Chocolate, coffee and milk, mixed to hot perfection. Get the best Mocha Latte recipe with all the variations and start your day in a cozy, delicious way!
I heard the best way to start a wintry day is with coffee AND chocolate, am I right? To me, this is better than hot chocolate! Best part: you only need a few ingredients and probably have all of them in your kitchen. Keep reading to find out how to make this drink with fewer calories than Starbucks while getting an even better Mocha Latte!
What’s a Mocha Latte?
A Mocha Latte is a hot drink made by mixing chocolate, coffee and hot milk. It also known by the names caffè mocha and mocaccino.
The drink was invented in the USA, inspired by an Italian beverage called bicerin. Bicerin is made with espresso, cream and melted chocolate. Is said that a historic coffeehouse in Italy has been serving bicerin since the 18th century.
And if you’re asking what’s the difference between a Mocha Latte and a Latte, the answer is very simple. A Latte is a drink made with espresso and steamed milk, a Mocha Latte is the same drink with the addition of chocolate.
What’s in a Mocha Latte?
Mocha latte is made by mixing strong brewed coffee, hot chocolate mix and milk. Easy, right?
Yes, there are a lot of variations out there. If you’re not interested, jump straight to the recipe. But if you are, and want to learn how to make an outstanding Mocha Latte, stay with me!
Coffee. Use espresso or a strong brewed coffee for the best taste.
Milk. Choose between dairy or any plant milk. A lot of plant-based milks will steam as well as dairy milk. Nowadays, there is a range of plant-based milk options that can substitute dairy milk, so you can have both a vegan diet and a creamy coffee drink.
Chocolate. You can use a good hot chocolate mix or do like Starbucks and use a mocha sauce. I’ll teach you how to make a great mocha sauce below, with or without sugar.
Whipped cream is option but sooooooooo recommended! There are many vegan versions of whipped cream out there, so you can keep it even if your diet is vegan or dairy-free.
How to make Mocha Latte
1. Steam the milk. You’ll need hot milk for this recipe. You can opt to steam it or use plain hot milk - more on that below. I recommend steaming it.
2. Brew an espresso or a strong coffee. Use freshly brewed coffee. Coffee will always taste better when using fresh coffee beans to brew. You’ll need 2 ounces (60ml) of espresso/strong coffee.
3. Mix coffee and mocha sauce. Mix the 2 ingredients in the glass or mug you’ll use to prepare your mocha latte. You can now use more mocha sauce to make decorative patterns on your glass cup.
4. Mix steamed milk. Pour in the milk with the espresso chocolate mixture. If the milk was properly steamed, there will be some foam on top of your drink.
5. Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Although totally optional, why not make this drink even more delicious? Top with homemade whipped cream and mocha syrup for the best flavor.
How to make Mocha Sauce
Let me start by telling you that you can buy mocha sauce if you don’t want to try making your own. There are a lot of options at Amazon and even at some grocery stores.
If buying, choose mocha sauce/syrup for a more prominent coffee flavour, closer to Starbucks version of this drink. Chocolate sauce is not the same as mocha sauce: the first does not contain any coffee on its ingredients.
To make mocha sauce, you’ll need:
- 1 cup strongly brewed coffee;
- 1 cup sugar or a sweetener that can be used for cooking;
- ½ cup cocoa powder;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract;
- Dash of salt.
This sauce is super easy to make, but you have to stay focused so it won’t burn in the stove. Just whisk often and don’t abandon it while it’s cooking to do something else and everything should turn out ok.
- You’ll need to mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring often bringing the mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and continuing stirring until thick like a syrup/sauce. It will thicken more once is cool.
- Store your mocha sauce inside your fridge, into a recipient you can close with a lid.
I’ve tried this recipe with maple syrup and erythritol, and they both worked for substituting sugar.
Can I make this drink using cocoa powder only?
I like my mocha latte sweet. I’m always making it with sugar or any sweetener, but you can make a non-sweet version of this mocha latte recipe with cocoa powder. It will be good for those who don’t like sugary drinks.
For that, use between 2 teaspoons to ½ tablespoon of cocoa powder for each cup of mocha latte. Dissolve into the hot coffee completely before adding milk.
How to steam milk without a steam wand
I said you could do this recipe by steaming your milk or just heating it. Yes, both methods work, but steaming your milk does make a good difference, giving you a creamier mocha latte. So if you’re not in a hurry, don’t skit this step!
Let me give some tips on frothing milk without the need of a steam wand:
- Milk frother. The best option for frothing milk if you don’t have an espresso machine with a steam wand. Just froth the amount of milk needed for this recipe. You can heat the milk before or after frothing.
- French press. Preheat the milk, then pour it into the french press. Push and pull the plunger up and down until the milk doubles in volume and creates a microfoam.
- Mason jar and microwave. Put the milk into a microwave safe mason jar with a lid on and shake it vigorously. Take the lid off before heating the milk in the microwave. Do not heat milk first for this method.
Mocha Latte variations
Cinnamon Mocha Latte. Top your drink with a dash of cinnamon.
Peppermint Mocha Latte. Stir your drink with a peppermint candy cane while hot for this Christmas variation.
Salted Caramel Mocha Latte. Substitute 1 tablespoon of mocha sauce for salted caramel syrup.
Vanilla Mocha Latte. Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract to your drink.
Iced Mocha Latte. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour coffee chocolate milk mixture into it. Top it with whipped cream and mocha sauce.
Can I make it dairy-free?
Yes! As said above, look for a plant-based milk that steams well (coconut, almond and soy milk are good options!), as well for a vegan whipped cream.
Does mocha latte have caffeine?
This drink has caffeine if not made using a decaf coffee.
Can I make this drink ahead?
You should drink your mocha latte as soon as you finish making it. I don’t recommend making it ahead.
Can I make a mocha without an espresso maker?
Yes, you can! Just make sure to brew an extra-strong coffee and use one of the methods above to steam the milk.
More Breakfast Drinks
- 1 cup steamed milk (240ml)
- 2 shots of espresso or strong brewed coffee (2 ounces/60ml)
- 1 tablespoon mocha sauce (more to taste/decorate glass/top)
- Whipped cream for topping (optional)
- Start by steaming the milk. You’ll need hot milk for this recipe, so if you don’t have a steam wand, use one of the methods describer above to steam and heat the milk.
- Brew an espresso or a strong coffee. Prefer to use freshly brewed coffee. Coffee will always taste better when using fresh coffee beans to brew.
- Mix espresso/strong coffee and mocha sauce. Mix the 2 ingredients in the glass or mug you’ll use to prepare your mocha latte. You can now use more mocha sauce to make decorative patterns on your glass cup.
- Mix steamed milk. Pour in the milk with the espresso chocolate mixture. If the milk was properly steamed, there will be some foam on top of your drink.
- Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Enjoy while hot.
Make it vegan. Use any plant-based milk that steams well, and any vegan whipped cream.
Make your own mocha sauce. You’ll need: ½ cup cocoa powder, 1 cup strongly brewed coffee, 1 cup sugar or a sweetener that can be used for cooking, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, dash of salt. Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring often, bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and continuing stirring until thick like a syrup/sauce. Store your mocha sauce inside your fridge, into a recipient you can close with a lid.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 0gSugar: 36gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is an estimate only and will vary depending on the substitutions made and/or brands used.