Latte vs Mocha: Is the Difference Obvious?

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Sometimes, sipping black coffee all the time can be boring. If you want something sweeter and milder for a change, you should try mocha and latte. Although both are espresso-based drinks, mocha and latte are different from each other. 

In this article, we will discover more about the difference between mocha and latte in terms of ingredients, flavor, and caffeine content. You’ll also learn how to make your own mocha and latte beverages at home.

Quick Comparison: Latte vs Mocha

LatteMocha
IngredientsEspresso, Steamed MilkEspresso, Steamed Milk, Chocolate
FlavorCreamy but less sweetChocolatey coffee 
Caffeine content (in a 12-ounce drink)75 mg95 mg

What Is a Latte?

A cafe latte served in a clear mug to show the full espresso drink

Caffè latte, or latte, is an Italian coffee beverage with an espresso shot (or two) as its base. It’s also known as “milk coffee” since it is mixed with steamed milk and topped with a thin layer of milk foam.

People often drink this breakfast coffee when they want to mellow coffee with milk. You can also add sugar to sweeten and control the bitterness of your espresso.

What Is a Mocha?

A cafe mocha, showing the chocolate that distinguishes it from a cafe latte

Caffè mocha, which goes by the names mochaccino or mocha, is an espresso-based drink that originated in Mocha, Yemen. Centuries ago, the mocha coffee bean made its name for its chocolatey flavor. 

The modern version of cafe mocha has espresso, milk, and the game changer—chocolate. You can use sweet cocoa powder or chocolate syrup to sweeten the caffeinated beverage.

Cafe Latte vs Mocha: Ingredients

Mocha and latte both have espresso and steamed milk as ingredients. You also top both beverages with a thin layer of milk foam. However, you need chocolate to brew mocha.

How much espresso and milk do you need?

A latte is 1 part espresso and at least 3 parts steamed milk. It is also layered with a microfoam for latte art. On the other hand, mocha needs 1 part espresso, 2 parts steamed milk, and 1 part chocolate sauce or ganache.

Can you add chocolate to a latte?

Yes, absolutely! But once you add melted chocolates or chocolate syrup to your latte, your regular latte becomes a cafe mocha. 

Cafe Latte vs Mocha: Flavor

While both are caffeinated with an espresso shot, there is a huge flavor difference between mocha and latte. 

Nespresso caffeine content
Nespresso caffeine content

Does mocha taste stronger than a latte?

No, mocha does not taste like strong black coffee. It tastes sweet compared to a plain latte. Therefore, if you have a penchant for the coffee flavor, drinking lattes should be your first choice.

If you decide to use dark chocolate for your mocha, expect the drink to be more bitter than regular mocha.

Does mocha taste good? 

It depends on your taste preference. If you hate the bitterness of coffee, you will like mocha’s chocolate sweetness with a hint of coffee flavor. It’s also up to how much chocolate you add to your morning cup. 

Mocha vs Latte: Caffeine Content

Do not be deceived by mocha’s sweet flavor. In reality, it has more caffeine than a latte since chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine. A 12-ounce mocha drink has 95 mg of caffeine, while a single-shot latte has 75 mg of caffeine. Is it too much? No, but it’s enough to give you energy, depending on your tolerance.

Which is stronger: white chocolate mocha or latte?


White chocolate mocha is another popular coffee variant that uses white chocolate sauce instead of dark or semi-sweet chocolate. However, a white chocolate mocha has less caffeine than your regular mocha since its 12-ounce drink has 75 mg of caffeine only.

Can You Make Lattes and Mochas at Home?

Yes, you can! Cafe lattes and mochas are originally espresso-based. Hence, it’s better to have a budget espresso machine for your espresso shot. Below are some steps in brewing a cup of latte and a mocha.

How to make a cafe latte

  1. Start by steaming your cold milk for at least 30 seconds.
  2. Set aside the milk and brew your espresso shot.
  3. Once done, pour the espresso into the cup.
  4. Tilt your cup and slowly pour your steamed milk in.  
  5. (Optional) Sprinkle some cinnamon powder for spice.

How to make a cafe mocha

  1. Heat your cold milk for 35 to 45 seconds for some froth.
  2. Prepare your espresso shot.
  3. Add chocolate syrup to the espresso.
  4. Add the steamed milk and thin milk microfoam.
  5. (Optional) Top your mocha with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a chocolate latte and mocha?

Mochas are really just chocolate lattes. Whenever you see either of these names, you can expect the same basic drink: a mixture of espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.

Is there such a thing as a mocha latte?

Yes, there is such a thing as a mocha latte since it’s another name for a cafe mocha. It is a latte sweetened with chocolate syrup or cocoa powder. However, you can simply call it mocha when you order it in a coffee shop.

What’s Next?

Not every espresso drink has to be strong and bitter all the time. If you want your caffeine fix to be creamy with a punch of coffee, you should definitely add milk to your coffee.

Can’t get enough of mochas and lattes? Just take it easy because there is still a long list of popular coffee flavors waiting for you. If you have a soft spot for milky and sweet coffee, I  recommend trying a latte macchiato or latte’s stronger alternative, the cappuccino. I’d love to hear what you think of these beverages after tasting them.

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