Latte vs Mocha; A latte is a milky espresso-based coffee and mocha is chocolate flavoured espresso-based coffee. But there’s a bit more to it.
Sometimes coffee terms can sound like a foreign language, it’s as if you need a dictionary just to figure the menu out. If coffee lingo is leaving you feeling lost and confused, that’s ok we can help clarify the mystique so you never have to experience “buffer face” before ordering a coffee.
Side note – What is Buffer face? Yes, buffer face is that face you make when the dreaded whirly bit comes up on your favourite streaming device, also the same face you make when you’re confused or indecisive – stuck between bites of data that may just steel 5 minutes of your life. Luckily with 5G buffer face might no longer be a thing. We are hopeful! Unfortunately, it won’t be a solution to indecisiveness, you’re on your own there.
And back to the coffee…
The good thing is that Lattes and Mochas are both forms of coffee, yes that’s what they have in common. And if you’re a lover of all things coffee then that’s great news, right? Yes, we think so too. But these two drinks are definitely not equal, well at least not to those of us who have a predisposition to chocolate addiction. Yes, we gave it away, Mocha is chocolatey amongst other things. So let’s take a look at these two caffeine-filled cups of heaven.
What’s in a Latte?
The origin of the Latte we know today is a highly debated topic. Latte in Italian means milk, so there it’s coffee with milk traditionally served only for breakfast. In Italy, this type of coffee is made on the stovetop with a Moka pot and poured into a cup of heated milk. A traditional Latte of Italian origin isn’t foamy like the coffee shop version we know so well.
If you go for a wander outside of Italy and into your average American or UK coffee shop you’ll find that the Lattes we have come to love is made with steamed foamed milk and contain either a single or double espresso shot, depending on the size of your cup.
Lattes are served in a relatively tall cup. once the espresso is added the rest of the cup is filled with milk – hence the milky taste.
Some establishments will add quite a bit of sugar to a standard latte so if you don’t have a sweet tooth, perhaps just ask them to leave the sugar out.
A latte is an iconic coffee beverage adorned by millions of coffee fans around the world. It’s creamy and indulgent, but not too strong. Some say it’s the perfect blend of milk and espresso. And yes, lattes contain considerably more milk than a cappuccino in case you’re wondering.
Gorgeous Flavoured Lattes
If you’re looking for something a bit more indulgent, most good cafes will have a range of flavoured Lattes on offer. You can normally find anything from seasonal gingerbread or pumpkin spiced lattes to Cinnamon and Hazelnut. When it comes to flavoured Lattes the sky really is the limit.
What’s in a Mocha?
So if a latte is an espresso with milk, then what is a mocha exactly? No, it’s not a type of shoe, those are Moccasins and holds no relation to coffee.
Mocha is also a variety of coffee bean from al-Makha (pronounced mocha in English), a port city in Yemen.
You may remember Yemen as the country where Chandler pretended to run off to, to break up with Janice in Friends season 4 Episode 15.
More importantly for us, Yemen is the country that brought the Mocha Coffee Bean to the world. Mocha coffee beans are harvested from the Coffea Arabica plant that is native to Yemen and has a chocolatey undertone. Today mocha coffee beans are what we know as Arabica Beans.
Figuring out what a mocha is, is pretty simple. It’s a latte often made with and Arabica Bean espresso (one or two shots depending on the size of the cup) with added hot chocolate or you could see it as a hot chocolate with espresso if you prefer. The chocolate is usually added as a syrup or even cocoa/hot chocolate powder.
Note that mochas are stronger than your run of the mill latte, so if you’re into a milder taste then a standard latte might be more to your liking.
There you have it, not complicated at all!
Indulgent Flavoured Mochas
Similar to Lattes you get a range of different flavoured caffè mochas, most related to chocolate of course. You should be able to find your favourite chocolate variety in mocha form; peppermint, white chocolate dark chocolate and in some places, you can even find salted caramel. So if you’re looking for a treat you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Latte vs Mocha, what is the verdict?
Still not sure what is what latte vs mocha, and which one you’d prefer? Well, it all depends on your personal taste, potentially the time of year and the mood you’re in. Perhaps you might be more of a mocha person in the midst of winter or if you’re a hardcore chocolate fan it could be a favourite all year round.
A caffè mocha is richer and often stronger than a latte and is likely to contain more calories. So if you’re watching your waistline then a latte or even a Skinny latte can be a better choice.
On the other hand, if you’re having a bad day and need an extra pick me up with strength, sugar and full-bodied flavour then go for the caffè mocha.
To give you an idea, at the time of writing this article, a 16 oz Starbucks Caffè Mocha contained 360 Calories and a standard 17 oz Starbucks Caffè Latte contained 190 Calories.
The Caffè Mocha will generally be stronger, contain more caffeine and will be more full-bodied than a Latte.
This will depend on the amount of sugar you may add to the drink yourself of course. But as a rule of thumb a standard 16 oz Starbucks Caffè Mocha contains 35g of sugar and a Latte of the same size 18g.