mocha Cookie Frappuccino or iced Mocha.

If you are a fan of classic drinks, you can order Mocha hot too. Mocha coffee comes in different sizes: short (8 fl. oz), tall (12 fl. oz), grande (16 fl. oz), and venti (20 fl. oz). However, the sizes may vary when you order an iced mocha: tall (12 fl. oz), grande (16 fl. oz), and venti (24 fl. oz).

The best thing about Mocha at Starbucks is that it is customizable. A venti size has 6 pumps of mocha sauce, so you can specify the number of pumps you want to add to your drink.

Mocha vs. cappuccino vs. latte: what’s the difference?

Numerous coffee drinks share almost the same ingredients. That’s why most people get confused. One of the key reasons for this confusion is probably the milk and espresso as base ingredients. As a result, you may not know the key difference between the popular espresso-based drinks like mochas, cappuccinos, and lattes. Let’s examine the differences between these coffee drinks.

Mocha vs. Latte vs. Cappuccino


Mocha is a blend of chocolate, milk, and espresso topped with whipped cream. The American variant of Italian mocha latte, this drink offers the sweet flavor of chocolate and roasty quality of coffee. Mocha is usually served with a distinctive layer of frothed milk on top. 


Originated in Italy, Latte is made from espresso and hot steamed milk. It is not as sweet as mocha coffee but milkier than a cappuccino. Latte doesn’t feature chocolate; that is probably the reason behind its less sweet taste. The steamed milk gives it a creamy taste to a bitter-tasting espresso. 


Cappuccino is an Italian drink that is stronger tasting coffee than the latte and the Mocha. It usually has three equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. This frothy coffee beverage is quite dense and has rich texture and slightly sweet flavor. However, it is less sweet when compared to the Mocha and lighter than the latte.

What does mocha coffee taste like?

Mocha coffee is often described as chocolate-y coffee, but it is much more than that. It lends the sweet taste of chocolate and when the bittiness of espresso combines with the sweetness and creaminess of the milk makes this beverage sweet and silky smooth.

Pros and cons of mocha coffee

Mocha is where two dream ingredients meet in a cup. If you’re the kind of person who loves chocolate and coffee, Mocha is the perfect treat for you as it contains both. It comes with many benefits, but it can have a negative impact on your waistline. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of mocha coffee.

Pros of mocha coffee: 

  • Mochas offer a sweet taste with none of bitterness of the espresso
  • Mocha has a lot of variations other than its classic versions, like mint mocha or white chocolate mocha.
  • You may find some variations of Mocha in almost every coffee shop. 

Cons of mocha coffee: 

  • Chocolatey goodness might wait in every sip of Mocha, but its high sugar and fat (whipped cream on top) content is linked to weight gain if you consume it more often.
  • It comes with the sweetness of chocolate, but it doesn’t acclimate you to the taste of coffee due to the addition of chocolate.

What food does mocha pair well with?

As Mocha contains chocolate that overpowers the flavor of other ingredients in this beverage, chocolate and chocolate-based desserts pair well with Mocha. Other popular choices as a lighter accompaniment are strawberry, orange, and other fruity flavors. Other foods include oats, muesli bars, and bread. 

Bottom Line:

There you have it! We hope this guide has helped you with what is Mocha and how to make it at home without spending huge bucks. This espresso-milky beverage is a great option for those coffee drinkers who need something milky with a kick of espresso. If you are a coffee-chocolate lover and enjoy a cup of Joe because you like to sip on it, you should give it a try the next time you need a coffee fix. Try our mocha recipe, and let us know your thoughts in the comment below!

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