Mocha vs Latte: 3 Major Differences [Explained]

Mocha vs Latte The Differences Between Mochas and Lattes

It’s the coffee season! The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and there’s nothing better than a warm cup of coffee to start your day.

But what if you’re torn between two of the most popular coffee drinks – the mocha vs latte?

In this article, I’ll explore the differences between these two drinks, their history, and how to make each one.

By the end, you’ll know exactly which drink to order the next time you’re at your favorite local coffee shop.

Let’s get started!


What Is a Mocha?

Mocha is a coffee drink that combines coffee and chocolate.

It’s made with espresso, chocolate syrup or powder, and steamed milk.

Mochas can also be made with whipped cream and marshmallows on top.

A cup of mocha with coffee art on top

What Is a Latte

A latte is the most popular espresso-based coffee drink you’ll find at coffee shops.

It’s made with espresso and steamed milk and sometimes topped with foamed milk.

If you want to get fancy, you can add flavors like vanilla, caramel, or cinnamon to your latte.

A white ceramic coffee mug with saucer and teaspoon

The Differences Between a Mocha and Latte

The biggest difference between these two espresso-based drinks, mocha vs latte, is the chocolate that’s in the mocha coffee.

Mochas are made with chocolate milk or chocolate syrup while lattes are not.

Lattes are also generally made with more milk than mochas. The espresso to milk ratio in a latte is about 1:3 while the espresso to milk to chocolate syrup ratio in mocha is about 1:1:1.

This means that lattes are generally less strong than mochas.

The table below shows the main differences between these two coffee drinks.

MochaLatte
Made with espresso, chocolate, and steamed milkMade with espresso and steamed milk
Equal parts milk and espressoMore milk than espresso
Stronger and sweeter flavorLess strong and no sweet flavor

The History of Each Drink

Now that we know what each drink is made of and how they differ, let’s take a look at the history of each one.

The History of the Mocha

The mocha coffee drink has been around since the 18th century.

It was first made in Arabia and gets its name from the city of Al Moka in Yemen.

The city was named after the coffee beans that were grown there – the Moka (or Mocha) beans.

A Mocha coffee

The mocha coffee beans were first brought to Europe in the 17th century and quickly became popular.

These beans are now known as Arabica coffee beans and are used in many different types of coffee.

The first mocha coffee drink was made with Moka beans, milk, and chocolate. The chocolate was added to mask the bitterness of the coffee.

This original mocha drink was very sweet and thick.

The History of the Latte

The term latte comes from the Italian word caffè latte, which means milk coffee.

According to coffee history, William Dean Howells was the first person to use the term latte in print in 1867 in his book “Italian Journeys.”

Coffee in a blue ceramic teacup on on a blue ceramic sauce next to a clear glass with white beverage in it

Lattes have been around since the early 1800s but were originally made without espresso.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that coffee shops in Italy started adding espresso to milk to make the latte we know today.

Lattes became popular in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. This was thanks to coffee chains like Starbucks which made lattes more accessible to the average coffee drinker.

Today, lattes are one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world. Many experienced coffee baristas even create latte art – designs in the milk foam on top of the coffee.


How to Make a Mocha

Preparing a mocha coffee is pretty simple. All you need is espresso, chocolate milk or chocolate syrup, and steamed milk.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to make a mocha coffee at home:

Equipment needed:

Ingredients needed:

  • Espresso
  • 2oz hot chocolate milk or syrup
  • 1oz steamed milk
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Cocoa powder (optional)
  • Marshmallows (optional)
  • Chocolate chips or chocolate shavings (optional)
  • Marshmallows (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Start by making 2 shots of espresso.
  2. Add the hot chocolate milk or syrup to a coffee mug.
  3. Pour in the espresso shots.
  4. Stir until everything is combined.
  5. Froth the steamed milk and pour the frothed milk over the espresso and chocolate mixture.
  6. If desired, top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, marshmallows, or chocolate chips/shavings. Enjoy!

How to Make a Latte

Latte coffee brewing is similar to making a mocha. 

You will need espresso and steamed milk, but the milk to espresso ratio is different. 

For a latte, the milk ratio is much higher (about 3:1 milk to espresso), making it a less strong and less sweet coffee drink.

Here’s the step-by-step guide to making a latte at home:

A person making coffee using an Aeropress

Equipment needed:

  • Espresso machine
  • Milk jug
  • Espresso cup

Ingredients:

  • Espresso
  • Steamed milk
  • Foamed milk (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Pull an espresso shot and pour it into the espresso cup.
  2. Fill the milk jug with steamed milk and pour it into the espresso cup.
  3. Top with foamed milk, if desired.
  4. Serve immediately.

Which Drink Is Better – The Mocha vs Latte?

Latte and mocha coffee drinks are both great choices for coffee lovers. But which one is better?

The answer to this question really depends on your personal preference. If you like your coffee sweet and chocolatey, then mocha is the drink for you.

If you prefer a milder coffee with more milk, then the latte is a better choice.

If you can’t decide, why not try a mocha latte? This coffee drink combines the best of both worlds – the sweetness of the mocha and the creaminess of the latte. Yum!

So, what’s your favorite coffee drink? The mocha or the latte? Let me know in the comments below!


FAQs

Why Is It Called Mocha and Not Chocolate?

Although chocolate is a key ingredient, the name “mocha” is not derived from chocolate. The name comes from the city of Mocha in Yemen. The city of Mocha was well known for its coffee beans, which were used to make a strong, chocolatey coffee drink.

Is Mocha Stronger Than Latte?

Yes, mocha coffee is stronger than latte coffee. Since mochas contain more chocolate, the drink is richer and has a more intense flavor. If dark chocolate is used, the drink will be even stronger. Chocolate has a stimulating effect, so mochas may contain more caffeine than lattes.

Which Is Sweeter Latte or Mocha?

Mocha coffee is sweeter than latte coffee. This is because chocolate, cocoa, or chocolate syrup is added to mochas, which adds extra sweetness to the drink.
However, the amount of sweetness can vary depending on the recipe. Some mochas are made with dark chocolate, which is not as sweet as milk or white chocolate.

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