We’ve all loved our Mocha and Latte. There are plenty of aficionados for these beverages, but many people get stumped in figuring out the differences between the two. If you’ve had your doubts, there is a good reason. Both these beverages use very similar ingredients, so you’ve to take a closer look at the Mocha vs Latte scene to get things right.
It All Starts With An Espresso
A lot of your favorite coffee beverages start with an espresso. To make a good espresso, you start with finely ground coffee beans. Hot water, preferably around 195°F and (at least) 9 bars of pressure is then sent through the coffee grounds. And that’s how you get a nice shot of espresso.
You can, of course, enjoy the espresso, or use it as an ingredient in creating more coffees and beverages. Espresso machines can be quite expensive, though you can find a decent espresso machine under $500. If you’re on a tight budget, you can also consider espresso machines under $100.
Espresso is going to be the base of your coffee. Give it some love, irrespective of whatever you decide to cook up.
And Then There Was Milk
Love the art on your latte? It’s milk that makes it possible. Though not always, but most beverages that start with espresso will include milk.
However, milk isn’t just poured straight from a jar. You want your milk to have a nice foam or velvety foam depending on the recipe. To that end, most baristas use a good quality milk frother or steamer. Frothed milk isn’t just good for art, it adds flavor and taste to your coffee.
Mocha Vs Latte — Battle Royale
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of things. Getting a nice cup of mocha or latte, or for that matter, cappuccino vs macchiato can get down to how you move ahead after brewing a nice espresso.
What Is A Mocha?
Mocha, also called mochaccino, derives its name from the city of Mocha in Yemen. Mocha happened to be an important port in the coffee trade from the 15th to the 18th century. The Arabica coffee was grown inland, and a lot of coffee was traded through the port of Mocha.
The original mocha beans from Yemen were believed to have a chocolate-like taste. Although that’s no longer true for the coffee beans grown in Yemen, the flavor of chocolate to coffee and to the name has stuck.
To create a mocha coffee, a small amount of hot chocolate is added to the coffee. This is what gives it the distinct flavor since coffee beans aren’t quite into tasting chocolatey these days. While preparation may vary by individual tastes, a conventional mocha has the following ingredients:
- 2 shots of espresso
- One or two oz of hot chocolate
- Frothed/steamed milk at the top
Of course, there’s more to do if you like. Some people top their Mocha with marshmallows, others add a shot of alcohol. Or, just enjoy the simple, rich flavor of a nice mocha.
Tell Me About Latte
A latte (or Cafe Latte, as they call it in Italy) is the most popular and versatile beverage made from an espresso. In its most basic form, it is an espresso topped with steamed milk and frothed milk.
You start with one shot of espresso, add three or four times steamed milk by volume, and then some nice frothed milk. Top it up with some awesome artwork, and you’ve got a latte good to go. A conventional latte has the following setup:
- Double shot of espresso
- 6-8 oz of steamed milk
- Frothed milk (or foam)
Baristas will often add their own touch of flavors as well, including hot chocolate, like in Mocha.
So if I add hot chocolate to a latte, does it become a Mocha? No.
While the ingredients are similar, the concentration and preparation are different. A mocha is usually stronger than a latte, while a latte may have more flavor, thanks to milk. Mocha vs latte isn’t just about what you add to your beverage. It’s equally dependent on how, and how much!
Wrapping It All Up
Mocha and latte are popular coffee drinks. They’re both delicious and have similar ingredients. In fact, they can also have the same ingredients. Yet, you’ll always be able to tell the difference in a Mocha vs Latte matchup. The rich chocolate flavor of a mocha matched with the strong shot of espresso gives it a different feel. The full flavor of a latte, even a chocolate latte, is both distinctive, and delicious.