Mocha Coffee: What it is and how it is prepared

Mocha coffee, also known as mochaccino, is a delightful beverage that falls under coffee with milk. Its unique taste and texture come from adding cocoa or chocolate syrup to the traditional milk and coffee mixture.

This velvety drink has a soft, sweet flavour with a hint of cocoa and an irresistible frothy appearance that is both appetizing and visually appealing.

Interestingly, the name of this beverage is spelt differently in different languages. In Italian, it’s written with a “k” as Moka, while in English, it’s spelt with a “ch” as Mocha. In Spanish, it’s written with a “c” as Moca. There’s even a variation with two “cc” as Mocca, which remains a mystery.

It’s worth noting that Mocha coffee has no relation to the Italian Moka coffee, which is prepared using a Moka pot, also known as a “macchinetta” in Italian. Hence, it’s crucial to distinguish between these two beverages.

How is the Mocha coffee prepared?

Mocha coffee is a type of espresso-based beverage with a combination of milk and cocoa or chocolate. The ratio of frothed milk to coffee in a cup of mocha coffee is typically 2 parts milk to 1 part coffee.

Like cappuccino, mocha coffee is known for its foamy layer on top of the coffee. However, sometimes cream is used instead of foam. Depending on personal preference, Mocha coffee can be made with either dark chocolate or milk chocolate.

A variation of mocha coffee is White Mocha coffee, made with white chocolate instead of dark chocolate. Despite the change in chocolate type, the drink’s other components remain the same as a traditional mocha.

Recipe for a great Mocha Coffee

Preparing the perfect Mocha can be achieved in different ways; I have a recipe that works for me, and I want to share it with you here.

Recipe for a coffee shop-style Mocha:


  • 2 shots of espresso (50 ml)
  • Fresh milk (125 – 150 ml)
  • 220 ml mug
  • Powdered chocolate or chocolate syrup (to your taste)

Step by Step recipe:

  1. Prepare the espresso shots using an espresso machine.
  2. Coat the walls of your cup with chocolate syrup.
  3. Alternatively, add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the coffee and stir.
  4. Steam the milk as you would for a cappuccino, and fill it with the steamed milk, ensuring it remains on top of the coffee (ratio milk-coffee 2:1).
  5. Add a layer of milk foam to the milk froth (you can use whipped cream instead).
  6. Decorate with cocoa powder or chocolate syrup before serving.

Recipe variations:

  • White Mocha: Same preparation as above, but with white chocolate.
  • Black and White Mocha (Zebra): A variant of Mocaccino with both types of chocolate, white and dark/milk chocolate.

What’s the difference between Cappuccino and Mocha?

While mocha and cappuccino share some similarities, they also have distinct differences.

  • Cappuccino is prepared with espresso and milk, which is steamed and textured to create froth and foam. The layers of espresso, froth, and foam are not mixed, and the drink has a concentrated flavour due to its differentiated layers.
  • On the other hand, mocha coffee always includes three components: espresso, milk, and chocolate. The addition of chocolate syrup gives it a unique taste and makes it the preferred sweet beverage for many people.

Unlike cappuccino, mocha coffee is served with its ingredients well blended, particularly coffee and cocoa.

While it is common to ask for a cappuccino with chocolate sprinkles on top, the two beverages are different.