There are a number of different espresso drinks that you can make and buy and it can be difficult to understand the differences between them.
This post will show you how mocha and macchiato differ, how they are made, how they taste and drinks that are similar to them.
So, what is the difference between mocha and macchiato? Mocha is where chocolate syrup and steamed milk are added to espresso. Macchiato is where a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso.
Both of the drinks can actually vary a lot in the way that they taste depending on how they are made and there are a number of drinks that are similar to them.
Differences between mocha and macchiato
Below, I’ll show you the differences between mocha and macchiato, how to make them, how they taste, what impacts their taste and drinks that are similar to them.
Macchiato is where a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso. It has a very strong taste that is slightly creamy due to the milk foam.
Espresso is the mixture that you get when you push hot and pressurized water through finely ground coffee. Espresso is rich and can be slightly bitter depending on how it is made.
How to make macchiato
To make macchiato you need to first make espresso and then froth the milk and add a teaspoon of the foamed milk to the espresso.
To make true espresso it is necessary to use an espresso machine. This is because espresso requires the use of pressurized water to be made. There are three main machines that people make espresso and they are semi-automatic, automatic and pod-style espresso machines.
Semi-automatic espresso machines
To make espresso using a semi-automatic machine you get the coffee beans grind them, push them down into a container, put the container into the machine and then press a button to make the espresso.
Before or after the espresso is made you can then foam the milk and add it to the espresso to make macchiato.
You can watch the video below to see how to make macchiato and cortado using a semi-automatic machine.
The advantage of using a semi-automatic machine is that it will give you full control over the taste of the espresso.
However, they can have a steep learning curve and they require the most amount of work in creating the espresso and maintaining the machine.
The espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be the Breville Barista Express which is the machine used in the video above. You can find it on Amazon here.
Automatic espresso machines
Automatic espresso machines will automate the whole espresso making process for you all you need to do is to fill the machine with water and coffee beans occasionally.
The issue with using automatic espresso machines is that you don’t have quite as much control over the espresso as with semi-automatic machines.
However, they do still give you a lot of options to adjust the way that the espresso is made and they are much faster and easier to use without the steep learning curve.
The automatic espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
Pod-style espresso machines
To make espresso using a pod-style machine you just need to put water and a pod into the machine and then to press a button to make the espresso. You can then foam the milk and add it to the espresso to make macchiato.
Pod-style machines don’t give you espresso that is as fresh as with the other two options above.
However, the espresso that they do make does still taste good, there are many pod flavors to choose from and they are quick and easy to use.
The pod-style machine that I would recommend most would be this one at Amazon since it will automatically foam the milk for you.
What impacts the taste of macchiato
There are a number of factors that will impact the way that the macchiato tastes.
If more milk foam or whole milk is used then it will give the macchiato a creamier taste.
The way that the espresso is made will also impact the taste of the macchiato.
If Arabica beans are used then it will give the espresso a smoother taste that can sometimes be sour. If Robusta beans are used it will give it a nuttier taste that can be bitter.
If the beans are sourced from a single origin then it will generally give the beans a sharper taste that can be tangy. On the other hand, if the beans are sourced from multiple origins then it will generally give the beans a more balanced taste.
If the beans have a dark roast then it will also give the espresso a nuttier taste that can be more bitter. If a light roast is used then it will give the espresso a smoother taste that can also be sourer.
Since espresso is supposed to be slightly bitter a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans, sourced from multiple origins with a dark roast is what is normally used to make espresso.
Similar drinks to macchiato
There are a number of drinks that are similar to macchiato that you might like such as:
Cortado is very similar to macchiato but more milk foam is added when making a cortado it has a creamier and less strong taste than macchiato but it is still strong.
- Con panna
Con panna is where a small amount of whipped cream is added to espresso. Con panna has a creamier taste than macchiato due to the higher fat content in the cream.
- Short macchiato
Short macchiato is where a small amount of milk foam is added to a single shot of espresso. This is different to a regular macchiato where a double shot of espresso is used.
Questions people ask about macchiato
Is macchiato hot or cold? Traditionally, macchiato is served hot. However, you can still have it cold if you want.
How strong is macchiato? Macchiato has a strong taste. This is because macchiato is where a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso which has a very rich and sometimes bitter taste.
Mocha is where chocolate syrup or hot cocoa and steamed milk is added to espresso. Mocha has a chocolatey and coffee-like taste.
How to make mocha
To make mocha you can first make a hot cocoa paste and add the espresso and steamed milk to it or you can make the espresso and add the chocolate syrup and steamed milk to it.
You can watch the video below to see how to make mocha.
What impacts the taste of mocha
If whole milk or more steamed milk is used then it will give the mocha a creamier but less chocolatey and less strong taste.
If chocolate syrup is used instead of cocoa then it will normally give the mocha a sweeter taste.
As mentioned above with macchiato, the way that the espresso is made will also have an impact on the taste of the mocha.
Similar drinks to mocha
There are a number of drinks that are similar to mocha that you might like such as:
Cappuccino is where steamed and foamed milk is added to espresso it has a creamy and strong taste.
Latte is where a lot of steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso it has a very creamy and a weak coffee taste.
Affogato is where espresso is poured over ice cream. Vanilla ice cream is traditionally used but you can use any type of ice cream that you like.
Frappe refers to a drink that has been chilled and blended and usually refers to drinks with coffee in them. There are many different ways to make a frappe and you can get it in vanilla, mocha, caramel and many other flavors if you buy one ready made.
Questions people ask about mocha
Is mocha hot or cold? Traditionally, mocha is served hot. However, you can also buy it cold. If you buy it cold then it will likely have other additives inside.
Does mocha have caffeine? Yes, mocha is made with espresso which contains coffee which contains caffeine so mocha will contain caffeine.