latte vs mocha

Latte vs Mocha: What are the Differences and Which has More Caffeine

Latte vs Mocha

There are two types of coffee enthusiasts; those that love to try different espresso and coffee types, and those that only trust their favorites. Independently of which category you fall into, you most likely have heard of a latte and a mocha. The latte vs mocha is something that we see a lot of people asking about, so we figured we would break them down a bit.

In this coffee review, we go over the two coffee drinks, their recipes and how they taste. If you enjoy espresso drinks, but have never experienced one of these, then we suggest that you go pick up an espresso maker, some milk, coffee beans and perhaps some hot chocolate or any other type of chocolate you can mix into a beverage. So, let's get into it!

What are the Differences?

First off, if you are a coffee drinker, you will know that most coffee types are a mixture of coffee and milk. The coffee is usually brewed in the form of espresso, while the milk can be frothed and steamed in different ways. Occasionally, there are milk substitutes for cream or healthier options, but milk is the standard.

Since there are so many variables, the coffee can take a different consistency, strength, and taste. If you are new to the espresso specialty beverage world, you are in for a treat as there are quite a few variations you can experiment with. 

Alongside these two main ingredients, some coffee types are created by adding flavorings, syrups, additional ingredients, or even liquor, like in the case of the Italian Caffe Corretto and the Irish Coffee. 

Like other espresso and coffee drinks, both a Latte and a Mocha are formed by creating a mix of espresso and milk. However, with a Mocha, you will also find something different about the coffee bean that is sometimes, as well as what is typically added into the recipe.

What Is a Latte

what is a latte

A latte is a common type of coffee that you can find in most coffee bars and cafes worldwide. This type of coffee is made with one or two shots of espresso and steamed milk. It will have a soft coating of milk foam, but not one as thick as the one of a Cappuccino. 

The term "latte," which means "milk" in Italian, is the name adopted for this type of coffee and derives from the Italian "caffè e latte" or "caffelatte." All these different terms refer to the same type of drink; "coffee and milk." With us so far? If you are a barista, we feel your pain needing to know what the differences are, especially when you have grumpy, un-caffeinated, barely awake customers yelling at you.

What Flavor is a Latte

A latte is an ideal choice for coffee drinkers that don't want an espresso's full strength. Indeed, you can make it as mild or strong as you want by playing with the proportions of milk and coffee, but generally a latte will taste less strong because of the amount of milk within. 

Generally, when ordering a latte at a coffee bar or coffee shop, you are likely to get a coffee that is divided into the following sections:

  • ⅓ espresso
  • ⅔ steamed milk

Your Latte coffee will also have a thin layer of micro foam on the top just to seal the flavor in. However, this coating is usually not as thick or stiff as the one of a cappuccino. 

How to Make a Latte

You can enjoy a professionally made latte in most coffee shops around the world. However, you will be able to customize this coffee drink as you prefer if you want to become a home barista. So, if you want to make a latte at home, follow the steps below. 

  1. Start by pouring the milk into a jug, just below where the spout begins. Depending on the jug's size, you might be able to make one or two coffees with the milk you have poured. 
  2. Use the wand steamer of your espresso machine to heat up and froth the milk. You will need to bring it at a temperature of 130-140℉. 
  3. Allow the milk to settle while you prepare the espresso.
  4. Make your espresso. You can do so with a Nespresso machine, or similar coffee maker, but if your budget allows for it, you should use an espresso machine.
  5. Pour the espresso into a mug of your choice.
  6. Pour the steamed milk, allowing the milk to enter the cup before the frothy foam at the end. This is also where latte art comes into play. 

What Is a Mocha?

what is a mocha

If you were searching for latte vs mocha, you were probably asking what a mocha latte was without knowing it. Instead, a mocha latte is a latte to which chocolate syrup or powder is added. To make a mocha latte, you can just follow the steps we have seen above for making a Latte and add some chocolate syrup to it. Be sure to add the syrup into the glass first, with a little bit of steamed milk. You should never pour an espresso shot into just syrup. 

When ordering a Mocha at your favorite coffee shop, you can expect:

  • ⅖ espresso
  • ⅖ steamed/frothed milk
  • ⅕ chocolate

You can also enjoy a Mocha Breve by substituting the milk for half-and-half. Mocha coffee is different from a Mocha Latte and a Latte. Mocha coffee takes its name from the beans used in the preparation of this drink. These Mocha coffee beans come from Yemen, and they are a type of Arabica coffee that yields chocolate undertones and flavors. 

When making a Latte with an espresso made from these beans, you will be able to taste the chocolate flavor. However, it is also possible to fortify this taste by adding a small amount of chocolate (drinking chocolate or chocolate syrup) to the recipe. And so you have a mocha latte or coffee! 

Mocha Latte Flavors: Perfect for the Chocolate Lover 

The flavor profile of a mocha latte or coffee is one of the most recognizable. Indeed, it will taste like coffee and chocolate! When the mocha beans are used, you can enjoy a strong dark chocolate flavor, sometimes resembling dark chocolate depending on the roast degree.

However, if the barista has used chocolate powder or cocoa powder, you might obtain a much more sugary drink.  When making this type of coffee by yourself, it is crucial to pick high quality ingredients. This will allow you to enjoy your mocha coffee often without seeing a huge impact in your diet.  

How to Make a Mocha 

You can make a mocha latte at home with your Nespresso machine, coffee maker and even with an Aeropress. However, we do recommend an espresso machine if you are able to buy one. This type of drink is also easy to find and can be ordered in most coffee shops, but, making it by yourself gives you the chance to better control the amount of chocolate and coffee in your drink. So, here is our mocha coffee recipe.

  1. Heat and steam your milk to create some foam for your coffee. This should always be done first to ensure that the milk settles properly and all air bubbles are dispersed.
  2. Pour some of the milk into the cup and mix it with your preferred chocolate.
  3. Using whatever device is at your disposal, make either a single or double espresso shot.
  4. Pour your espresso shot(s) into the cup and mix it with the milk and chocolate. Ensure the three ingredients are mixed well so there is no grit.
  5. Then continue to add milk and foam until your cup is full. To obtain a thicker top foam, hold the foamy milk back until the last second. Unfortunately, latte art is not possible since the crema and chocolate was already mixed into your milk to prevent bitterness. 

Latte vs Mocha Caffeine

A latte and a mocha latte are quite similar, but the caffeine content is where they may differ. Since mocha lattes contain chocolate, sometimes even dark chocolate, they naturally have a bit more caffeine than their lighter counterpart, the latte! Assuming you are using the same amount of espresso, a mocha latte will have a few more milligram of caffeine. The darker the chocolate you use, the more caffeine.

Latte vs Mocha Calories

At their core, a mocha latte has more calories than a plain latte, simply because it contains added sugar in the form of chocolate. You can substitute for sugar free chocolate, which will bring the calorie count down to an equal amount as that of the latte. Of course, if you are adding extra condiments, syrups, powders or toppings to either of these two types of lattes, the calorie count will be quite different. 

Bottom Line

Picking between a latte or mocha might not always be an easy choice when figuring out what coffee drink to go with. However, you can have one or the other depending on your mood. If you like chocolate and don't mind a little sweetness, go with the latte mocha. Otherwise, if you prefer to enjoy a more basic, creamy beverage, stick with the latte. If you are looking to enjoy the subtleties of the espresso shot, and enjoy a rich crema, we always suggest the latte over a mocha. If you really want to enjoy the crema, go with an Americano or straight up espresso shots.

For more brew guides, be sure to check out our guides below!

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