How to make the perfect mocha

10 Jun 2021


Creamy hot chocolate with a coffee kick — take your mocha game to the next level.

The perfect mocha coffee is the stuff of dreams. Once you strike that balance between rich, velvety Hot Chocolate and roasted, smooth notes of coffee, there’s little else that will satisfy. The top compromise for when you need a little caffeine kick but crave something more indulgent than your usual cuppa.

But how exactly do you achieve that harmonious marriage of flavours? Creating the perfect mocha coffee is trickier than you may think: too much hot chocolate, and you may as well have just forgotten the coffee. But too little, and you may find your drink lacks that characteristic cocoa decadence. Our team of cocoa connoisseurs and baristas have put their heads together to help you learn how to make a mocha that ticks the boxes of both bean flavours.

Chocolate and coffee

What is a mocha?

Put simply, the answer to ‘what is a mocha?’ lies in its ingredients. Baristas combine brewed coffee with hot chocolate to create a drink that balances roasted coffee notes and creamy cocoa flavours.

Whilst the ingredients behind a mocha are pretty transparent, the history of the mocha is a bit more milky. The term ‘mocha’ itself stems from Yemen, named after a port on the Red Sea Coast. Yemen is one of the earliest countries to cultivate, trade and drink coffee. However, the mocha was originally a term used for a simple cup of coffee and not the chocolatey hybrid we know and love.

The mocha we know today wouldn’t have surfaced until after the 19th century as, until then, chocolate was a much more expensive commodity. It is thought that the modern mocha originated from French and Italian creations.

So, now you’ve had a brief history tour of the mocha, it’s time to learn the answer behind ‘what is a mocha’ and how do you make it?

Making a mocha

First, you’ll need to make a cup of brewed coffee. Filtering ground coffee through a press of your choice is one way to do this. We strongly advise against using instant coffee. Whilst it might be quicker, instant coffee doesn’t carry the same depth as freshly ground coffee. You can read our previous article to find out more about the differences between instant and ground coffee.

You’ll also want to make sure that you use good quality coffee beans. Our coffee beans have been sustainably sourced, carefully roasted, and blended to deliver you a cuppa that is more than just coffee. Each variety of Rabot Estate Coffee has its own flavour profile, ranging from tart berry to smokey tobacco notes. Why not grind your own for the freshest results?

As your coffee brews, you’ll want to slowly heat ½ cup of cream or milk (or ¼ of both) in a pan as you stir in chocolate bar shavings. Ideally, you want to get the shavings as fine as possible to ensure an even melt. Our Hot Chocolate follows the same technique. We’ve done the work for you, using grated pieces of our very own chocolate to create a drink that’s smooth, creamy and bursting with cocoa notes.

Once your milk and chocolate have turned into a smooth, glossy consistency with no lumps, slowly pour into your coffee and stir. Top with whipped cream and extra chocolate shavings – this is a drink that cries out for the added sinful touches.

Coffee beans for a mocha

Can you make a mocha in a coffee machine?

If you prefer to make your mocha coffee in a more traditional way, then try using a coffee machine. This classic drink — known as caffé mocha — involves making a shot of espresso, layering cold cream on top and finishing with melted or grated chocolate. No mixing is necessary: you can drink your mocha through the layers, a little bit like an Irish coffee.

You can make your coffee using either a french press or a coffee machine. For even more ease, use a Coffee Pod to brew your cuppa. Ours are made from completely recyclable packaging, meaning you’re left feeling good even after the coffee has gone.

However, if you’re looking for a quick and effective method, we think that The Velvetiser trumps all. Whilst most recipes call for you to make the coffee and hot chocolate mixtures separately, the Velvetiser offers a two-in-one approach. Our Chocolate Latte Sachets get the balance between coffee and chocolate just right. Simply pour into The Velvetiser, press a button and enjoy the silkiest results in a matter of minutes.

What is a white mocha?

A white mocha is, perhaps unsurprisingly, made with white chocolate instead of milk or dark! Simply swap in your white chocolate replacement and stir to create a drink that’s lighter and sweeter than a typical mocha.

For smooth results, try finding White Chocolate with a high cocoa butter percentage. We make ours with 36% cocoa butter for a velvety finish and lightly aromatic taste that isn’t too sweet.

Because a white mocha is more delicate than a classic one, you have more freedom to get inventive. For example, you could top your mocha with dried raspberry pieces or swirl in a red forest coulis for a fruity edge. Perhaps this might sound a little bit like a flavour overload. But don’t worry, fruity notes go surprisingly well with the depth of coffee and the lightness of white chocolate.

Mocha with whipped cream

Is a mocha stronger than coffee?

The answer to this question depends entirely on the type of coffee you’re comparing it to! Because a mocha includes the sweeter notes of chocolate, this tends to take the edge off the coffee. On the other hand, if you’re comparing it to a flat white or a macchiato, then you’ll find your mocha isn’t quite as strong as the cuppa you’re used to.

However, when comparing a mocha to a latté or cappuccino — which contain more milk than a flat white or macchiato — you may find that your mocha is stronger. It depends on how much milk you use. The more milk, the weaker your coffee will be.

Your mocha routine

At Hotel Chocolat, we’re not new to the concept of chocolate and coffee. In fact, we love it so much that we’ve got our own Coffee Chocolate range. And, in case you needed any more persuasion, we’ve written an entire blog on the reasons coffee and chocolate go together. Although we wouldn’t want to pressure you, we assure any coffee and chocolate doubters that there’s a whole world of flavours to explore when you combine the two.

That said, sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. We can’t help feeling that the humble mocha gets overshadowed sometimes by its coffee and hot chocolate counterparts. Reinvent your idea of a mocha by getting creative. Why not use a variety of drinking chocolates that will complement your coffee? Perhaps give our Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate a go, or experiment with toppings.

The perfect mocha can be as simple or as outlandish as you want. Simply indulge in your favourite chocolate flavours and let them sing against the deep and powerful kick of coffee.