Self proclaimed coffee aficionados will always try to convince you that there is a right way to drink coffee. That your actions to the contrary are corrupting the taste of the bean. That if you’re adding things in your daily drink that they aren’t, you’re doing something wrong.
They couldn’t be further away from the truth.
The little brown bean that we’ve all grown to love can be credited for being one of the most versatile ingredients out there. Offering up beverages that bend according to our whims and fancies on any given day. The result is the range of drinks that litter the menu at any cafe in corners across the world.
One such offering is the Mocha coffee.
Maybe you’ve heard the name before. Perhaps you’ve even enjoyed a cup or two yourself.
If however you’ve been in the dark all this time, you’ve come to the right place to be enlightened.
What is Mocha Coffee
If you’ve often found yourself pouring a few too many sachets of sugar into your latte, or prefer caffeine with a side of some sweet cookies; the Mocha is going to be your new best friend. This espresso based drink is often referred to as creamy comfort in a cup.
Call it what you like, a Caffe Mocha, a Mocaccino, a Mocha Latte or a Mochachino. When broken down to its basic elements; the drink consists of three main ingredients.
Milk. Espresso. Chocolate syrup.
The story of how, when and where the drink originated is fairly foggy. Taking you on a treasure hunt from the fields of Yemen where the drink is said to have gotten its name, to Betty Crocker’s kitchen where it claims to have first appeared. The truth is, no one’s really sure. So instead of delving into the unknown, we choose to be glad the drink exists today.
How to Make Mocha
If you want to brew yourself the perfect cup of mocha, you’re going to have to first nail an exceptional Espresso. A mocha can ideally contain one or two shots of Espresso depending on how intense your preference is.
Let’s get down to it.
- Coffee – If you want to get the most out of your Espresso and in turn ensure a flawless Mocha, you’re going to need to use espresso coffee beans. While it isn’t a rule written in stone, it is the preferred choice. In case this needs to be mentioned, the fresher the coffee beans the better the caffeinated drink. So don’t forget to check the best before date on the pack before you bring it home to make sure they haven’t been on the shelves for too long.
- A Coffee Grinder – If you’re bringing bags of whole coffee beans home, you’re going to need a grinder. If all the names and brands in the market are making your head swirl, we suggest you eye the prize that is the burr grinder. It’s the perfect companion to your coffee set up offering quality and consistency through a range of grind settings for you to choose from, each compatible with different coffee brewing styles.
- Kitchen scale – If you like to be precise especially the first few times you brew you may want to opt to measure your ingredients by weight instead of spoon. Chances are you’ve already got a scale as a member of your kitchen family that you can turn to.
- Water – An easy to forget, yet key ingredient. When sourcing the water that will be used to create your drink, try and stay away from tap water. Tap water can at times contain elements that could interfere with and impair the taste and enjoyment of your drink.
- An Espresso Machine – An obvious element if you’re attempting to brew an espresso shot. There market is filled with coffee machines to suit the needs of both novices and naturals. It doesn’t matter if you have a machine with a lot of bells and whistles or one that requires human aide to run. Whatever gets the work done.
- A Coffee tamper – You’re going to need the best coffee tamper to ensure the coffee grinds are in place before the water runs through them.
- Milk – This can be whole milk, skimmed, almond, coconut milk or any other preference.
- Chocolate – Don’t try to pinch pennies when you’re picking the the chocolate that is going to sweeten your coffee. You can opt for a milk chocolate, dark, or even white chocolate option.
- A spoon for stirring.
- A coffee cup or receiving vessel.
Let’s Brew and Espresso Shot First!
- To begin with, measure out the coffee beans you will be using and grind them till they look to resemble the salt on your table. If you’re going for a double shot of Espresso in your mocha, you’re going to want to set aside roughly between 14 and 18 grams of coffee beans. for those who prefer a single shot, simply half the quantity.
- If you’re using an automatic machine, plug it in and ensure the water reservoir is filled with cold water.
- Make sure the portafilter is clean, and place the freshly ground coffee beans inside.
- Finally it is time to tamp. When you first begin brewing, this step might be a bit of a guessing game. The pressure you exert to tamp your grinds into place will decide the intensity with which the water will be forced to pass through them. Allow yourself a few attempts and taste the difference in each drink you brew. You’ll find your way towards whatever works best for your palate.
- Once you’ve fitted the portafilter back in place properly, press all the button or buttons that the machine requires you and let the magic happen.
- Collect the Espresso in your cup or receiving vessel and celebrate if your Espresso has that sometimes elusive layer of golden Crema on top certifying perfection.
- Don’t forget to thrown away the used coffee grinds and wipe your machine clean before you move on to the next part.
Now for the real reason we’re here. Once you’re done creating that excellent Espresso, its finally time for the Mocha.
Now Let’s turn it into a Caffè Mocha
Compared to its other caffeinated colleagues, constructing a Mocha is a fairly simple and free process. There are no strict measurements. Go by what your palate prefers on any given day. When it comes to putting the drink together, this is just one method, you can play around with the order in which the ingredients go in till you find what suits your tastes best.
- To start, grab your coffee mug and pour in the chocolate. This can either be shavings from your favourite chocolate bar, coco powder or even a treasured chocolate syrup. As mentioned before there are no strict quantities, one serving or chocolate to every two servings of milk is however a safe spot to begin.
- Next pour in a little water and stir. Only add enough water to wet the powder or shavings and mix well. If you’re using a chocolate syrup, you can skip this step.
- Some people choose to follow this by brewing their Espresso directly into the cup on top of the chocolate. If for any reason you don’t want to follow that method, simply pour in your brewed Espresso to cover the chocolate and mix.
- Now it’s time to steam your milk. Work the steam wand of your coffee machine to get the milk hot and frothy. Tap it well after you’re done.
- Slowly pour in your milk on top of the chocolate.
- If you wish to, you can sprinkle a few chocolate shavings or syrup on top as a sort of garnish to the drink.
- Sit back sit and enjoy your drink.
How to Make Mocha Without a Machine
There is no guidebook that demands that you can only enjoy a cup of coffee if its made from a machine. Not everyone wants or needs a coffee machine in their house. If you chose for reasons of money or counter space to not invest in a coffee machine, you can still enjoy a cup of Mocha.
The Espresso needed for the drink can be created using a number of manual pour over methods. Either a French Press, Moka Pot or an AeroPress can be the answer to your need of the day. Each method will give you more control over the various elements that go into building your coffee. Elements like water temperature, water flow rate, grind saturation, coffee bloom, and letdown rate.
Once you have the coffee element ready, the rest is fairly simple:
- As before begin by pouring your chocolate shavings into the cup.
- Warm some water using a kettle. If you don’t have one, you can warm it on the stove or in the microwave. Add the water on top of chocolate shavings and stir.
- Instead of using a machine, warm the milk for your drink, heat it in a pot on the stove. Once it is warm enough, pour it into you cup.
- Lastly create the foam you’re going to want with a hand frothier and add it in as a final layer.
- Top it off with some chocolate shavings for visual delight.
Some of the Mocha Drink Mods for a Twist
As mentioned earlier the Mocha is the laid back cousin of the coffee family. This gives you the freedom to play around with your drink. There is no fixed formula, no code to crack.
While the most common version of the drink asks you to use milk chocolate, you could swap it out for dark or white chocolate instead to spice things up.
But that’s just the beginning. There are some rather quirky recipes that you can try.
While a Mocha is the perfect drink to cling to when you snuggle into bed with a book on a cold or rainy day, don’t allow seasonal limitations to stop you from enjoying it any day you want. There is an easy iced alternative that can lift you up and help you cool down on any hot summer day.
What You Need
- Coffee – Anything between one to three Espresso Shots.
- Chocolate – Either white, milk or dark chocolate syrup.
- Ice – Since our aim is to cool the drink down, this is a key ingredient.
- Whipped Cream – This can be packaged or freshly made at home. The choice is yours.
- A Glass or Mug to enjoy your drink in.
- Spoon or stirrer.
- Chocolate shavings to sprinkle on top
Steps to make Iced Mocha
- Grab your glass and place ice cubes in till they reach the top.
- Pour in the shots of Espresso till the coffee reaches close to the half way point of the glass.
- Fill in another quarter of the glass with milk.
- Squirt in the chocolate syrup of your choice. Be as generous or stingy as you like and stir all the ingredients well.
- Add a swirl of whipped cream on the top, as like you would if the drink were hot, sprinkle a few chocolate shavings on top.
Side Note – The beauty of the Mocha is that it can be adapted to suit every occasion. Should you crave one to liven up a party, you can even opt to add in a shot of Baileys, Whiskey or any other preferred liquor to make a coffee cocktail. But only if you’re above the legal drinking age.
A Seasonal Surprise
Are you sick of the fact that the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes is all anyone in the coffee community can talk about as soon as Autumn hits. What do you do if you’ve never really liked a Latte?
The next time fall comes around, don’t fret, simply create a Pumpkin Spiced Mocha instead. Here’s how.
What You Need
- Whipped Cream
- Espresso – One to Four shots
- Pumpkin puree
- Sweetened cocoa powder
- Pumpkin spice
- Chocolate shavings
- Spoon for Stirring
- Hot milk
- A Coffee mug
Steps to brew Pumpkin Spiced Mocha
- Grab a saucepan and and place it on the stove at a medium heat.
- Add in the milk, cocoa powder, pumpkin spice and puree and stir. Keep the mixture moving on the medium heat till you can feel it start to thicken.
- Grab your coffee cup and pour the mixture inside.
- Top it up with a creative swirl of some whipped cream.
- Lastly dust some pumpkin spice and chocolate shavings on the white cream.
If you’re someone who gravitated towards the mint options in chocolates, cakes and ice creams, the next variation of Mocha will be right up you alley.
What You Need
- Espresso Shots – One to four depending on how intense you want it.
- Spoon or whisk for stirring
- Peppermint candy
- Chopped chocolate – Don’t try to be stingy here. Try and get your hand on some good quality rich chocolate.
- Mint Extract
- Coffee Mug
Step by step Peppermint Mocha
- Place your saucepan on a medium heat and add in the milk, coffee and the chopped chocolate stir it well, bringing it to a simmer.
- Turn off the heat and add in the mint extract and stir well.
- Grab your coffee mug and pour in the mixture.
- Top it off with a swirl or two of whipped cream.
- Break up or crush the peppermint candy you have and sprinkle some on top of the white cream.
- Sit back and enjoy your drink.
What It all Comes Down To
Your coffee can be a very personal part of your day. It often plays a key role in making your day just a little bit better. You should have the freedom to craft it your way. A Mocha allows you to do just that. It allows you the chance to make that cup of coffee really yours, and with the drink mods, it’s more closer! The drink mods can even be recreated fully for a more personal touch and taste.