Mocha: Overview, Steps to Make It, and How to Order It at Starbucks

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Add chocolate to a latte and it’s a mocha! See what’s involved in making this caffeinated drink at home and how to order it at coffee shops including Starbucks.

Mocha latte with whipped cream in a cup.

What is Mocha?

  • Mocha, shortened from caffè mocha, is a drink made with milk, espresso, and chocolate. It’s essentially a latte with sweetened chocolate.
  • The chocolate part of a mocha can be made with ganache, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, or even pieces of chocolate melted down by the espresso. The amount of chocolate in a mocha varies depending on the coffee shop.
  • A popular drink, mochas can be found in almost all coffee shop menus like lattes and cappuccinos.  

See the most popular coffee drinks and how they’re different.

Difference Between Mocha and Latte

Espresso
Both mochas and lattes are made with 1-2 shots of espresso. The flavor of the espresso might not be as prominent in a mocha because of the chocolate. 

Milk
Mochas and lattes are made with roughly the same amount of milk but there will be slightly less milk in a mocha since chocolate is added to the drink. If you add an ounce of chocolate, for example, you use one less ounce of milk in the final drink. 

Drink size
Mochas and lattes usually come in the same drink sizes. A standard size drink is usually between 10-12 ounces, but it can be bigger.

Difference Between Mocha and Cappuccino

Espresso
Both mochas and cappuccinos are made with 1-2 espresso shots. The flavor of espresso comes through much more in a cappuccino because there’s less milk and no chocolate flavors in the drink.

Milk
The milk for a mocha is steamed similarly to a latte, whereas the milk for a cappuccino is foamier and lighter. 

Drink size
Mochas are usually larger than cappuccinos. Cappuccinos are traditionally 5-6 ounces while mochas are usually 10-12 ounces but can be bigger. 

Mocha at Starbucks

Mochas are a standard at all Starbucks locations and mocha drinks like Peppermint Mocha and White Chocolate Mocha are some of the most popular. You can order a mocha hot, iced, or as a Frappuccino. 

Like lattes, mochas come in four sizes at Starbucks: short (8 ounces), tall (12 ounces), grande (16 ounces), and venti (20 ounces). These sizes vary slightly when you order an iced mocha. 

Mochas at Starbucks are highly customizable. A grande size has 4 pumps of chocolate sauce, so you can specify how many pumps you want, or sub in a mix of different sauces. (A popular option is to sub half the pumps for white chocolate to make a Black & White Mocha.)

Tool and Ingredient Notes

  • Espresso machine
    To make a mocha exactly like the one at coffee shops, make espresso from an espresso machine. Nespresso would be the next best if you don’t have an espresso machine since it makes espresso-style coffee.
  • Coffee grinder
    Only if your espresso machine doesn’t come with one.
  • Whole beans
    A darker roasted coffee would be best for this drink since the chocolate is such a prominent flavor.
  • Milk
    Whole or 2% milk is commonly used but you can use any kind of milk you like.
  • Chocolate
    Most coffee shops use chocolate syrup since it’s easy to incorporate into the drink. (Make it with my homemade chocolate syrup recipe.)
My Espresso Machine Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

This Breville espresso machine is the one I use on a daily basis to make lattes and mochas. Easy to use for the home barista.
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Step-by-Step Instructions

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

  1. Put chocolate syrup into a cup.
  2. Pull 1-2 shots of espresso on top of the chocolate.
    Grind coffee and use an espresso machine to extract 1-2 shots of espresso, depending on how strong you want the mocha. The chocolate at the bottom of the cup will melt into the espresso.
  3. Steam milk.
    Steam milk the way you would for a latte, with a little bit of foam.
  4. Stir espresso and chocolate in the cup then add steamed milk.

Expert Tips

  • The amount of milk used depends on the size of your drink. If you’re making a 12 ounce mocha, you’ll need 7-9 ounces of milk. You’re accounting for the espresso in the drink, the amount of chocolate, and the froth of the milk once you steam it.
  • The amount of chocolate in the drink is completely up to you. Add as little or as much as you want. Start with 2 tablespoons and add more if you want a stronger chocolate flavor.
  • Popular add-ons to mochas are whipped cream, powdered cocoa, and marshmallows.
  • Mochas can vary in style from coffee shop to coffee shop — some places might not offer whipped cream, for example, so it’s always good to ask how a shop makes their mochas.
  • Any customizations you make for a latte (extra shot, flavorings, skim milk, etc…) can also be made for mochas. Customizations can also be made to the chocolate like using white chocolate.

Questions You May Have

Does mocha mean chocolate? 

Mocha doesn’t mean chocolate, but rather refers to a drink made from espresso and chocolate.

Is mocha considered coffee?

If it has espresso, then it’s coffee! A mocha without espresso is a hot chocolate. 

Is mocha hot or cold? 

You can get a mocha hot or cold! Here’s my recipe to make quick and easy iced mocha.

How can you make mocha with a Nespresso or a Keurig? 

You can but Nespresso will create more cafe-quality mocha than a Keurig since it makes espresso-style coffee. All you need to do is steam milk and add chocolate to make a mocha! See how to make mocha using a Nespresso, Keurig, or strong coffee brewed in a coffee machine.

Is macchiato the same thing as a mocha?

No, a macchiato is a small 3 ounce drink made with espresso and a tiny bit of milk. There’s no chocolate in a macchiato. A mocha is a larger drink made with espresso, chocolate, and milk.

Related

How to Make Mocha

Author: Jee Choe
Make this popular espresso and chocolate drink at home.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put chocolate syrup into a cup.
  • Pull 1-2 shots of espresso on top of the chocolate.
    Grind coffee and use an espresso machine to extract 1-2 shots of espresso, depending on how strong you want the mocha. The chocolate at the bottom of the cup will melt into the espresso.
  • Steam milk.
    Steam milk the way you would for a latte, with a little bit of foam.
  • Stir espresso and chocolate in the cup then add steamed milk.

NOTES

  • The amount of milk used depends on the size of your drink. If you’re making a 12 ounce mocha, you’ll need 7-9 ounces of milk. You’re accounting for the espresso in the drink, the amount of chocolate, and the froth of the milk once you steam it.
  • The amount of chocolate in the drink is completely up to you. Add as little or as much as you want. Start with 2 tablespoons and add more if you want a stronger chocolate flavor.
  • Popular add-ons to mochas are whipped cream, powdered cocoa, and marshmallows.
  • Any customizations you make for a latte (extra shot, flavorings, skim milk, etc…) can also be made for mochas. Customizations can also be made to the chocolate itself like using white chocolate.

NUTRITION

Calories: 255 | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 367IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 1mg
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