Mocha vs Cappuccino

Mocha and cappuccino are two of the most widely enjoyed coffee beverages in the world. Many people of all ages and genders love these drinks. Unlike other coffee-based beverages, mocha and cappuccino are not intensely bitter or acidic. Instead, they are often sweet and tasty. So, what is actually the difference between mocha vs cappuccino?

Continue reading below to read about:
– What are mocha and cappuccino,
– The ingredients used by mocha vs cappuccino,
– The methods to make these coffee-based drinks, and
– The flavors of mocha and cappuccino.

What is Mocha?
Mocha is a chocolate-flavored variant of latte (see also: Latte vs Coffee). It is also called caffe mocha and sometimes mocaccino. Other less common spellings include mochaccino and mochachino. As cited by Starbucks, the name came from the Mocha city of Yemen, which was one of the biggest centers of early coffee trade. Mocha was a very popular export of this city.

Just like latte, mocha is a coffee beverage that is based on espresso and hot milk. However, there is one distinction: mocha also uses chocolate. It may use several types of chocolate, such as cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate. In the most basic formulation, mocha simply adds a shot of espresso into hot chocolate.

Mocha usually consists of 1/3 part espresso,2/3 part steamed milk, and a small amount of chocolate. Mocha shares a similarity with cappuccino that it may be served with milk froth on the top. However, it may also use whipped cream instead, just like how hot chocolate is served. In addition, it may be topped with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or marshmallows.

How to Make Mocha
There are many ways to make a cup of mocha. However, you can certainly make one yourself. You just need one shot or two shots of espresso, 5 oz steamed milk, half a teaspoon cocoa powder, and some frothed milk. You may also add half a teaspoon sugar, but this is optional. It is also a nice idea to prepare some cinnamon or more cocoa powder for the topping.

First of all, pour the espresso into the cup. Then, add the cocoa powder and steamed milk (you may also add the sugar now, if you want to). Stir them well. Next, add the frothed milk to create a nice layer on the top. Finally, you can add the topping of your choice, be it cinnamon or a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

There are some further variants of mocha. You may use white chocolate to create white caffe mocha. You may also use a mix of white and dark chocolates – the result may be called tan mocha, tuxedo mocha, zebra mocha, or black and white mocha. Finally, there is a variant which uses regular coffee instead of espresso as the base.

The Flavor of Mocha
The flavor of mocha heavily depends on the type of chocolate that you use. For sure, you can still taste the coffee flavor – especially if you use two shots of espresso. However, if you use dark chocolate, you may find an exotic bitterness blended in it. Meanwhile, if you use milk chocolate, you may find it sweet and rich. The chocolate flavor is the biggest distinction for mocha vs cappuccino.

What is Cappuccino?
On the other hand, cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink that is made from double espresso and steamed milk foam. There is an interesting story behind the name. It is believed that this drink is named after the Capuchin friars due to the brown color resembling the color of the friars’ habits. Possible in the 18th century, the Viennese people bestowed the name ‘Kapuziner’ to this drink.

Nevertheless, cappuccino was unknown outside Italy before the 1930s. It started spreading when Viennese-style cafes became popular in Trieste and other cities of the former Austria. Since then, cappuccino has spread worldwide and become one of the most established coffee drinks.

Unlike latte, which uses milk foam only for decoration, cappuccino uses a pretty thick layer of milk foam. In general, cappuccino consists of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam in a 1:1:1 ratio.In other words, it is made from 1/3 part espresso, 1/3 part steamed milk, and 1/3 part frothed milk.

Typically, the milk is steamed by a special high-pressure steam pipe of an espresso machine. This is to warm up the milk and to create a stiff foam layer on the top. When pouring the milk, the foam is held by a spoon so that it can be scooped out to the uppermost layer of the drink.

How to Make Cappuccino
Although cappuccino is a little bit trickier to make, you can still make it at your home. In fact, the ingredients may be easier to prepare, as you don’t need to use any chocolate. All you need to prepare are one shot or two shots of espresso, 2 oz steamed milk, and 2 oz frothed milk.

Start by pouring the espresso into the cup. Add the steamed milk. Ideally, the amount of milk is twice as much as the espresso. Stir them thoroughly. Then, add the frothed milk while keeping the foam behind – if you are interested in latte art, you can try to pour the textured milk with a pattern in the surface crema. Once the cup is almost full, you can pour the milk foam onto the top.

There are many variants of cappuccino. For example, there is iced cappuccino, which blends the drink with ice. It may be served with a whipped topping, caramel, or chocolate syrup. There is also freddo cappuccino which is popular in Greece and Cyprus, featuring a cold milk-based foam topping.

The Flavor of Cappuccino
The flavor of cappuccino is quite similar to latte. It has a coffee flavor that is smoothened by milk. However, its flavor is slightly smoother and milder. In addition, it has a distinctive texture due to the use of frothed milk. Although cappuccino is normally not sweetened, a lot of popular variants come with additional sweeteners. As the effect, depending on where you order the cappuccino, it may be very sweet.

Mocha vs Cappuccino

- Named after the Mocha city in Yemen- Named after the Capuchin friars due to the color
- Uses 1/3 part espresso, 2/3 part steamed milk, and some chocolate- Uses 1/3 part espresso, 1/3 part steamed milk, 1/3 part frothed milk
- May be topped with milk froth or whipped cream- Always topped with milk foam
- Has a distinctive chocolate flavor, usually sweeter- A smooth coffee flavor that is softened by the milk

The primary difference between mocha vs cappuccino is their ingredients. Mocha uses espresso, steamed milk, and some chocolate. Hence, this is a great drink for coffee and chocolate lovers. On the other hand, cappuccino uses espresso and steamed milk with a layer of frothed milk and milk foam on the top. It has a smooth coffee flavor that is softened by the milk.