There are a number of different types of coffee that you can get and making sense of the differences between them can be a challenge.
This post will show you the differences between mocha and espresso, how they are made, how they taste and the forms that you can have them in.
So, what is the difference between espresso and mocha? Espresso is the liquid that results from pushing hot pressurized water through finely ground coffee. It has a very rich and slightly bitter taste. Mocha is where steamed milk and chocolate syrup or hot chocolate are added to espresso. It has a chocolatey and coffee-like taste.
There are actually a number of different types of espresso and mocha drinks that you can get and they can vary, in the way that they taste, a lot depending on how they are made.
Differences between espresso and mocha
Below, I will show you the differences between espresso and mocha, how they taste, the ways that you can have them and related questions people often ask.
Espresso is the mixture that results from pushing hot and pressurized water through finely ground coffee.
It will normally have a very strong taste that is rich, dense and often slightly bitter. Per gram, it has more caffeine than regular brewed coffee. However, because the serving size of espresso is much smaller the amount of caffeine in a serving of espresso is actually lower.
Espresso will also have a “Crema” on top which is a foamy substance that is bitter some people like it but others prefer to remove it with a spoon.
Since it is necessary to generate pressure to make espresso, to make espresso it is necessary to use a specially designed machine. There are a number of types of espresso machines that you can buy. The three popular types of espresso machines are traditional espresso machines, pod espresso machines and stovetop espresso makers.
Traditional Espresso Machines
To use a traditional espresso machine to make espresso it is necessary for you to get the beans, grind them, pressure them into a container, put the container into the machine and then to turn the machine on.
Traditional espresso machines are the most expensive option, they require the most amount of work on your part in preparing the espresso and in cleaning the machine and they can have a steep learning curve.
However, they are necessary if you want to make truly authentic espresso and, after some experimenting, you should be able to make the perfect espresso for you since you have full control over how the espresso is made.
The espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon mainly because it also allows you to make coffee so you should be able to get full use out of it.
Below, is a video on how to make espresso.
Pod Espresso Machines
To make espresso with a pod espresso machine it is just necessary for you to get pod flavor that you like, put it and water into the machine and then to press a button.
Pod style machines don’t give you as much control over the way that the espresso tastes since everything is automated for you. However, there are many flavors to choose from so you should be able to find at least one flavor that you like.
Additionally, pod machines will save you time in preparing the espresso, they don’t require as much cleaning and they will consistently give you espresso that tastes the way that you want it to.
The pod espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon mainly because it also allows you to make other types of coffee drinks including regular coffee.
Stovetop espresso makers
Stovetop espresso makers use steam to create the pressure necessary to make the espresso. To use one you put water into the pot, put the coffee grind above the water and then you heat the pot up.
The video below shows you how to make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker.
The advantage of using a stovetop espresso maker is that they are cheap. This means that they would also be a good option, to trial with, for when you are not sure whether or not you would get full use out of a traditional machine.
However, the espresso that they make will not be as good of a quality as the espresso that a purpose-built espresso machine will make.
What impacts the taste of espresso
There are a number of different factors that will impact the taste of espresso.
If the beans are from a single origin then it will normally give the espresso a much richer taste but it can also result in the espresso tasting sour. If the beans are sourced from multiple origins then it will normally give a more balanced taste.
If the coffee beans have a light roast then it will normally cause the espresso to taste slightly more sour. If the beans have a dark roast then it will normally cause the espresso to taste slightly more bitter.
The grind used will also have an impact on the way that it tastes. If the coffee is ground very finely then it will normally result in the espresso tasting more bitter and if it is ground more coarsely then it will normally cause it to taste more sour.
The reason for this is that the grind impacts how long it takes for the hot water to pass through the coffee. The longer it takes the more coffee will mix with the water. You don’t want too much to mix because it will cause it to taste bitter.
Types of espresso drinks
There are a number of different types of espresso drinks that you can buy and I will mention some of them below. I have written more in-depth, in the past, on the types of coffee drinks that you can get at a coffee shop here.
This is where steamed milk and foamed milk is added to the espresso. This gives it a creamy and coffee-like taste.
This is where a lot of steamed milk and a little bit of foamed milk is added to espresso. This gives it a very creamy and slightly coffee-like taste.
This is where steamed milk and chocolate syrup or hot chocolate is added to the espresso giving it a creamy and chocolatey taste.
This is where an espresso is made using less water than usual. This gives it an even richer and denser taste. However, it can often taste bitter.
This is where the espresso is made using more water than usual. This reduces the bitterness of the espresso.
This is where an espresso is topped off with a small amount of milk foam. It reduces the bitterness of the espresso.
Mocha is where steamed milk and hot chocolate or chocolate syrup are added to espresso. This gives it a more chocolatey taste that is also slightly creamy.
Mocha is traditionally served hot. However, you can also get mocha frappe which is where the espresso (or instant coffee) is mixed with milkshake or milk and ice and chocolate syrup.
What impacts its taste
There are a number of things that will impact the way that the mocha tastes.
Since mocha contains espresso, the same things that impact the taste of espresso as mentioned above will also impact the taste of the mocha.
Additionally, the type of milk used will also have an effect. If whole milk is used then it will normally give it a creamier taste.
The type of chocolate used will also have an impact. Chocolate syrup will have a different taste to hot chocolate with chocolate syrup normally tasting sweeter.
Related questions about mocha
Does mocha have coffee? Mocha will normally contain coffee. This is because it is made by adding steamed milk and chocolate syrup to espresso which contains coffee. However, there are decaf varieties available.
Does mocha have chocolate? Yes, mocha contains chocolate in the form of chocolate syrup or hot chocolate.
Is mocha hot or cold? Mocha traditionally is served hot. However, you can also get mocha frappes which are served cold.
Does mocha have caffeine? Mocha is made with espresso which contains caffeine so mocha does have caffeine. However, there are decaf options available.
Does mocha have dairy? Mocha is made with milk so yes it will contain dairy. However, you can make your own form of mocha without dairy.
Does mocha have sugar? Mocha contains hot chocolate or chocolate syrup so it will contain sugar.