Coffee Time! We Check Out The Difference Between Mocha And Latte

by | Apr 3, 2020

Looking for little treats to help in these trying times? Well, coffee in a cup has never offered so much comfort.

The only question is, what kind of coffee? You could settle for a nice, standard cup of Joe, but why not push the boat out and enjoy a magical mocha or a luscious latte?

Not sure about the difference between mocha and latte drinks? We weigh up some of the pros and cons of latte versus mocha (or mocha latte, as some know it). And a couple of others too – a macchiato and a cappuccino.

What Is A Latte, Anyway?

The clues in the word “latte”. This gives a heads up on how important milk is to this lovely textured coffee offering. Specifically, frothed milk and steamed milk. A really good latte is like drinking liquid velvet.

Although, as with many coffee drinks, it all starts with a shot of espresso. (And remember, the term espresso refers to the way the coffee is extracted, rather than the coffee itself, as such.)

The proportions of milk to coffee are crucial. Typically it’s 3 times as much milk as coffee, although some variants may use 9 times milk to 1-part coffee.


Tell Me Again – What Is In A Latte?

Essentially, a latte consists of two ingredients: coffee and milk. Increasingly, you’ll find plant-based kinds of milk as well as dairy: soy, almond, coconut, and others.

The key to a great latte, as well as using excellent coffee, lies in the way the milk is prepared and the drink assembled. You’re aiming for a top layer of foam.


How To Make A Latte

You need approximately a sixth each of espresso and foamed milk, with the remaining four-sixths made up with steamed milk. So, if you’re enjoying an 8-ounce serving, 1 or 2 shots of espresso are added to the cup, with steamed milk making up the remaining five or six ounces.

There are a couple of ways you can steam or froth your milk. You can use a steam wand on a machine designed to make espressos. Your other option is to buy a separate frothing device to blow steam into the milk to produce air bubbles.

Wondering about the difference between foamed milk and steamed milk? It’s all about the bubbles. Steamed milk isn’t foamed quite as much – its volume is increased by about a third. Frothed milk, on the other hand, is doubled in volume.


Latte Vs Cappuccino – The Showdown

The difference between a cappuccino and a latte is all down to the milk content. A typical latte is 1-part coffee to 4 parts steamed milk and 1-part foamed milk. If that sounds like a lot of milk, that’s because it is.

A typical cappuccino has 1-part espresso to 1-part steamed milk and 1-part foamed milk. So, you can see a latte has much more steamed milk than a cappuccino.


Latte Vs Mocha – Luxury Vs Magic?

We’ve established that both latte and mocha drinks use coffee as the base. Latte uses espresso shots, and there’s a designated type of coffee for mocha.


The True Difference Between Mocha And Latte

In the latte vs mocha, mocha is stronger. In a mocha, it’s around a third each of espresso, chocolate, and milk. The milk in a latte dilutes the coffee.


What Is The Difference Between Latte And Macchiato?

Both use espresso shots as their base. A latte incorporates steamed and foamed milk. It’s usually served in a tall mug, either opaque or transparent, and it often has syrups added.

“Macchiato” means “marked” or “stained”. It’s usually served in a glass cup. Latte is a frothy, foamy coffee that’s around 5 parts of milk in total to 1-part coffee. It’s a mild-tasting beverage, and very palatable.


What Is Mocha, Again?

Then there’s mocha. The beans are named after the location where these coffee beans were originally cultivated, the port city of Mocha in Yemen. (You might also find it spelled Mokha.)

What Is Mocha


What Is Mocha Flavor?

This drink combines coffee and chocolate. A little chocolate is added to the blend to bring out the natural flavor of this Arabica bean variety.


Is Mocha Coffee, Then?

Yes, Mocha is coffee. What’s the mocha flavor like? It has a strong chocolate undertone. Baristas often add a little chocolate, in the form of syrup or sauce.

It’s a strong yet subtle-tasting drink. For a pick-me-up that doesn’t overwhelm you with too much coffee, mocha is perfect.


Does Mocha Have Caffeine In It?

Mocha refers primarily to the coffee bean variety. Since mocha coffee beans are one of the Arabica varieties, you can be assured that mocha has as much caffeine as other Arabicas.

The way that coffee is roasted makes a difference to the caffeine content of the final drink. The way that the coffee is brewed can also affect the levels of caffeine.


How To Make A Mocha Latte – Essential Mocha Latte Recipe

So, mocha is indulgent and delicious enough. But what about a mocha latte, as an even nicer treat? A mocha latte is a latte derivative.

It has five eights of steamed milk, then one eighth each of espresso, milk foam, and hot chocolate. The better the cocoa, the better the result.

So, gather up your hot chocolate, grind your coffee beans, get your milk and the steaming wand ready, and let’s begin.


How To Make Mocha Coffee

We suggest the following proportions for a standard mocha: 40% espresso, 40% chocolate, and 20% steamed milk. We also had delicious results with chocolate syrup.

Okay, we added a little spice too. And maybe a few marshmallows and a serving of whipped cream. (We don’t believe in doing things by halves when it comes to coffee.)


What Is A Cappuccino, Then?

For many of us, a latte will be our first introduction to the world beyond basic coffee. And luscious and lovely it is too. But it’s not the only game in town. There’s also cappuccino.

Do you know the lovely color of a perfect cappuccino? This coffee gets its name from the original color of the robes of Capuchin monks. (The capuchins  were an autonomous Franciscan order.)

how much caffeine in cappuccino


What Is In A Cappuccino?

In a basic cappuccino, you’ll find espresso coffee. And frothy, foamy milk.

You might also find a dusting of chocolate powder. And we have been known to add a little syrup now and then.


How To Make Cappuccino At Home

So how do you make cappuccino, then? Well, it all starts with a shot of good espresso. Yes, we know, we always say that. Doesn’t make it any less true though.

Prepare your coffee in the usual way, however you prefer, whether that’s French press, drip coffee maker, or some other method.  Add coffee to the cup, foam your milk until it’s around twice the volume you started with, add to the coffee, and enjoy.


Cappuccino Recipe

You’ll need a shot of your favorite espresso coffee. You also need a lovely rich head of foamed milk that’s been frothed to about twice its normal volume. It’s poured into the cup along with the coffee.

If you’re in the mood, you can also add syrups and flavorings. You can maybe even try your hand at a little foam art, or latte art as it’s currently called.


The Difference Between Latte And Cappuccino

You probably guessed what we were about to say – it’s all in the milk. Well, okay, and any syrups and other sweeteners you might decide to add.

While we’re on the subject of marvelous milky coffee concoctions, let’s move to the macchiato. In case you’re wondering, “macchiato” means “marked”.


What Is Macchiato?

Have you seen those lovely stripy coffee drinks? That’s a macchiato. A traditional macchiato is an espresso with a healthy serving of foamed milk on top.

To make the pretty layers, caramel syrup is often added. The layers in the macchiato are espresso at the bottom, and then milk foam at the top. It’s a very mild-tasting drink compared to a cappuccino.

What Is Macchiato and how to make it


How To Make A Macchiato?

Get your glass ready, prepare your espresso shot, and start steaming that milk. Let’s just recap that milk steaming technique. Make sure your milk is as cold as possible, and place the steam wand into the milk, about an inch in. You need to get the angle just right so that you get a sort of whirlpool from the steam.

The technique isn’t very different for frothed milk. For froth, when the surface of the milk starts to foam, you move the wand to the bottom of the cup or jug you’re using. As the milk starts to froth, the volume expands. Keep moving the wand until you’ve got enough froth.

Add the steamed milk to your cup. Add the espresso shot, and finally the foam. Add any sweeteners or toppings or anything else you feel like, and then enjoy.


Macchiato Vs Latte

Wondering what the deal is with the macchiato versus latte drinks? For macchiatos, the steamed milk is added first, before being marked with an espresso shot and a little milk foam. Macchiato means “marked” or “stained”.

You’ll also see lattes are usually lighter in color than a macchiato. That’s because of the milk and coffee mingle. A macchiato is also usually served in taller cups, often glass.


Macchiato Vs Cappuccino

With a macchiato, there’s a layer of steamed milk. This is topped with one or two shots of espresso. Then a final layer of milk foam is added.

A cappuccino, on the other hand, starts with an espresso shot. Steamed milk is added, and it’s topped off with a thick layer of milk foam.


Q&A – FAQs

For those of you who still have a lot of questions, we have chosen the most frequent ones.


Is A Latte Healthier Than A Mocha?

Are lattes healthier than mochas? Well, it depends.

For instance, what milk are you using? Some milk varieties have higher fat content than others. (Though not all fats are bad for us. We all need some to help us function properly.)

It also depends on the amount of sugar in the chocolate you’re using, and whether you’re adding anything else. A teaspoon of sugar adds around 16 calories to a beverage; each fluid ounce of cream adds 60 calories.


Which Is Stronger, Latte Or Mocha?

Mocha coffee is usually much stronger than cappuccino or latte or macchiato. That applies to both taste and caffeine content.

When it comes to taste, if you’re making a latte with milk with a relatively strong flavor, that will also make a difference.


Which is Sweeter, Mocha Or Latte?

Typically, you’d think a mocha might taste sweeter, given that it contains chocolate. This doesn’t always follow, however.

Of course, if you’re adding syrups or sugar in particular, then the taste will certainly tend to be sweeter than a latte. And the same applies to the latte.


What Can I Add To Mochas And Lattes To Change The Flavor?

To change the taste of your mocha, or your latte, there’s a wealth of options out there. Caramel syrup, banana syrup, black cherry, cinnamon – just for starters. We’ve also got hazelnut, toffee, and vanilla options.

Of course, the choice of coffee bean can change the flavor of your drink too. And that’s before we even start on the different types of milk out there.


Lattes Vs Mocha Conclusion – Which One Should I Drink?

The only question now is which one should you drink? A magical mocha, a luscious latte, a marvelous macchiato, or a classy cappuccino?

Or, just for fun, you could draw up a tasting menu with different variations of coffee, chocolate, syrups, and milk, and work your way through it. Bottoms up!

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