Caffè mocha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caffè mocha
Caffè mocha with a layer of espresso
Alternative namesMocaccino, mochaccino, mochachino
TypeBeverage (Hot and Iced), Milk coffee
Place of originYemen
Region or stateMokha, Taiz
Main ingredientsChocolate, espresso, and hot milk
VariationsWhite caffè mocha

A caffè mocha (Arabic: موكا) (/ˈmɒkə/ or /ˈmkə/), also called mocaccino (Italian: [mokatˈtʃiːno]), is a chocolate-flavoured warm beverage that is a variant of a caffè latte (Italian: [kafˈfɛ lˈlatte]),[1] commonly served in a glass rather than a mug. Other commonly used spellings are mochaccino[2] and also mochachino. The name is derived from the city of Mokha, Taiz Governorate, Yemen, which was one of the centres of early coffee trade.[3] Like latte, the name is commonly shortened to just mocha.


The name "mocha" is derived from the Yemeni port of Mokha, which was a port well-known for its coffee trade from the 15th to 17th century,[4] and where small quantities of fine coffee grown in the hills nearby was exported.[5] When coffee drinking culture spread to Europe, Europeans referred to coffee imports from Arabia as Mochas, even though coffee from Yemen itself was uncommon and frequently mixed with beans from Abyssinia, and later coffee from Malabar or the West Indies were also marketed as Mocha coffee.[5][6]

The drink nowadays called "mocha", however, has chocolate in it, and some believe that this is the result of confusion caused by the chocolatey tone that may sometimes be found in Yemeni coffee.[7] Chocolate has been combined with coffee after chocolate drink was introduced to Italy in the 17th century; in Turin, chocolate was mixed with coffee and cream to produce bavareisa, which evolved in the 18th century into bicerin served in small clear glass where its components may be observed as three separate layers.[8] However, prior to 1900s, Mocha referred to Yemeni coffee, and its meaning began to change around the turn of the 20th century, and recipes for food such as cakes that combined chocolate and coffee that referenced mocha began to appear. In 1920, a recipe for a "Chilled Mocha" was published with milk, coffee and cocoa as ingredients.[7]


A caffè mocha sitting on a white plate and beige table.
A caffè mocha with milk, Arabica Mocha espresso, milk froth, chocolate syrup, and various toppings, served with Amaretto cookie

Like caffè latte, caffè mocha is based on espresso and hot milk but with added chocolate flavouring and sweetener, typically in the form of cocoa powder and sugar. Many varieties use chocolate syrup instead, and some may contain dark or milk chocolate.

Caffè mocha, in its most basic formulation, can also be referred to as hot chocolate with (e.g., a shot of) espresso added. Like cappuccino, caffè mochas typically contain the distinctive milk froth on top; as is common with hot chocolate, they are sometimes served with whipped cream instead. They are usually topped with a dusting of either cinnamon, sugar or cocoa powder, and marshmallows may also be added on top for flavour and decoration.[9]

A mocaccino mocha in New Zealand

A variant is white caffè mocha, made with white chocolate instead of milk or dark.[10] There are also variants of the drink that mix the two syrups; this mixture is referred to by several names, including black-and-white mocha, marble mocha, tan mocha, tuxedo mocha, and zebra mocha.

Another variant is a mochaccino which is an espresso shot (double) with either a combination of steamed milk and cocoa powder or chocolate milk. Both mochaccinos and caffè mocha can have chocolate syrup, whipped cream and added toppings such as cinnamon, nutmeg or chocolate sprinkles.[11] French White Mocha is another name for Mochaccino, without cinnamon powder.

A third variant on the caffè mocha is to use a coffee base instead of espresso. The combination would then be coffee, steamed milk, and the added chocolate. This is the same as a cup of coffee mixed with hot chocolate. The caffeine content of this variation would then be equivalent to the coffee choice included.

The caffeine content is approximately 430 mg/L (12.7 mg/US fl oz), which is 152 mg for a 350 mL (12 US fl oz) glass.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Campbell, Dawn; Smith, Janet L. (1993). The Coffee Book. Pelican Publishing Company. p. 98. ISBN 0882899503.
  2. ^ "mochaccino". Oxford Dictionaries. © 2017 Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hestler, Anna; Spilling, Jo-Ann (2010). Yemen. Marshall Cavendish Benchmark. p. 136. ISBN 9780761448501.
  5. ^ a b Yemen Ecology, Nature Protection Laws and Regulations Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Basic Laws. International Business Publications. 2013. p. 228. ISBN 9781433075322.
  6. ^ Hewett, Charles (1864). Chocolate and Cocoa. E. & F.N. Spon. p. 42.
  7. ^ a b Alameri, Rua’a. "How Yemen once introduced the world to mocha coffee". Alarabiya News.
  8. ^ Turback, Michael (2013). Mocha. ISBN 9780307762269.
  9. ^ "This History of: Mocha Coffee". Retrieved 2023-05-20.
  10. ^ Vincenzo, Luca (April 2012). How to Make Coffee So Good You'll Never Waste Money on Starbucks Again. Waterbury Publishers. ISBN 978-1-938895-01-2.
  11. ^ Thurston, Robert W.; Morris, Jonathan; Steiman, Shawn (2013-10-10). Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-4422-1442-2.
  12. ^ "Caffeine Content of Drinks". Retrieved June 4, 2010.