What is the Difference Between Latte and Mocha

With many options for coffee drinks, you may feel overwhelmed and decide to stick to what you know. But you’re missing out on tasty drinks that could be better than the cappuccino, drip coffee, or flat white you usually pick.

Why not learn what is the difference between Latte and Mocha? Some refer to a mocha as a mocha latte. But a latte and a mocha latte are two distinctly different coffee beverages.

Read on. Armed with information, you can explore more options in your local coffee shop and become a coffee afficionado!

What is the Difference Between Latte and Mocha?

There are vast differences between a latte and a mocha. They contain different ratios of coffee content vs milk content. And of course, a mocha has the delectable taste of chocolate mixed in between. They have different caffeine content too and they appeal to different coffee drinkers. Which type are you?

History of the Latte

A caffe latte originates from Europe. Especially French and Italian citizens adore this drink, and in France it’s referred to as a café au lait. No matter which terminology you use, you’re basically saying ‘coffee with milk’; an apt description.

Before the Latte, people had cappuccinos, and a latte is a milkier version of this drink. Although it’s been around in European homes since the 1700s, it was only commercialized in coffee shops in the 1900s.

History of the Mocha

In contrast, the term ‘mocha’ is the way a port city in Yemen (al-Makha) is pronounced. Although mocha doesn’t refer to chocolate, it’s relevant because decades ago coffee beans and coffee used to be referred to by their place of origin, of which al Makha was one; actually, the first place to ship coffee beans—the mocha coffee beans—to Europe.

So, the name is somewhat confusing but over the years mocha beans became synonymous with the chocolate coffee drink. This could be because Italians mixed coffee mocha bean brews and chocolate as far back as 200 years ago.

How Latte is Made

The steps and base ingredients to create the perfect latte is as follows. We also specify the ratio for clarity:

  • 1/6: In a latte cup, usually 11oz to 15oz, pull one shot from the espresso machine
  • Pour 10oz of milk into a jug; steam and froth with the steam wand
  • 4/6: Pour the steamed milk while holding back the foam with a spoon
  • 1/6: Cover the milk layer with a thick layer of foam
  • Add latte art as the final touch

This is a great drink to try with cookies as a special treat. It won’t be too sweet and they complement each other well.

Alternative options for the home barista: your latte can have a different flavor too. After you pulled the espresso shot you can add a flavored syrup of your choice.

A latte drinker may like using a double shot of espresso as the espresso base, which is up to personal taste.

How Mocha is Made

Firstly, let’s be clear that a mocha coffee is not an ordinary hot chocolate drink. Hot chocolate usually doesn’t contain any coffee bean product, which a mocha or a mocha latte will.

A mocha coffee recipe can deviate slightly from the following, because there are different ways baristas in coffee shops add the chocolate taste, including:

  • Chocolate syrups
  • Pieces of chocolate that melt in the coffee
  • Cocoa powder

Your mocha recipe, with ratios for clarity, is as follows:

  • 2/5: Add the source of your chocolate flavor in the cup. A tablespoon of syrup or two tablespoons of powder or if you’re using hot chocolate, add 2oz of the liquid.
  • 2/5: Pull two shots of espresso into the cup.
  • Use your milk frother and steamer for a few ounces of milk.
  • 1/5: Pour in 1oz of steamed milk.
  • You can add a foam top from the milk frothing device but cream and some chocolate shavings are also a nice touch.

You can see this mixture tends to be a lot stronger than a latte, thanks to the coffee to milk ratio. Of course, you can adjust this to personal taste.

Latte Vs Mocha FAQs

Which is stronger/has more caffeine?

You can follow different recipes, but usually a mocha is stronger than a latte, thanks to the ratio of espresso to milk content. With two espressos and much less milk, the mocha will have a strong coffee taste, while the latte is definitely milkier. More espresso means more caffeine.

Is Latte or Mocha sweeter?

If you want a sweet drink, a caffe mocha is your go-to. Thanks to the infusion of chocolate via syrup, powder or hot chocolate, this is a more sugary drink than a latte.

You can turn your café latte into a sweet coffee beverage too by adding flavored syrups.

Which drink is healthier?

When you talk about health you’re probably concerned about sugar and carb intake. It’s clear that a mocha drink carries much more of these in the form of chocolate syrups or other chocolate sources.

If you add flavored syrup to your latte, it will increase its sugar content considerably.

Is Mocha or Latte suitable for non-coffee drinkers?

If your palate isn’t used to the flavors of strong coffee beans, ease into the habit by trying a caffe mocha. The chocolate will be an attractive aroma while you get used to the coffee.

In some cases, a latte with its milk coffee taste may also suit those who aren’t yet used to very strong coffee.

The Bottom Line

There’s a world of espresso drinks to discover for your coffee routine and it’s worth it to try something new! A latte is a smooth milky drink and a mocha can be a chocaholic’ s best friend, so don’t miss out, whatever your preference.

Do you have other drinks like an Americano or café macchiato you would suggest for a new coffee experience or a tip to make lattes and mochas even better?

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