Life Hacker

1. What is mocha?


Mocha coffee used to be made from a particular type of bean with a unique flavor. Nowadays, however, people tend to use other beans to make mocha coffee but its name is still widely used.


Most coffee shops serve mocha coffee as a combination of three elements: espresso, hot chocolate and steamed milk. A thin layer of frothed milk, whipped cream or dusting of coca power or cinnamon on top is optional for added flavor and decoration. People can add chocolate syrup to the drink too. In brief, mocha coffee is an espresso-based coffee with a strong chocolate flavor.


The ratio among the three elements may vary from shops to shops or, if you make the drink at home, depend on each person's taste. A cup of coffee mocha normally includes 2/5 espresso, 2/5 hot chocolate and 1/5 steamed milk.


Many people think about mocha latter when they hear the word "mocha"; it is basically latte with a hint of chocolate. The normal ratio for mocha latte is 1/8 espresso, 1/8 hot chocolate, 5/8 steamed milk and 1/8 foamed milk. 


2. Preparation


·         What you need:

 coffee machine



- to make a fresh pot of strong coffee - or you may use hot water to make instant coffee instead

- Cup or mug

- Spoon

A milk frother

- A small pan and bowl (optional)




- Bean: Pick your coffee beans carefully for the best flavor. You don’t necessarily have to use mocha beans; you can opt for Starbucks Espresso Roast or other beans you like. Instant coffee is also acceptable but the taste is not as good for sure.

- 1 tablespoon (15 g) of hot water

- 1 tablespoon (15 g) of sweetened cocoa powder

- A pinch of salt (optional - for enhanced flavor)

- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of milk

- Whipped cream (optional, for topping)

- Sugar to taste


Step-by-step instruction


Step 1: Make syrup:  


Combine hot water, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in your mug, and then mix well to get the chocolate flavor. Alternatively, you can use a small sauce pan: put cocoa and sugar into the sauce pan and heat up, add the water slowly and finally some salt; always mix well in between until the mixture thicken.


Step 2: Brew coffee


Pull one or two espresso shots with your coffee maker or espresso machine and fill strongly brewed espresso into the cup. The amount of espresso should be less than half of the mug's capacity: it can be 1/3, 2/5 or 1/4 full depending on your taste.


Step 3: Froth 1/2 cup of milk.



If you just want steamed milk, you can heat it up on the oven, in a stovetop steamer or in the microwave. Take note that the milk temperature should not exceed 160°F (70°C). Once you over-steam the milk, it tastes really awful.


However, aerated milk tastes sweeter and nicer than just steamed milk: air is introduced into the milk to create micro foam and a creamy, tasty texture. That is why it is recommended that you use a milk frother to accomplish the task.


In case you have an espresso machine, it already comes with function of steaming and frothing wand. If not, you can choose one among a hand-pump, handheld battery-operated or electric milk frother.  With an electronic milk frother, you only need to pour milk into the jug, select the right temperature and let the device do all the work. With the other two types of frother, you need to heat up the milk first before pumping or using the wand to froth.


When you use the frothing wand, make sure its tip always submerge just a little below the milk surface, even when the milk increase in volume. The process should be about 15 seconds and if you want to be safe, stop frothing when the temperature reaches 150-155°F.


Step 4: Pour a little steamed milk to the chocolate syrup and mix gently. After that, pour the rest of steamed milk into the mug. Use the spoon to hold back the foam.


Step 5: Add some more sugar if you want


Step 6:  Spoon creamy foam on top and/or whipped cream! You can even garnish with a sprinkling of cocoa.