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US coffee consumption has increased, with the average coffee drinker consuming over two cups per day (1). This rise in popularity has led to the creation of new coffee drinks and the re-invention of old ones.
There are now many different ways to enjoy your coffee, especially for those who enjoy espresso-based drinks, so it can be difficult to tell them apart if you’re new. And this dilemma also involves two of the most popular espresso drinks – Mochaccinos and Macchiatos.
So, in this article, I will help you tell the differences between Mochaccino vs Macchiato. You’ll also find tips on how to make each of these coffee house drinks at home so you can enjoy it anytime.
TL;DR: Simply put, both the Mochaccino and Macchiato share the espresso base and steamed milk part, but the Mocha comes with a layer of chocolate as well.
Though the chocolate part is a very significant factor setting them apart, you actually should pay more attention to how different their steamed milk is. How come? The answer can be found below.
A Mochaccino is a coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate (either dark or white).
Is Mochaccino A Mocha?
Yes and no. It’s the same drink as the Mocha, but with different ratios. So how can you distinguish Mocha vs Mochaccino?
The original Mocha coffee, or Caffè Mocha, is made with special coffee beans grown in Mocha, Yemen, that has a distinctly natural deep chocolate flavor that sets it apart.
The OG Mocha recipe also involves actual hot chocolate to enhance the chocolate taste that’s just as much the star of the brew as the espresso base.
The modern Mocha or Mochaccino, on the other hand, is more of a recent invention to make the chocolate-rich espresso drink more popular and accessible to the public.
Mocha coffee beans are very rare to come across these days. And making hot chocolate can be more of a hassle than the popular alternatives today – chocolate sauce and syrup.
So, if you’re ordering a Mocha or Mochaccino at your favorite coffee shop, you’d likely get served a cup of coffee made with regular espresso beans, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup (more convenient than hot chocolate) instead.
Mochaccino’s extremely marketable name should also be a tell-tale sign that it’s not very authentic.
The Mochaccino can also be understood as the lovechild of the Mocha and cappuccino, which should be obvious from its name. So some places may serve it with more steamed milk than their regular Mocha menu.
The Mochaccino is usually a pretty sweet and rich drink, perfect for those who have a sweet tooth. You can also add flavorings to your Mochaccino if you want. Some popular flavors include vanilla ice cream and caramel.
Where Did Mochaccino Come From?
As I’ve mentioned, the Mocha drink was named after Mocha, Yemen, a city popular for trading coffee and growing rich coffee beans featuring a natural chocolate taste.
Mochaccino is the modern variation of the OG Mocha drink. It’s usually made with espresso, chocolate syrup, and steamed milk. There can be more milk to make it more like a cappuccino.
How Do You Make Mochaccino In A Coffee Maker?
Here’s the Golden Ratio for a Mochaccino that’s the closest to the OG drink:
- 2/5 espresso (a double shot of espresso – 2 oz/59 ml)
- 2/5 chocolate (2 oz/59 ml)
- 1/5 steamed milk (1 oz/30 ml)
For the modern Mochaccino that resembles the cappuccino more, you can go for either:
- Equal parts espresso, chocolate, and hot milk
- 1/5 espresso (double shot), 1/5 chocolate, and 2/5 thick milk foam
Here are some simple step-by-step instructions to help you get an idea of what it’s like:
- Step 1: Prepare the chocolate
When making hot chocolate, you should mix milk (whole or 2%), cocoa powder, sugar, the type of chocolate you like (dark chocolate, white chocolate, or milk chocolate), and vanilla extract over medium-low heat.
You can also just use hot chocolate milk and call it a day.
If you decide to make do with some chocolate syrup instead, I recommend using only half of the amount recommended and adjusting from there.
- Step 2: Prepare the espresso
Brew a double shot of espresso with your espresso machine.
Have the espresso poured over the chocolate you’ve prepared.
Finally, use a spoon to mix them up evenly.
Don’t know how? You’re only 6 easy steps away from a delicious espresso shot.
- Step 3: Prepare the milk
For coffee lovers looking for an authentic coffee drinking experience, when steaming milk, do it very lightly to create a smooth milk foam that’s similar to that of the caffe latte or a wet cappuccino. You can also use this to make beautiful latte art.
For those who want it like the coffee shops, create a dry-cappuccino-like milk froth that’s thick and airy instead. And, for those who don’t know exactly what they want, experiment with both and make your choice then.
Feel free to add whatever toppings on top to satisfy your sweet tooth, such as chocolate powder, whipped cream, more syrups, chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, or marshmallows.
What Is An Espresso Macchiato?
A Macchiato is an espresso-based coffee drink that originated in Italy. It’s made with espresso and just a dollop of steamed milk. The word “macchiato” actually means “marked” in Italian, referring to the small mark of milk in the espresso.
A traditional Macchiato is made with just espresso and a little bit of milk foam. But nowadays, you can find them made with different flavors like vanilla, caramel, or even chocolate, boosting the sugar content of the drink significantly (cough Starbucks cough).
You can also add foamed milk on top of a Macchiato which is similar to that of a cappuccino.
But today, we’ll be focusing on the Espresso Macchiato rather than its variations like Latte Macchiato. Similar to a caffè latte, the Latte Macchiato has a very high milk content, to the point where the milk cup is actually “stained” with espresso instead.
Where Did Macchiato Come From?
The Macchiato is speculated to have originated in Italy in the eighties. Baristas likely created it to distinguish a regular espresso from one with a little bit of milk.
But, there’s no universal brewing ratio for the Espresso Macchiato, so the amount of milk added to the drink tends to vary from one coffee shop to another.
There are also other espresso drinks that are similar to the Caffe Macchiato in other countries, such as the Café Pingado in Portugal. Keep in mind that it’s different from the Cortado, which has as much milk as espresso.
How To Make A Macchiato
Making a Macchiato is pretty simple. All you need is a single or double espresso shot and a dollop of milk. The espresso to milk ratio can range from 4:1 to 9:1, depending on how sweet and creamy you want the drink to be.
Make a fulfilling Espresso Macchiato with these steps:
- Step 1: Prepare the espresso
You can prepare a single or double shot of espresso. Most coffee shops serve a doppio if you want to recreate a cafe-style Macchiato.
- Step 2: Prepare the frothed milk
Use a steam wand or milk frother to create a milk foam that’s frothy and light like a cappuccino’s. Then slowly pour steamed milk on top of the espresso to make a milky coffee drink.
Feel free to drink it in its layered form or stir it before drinking to mix the flavors together. You can also top the coffee beverage with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon to add a little bit of spice.
If you want to make a Latte Macchiato instead, keep in mind that it’s very milk-heavy. The espresso-to-milk ratio is around 1:6, and it needs to be served in a tall glass. And the milk part features both steamed and foamed milk.
Mochaccino Vs Macchiato Coffee Drinks
Other than the obvious difference between the two – the chocolate ingredient, here are some others that you should know:
Compared to the Mocha or Mochaccino, Macchiato has less steamed milk. In fact, compared to most other coffee drinks, it has the least amount of milk of them all.
The milk-to-coffee ratio can range from 1:4 to 1:9, which means only around 1/4 oz of milk is served to favor the taste of the espresso shots.
Though the Mocha doesn’t have a lot of milk either, 1 – 2 oz is still more than what’s spared for Macchiato. And the Mochaccino tends to have even more milk to resemble the cappuccino.
Another difference between Macchiato vs Mocha that a skilled barista should know is how the cold milk is steamed. Macchiato has cappuccino-like frothed milk, while the Mocha boasts a café au lait-like layer.
In case you didn’t know, an important factor distinguishing the latte vs cappuccino is the milk preparation. The milk on the latte is only lightly steamed, but, on the cappuccino, it’s foamier and airier with bigger bubbles.
However, some coffee bars may prepare the modern Mochaccino with a cappuccino-like foam as well.
Between Macchiato vs Mocha, it should be obvious that the latter offers more customization because it has more ingredients and brewing ratio variations.
The Espresso Macchiato is strictly a drink with an espresso + a little bit of milk, and that’s it. If you want to venture out with different flavored syrups and toppings like whipped cream, you’ll have better luck with a sugary Latte Macchiato.
The star of the Macchiato is the intense espresso flavor. The dollop of milk just adds a bit of creaminess and sweetness as a backup dancer.
Mochas, on the other hand, boast a very strong chocolate taste that further deepens the coffee flavor. The milk helps enhance the richness while balancing out the bitterness of the Joe, making Mocha a sweeter drink overall.
The Mocha is one of the most popular coffee drinks with pretty high caffeine content. Other than the espresso base, the drinker will get their energy source from the chocolate as well, making it more caffeine-packed than other espresso menus like Macchiatos.
To Wrap Up
Both are delicious in their own way, so it comes down to personal preference when you visit a local coffee shop.
If you’re looking for a drink with a little less caffeine and sweetness, you may want to order a Macchiato. If you’re a chocolate lover and don’t mind an extra energy boost, you may want to order a Mochaccino.