If you like chocolate and you like the caffeine energy boost that coffee provides but you are not a huge fan of the basic taste of coffee then learning how to make a mocha coffee will give you the best of both worlds.
A mocha coffee combines espresso with chocolate and milk to create a chocolate flavoured coffee drink. You need to make sure that you get the right balance of all 3 ingredients before adding some sugar to taste.
Chocolate has long been considered as a complementary addition to coffee drinks such as cappuccino but more as a dusting on top of the froth almost as a decoration rather than a significant ingredient that changes the whole flavour of the drink.
What is the difference between a mocha and coffee?
When you ask for a “mocha” in a coffee shop you are asking for a coffee with chocolate and steamed milk.
There are a number of different ways to make a mocha and we will share our own method that we believe creates the most delicious chocolate flavoured coffee drink that can be made right in the comfort of your own home.
But if you order a mocha coffee in a coffee shop then you will likely get a squirt of chocolate syrup added directly to a double shot of espresso with milk.
In Starbucks they even have their own “mocha sauce” and will add a number of pumps depending on the size of drink and you’ll also get some whipped cream added to the top on top to finish it off.
The chocolate syrup doesn’t really bring out the best flavour when added to coffee. It creates a bit of an artificial chocolate taste and so the next time you order a mocha in a coffee shop see if they use chocolate powder for their hot chocolates
Ask them to use that instead of the chocolate syrup and you’ll find it tastes much better.
Ordering a mocha from one of the high street coffee chains should be regarded as a treat because you are getting a lot of added sugar and calories that you don’t really want to be taking on board on a daily basis.
However, done in a different way, you can enjoy the delights that a mocha brings without going overboard on the sugar and calories that get piled on top in the coffee shops.
If you want to make a really great mocha then take control of all of the variables and make it yourself at home.
How do you make the perfect mocha at home?
Before we get to the chocolate part, it’s important not to overlook the other two key ingredients of a mocha, espresso and milk.
You can use the best chocolate prepared perfectly but if the coffee is naff and the milk isn’t heated and frothed correctly then it’s going to go wrong and it could put you off a really great tasting drink before you even get going.
You need to be able to deliver a double shot of espresso using about 18 grams of coffee in about 25-30 seconds to get a great tasting espresso.
This article explains in detail how to make a great espresso:
Next, you need to learn how to heat and texture your milk to get a beautiful creamy latex-like consistency without too much froth so that is just right for a mocha.
This article explains in detail how to froth milk perfectly:
The ingredient that actually makes it a mocha is chocolate and there are 3 ways you can utilise chocolate that will produce a different end result.
Chocolate syrup. This is what you get in Starbucks and is my least preferred way to add a chocolate flavour to your coffee.
It’s extremely sweet, contains lots of sugar and artificial flavourings. It doesn’t actually contain that much chocolate and doesn’t really provide a great chocolate flavour.
Chocolate powder. If you don’t want the bother of using real chocolate then Cocoa powder for making hot chocolate is the next best option. Buy the best quality one you can afford because you will notice the difference in flavour.
Add one teaspoon of cocoa powder to the cup first and then a small amount of hot water to create a thick chocolate syrup to start with. Then add the espresso and milk as per the ratios below.
Real milk chocolate. This is by far my personal favourite. Hot chocolate powder has most of the cocoa butter removed from it and if you use real chocolate the cocoa butter (when melted) combines brilliantly with the milk and coffee to create the perfect mocha.
You can experiment and vary the amount of chocolate used but start with a 200g bar of Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate or any good quality milk chocolate. Use 2 individual squares of chocolate and place straight into your coffee cup.
Heat in the microwave for 1 minute until melted.
Deliver a double shot of espresso on top of the melted chocolate and stir.
Use semi-skimmed milk for a mocha because you will get plenty of creaminess from the chocolate and you don’t want to overdo it with full-fat milk.
You want about 1/3 espresso and 2/3 milk so heat and texture your milk to 65 degrees Celsius and add about twice as much milk as you have coffee.
Taste first before adding sugar because you will get a good amount of sweetness from the chocolate.
After a few goes you’ll get the balance of chocolate and sugar just right to suit your palette and because you know exactly what’s going into it this is a drink that can be easily prepared and enjoyed on a daily basis.
What does a mocha coffee taste like?
The most important thing to remember is that because of the addition of chocolate whether it be chocolate syrup, chocolate powder or the real thing is that is going to be naturally sweeter and will require far less sugar to be added if any at all.
If you take care with the preparation all of the three main components of a mocha (coffee, chocolate and milk) you will get a creamy, smooth, silky delicious drink that will deliver both a chocolate and coffee flavour all at the same time without one overpowering the other.
If that sounds like chocolate and coffee heaven combined into one drink but you don’t have an espresso machine at home then you may be surprised at how inexpensive they can be.
Here are some low-cost options to consider: