Make Fancy Coffee Drinks Without The Expensive Equipment

Download our FREE guide to making the best espresso drinks without owning expensive equipment. Just enter your email address to download the guide today!

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Get our FREE Coffee Lover Newsletter

Sign up for a free newsletter to help you brew amazing coffee at home.

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.
  • Latte vs. Mocha: The Biggest Difference In These Espresso Based Drinks

    CLICK HERE to subscribe to our weekly emails on finding and brewing amazing coffee!

    So, you love your coffee, and perhaps you like to consider yourself something of an aficionado when it comes to brews. That’s fine, but do you really understand the meaning of all those cool-sounding terms you love to use with such authority? Ah, we thought so.

    Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We’re here to answer all those questions about coffee that the self-professed home barista feels too embarrassed to ask. So, the next time your friends ask the coffee expert, you’ll be able to answer with confidence and authority.

    Just so you know, if you click on a product on and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

    Latte vs Mocha

    One question many people don’t know the answer to is:

    What’s the difference between latte and mocha?

    Not to mention …

    What’s a mochaccino?

    Or …

    What’s a mocha latte?

    Read on for the low-down …

    Espresso + milk =?

    Pretty much every coffee-based beverage served in coffee shops is a mixture of two base ingredients: milk and espresso.

    Depending on what you’re making, you might also add cocoa, ice, sugar, chocolate etc. Espresso-based drinks are usually made in the traditional way, using an espresso machine. However, these bad boys can be very expensive to buy, so you’ll be pleased to know that you can make a latte and a mocha in the comfort of your own kitchen, without having to break the bank on fancy equipment.

    Anyway, we digress.

    What goes into a latte?

    A latte is an espresso-based milky drink, made up of approximately 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, and 1/6 foamed milk.

    Latte (or café latte, as it’s called in Italy) is preferred by those coffee fans who enjoy the velvet finish of an extra-creamy, diluted brew, without the full-strength coffee hit of a flat white.

    A standard latte is served in a tall, eight ounce cup. One or two shots of espresso are added to the cup, followed by five to six ounces of steamed milk. The brew is topped off with a thin layer of foamed milk. Different flavorings and syrups can be added as desired. Baristas often add their own touch with beautiful artwork across the foam – it’s a shame to drink it really.

    So, what’s a mocha?

    Mocha coffee is actually named after the type of coffee beans that are used to make the brew. Mocha coffee beans are named after their place of origin in Yemen.

    The beans are harvested from a species of the coffea Arabica plant, which is reputedly the first species of wild coffee bean to be cultivated. Thanks to their sweeter flavor, Arabica coffee beans are the most popular, followed by Robusta beans, which have a stronger, rather bitter flavor.

    Mocha coffee beans have a natural chocolate flavor. In order to enhance the chocolate hit, baristas add a small amount of chocolate to the mocha recipe. Where latte is generally considered to be the lightest, mildest coffee-based drink, mocha is much stronger. In fact, mocha coffee is usually stronger than cappuccino.

    So, the mocha coffee recipe as you’ll find it in most coffee shops is usually made up of:

    The traditional Italian way to booze-up your mocha is with a shot of Sambuca, although you can add Baileys, brandy etc, whatever floats your boat.

    Now, don’t get confused with a mocha latte. This is simply a latte (as described above) with a shot of chocolate syrup added to it. Likewise, a mochaccino is just a cappuccino embellished with a few squares of dark chocolate or with a shot of chocolate syrup added. Who knew?

    Milk for latte and mocha coffees

    As we’ve said, both latte and mocha coffees need steamed and/or frothed milk.

    To create steamed and frothed milk you can use the steam wand on an espresso machine. Alternatively, (and more cheaply), you can use a milk frothing device. The frothing device blows steam through the milk to heat it up and incorporate air bubbles into it.


    The major difference between foamed and steamed milk is the amount of air bubbles they contain. Frothed milk is milk foam whose volume has been doubled by the air bubbles added to it. Steamed milk is less foamed, with an increased volume of about one third.

    Steamed milk is created by placing the steam wand about one inch into your cold milk, positioned at an angle so that the steam creates a whirlpool effect. Keep steaming until the milk reaches between 1450F and 1550F.

    Frothed milk is made in a similar way. Place the steaming wand into the milk to create the whirlpool effect. As the milk begins to foam on the surface, move the wand gradually down through the milk, until it reaches the bottom of the cup. As the froth forms, the milk volume expands, and you’ll need to move the wand further down.

    Latte versus mocha

    So, now you know the difference between latte and mocha.

    Basically, they’re both espresso-based drinks. Latte is perfect for those who don’t want the full-strength coffee hit, while mocha gives you a stronger coffee experience with dark chocolate undertones.

    Why not check out your local coffee shops to sample both, and then try experimenting at home.

    Happy Caffeinating!

    Recommended Reading

    The 20 Best K-Cups For A Keurig
    Interested in purchasing new K-Cups for your Keurig? Looking to branch out and try new K-Cup blends? Well, look no further! We've compiled a list of the 20 best K-Cups that won't only give you your caffeine-fix, but taste bold, delicious, and leave you wanting more.
    Driftaway Coffee Review
    Driftaway is one of the most popular coffee subscription services out there, and if you're considering getting a subscription of your own, there are some important things you should know. Make sure to read our review of Driftaway, right here.
    Cinnamon Maple Latte – Perfect Fall Flavor Espresso Drink Recipe
    I love pumpkin spice as much as the next guy, but pumpkin isn't the only flavor of fall. This amazing Cinnamon Maple Latte will take your taste buds by storm.
    The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker: All You Need In a Coffee Machine
    Are you a fan of brewing coffee in the comfort of your own kitchen? Searching for a machine that's affordable, dependable, versatile, AND makes good coffee? The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker might be just what you've been looking for.
    Roasty Coffee

    Learn to Make Barista-Level Coffee From The Comfort of Your Home

    The Home Barista Coffee Course 14-lesson video course about brewing consistently amazing coffee at home. Stream or download the entire course to learn how to make coffee as good as your local barista for a fraction of the cost.

    Click Here To Learn More