Long before I had any idea of what mocha actually was, I had heard about it from ‘90s and early 2000s comedies. If you recall, Derek Zoolander’s friends were obsessed with orange mocha frappuccinos. And there were tons of sitcom episodes and comedy scripts that would use mocha as a buzzword for the increasingly complicated Starbucks-ification of the java-drinking experience for regular Joes who just want a simple cup of coffee, come on!
So we know that mocha is coffee-related, but it’s not normal coffee. Okay. But what is mocha flavor? How do you make mocha? Where does the name come from? Let’s make a mocha master out of you.
What flavor is mocha?
Essentially, mocha is a combination of chocolate and coffee. While it can be classed up considerably at the coffee shop with steamed milk and froth and other enticements, at its heart, espresso and chocolate is what mocha is all about.
As a drink, a mocha, also known as a mochaccino, is a variant of a caffe latte. It is usually served warm and it often comes with frothed milk or whipped cream on top. If you’re looking for a drink somewhere between a hot chocolate and a cup of coffee, mocha is the drink for you.
Where does “mocha” come from?
The word “mocha” comes from the Yemeni city of Mokha, which has historically been a hub of coffee exportation. Europeans originally referred to any coffee from this region as a mocha. But whither the chocolate connection? Some people think it comes from the dark, chocolate-y tone found in coffee beans from Yemen. Whatever the reason, mocha became synonymous with the addition of chocolate starting in the early 1900s.
How to make mocha at home?
If you’re trying to eschew the coffee shop, there are ways to make mocha in your own home kitchen. The Latte Art Guide has a comprehensive step-by-step of how to make this caffeinated treat. You will need an espresso machine, a grinder, tamper, milk pitcher, and cup. And as far as ingredients, you will of course requite coffee, chocolate (in powder or syrup form), and milk. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can make do with a frother as well!
What mocha flavored products can make mocha-making easier?
Let’s say you’re dying for that mocha taste, but you don’t want to whip out the coffee-making gear. Well, you’re in luck, because there are a multitude of mocha flavored products on the market. One is mocha-flavored syrup, which is a quick way to add chocolate and coffee to a treat or drink. You can also get mocha-flavored coffee creamer (we ranked Coffee-mate’s version as one of the best coffee creamers) to turn any regular cup of coffee into an ersatz mocha.
If even the pouring of syrup sounds like too great of a challenge, there are of course many items that bring the mocha right to you—even Soylent makes a mocha flavor. One that looks particularly appealing to me—and is a good choice for those with food allergies—are Mocha Bites from Safely Delicious. This rice-based snack contains no wheat, tree nuts, shellfish, peanuts, egg, soy, or diary. However they do have a satisfying crunch and a heaping helping of chocolate and coffee to bring the flavor.
That’s the scoop on mocha! Enjoy!