Mocha vs Latte: What’s the difference and how can we make them at home?

by Mama Loves A Drink

Mocha vs Latte: learn the difference between latte and mocha and discover two easy recipes to make your favourite coffee order at home.

Mocha vs Latte: we are pretty sure we are not the only ones who went through a moment of sheer panic the first time we were faced with this coffee choice.

Finding your way through a coffee menu in a new roaster is never easy. However, you can usually decipher wide categories such as milky coffee vs dark coffee.

Once you enter the world of milky coffee, however, things get complicated fast!

Previously, we have talked about the difference between flat white and latte.

Today we add to that knowledge and look at one more popular coffee drink: mocha.

In this guide, we are going to look at what mocha is, the difference between mocha and latte and recipes and gear you can get online to make them at home.

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Latte vs Mocha: need to know

Before we take a deep dive into the differences between latte and mocha, let’s define what these drinks are:

Mocha: Mocha is a coffee drink made with coffee, chocolate and, usually, milk.

coffee cup and beans, cinnamon sticks, nuts and chocolate on wooden table on brown background

Its name comes from the city of Al-Mocha, in Yemen, which was an important coffee trading port during the XV – XIII century.

Originally, the word ‘mocha’ referred to the type of coffee beans traded in this area: these were mostly of the Arabica type and has a characteristic chocolatey flavour.

The modern mocha coffee takes inspiration from here: the name pays homage to the original taste of Yemen coffee however, the taste doesn’t come from a certain type of coffee bean but by the addition of actual chocolate to your cup!

Latte, on the other hand, is a drink of two ingredients only: coffee and milk!

Despite this significant difference, there are many similarities between mocha and latte.

Let’s look at what’s similar about a Latte and a Mocha

  • Mocha and Latte are both espresso-based drinks, meaning you’re going to get your caffeine hit whichever one you choose. Bliss!
  • They both contain milk, and you can make them with dairy milk or a plant-based substitute, meaning that everybody can enjoy them.
  • They’re both served hot traditionally…but can also be served iced.

So what’s the difference between a Latte and a Mocha?

  • The main difference between mocha and latte is that mocha contains chocolate, latte doesn’t
  • Latte is much milkier, making it an excellent drink for those who don’t love the taste of strong coffee drinks. It’s a firm favourite with younger coffee drinkers who are just getting used to the unique taste of coffee beans.
  • Mocha has a stronger, more traditional caffeine flavour. The beans used are often Arabica beans and it is often served as a double shot. The amount of milk varies.
  • Mochas are often known for having a more bitter taste, with chocolate undertones… you’ll find out why that is in the recipe section!

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Mocha vs latte - two coffee drinks on a table

Now you know the difference between the two, how about making some at home?

How to make a Latte vs Mocha

If you’re a coffee connoisseur and you have already invested in an espresso machine, now’s the time to grab it.

The ease of having one of these machines at home to just switch on in the morning makes them a prevalent choice of household appliance for the coffee-lover.

Don’t worry if you’re just using a stove-top coffee pot, though; we’ve got the perfect recipe for you, and you don’t need any expensive kit!

OK, let’s start with the recipe for the Latte…

  • Grab yourself a nice big mug; the taller, the better. We always think that coffee tastes better if it’s out of a really good cup.
  • Choose whether you are going to go for a single espresso (1oz/30ml) or whether it’s a double espresso kind of day (2oz/60ml) (if you’re a Nespresso drinker, we talk about our favourite Nespresso pods for lattes over here)
  • For a professional finish, you’re going to want some foam for your top lip! For that, you’ll need to use a steaming wand – investing in a latte espresso machine with an inbuilt steaming wand is a good idea for the regular latte drinker, but you can also do this stage with a handheld frother. 
  • Place it gently into your cup, gradually moving it down into the liquid as the milk creates a whirlpool effect. You’ll be left with that lovely frothy top layer that you get in your local coffee shop.
  • Add a lump of brown sugar, sweetener or a dash of your favourite syrup to taste if you prefer your coffee drinks sweet.

So, let’s try the Mocha now… spoiler alert (it’s got chocolate in it)

  • Brew yourself a double espresso. We told you this one was stronger!
  • Add in 2oz or 60ml of hot chocolate (a ready-made brand using boiling water is fine). If you prefer a lighter taste, you can also just sprinkle chocolate powder on top. If, on the other hand, you want a stronger punch, you can use chocolate syrup.
  • Top with 1 oz/30ml of steaming hot milk fresh from the pan.
  • Again the choice is yours, to froth or not to froth – use your steaming wand if you have one and an espresso machine.
  • Finish with a light sprinkle of the hot chocolate powder (or even cinnamon!) and enjoy.

Serving up your Mochas and Lattes

Mocha Coffee vs Mocha Latte

And as if those two gorgeous coffee drinks weren’t enough…

Did you know there’s such a thing as a Mocha Latte? Yep, you better believe it. There’s a delicious combination of those two drinks we just made.

So don’t get mixed up between your Mocha Coffee and your Mocha Latte. If you order a Mocha Coffee, you’re going to get a much less milky drink.

A Mocha Latte combines the chocolate base of the Mocha with the abundance of steamed milk you find in a Latte – frequently topped with cream. That’s the brilliant thing about coffee, isn’t it? The options for our taste buds are endless!


Learn more about all our favourite brews and get help with deciphering coffee jargon over on the Coffee Connoisseurs section of our website – happy brewing mamas!

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