Latte vs Mocha – Are Both Just Espresso Milk

 Let’s face it, there are a zillion coffee drink variations, not to mention all the different types of coffee available. There’s espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, Americano, latte, mocha, and so on. And this is where many people get confused, particularly when it comes to a latte vs mocha. Okay, they both have coffee as their main ingredient. But what exactly is the distinction between mocha and latte coffee drinks?

Latte vs Mocha

The primary distinction between a caffe latte and a mocha is that a mocha contains chocolate, whereas a latte does not.


Aside from that, these two coffee drinks are nearly identical.


The Latte is now made of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam and is usually served in 8-oz cups.


Mocha, on the other hand, is made with espresso, chocolate, steamed milk, and foamy milk on top.


Aside from the chocolate, the other distinction between the two is the amount of steamed milk used.


Latte is simply made with more steamed milk than mocha.


As you can see, mocha will be more appealing to those of you who prefer sweeter coffee.


Latte, on the other hand, is better suited to coffee purists or those who prefer a more diluted version of the standard espresso.


Regardless, I’m sure you’d like to learn more about latte and mocha and how they’re made – so keep reading!


Latte vs Mocha

What is a Latte & What is the Recipe

Latte, also known as caffè latte (in Italian), is a traditional espresso-based Italian coffee beverage.


It’s made up of two main ingredients: espresso and steamed milk, with a dash of foamy milk on top.


Coffee and milk have been mixed in Europe since the 17th century, so it’s no surprise that latte originated in Italy.


Although most of us refer to caffè latte as simply ‘latte,’ it is known by a different name in some regions.


For example, espresso with milk (i.e. latte) is known as café au lait in northern Europe (think Scandinavia).


In any case, the ingredients remain the same: espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.


What is a Latte

How Is Caffe Latte Made

A standard cup (8 oz) of caffe latte contains the following ingredients:


  • 2 oz espresso (2 espresso shots)
  • 6 oz steamed milk  
  • A dash of milk foam on top

Obviously, your local barista may or may not add foamy milk to your caffe latte.


Most lattes are served with foam on top, though it appears that this is not always the case in cafeterias.


They could simply use slightly foamier milk than usual (by using a milk frother).


How Is Caffe Latte Made

Nonetheless, it is the proportions that are important here!


The espresso-to-milk ratio of a latte can range from one to three, all the way up to one to nine (espresso to milk).


This results in a diluted espresso-based drink with a caffeine kick that is weaker than pure espresso.


What is a Mocha & What is the Recipe

Mocha, caffè mocha, mochaccino, or mochaccino (all the same thing) is a latte variant.


I’m about to surprise you, but mocha is an Americanized version of the Italian Bicerin coffee drink.


In fact, Bicerin is a layered concoction of espresso, liquid chocolate, and whole milk.


However, Americans ditched the layers in favor of a more straightforward approach – cafe mocha.


Mocha beans are also associated with the name mocha.


This is a type of coffee bean that comes from the port city of Mocha on the Red Sea’s coast.


What is a Mocha

In case you missed geography class, Mocha (or the port of Mokha) is a city in Yemen.


Which is a country in Western Asia, in the Arabian Peninsula’s southernmost region.


It’s also worth noting that mocha beans are a subspecies of Arabica coffee.


How Is Caffe Mocha Made?

Because mocha is essentially a latte with chocolate, here’s how to make it:


  • 2 ounces espresso (2 shots of espresso)
  • 2 ounces hot chocolate (or cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, etc.)
  • 1 cup steamed milk
  • On top, some milk foam

Again, expect slight variations depending on where you purchase your mocha.


For example, some baristas may top their mocha with whipped cream instead of foamy milk, while others may not even add anything to the steamed milk.


How Is Caffe Mocha Made

The milk foam on top of the Caffe Mocha serves no purpose other than to add visual drama.


Because it’s only a thin layer of foamy milk, it’s not so much about taste.


Which Drink is More Stronger – Latte vs Mocha

Mocha is unquestionably the stronger coffee drink. Despite the fact that both mocha and latte contain the same amount of espresso, the amount of steamed milk used varies greatly.


In fact, caffe latte contains significantly more milk than Caffe mocha.


Latte is typically made with an espresso to milk ratio of 1 to 3 or higher (even 1 to 9), whereas mocha is made with only a small amount of steamed milk (around 2 oz).


This, my friends, makes all the difference in terms of strength.


Mocha is much more concentrated because the amount of espresso used is nearly identical to the amount of chocolate and milk used.


Latte, on the other hand, is drenched in milk.


So, if you prefer a stronger (and sweeter) coffee, go for mocha.


Try a latte if you prefer a more creamy and velvety flavor.


coffee drink

Which Drink is More Sweeter – Latte vs Mocha

Without a doubt, it’s Mocha.


Why? Simply put, because it contains chocolate!


While caffe latte is very milky, creamy, and smooth, it lacks the sweetness of Caffe mocha.


But I’m obviously talking about traditional latte and mocha drinks here.


Some unconventional latte variations that include syrups, sweetened whipped cream, and other sweeteners are obviously quite sweet.


However, in general, mocha is sweeter than a latte.

And it makes no difference what kind of chocolate is used to make the Caffe mocha.


It can be made with milk chocolate, chocolate syrup, cocoa, or even dark chocolate (though dark chocolate is more bitter).


Always remember that mocha is sweeter than caffe latte.


Latte strength: Is it stronger than regular coffee?

No, depending on what you mean by “regular coffee.”


If you mean drip coffee with cream/milk and sugar, then regular coffee is probably stronger than a caffe latte.


This is due to the fact that the latte is made with a lot of steamed milk, which dilutes the coffee and thus takes away some of its potency, i.e. strength (not caffeine amount).


But none of this matters when it comes to taste and flavor.


If we mean caffeine amount, i.e. caffeine kick, then it’s a completely different story.

Latte vs Mocha

Even so, regular drip coffee will almost certainly contain more caffeine than a latte!


Two shots of espresso (2 oz) contain approximately 80 mg of caffeine.


A typical 10-oz cup of drip coffee, on the other hand, contains around 100 mg of caffeine.


If the serving sizes are the same, espresso is far more potent than drip coffee.


Otherwise, it’s safe to assume that regular coffee is stronger than a latte.


Latte vs Macchiato – What’s The Difference

The only difference is that the traditional (Italian) macchiato contains no milk.


A macchiato is just espresso with a dollop of milk foam on top, whereas a latte is an espresso with plenty of steamed milk and a thin layer of milk foam on top.


In other words, a latte is a much weaker version of a macchiato.


Although these two coffee drinks are very similar, the simplest way to tell them apart is, well, by looking at them!


Latte is much lighter (the coffee and milk have blended well) and there is simply more of it (lots of milk), whereas macchiato is much darker with just a smidgeon of milk foam on top.


Latte vs Cappuccino – What’s The Difference

The quantity of milk used.


Aside from that, the ingredients in latte and cappuccino are identical.


However, whereas cappuccino contains equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, latte contains significantly more steamed milk.


This is also why lattes are typically served in larger, taller cups.


Because of this, a cappuccino is much stronger than a latte.


Actually, cappuccino is one of the stronger espresso-based drinks, although it’s weaker than macchiato and espresso itself.


Mocha vs Mocha Latte – Are They the Same

No, a mocha latte and a mocha are both made with espresso, chocolate, steamed milk, and milk foam.


Because they have different names, some people mistakenly believe that mocha and mocha latte are two different coffee drinks.


Also Read: Cortado vs Macchiato 

But that is simply not true because mocha is simply a type of latte drink.


There is a mocha latte, just like there is a caramel latte, vanilla latte, chai latte, and so on.


However, for convenience, most people simply refer to it as ‘mocha.’


Cappuccino coffee

In Starbucks, for example, it makes no difference whether you order a mocha or a mocha latte.


It’s basically the same coffee that the barista will make for you.


Mochaccino vs Mocha – Is There Actually A Difference?

Yes, mocha and a mochaccino are both made with espresso, chocolate, milk, and milk foam.


You could argue that they aren’t exactly the same, and you might be right.


Because mochaccino may refer to a slightly different drink in different parts of the world.


As a result, even though the general consensus holds that mocha and mochaccino are interchangeable.


But, if you ever need to distinguish them (for example, if you live in Australia), here’s how:


  • Mocha is a latte-sized coffee beverage.
  • A cappuccino-sized coffee drink is a mochaccino.

Mocha is a latte-based drink, whereas mochaccino is a cappuccino-based drink.


Mochaccino coffee

Nonetheless, the main distinction between cappuccino and mocha is the addition of chocolate in the latter.


And they’re the same thing unless you live in Australia!

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Conclusion

To summarize, latte and mocha are nearly identical because mocha is based on the latte.


Latte, on the other hand, is made with a lot more steamed milk, whereas mocha is made with chocolate.


Aside from that, they both have espresso, steamed milk (much more in the latte), and milk foam on top.


But which one do you prefer – the creamy and smooth flavor of the latte or the sweeter mocha drink?


Leave your response in the comments section!

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