Making sense of the differences between the different espresso drinks that you can get can be confusing.
This post will show you the differences between mocha and cappuccino, how they are made, how they taste, what impacts their taste and drinks that are similar to them.
So, what is the difference between mocha and cappuccino? Mocha is where chocolate syrup and steamed milk or hot chocolate are added to espresso. Cappuccino is where steamed and foamed milk are added to espresso. Mocha is chocolatey with a coffee taste. Cappuccino is creamy with a strong coffee taste.
The way that both mocha and cappuccino taste will depend largely on the way that they are made and the way that they are made can have a big impact on their taste.
Differences between mocha and cappuccino
Below, I will show you a number of differences between mocha and cappuccino, how they are made, how they taste, what impacts their taste and drinks that are similar to them.
Mocha is where chocolate syrup and steamed milk or hot chocolate are added to espresso. Mocha has a chocolatey and coffee-like taste.
Espresso is the mixture that results from pushing hot and pressurized water through finely ground coffee. Espresso has a very strong taste that can be slightly bitter depending on how it is made. The strength and bitterness are not present in the Mocha since adding milk and chocolate syrup to it reduces its strength.
How to make mocha
To make mocha you can either first make the espresso and add chocolate syrup and steamed milk to it or you can make hot chocolate and then add the espresso to it.
There are three main ways that people make espresso and they are to either use a traditional espresso machine, a pod espresso machine or to use a stovetop espresso maker.
Traditional espresso machine
To make espresso using a traditional espresso machine it will be necessary for you to fill it with water, get the beans, grind them, push them into a container, put the container into the machine and then turn the machine on.
The video below shows how to make mocha using a traditional espresso machine.
The advantage of using a traditional espresso machine is that it will give you the highest quality espresso. It will also allow for you to have full control over the way that the espresso tastes so you should be able to find a way to make espresso exactly how you like it.
However, traditional espresso machines can have a steep learning curve and they require the most amount of work in preparing the espresso and in cleaning and maintaining the machine.
To make mocha using a pod machine you put water and a pod into the machine, press a button to make the espresso, make the hot chocolate and then add the espresso to the hot chocolate or add syrup and steamed milk to the espresso.
Pod machines don’t give you as much control over the taste of the espresso and they won’t give you the same quality as with a traditional espresso machine.
However, they will consistently give you good tasting espresso, they have a wide variety of flavors that you can choose from and they are quick and easy to use.
The pod espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
Stovetop espresso makers
Stovetop espresso makers use steam to create the necessary pressure to make espresso. To use one you put water into the pot, put ground coffee above it and then you heat the pot up and espresso will come out of a filter. You can then make hot chocolate and add the espresso to it afterward.
You can watch the video below to see how to make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker.
Stovetop espresso makers don’t come with milk frothers so it will be necessary for you to use hot chocolate instead of using chocolate syrup and steamed milk to make the mocha.
Stovetop espresso makers are by far the cheapest option and they are a good option for if you are unsure of whether or not you would get full use out of an actual espresso machine.
However, the espresso that they make will not be to the same standard as what you would get out of a traditional espresso machine.
A stovetop espresso maker that I would recommend would be this one on Amazon.
What impacts the way that mocha tastes
There are a number of things that will impact the way that mocha tastes.
If you use chocolate syrup and steamed milk to make it then it will give it a slightly more sweet taste. Whereas, if you make it by using hot chocolate or cocoa powder then it will give it a more chocolatey taste.
If you use more milk then it will be more creamy and the taste of the espresso will be less strong.
The way that the espresso is made will also have an impact on the taste.
If the coffee beans are ground too finely then it will cause the espresso to have a richer taste that could also be bitter. This is because, if the grind is too fine, then it will cause more of the coffee to mix with the water and too much mixing can result in bitter espresso.
On the other hand, if the coffee is not ground finely enough then it can cause the espresso to be weak and slightly sour.
If Arabica beans are used then it will generally cause the espresso to be smoother and less bitter but it can also cause it to be sour. If Robusta beans are used then it will give the espresso a richer but also more bitter taste.
If beans with a light roast are used then it will normally give it a less bitter flavor that can also be sour. Beans with a dark roast will generally give the espresso a more bitter taste.
Generally, beans from multiple origins that are a mixture of Arabica and Robusta beans with a dark roast will be used to make espresso.
Drinks that are similar to mocha
There are a number of other espresso drinks that are similar to mocha such as:
Affogato is ice cream with espresso poured over it. Generally, vanilla ice cream is used but you can use any type of ice cream that you like.
Latte is where a lot of steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso. It has a creamy and a slight taste of coffee.
Breve is where half and half milk and cream are added to espresso. Breve is more creamy compared to cappuccino and latte due to the higher fat content in the creme.
Macchiato is where a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso. Macchiato is stronger than latte, cappuccino and mocha.
Questions people ask about mocha
Is mocha served hot or cold? Traditionally, mocha is served hot. However, you can also get mocha cold or you can make it cold by using ice yourself.
Does mocha have caffeine? Mocha is made using espresso which contains coffee so mocha does have caffeine.
Cappuccino is where steamed milk and milk foam is added to espresso. Cappuccino has a creamy taste that is also quite strong.
If you would prefer a drink that is creamy that does not have a strong coffee taste then you might prefer latte. This is where a lot of steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso. You can see more about latte how latte and cappuccino differ here.
To make cappuccino you make the espresso and then steam the milk and add it to the espresso.
You can watch the video below to see how to make cappuccino using a traditional espresso machine.
You can also make cappuccino using a pod espresso machine by steaming the milk by using the milk frother that the machine will come with and then adding it to the espresso made using a pod.
The amount of and the type of milk used will have an impact on the taste of the cappuccino. If whole milk or a lot of milk is used then it will give the cappuccino a more creamy and less strong taste.
The way that the espresso is made will also impact the cappuccino in the same way that it will impact the taste of mocha as mentioned in the mocha section above.
Questions people ask about Cappuccino
Is cappuccino served hot or cold? Cappuccino is traditionally served hot. However, you can also get it cold or make it cold yourself by adding ice and using cold milk.
Does cappuccino have caffeine? Cappuccino is made using espresso which contains coffee so cappuccino will have caffeine.