What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Mocha Read This!

What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Mocha? Read This!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 21:34

If you want to know what is the difference between a latte and a mocha and other coffee beverages like a macchiato and cappuccino, read this for an impartial and factual article.

These two drinks, a latte and a mocha, are very different drinks despite the humble fact that a mocha was born out of a latte.

If you staring at a coffee menu or thinking of heading out for a cup of coffee keep reading and get the details to help you decide which is best for you

What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Mocha

Both these tasty and enjoyable beverages are made with an espresso base, steamed milk and bubbly milk foam. The biggest difference between a latte and a mocha is the presence of hot chocolate in a mocha. The rich chocolate taste of a mocha makes it sweeter, more sophisticated and indulgent.

Traditionally, the type of coffee beans used to make a mocha are mocha coffee beans which were originally grown in the city of Mocha, Yemen. These particular coffee beans have a greater presence of chocolate notes and need less chocolate to coax them out and into your cup of coffee.


now, in modern times, a mocha is made with any coffee bean. Like a latte, the type of milk used is whole fat milk unless requested. Even when you use the same beans, the same milk the taste can change from coffee shop to coffee shop as the recipe varies a lot.

What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Mocha
A Perfect Latte

Read: Does a mocha have caffeine?

What Is A Latte?

A latte, also known as a café latte and caffé latte, is one of the most popular coffee drinks made with a single or double shot of espresso, steamed milk and a fine layer of frothed milk on top. Often a latte has intricate and amazing latte art on top.

The ingredients, in a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2 provide the drink with a balanced milky beverage with light coffee flavors cutting through the milk and rich, silky and velvety  texture.

What’s In A Latte?

The composition of a perfect latte is dark roasted coffee beans with a French or Italian roast being best to cut through the creaminess of the whole fat milk.

The coffee to milk ratio is always two thirds steamed milk with the final third made up of steamed milk. On top a fine cap of foamed milk and latte art is added. The taste of milk dominates your cup of coffee with notes of coffee cutting through from the espresso base. The shot of espresso infused the taste of the espresso with the bitter notes and acidity toned down by the creamy milk.

The skill in making this coffee comes from both the crafting of the perfect espresso and the pouring of the steamed milk through the espresso base and getting an even distribution of the creaminess and sweetness.

While a latte is traditionally made with whole fat cows milk you can make your latte with oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and any alternative milk of your choice.

Your latte can also be flavored with any spice like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, star anise, all spice, nutmeg and cloves and to name a few. You can also add any coffee syrup of your choice to add a little flavor.

The History Of A Latte

The origins and history of the latte is more humble than exotic. As the legend of a latte goes, Americans while enjoying a cappuccino added a little extra steamed milk and viola, the latte was born.

The explosion of the third wave of coffee and specialty and gourmet coffee shops popping up in towns and cities all over the world and latte art, even 3D latte art competitions supported the rising popularity of a latte.

Various other beverages like a breve latte, a piccolo late were born out of the original and humble latte. Even the popular Spanish coffee, café con leche, which is slightly different from a latte, was born out of a coffee with the most humble origins.

Latte Versus Mocha
A Latte Has A Humble History

Read: What does a latte lates like?

What Is A Mocha?

A mocha, also known as a café mocha, café mocha and mocha latte is a well, but not perfectly described as a latte with chocolate syrup as the espresso to milk ratio is slightly different.

Due to the contents, it is a delight for chocolate lovers and coffee fans. They can be customized just like a latte can with limitations of what mixes well with both coffee and chocolate.

What Is In A Mocha?

The ingredients, to state them in a basic way, are espresso, chocolate and milk. A traditional mocha is made with mocha coffee beans which originate from one of the earliest coffee trading outposts of Mocha in the Arabian country of Yemen.

Mocha coffee beans, from the coffee arabica plant, are known for having a greater chocolate taste to them when brewed. When chocolate is added, it is the perfect mocha coffee.

If you can, I advise trying these beans at least once for making this beverage.

The chocolate content varies widely from coffee shop to coffee shop and can vary from chocolate sauce, a shot of chocolate syrup, cocoa powder and chocolate chunks melted into milk to make a milk chocolate for use in the beverage.

It is always dark chocolate that is used to make a mocha, unless stated.

Like a latte, there are some tasty variations which include:

  • White chocolate mocha.
  • Peppermint mocha.
  • Chocolate orange mocha.
  • Salted caramel mocha.
  • Cordusio Mocha.
  • Mochaccino.

There are undoubtedly more variations, and some very exotic ones from all over the world. Shoot us a message on our social media and let us all know about the variations in your country.

The History Of A Mocha

A mocha is popular and is served all over our beautiful planet. The origins of a mocha are from the latte. The inspiration for a mocha comes from a Turin based coffee beverage. A Bicerin is a hot coffee drink that goes way back to the early 1700s and a popular coffee shop called Caffé al Bicerin.

The notable characteristic of a Caffé Bicerin, is that the three components of espresso, steamed milk and chocolate are layered on top of each other, which differs slightly from a mocha where the three ingredients are mixed together.

The History Of A Mocha
A Mocha Was Born Out Of A Latte

Read: Latte Vs Mocha

What Is A Mocha Latte?

A mocha latte is a mocha, a café mocha and caffé mocha. It’s simply another name for the beverage with chocolate that we shorten to mocha. Although some claim there is a slight difference in the ratio of milk used, it is not necessarily the case.

Due to the many variations of mocha and how it is made. During my year-long stay in Italy, I noticed that a mocha latte tends to be made with espresso and dark milk chocolate with the steamed milk chocolate served in an espresso to chocolate ratio of 1:2.

The chocolate milk is made with chocolate shavings or chunks and melted into the steamed milk and then poured over the espresso shot.

Latte Versus Mocha

Now you are aware of the difference between a latte and a mocha. Both are espresso based beverages with a latte being perfect for coffee fans that don’t want a full-strength coffee flavor and enjoy the type of coffee where the milk dominates.

A mocha has a slightly stronger coffee experience and flavor with delicious and tasty dark chocolate undertones.

If you’ve never tried either, I advise that you try both.

Latte Versus Mocha
Latte Versus Mocha!

Mocha Vs Latte Calories

When it comes to the calories count of a Mocha Vs Latte, a mocha has significantly more calories with more drink sizes containing almost twice as many calories as a latte.

Drink Size Caffé Latte Caffé Mocha
Short 8 Oz (240 ml) 100 calories. 200 calories.
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 150 calories. 290 calories.
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 190 calories. 370 calories.
Venti 20 oz (600 ml), 250 calories. 450 calories.

What Is The Difference Between Mocha, And Latte And Cappuccino?

To understand the difference between these three beverages, let’s have a look at their composition:

  • Latte: Made with a single shot of espresso and steamed milk with a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2. A latte has a fine layer of milk foam and latte art.
  • Mocha: Made with a single shot of espresso, steamed milk and chocolate with a coffee to milk ratio of almost 1:2. A mocha has a touch of milk foam.
  • Cappuccino: Made with a single shot of espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk in equal amounts using a ratio of 1:1:1.

A latte is a milky coffee drink with light notes and tones of the espresso piercing past the creaminess of the milk. A mocha, at its core and heart is a latte with chocolate added, to use a layman’s description with fine balance of both chocolate and espresso with the chocolate taste being more notable than the espresso. It’s a sweet drink.

A cappuccino is a strong coffee with the taste of the coffee being much stronger than both a latte and a mocha. It also has a different texture: it’s an airy, light, bubbly fun beverage.

What Is The Difference Between Mocha And Cappuccino?

While a mocha and a cappuccino can be combined to make a mochaccino let’s look at both the drinks to get an understanding of how different these two drinks are:

  • Cappuccino: An Italian coffee beverage with a shot of espresso, steamed milk and a fluffy pillow of microfoam in equal amounts.
  • Mocha: An espresso-based drink with origins that can be traced to Turin, Italy, consisting of hot dark chocolate in a coffee to water ratio of 1:2 with foam topping.

A mocha is chocolatey, rich, tasty and tones of espresso cutting past the chocolate. A very decadent and indulgent beverage. A cappuccino is strong with the coffee flavor dominating and cutting past the milk easier with a light bubbly texture due to the foamy layer on top, add to that a rich taste of chocolate, and you have a mochaccino!

Mocha Vs Latte Vs Cappuccino Vs Macchiato

These four drinks, and to understand their differences it is best to look into what their individual components are and how they are constructed.

  • Caffé Latte: A latte is a popular espresso-based drink made with steamed milk in a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2, famed for latte art and a fine layer of microfoam.
  • Caffé Mocha: A mocha is very similar to a latte, made with espresso, steamed milk and chocolate with the milk and chocolate component being twice as much by volume as the espresso. Also has a fine cap of microfoam.
  • Cappuccino: A cappuccino, the famous fun Italian coffee drink, is made with espresso, steamed milk and a fluffy pillow of microfoam in equal amounts. Often topped with cinnamon or a sprinkle of chocolate powder.
  • Macchiato: An espresso beverage with a dash of steamed milk, typically only a teaspoon.

All four of these drinks produce a slightly different flavor profile. A macchiato is strong with a dominant espresso flavor with the edges of the acidity and bitterness taken off due to the splash of milk added. A latte is milky and creamy with very light notes of the espresso cutting past the milk. A mocha is rich and chocolatey with a stronger presence of the espresso, sweet, enjoyable like a luxury coffee beverage.

A cappuccino is strong, dominant and yet has a light and bubbly mouthfeel.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Mocha

 A mocha is sweeter than a latte; it is made with cocoa, chocolate, or chocolate syrup; whichever of these ingredients are added, it adds an extra sweetness to the coffee beverage.

Which Is Stronger Between Mocha And Latte?

A latte has stronger coffee flavor due to the espresso shot dominating the drink more than a mocha. Even though there is twice as much steamed milk as there is espresso in a latte, the taste of the coffee still comes through more significantly than a mocha. A mocha has a notable taste of chocolate sauce, milk and coffee. 

Which Is Better Latte Or Mocha For Beginners?

For beginner coffee drinkers, a latte is better than a mocha as the milk helps to tone down the bitterness of coffee. Other good coffee beverages that you can find at your local coffee shop that are good for beginner coffee drinkers are:

  • Café Americano.
  • Cappuccino.
  • Mocha.
  • Macchiato.

No, while a mocha is made with steamed milk and espresso and chocolate, there is no milk foam and the hot milk used is used in a different ratio than a latte. A mocha latte is a type of mocha that is a latte with an added chocolate flavor. It is like hot chocolate with coffee added.

Does A Mocha Have Coffee In It?

Yes, coffee, usually a single shot of espresso, is an integral part of a mocha. The very word means a mixture of coffee and chocolate. It is also a very specific coffee bean with strong notes of dark chocolate. 

No, due to the additional calories and fat content in a mocha coffee, a latte is healthier. If you have the feeling for some mocha coffee drinks, limit yourself to two or three per week.

Final Thoughts – What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Mocha

Now that you know what is the difference between a latte and a mocha as well as how they are different from a macchiato and a cappuccino, you have a much better understanding of the often complex menu item at Starbuck, Costa, Dunkin’s and other coffee shops and can order drinks confidently and get exactly what you want.

Join our cool coffee community and join in by sharing your great coffee creations, awesome latte art and amazing recipes. I double, and even triple dare you to share your hilarious coffee memes and coffee jokes.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

Blogarama - Blog Directory