We explain the single difference between a latte and a mocha and the taste variation between these two delicious coffees.
Popular at coffee shops, cafes, and in coffee-lovers kitchens, lattes and mochas are very similar, and share their principal ingredients.
They are both espresso-based drinks, topped up with hot milk to create a rich and creamy hot, caffeinated beverage!
There are, however, a few differences in the ingredients. The ratio of the components and how they are combined are also a little different.
We can tell you the principal mocha and latte difference – delicious chocolate is added to one!
A latte, one of the most popular coffees out there.
It is made up of a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a creamy layer of milk foam at the top of the cup.
The hot milk adds a smooth and velvety texture to the coffee, and the flavor of the coffee really shines.
It is important to choose a coffee that will stand up to the addition of the milk, and be enhanced by its natural sweetness.
The ideal latte ratio is 1:1:1.
One third espresso, one third steamed milk and one third frothed milk.
Baristas and aficionados alike have perfected a form of latte art. They create designs by combining the dark coffee and the white foam to create a pattern.
The word “latte” means milk in Italian.
Many European cultures have their own equivalent.
It is impossible to pinpoint when the term first started being used. Latte did make its popular debut in coffee shops throughout the United States in the 1980s.
Nowadays we often use the term “latte” to describe any beverage, hot or iced, that is served with added milk.
Common coffee shop examples include:
So what’s in a mocha?
Mocha is the blend of strong coffee and chocolate in equal parts, topped with steamed milk and a layer of milk foam.
Sound decadent enough for you?
Mocha vs latte – the ideal ratio is 1:1:1:1 for a mocha.
It is the perfect combination of strong, bitter coffee with rich, sweet chocolate and creamy milk with a foam topping.
Essentially, a mocha is a latte where a percentage of the milk has been replaced by chocolate.
Encompassing all the goodness of coffee, with added sweetness and a chocolate flavor, this is a favorite for many.
To make the perfect mocha
This drink will already be quite sweet due to the chocolate but can be sweetened to taste.
Interestingly, the term “mocha” initially had little to do with the rich, sweetened hot-chocolate beverage that we associate it with today.
Al Moka was a Yemeni port where the mocha coffee bean was exported from. In all probability, this is how the name came into being.
The popular coffee bean is a variety of Arabica coffee grown in the region. This bean became famous for its deep, chocolatey flavor.
Until recently, “mocha” was a synonym for coffee, rather than the coffee/chocolate combination that we automatically think of nowadays. When exactly this change occurred, is hard to identify. Most attribute it to the Italian influence.
Due to the popularity of European coffee shops and hot chocolate, it is only natural that experimentation would lead to the combination of two well-loved beverages.
Espresso is the base for both latte and mocha coffees.
The flavor of the espresso will be diluted by adding milk – and chocolate in the case of the mocha. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a bean that ensures a stronger, well-defined coffee flavor.
A medium-dark to dark roasted bean will be best in this case. Dark roasted beans also tend to have a higher percentage of oil.
The perfect espresso has a golden hue to the frothy layer that forms on top when the espresso is first pulled. This is known as “crema”.
It is caused by the intense reaction of air bubbles reacting with the natural oils of the coffee. Using a finely ground coffee will increase the likelihood of getting the perfect crema.
It is important to allow the coffee to brew sufficiently long enough to extract as much of the rich coffee flavor as possible.
Be careful not to reach the point of over-extraction. This will create an unfavorable bitterness.
When making latte and mocha coffees, both frothed and steamed milk is used.
While both are heated, steamed milk is hotter and heavier than frothed milk. Frothed milk has more (and larger) air bubbles incorporated in it.
For coffee lovers who are:
plant-based milk is becoming increasingly popular.
The luscious, creamy texture of oat milk is a particular favorite among baristas.
Other common varieties include soy, almond, coconut, and hazelnut milk. These options are often considered to be more sustainable and cruelty-free.
It is important to note, however, that using a milk alternative will also change the flavor profile of the coffee.
The main difference between steamed milk and frothed milk is that frothed milk has much larger air bubbles and it is much lighter.
Frothed milk is made by incorporating more air into steamed milk by vigorously whisking or shaking the milk.
At home, it is much easier to make frothed milk than steamed milk. The addition of frothed milk to home-made coffee beverages elevates them to another level – both in taste and texture!
To make steamed milk you can use a variety of techniques:
Commercially, the most common method of making steamed milk is to use the steam wand on the coffee machine. However, at home, it is possible to make steamed milk on the stove or in the microwave.
Frothed milk is vital to create the signature foamy topping on lattes and mochas.
There are several methods of frothing milk at home.
The simplest option is to do so in the microwave. It is also possible to froth milk using a traditional French press with excellent results. Or use an electric frothing wand.
To make frothed milk in the microwave:
To make frothed milk in a french press:
Frothing wands are also nifty little gadgets that are useful for frothing milk quickly and easily. They are mini battery-operated whisks that incorporate air into previously heated milk.
These milk frothers are not expensive and are a handy tool for coffee aficionados.
There are a number of ways to add chocolate to the coffee.
One of the simplest solutions is to use chocolate syrup.
Chocolate syrups are available commercially but can also be made at home using pantry staples.
When making your chocolate coffee place the chocolate syrup in the cup first, before adding the espresso.
Mix one tablespoon of cocoa powder with one tablespoon of sugar (or sweetener of choice) and two tablespoons of water. It is best to use hot water to dissolve the sugar.
If using a liquid sweetener, such as honey or agave syrup, then less liquid can be added.
Melt a few pieces of chocolate in hot milk. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to soften. Then stir to incorporate the chocolate in the hot milk. Or else, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave.
Other ingredients can be added to the mocha. These bring their own individual qualities to the mix.
There are many more coffee flavor additives that you can use to make your drink taste really good.
Latte vs mocha – which one will be your favorite?
Lattes are a great way to savor the simple pleasure of drinking a cup of coffee. They allow one to appreciate the full flavor of espresso, without it being too strong or bitter.
A mocha combines the bitter notes of the coffee with the sweetness of the chocolate and the creaminess of the milk. These produce a richer experience, perfect for those coffee lovers with a sweet tooth.
Originally the word mocha was not associated with coffee or chocolate in any way. It came into being when the coffee beans originating from the port of Al Mokha in Yemen were named after where they came from. Mocha coffee beans are used in making the espresso part of the drink.
The basic components of these drinks are exactly the same except a mocha has chocolate as an extra ingredient. Mocha has a ratio of one part espresso, one part steamed milk, one part chocolate, and one part foam.
Both drinks are milk heavy but the mocha definitely has more calories and carbohydrates with the addition of chocolate in its recipe.
Mocha coffee is sweeter than a latte. A mocha has added chocolate (either cocoa or a chocolate-flavored syrup) as an ingredient that would increase the sugar content.
Coffee, generally espresso, is included in the mocha recipe. It is not a chocolate drink but rather a coffee drink that has an added chocolate flavor.