The only mocha guide you will ever need

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The only mocha guide you’ll ever need

Everything you need to know about mocha and more

Coffee and chocolate sits firmly as one of the most popular flavour combinations of all time. And without doubt, one of the most delicious ways of pairing the two is in a mocha.

But what is a mocha, where does the mocha originate from, why is it called mocha and most importantly, how do you make a delicious mocha at home? Our mocha guide has everything you need to know about this tasty coffee and chocolate combo.

mocha guide

What exactly is mocha?

A mocha is a blend of a cappuccino and a hot chocolate. Like a cappuccino it contains espresso, warm milk and a frothy top but it also contains a sweet chocolatey twist using either chocolate powder, chocolate syrup or melted chocolate.

What’s the difference between mocha and latte?

The biggest difference between these espresso-based drinks is the use of chocolate. The mocha contains some form of chocolate (powdered, melted or syrup) and has a foamy top. A latte only uses milk and espresso and has a smaller amount of foam.

What is a white mocha?

A white mocha is exactly the same as a regular mocha except it uses white chocolate rather than milk or dark chocolate.

Why is chocolate flavoured coffee called mocha?

The term mocha comes from the place Al Mokha (mocha), a port city on Yemen’s south-western coast. The port was one of the world’s first international hubs for coffee bean exportation. Yemen’s dark aromatic beans were known for their rich taste of cacao and so the association between mocha, coffee and chocolate began.

Does mocha contain caffeine?

The traditional mocha recipe contains one standard shot of espresso but those who prefer a decaffeinated option can simply switch to a decaf coffee. See Nespresso’s range

What food does mocha pair well with?

Naturally, one of the best food pairings for a mocha is chocolate and chocolate-based desserts, but if you prefer a lighter accompaniment to your mocha, fruity flavours such as orange and strawberry are also popular choices. For a slightly less naughty accompaniment, more suited to breakfast time, breads, oats and muesli bars are delicious options.

Chocolate sauce vs chocolate powder in your mocha

Chocolate is, arguably, the second most-loved substance in the world (after coffee of course). And the world of chocolate is just as diverse and delicious. As such, selecting the perfect chocolate for your mocha requires the same level of care and consideration as when you choose your coffee. There are three main chocolatey options when it comes to the creation of a mocha: chocolate syrup, melted chocolate or a chocolate powder. Syrups and powders are quick, easy and convenient. They also tend to have a longer shelf life than a block of chocolate.

However, melted chocolate opens up a huge range of chocolate variations. Obviously, there is white, milk or dark chocolate, but there is also unsweetened, hazelnut or mint chocolates, to name a few. All of which can be melted down and used in your mocha.

While syrups and melted chocolates have become more popular over recent years, many baristas still prefer to use powders because of its true cocoa taste.

The best milk for your mocha

The key to a creamy, silky, smooth mocha is perfectly steamed and frothed milk. We’re talking about the kind of milk that leaves a chocolatey moustache on your top lip after your first sip and warms your belly. Generally speaking the best milk to do this with is full cream, but a delicious mocha can still be created using low fat or dairy free alternatives. See our guide to latte art for detailed instructions on milk selection and frothing techniques.

How to make a delicious mocha at home

One of the most important steps to making coffee is the capsule selection. Each Nespresso capsule contains specially selected ground coffee from coffee origins around the world. Nespresso chooses only the best quality coffee beans from around the world and seals it in capsules to keep your coffee fresh.

Once you have selected your preferred capsule, the coffee mocha making process is simple–prepare your espresso shot, mix in the chocolate of your choice, steam your milk using the machine wand or your Aeroccino frother, and top your chocolatey espresso with warm milk.

Which coffee should you use in a mocha?

The beauty of using a Nespresso machine to make your mocha is that you can tailor every coffee to your personal preferences. You could choose a deep and intense flavour such as Ispirazione Roma or you could opt for something lighter with Volluto. With Nespresso, you have the flexibility to adapt every single mocha you make to just how you like it. But, if you’re unsure, here are a few of our favourite mocha recipes along with some suggestions on capsule selection.

Ispirazione Roma

Full and Balanced. The balance of lightly roasted South and Central American Arabicas with Robusta, gives Ispirazione Roma coffee capsules sweet and woody notes and a full, lasting taste on the palate.

Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio

Intense and creamy. With an intensity of 9/12 this strong and creamy coffee capsule works beautifully in a Macchiato.

The mocha recipes you have to try

Mocha Recipe

Mocha recipe

The ideal choice for anybody who enjoys the integrity of a short black with a touch of creaminess.


  • Capsule of Ispirazione Genova Livanto (40 ml)
  • 20ml of fresh, cold milk
  • 80 ml of hot milk
  • 8g hot chocolate powder
  • Cocoa powder

How to make a mocha

  • Place the chocolate powder into a cappuccino cup
  • Prepare the Espresso directly onto the hot chocolate powder, and mix together
  • Pour 80 ml of hot milk into the cup
  • Froth 20 ml of milk using the steam nozzle of your Creatista machine, Aeroccino milk frother or the Barista milk frother and pour it on the top of your cup
  • Sprinkle with cocoa powder if desired

Mocha featuring Ispirazione Roma

Mocha featuring Ispirazione Roma

Nespresso’s coffee is the star ingredient in this recipe. This macchiato is a delicious blend of rich, coffee aroma with the velvety creaminess of milk foam. It might seem simply with only two ingredients but this macchiato is full of complex flavour.


  • 1 Ispirazione Roma coffee capsule, extracted as a 40 ml espresso
  • 1 sachet of hot chocolate powder
  • 100 ml of milk

How to make this Mocha featuring Ispirazione Roma

  • Place one sachet of the hot chocolate powder into your cup.
  • Prepare the espresso directly onto the hot chocolate powder and mix together.
  • Heat and froth your choice of milk using your Aeroccino milk frother, Barista milk frother, Lattissima or Creatista coffee machine.
  • Pour hot milk into the cup, holding back the froth until three quarters full, then add the froth allowing for an approximate froth depth of 1 cm.

Sweet iced mocha with cinnamon

Sweet iced mocha with cinnamon


  • Capsule of Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio
  • Scoop of cinnamon ice cream
  • 30 ml of cottage cheese
  • Teaspoon of maple syrup
  • Cinnamon powder

How to make an iced mocha

  • Prepare Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio as an espresso (40 ml)
  • Pour it into the blender with the scoop of ice cream and the cottage cheese
  • Blend for a moment and add the maple syrup
  • Decorate your glass with cinnamon powder around the rim of the glass
  • Pour the mixture into it

Whether you say mo-kuh or mow-kuh, this chocolatey drink is a sweet-toothed, coffee lover’s dream. It’s an extremely popular option on the café menu and now you can enjoy it from home too.

Looking for more

Explore Nespresso’s full range of recipes online.

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