Is there anything better than a fresh cup of coffee in the morning to start off your day? It helps to focus the mind, while also warming your insides and giving you the energy needed to tackle each day head-on. However, sometimes you may be in the mood for something a little sweeter.
Whether this is to satisfy a sweet tooth or simply to give you a little boost for a tricky day ahead. Step forward the mocha. If you’re a big fan of both coffee and chocolate, then you’ll be in heaven with a mocha. Essentially it’s a latte with chocolate.
Mochas can be made irrespective of whether you own an espresso machine or not. Therefore, crafting one in the comfort of your own home is both quick and easy.
The main ingredients of a traditional mocha are: one shot espresso, hot frothed milk, and chocolate – which can be in the form of chocolate syrup, melted chocolate or cocoa powder.
These three ingredients are staples of the drink. So, whether you’re ordering a mocha from your local Starbucks, or picking one up from a family-run café in southern Italy, there’ll always be espresso, hot frothed milk and chocolate.
The taste of a mocha coffee all starts with the quality of the beans. It’s widely accepted that a good mocha is made with Arabica coffee beans, which are naturally less bitter than the vast majority of other coffee beans. This will enhance the mocha’s all-important chocolatey flavor.
While it’s great that the mocha contains chocolate, what turns a lot of people off is just how sweet and sugary the drink can be if made incorrectly. To avoid over-sweetening the drink by using a sugar-loaded syrup, try instead to mix the espresso with pure cocoa powder.
This will result in a more subtle chocolate flavor, as well as retaining the bitterness of the espresso.
The simplest way to make a mocha at home is to make a standard hot chocolate and add coffee. This shortcut uses regular coffee instead of straight espresso, and is ideal for hectic mornings when you need to save time but still get your dose of caffeine.
I’ll now run you through a simple and effective method of achieving mocha greatness from the comfort of your own home.
- Begin the process by brewing some coffee using your preferred method and pour it into the base of your cup.
- Then, add your chocolate to the hot coffee and stir. This can be chocolate syrup, melted chocolate or cocoa powder.
- Next, you’ll need to steam and froth the milk. The easiest way of doing this is with a milk frother. If however, you don’t have one, try either whisking the milk or blending it in a blender.
- Once you’ve added your heated milk to the coffee and chocolate mixture, take a sip and enjoy.
This is of course, a very basic mocha recipe, but there are a number of variations you can try if you want to put your barista skills to the test and create your own mocha masterpiece. Some of the most popular variations include:
- Personalize the flavor – feel free to make modifications to the recipe. Whether that’s using white chocolate instead, or simply adding a squirt of hazelnut or caramel flavoring. Be inventive, and concoct the ideal customized mocha for you.
- Change the milk – a number of people, by necessity or choice, substitute dairy milk in favor of almond milk, soy milk or oat milk. These different types of milk will add a unique flavor to your mocha.
- Chill it – there’s no golden rule that states all mocha have to be served hot. Try instead to make your mocha an iced beverage. This is perfect for a hot summer’s day.
- Add some topping – a popular addition to many mochas is some form of topping. These include whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.
- Spike it – if you’re after something a little stronger with an added kick, it’s easy to turn your mocha into an Irish Coffee with a splash of alcohol. I recommend either Baileys, brandy or whiskey.
In terms of selecting the best chocolate for your mocha, I’ve already noted the three most common options: chocolate syrup, cocoa powder and melted chocolate. There’s no definitive “best” option out of these three, with everyone’s preferences and individual needs being a little different.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred method, the flavor is the next thing to consider. Some people prefer using pure dark chocolate as it works well alongside the bitterness of the coffee, enhancing the overall experience.
On the other hand, milk or white chocolate are similarly popular, providing a means to sweeten or lighten the coffee up a little. The bottom line is, it’s all down to personal preference. More often than not, your decision will also be dictated by other external factors such as time constraints.
For example, if you’re in a rush before work in the morning, you probably won’t have time to wait for the chocolate to melt, so cocoa powder or syrup would be a more suitable option.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between a mocha and a latte?
The main difference is the inclusion of chocolate in a mocha. Besides that, both are espresso-mixed with steamed milk. It’s worth noting that mochas are usually a little stronger in terms of the coffee flavor, as lattes are one of the lightest espresso-based options available.
What food works well with a mocha?
It’s a good idea to pair your mocha with a suitable item of food to enhance the drinking experience. Some of the best options include: croissants, scones, toast with nutella, an even tiramisu if you’re enjoying an after-dinner mocha.