How to make the perfect mocha coffee
The deliciously chocolatey taste of the mocha has made it a firm favourite with coffee lovers, and it's now a standing item on most coffee shop menus. One of the simplest coffees to make, mocha combines the delectable flavours of espresso and chocolate.
Read on to find out how to make the perfect mocha coffee at home.
How to make a mocha coffee drink
There are lots of variations on the mocha, but most people would agree that it starts with a combination of coffee and some sort of chocolate flavouring.
- Make a 35ml espresso coffee using quality beans and an espresso machine
- Mix in your chocolate flavouring (hot chocolate powder, cocoa, or syrup)
- Steam the milk in a metal jug using the steaming wand on your machine
- Hold the jug 3 - 4cms above your cup and gently pour in your steamed milk
- Sit back, and enjoy your favourite coffee at home
This recipe is a good place to start but it can be varied in lots of different ways, so you should experiment until you find what's right for you. While some people prefer to use cocoa powder, others like melted chocolate or chocolate syrup, which is much sweeter.
You could also try using a different type of milk – the higher the fat in your milk, the creamier your coffee will be, or why not swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate?
Mocha is an espresso-based beverage, so getting the foundation right is key to making this drink a success. If you don't have an espresso machine, it's still possible to make a really great mocha using a French press, then heating up your milk in a pan on the stove.
Where does the mocha come from?
Mocha is the name of a port city in Yemen, known locally as al-Mukha. In the 20th century, most of the country’s coffee exports left through this port, but it's not the place that gave the mocha coffee its name –it’s actually the beans from this area.
Mocha coffee beans come from a species of plant, known as the Arabica, that grows organically in this part of Western Asia. These beans have a naturally chocolatey taste which has come to be associated with the so-called mocha coffee.
Today the word 'mocha' has simply come to be known as a coffee drink with a chocolate flavouring, regardless of the type of beans used. But, if the mocha drink isn't actually made with this bean, what type of coffee should you be using?
What are the best coffee beans for mocha?
Coffee roasters around the world have their own 'mocha' blends but most are made with Arabica beans. The coffee beans from this species of plant are naturally less bitter so they enhance the chocolate flavouring in the drink.
At Pumphrey's Coffee, our 'mocha' coffee is made with Arabica beans from Ethiopia. Part of our classic collection, this medium roasted coffee bean has a smooth but distinctive taste, and its complex structure gives it an earthy flavour.
For a fuller, strong-bodied dark roast coffee, try our Mocha Matari Style blend. Roasted for longer, this coffee bean from Ethiopia has a smoky, intense flavour– popular with customers who want a caffeine kick with their chocolate-coffee drink.
All our coffee is freshly roasted to order using traditional methods over an open flame.
Using open flame roasting drums means we can roast our coffee for longer to release their natural oils and flavours without burning them.
If you prefer light roast coffee, we sell a range of classic coffees to suit all tastes.
Mocha vs. cappuccino – what's the difference?
The mocha and cappuccino are often mistaken because both are espresso-based and often have chocolate sprinkles, but there are some key differences between the two coffees.
- A cappuccino is made up of three equal parts – an espresso followed by steamed milk with a frothy top, and chocolate sprinkles to finish.
- A mocha is made up of one-third espresso mixed with a chocolate flavouring, such as hot chocolate powder, and two-thirds steamed milk.
In fact, when you put it like this, the mocha is closer to a latte which also has an espresso-blend base and two-thirds milk, but without the chocolate flavouring.
To learn how to make a cappuccino at home, keep reading our series of 'how to' blogs.
How to make a white chocolate mocha
For something a bit different, why not try a white chocolate mocha. To do this you'll need to exchange your milk chocolate powder for melted white chocolate.
- Add white chocolate to a pan of milk (200ml) and stir over a low-medium heat
- When the chocolate has melted, take the milk off the heat
- Brew an espresso and pour into a cup, then add the chocolate milk and stir
- Finish with lightly whipped cream and chocolate or nutmeg shavings
Though mocha is best made with an espresso, you can use regular instant coffee to make a white chocolate mocha – a real treat that is simple to make at home.
Making the perfect mocha - the key takeaway
A mocha is the perfect coffee drink for chocolate lovers, and it's simple to make with a few ingredients. Similar to a latte, this espresso-based beverage has one-third coffee and two-thirds steamed milk, but with one key difference - a hit of sweet chocolate. It's the combination of sweet and bitter flavourings that make this coffee so popular.