Mocha Vs. Cappuccino: Everything You Need to Know

Mocha and Cappuccino: Everything You Need to Know

Are you craving specialty coffee with a strong espresso kick? Mocha or cappuccino will not disappoint you. Both start with a nice shot of espresso and some steamed milk and will always make you feel good.

Espresso 

Espresso

As mention above, both brews start with a nice shot of espresso. Cappuccinos have 1-2 shots, which account for about 1/3 of your cup. On the other hand, Mocha has 2 shots, which account for about 2/5 of the total drink volume.

Steamed milk

Steamed milk

Steamed milk is milk that has been heated and aerated to a creamier, milky texture and taste. Both Mocha and cappuccino have steamed milk added in different ratios. You will learn more about the amount of steamed milk added to each drink in a jiffy.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino

This Italian drink is loved by many in the US and across Europe. It is served in 6oz glass cups so that you can have a good view of the layering. Its components include steamed milk, espresso, and milk froth. 

What makes cappuccino unique is its distinctive style and structure. It has a unique 1:1:1 ratio. Ideally, this is 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 espresso (1-2 shots), and 1/3 light froth.

This ratio produces a very distinct, low-acid espresso flavor that is well complemented by the milk products. If you like fewer milk ingredients in your cup, then have it prepared on the dry side rather than on the latte side.

Mocha

Mocha

Mocha coffee gets its name from the type of coffee beans that are used to make it. Those beans are named after their place of origin (Yemen).

Naturally, these beans have a sweet, natural chocolate flavor, but baristas add a bit chocolate to enhance the chocolate flavor. This combination is then topped by steamed milk, which accounts for roughly 1/5 of the drink’s total volume. The resulting brew has a clear espresso and chocolate flavor and much stronger than either cappuccino or latte.

Just like a cappuccino, a mocha is often confused as a form of a latte. While mocha lattes do exist, mochas are simply lattes with chocolate syrup.   

What separates these two drinks?

coffee

Tradition

The primary thing that separates these two drinks is the traditional way of making them or the set standards. With cappuccino, striving to have a perfect cup of java is vital. That is why every professional barista works extra hard to achieve the same precision balance of steam milk, foam, and espresso. 

When it comes to Mocha, although there is strict adherence to the specific type of bean, the variation in the added chocolates makes it impossible to have identical mochas.  

Basically, it is hard to tell what a mocha should be and very likely to tell how your cappuccino will taste.

What is on top

The other thing that differentiates these two drinks is what sits on top.

On Mocha, most baristas will leave steamed milk or microfoam on top. Others will leave a bit of whipped cream on top (it may contain some chocolate powder). 

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When it comes to cappuccino, your drink will have a light milk foam produced by baristas as they steam or froth milk for the two milk components of the drink. This froth is airier than creamy.

Wrapping up

So which drink should you order? Both drinks are great and will not disappoint you. If looking for a brew with a more classic feel and taste, order cappuccino. But of looking for something sweeter to satisfy your taste buds, go for a mocha.

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