Mocha VS Latte – The Similarities And Differences

A beautufully made mocha with a cholcolate star on top for he cover of an article based around mocha vs latte

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Espresso crosses every boundary to brew the most unconventional yet flavorful beverages that are so much more than milk and coffee beans. 

One such brew is Mocha, or as you may call it, Caffe mocha. A complexity of coffee beans, steamed milk, foamed milk, and Chocolate syrup (or cocoa powder.)

It blends perfectly with the rich chocolate and coffee characters, making your cup of joe a sweet delight. 

Suppose you want to experiment with different coffees and diverse flavors. In that case, this article will introduce you to Mocha and Mocha’s distinct history, Latte, and many other espresso-based beverages, including Macchiato, Galao, Vienna, Caffe crema, ristretto, etc. 

a mocha in a tall glass on top of a white wood cutting board with spices and cookies

What Is Mocha?

Mocha is very similar to Latte but has the sweet flavors of chocolate. Call it whatever you want; espresso-chocolate beverage, latte-chocolate, hot chocolate with espresso shots, or hot chocolate in general. 

Mocha will give people who don’t particularly like coffee an option to have a warm caffeinated beverage without the bitter taste that coffee can have.

The chocolate syrup in the Mocha sweetens the espresso shots without completely erasing the coffee’s flavor. This perfect balance between coffee and chocolate can only be obtained by professional baristas. 

If you don’t know Latte, is an espresso-based beverage with 1-2 shots of espresso (⅓) and ⅔ steamed milk. Unlike cappuccino, Latte doesn’t require frothed milk (foam milk with microbubbles), only hot milk with a thin top-layer of microfoam. 

When you add chocolate syrup to a latte (or sometimes even a cappuccino), you get Mocha.

Mochas are customizable coffee drinks; you can customize the espresso shots (1 or 2), the quantity of chocolate syrup, and the amount of steamed milk. 

What Are The Origins Of Mocha?

Mocha’s origin or the unique history can be confusing. Although it’s a derivative of Latte, the possibility is that Mocha originated where Latte originated. 

Latte’s origin takes you back to Seattle, America, in the 1980s. Bicerin (Mocha’s lookalike) takes you back to Italy’s 17th century, where they brewed and enjoyed Bicerin. 

Bicerin and Mocha are similar drinks with chocolate, steamed milk, and espresso shots. The only difference that stands between them is their layering. 

Mocha can be mixed however you want. On the other hand, Bicerin is embossed layer by layer to portray an authentic contrasting chocolate-espresso shot. 

We can say that Mocha’s taste and its composition were driven either from Italy (Bicerin) or from America (Latte). However, Mocha’s name was inspired by the Yemeni port that was named Al Moka. 

This port was majorly responsible for the import and export of coffee beans. Yemen was widespread and probably the most leading country for the production of exclusive-tasting coffee. One such famous coffee bean was Mocha coffee beans. 

Mocha coffee beans had a sweet chocolate taste in their composition, which was exclusive to the land. It’s said and believed coffee bean’s flavors also depend on the soil they are grown in.

Thus, the Mocha, a chocolate-coffee-milk drink, was named after the mocha beans, which had a distinct chocolate flavor and were exclusive to the city’s port Al Moka.

 “Mocha espresso brewed with Mocha coffee beans that were ported to you by Al Moka.”

It makes sense, right? 

Coffee bean production leads to many conflicts between countries. Yemen tried its best not to allow coffee bean production in other countries, but it was a futile attempt. 

a latte in a white cup on a white saucer with a spoon sitting on top of a light wood table

How Is Mocha Made?

The three main ingredients of Mocha are espresso shots, chocolate, and milk. 

Espresso shots: For an espresso shot, you will need freshly-roasted coffee beans (Mocha or Arabica beans- these beans have a sweet chocolate taste), a grinder to grind these beans, or a built-in grinder espresso machine, an espresso machine, transparent glass, milk jar. 

To pull an espresso shot, 

  • Grind the number of beans you’d like for two shots (use a coffee scale).
  • Properly dose and tamp them with a stainless steel tamper. 
  • Set the brew time and brew temperature if your machine allows you to (a super-automatic espresso machine will allow you to customize all these settings). Nonetheless, if you have an entry-level semi-automatic espresso machine, you can use a timer and start/stop the brewing process manually. 
  • Click the double shots button on your device, and it will start brewing. Brew for 25 seconds (Ideal timing for brewing) and then manually turn off the switch. 

To steam milk,

All the espresso machines come with either a manual steaming wand (entry-level semi-automatic espresso machines) or an automatic steaming wand (super-automatic espresso machines)

You don’t need too much microfoam for Mocha or Latte like cappuccino. Use the steaming wand to heat the milk with a thin layer of foam resting on the top. 

For 2 ounces of espresso shots, you will need 6 ounces of milk. 

  • Take ⅔ of the milk in the milk pitcher. 
  • Turn the espresso machine for steaming. 
  • Purge the steaming wand once. 
  • Bring the milk jar close to the steaming wand and dip the complete rod inside the milk. It should be close to the bottom of the pitcher to avoid air to enter from the surface. 
  • Please don’t bring the rod on the milk’s body, resulting in too much foam. 
  • If you don’t know how to steam, swirl the jar clockwise to heat the milk entirely without leaving behind complex parts. 
  • Or find a position that will create a whirlpool in the milk without movement. 
  • Move your jar up and down to heat the surface and the bottom equally. 
  • To create a thin layer of microfoam, bring the rod to the milk’s surface and slightly deep it in, just ½ inch below the surface. This dip will induce air in the milk with microbubbles. 
  • Continue until the layer is formed. 
  • Once you find the milk to be hot enough (160 degrees Fahrenheit), stop the steaming wand. 
A stack of chocolate bars with the corners shaved off as one of the differences in mocha vs latte

Chocolate for mocha coffee, 

You can either use chocolate cubes, cocoa powder, or chocolate syrup. Chocolate syrup is going to be naturally sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, go with chocolate syrup. 

Cocoa powder: It’s commonly not sweet. You will need to add sugar and milk/water to thicken and sweeten the powder. The sugar quantity can depend on how sweet you’d like the power to be. (if you are using one part of cocoa powder, use 2-3 portions of sugar and enough water to make a thick syrup) 

Chocolate cube: You can melt them on the stove/microwave. Again, the number of chocolate depends on you and your sweet tooth. Two chocolate cubes will do just fine. 

White or Black Mocha?

Mocha, unlike Bicerin, is entirely customizable. As stated, you can change the milk, espresso shots, and chocolate quantity. There are two types of Mocha- white Mocha and Black Mocha. These are terms to customize your coffee sweet or not-so-sweet. 

White Mocha uses white chocolate while brewing to extract a sweet taste without the caffeine. On the other hand, black Mocha is referred to as dark chocolate for a darker taste of Mocha. 

Brewing Mocha

Once all the ingredients are prepared, you can put them together and mix them well. Unlike Bicerin, you don’t need to layer them up with a theory. You can either pour the Latte first (milk on espresso shots) or the chocolate first and then the Latte. 

To keep the joe hot, pour the chocolate first to heat it along with the espresso shots and the milk. 

  • Take the transparent cup, add chocolate to form a thin layer ( 1/7th of the glass). You can customize it depending on your choices.  
  • Next, add the hot espresso shots and stir them together. 
  • Add steamed milk. 
  • Garnish with microfoam/cocoa powder, grated chocolate. 
2 cutting boards one with a spouted portafilter and mocha and another one with a bottomless portafilter and a latte

What Is Latte?

As broadly discussed, Latte is an espresso-based drink with espresso shots, steamed milk, but no chocolate. The only difference between a latte and a mocha is the chocolate. You don’t add chocolate in Latte to accentuate espresso’s dark taste more boldly without sweet cocoa filtration. 

Latte is a milk-dominating drink. With ⅓ of an espresso shot, you add ⅔ of steamed milk and a thin layer of micro-foam. Latte and cappuccino have the boundary of thick foam and less-foam. A cappuccino has the ratio of ⅓ espresso shots, ⅓ of steamed milk, and ⅓ of foamed milk. On the other hand, Latte barely uses microfoam. 

Latte, also known as Caffe latte, derives from the Italian word Caffe e latte, which translates to coffee and milk.

What Are The Origins Of Latte?

Latte or Caffe latte records back to the times when espresso machines weren’t invented. The European obsession with coffee and experimentations led to an entanglement of coffee, cream, sugar, and spices. Back then, it wasn’t termed caffe latte. This brew, including coffee, sugar, cream, and spices, was called kapuziner, the first coffee with milk. 

  • The first amalgamate between coffee and milk without the espresso machine and thereby espresso shots were witnessed in the Austrian-Hungarian empire, Europe. This records back in the 17s century (the 1600s-1699s)
  • In the 19th century, 1867, William Dean Howells coined Caffe latte in the Italian journeys. (Caffe latte is the Italian term meaning coffee and milk)
  • It was not until the 20th century (the 1980s) that the Americans started adding steamed milk (not frothed as the Europeans like) to cut off the espresso’s bitter taste with hot milk. 
  • Lino Morin was attributed as the critical factor in popularizing caffe latte in the 1950s, but it was not until the 1980s that Seattle repurchased the American latte craze. 
  • This craze waved towards the Europeans, who then started to admire the taste of coffee without the bitterness. 

Espresso machines that could exert enough pressure to brew espresso can be recorded back to the early 20th century (the 1940s) by Achille Gaggia, who invented piston-driven espresso manual machines to build up the 9-Bars of pressure. 

A barista pouring latte into champagne glasses for a themed wedding

How Is The Latte Made?

The latte preparation is pretty much similar to the Mocha’s; you will need an espresso machine with a steaming wand, freshly-roasted coffee beans, a transparent glass, and a milk pitcher. 

  • Brew the espresso shots first as directed for the mocha preparation. 
  • To brew, grind your beans, dose and tamp them, lock in the portafilter and click the brewing button. 
  • The ideal temperature for an espresso shot is 190-205 degrees Fahrenheit and the brewing time is 25 seconds (including the pre-infusion time of 8-10 seconds.)
  • The espresso should have 1/10 of a crema top. 
  • The crema has a rich golden color and shiny appearance. The espresso liquid should be dark-brown to a mahogany color. 
  • Once you are done with pulling the espresso shot, take a milk pitcher to steam the milk. Please note: With a super-automatic espresso machine, you can brew and froth at the same time. 
  • Take ⅔ of milk in the pitcher and turn on the steam. 
  • Steam the milk until the temperature sensor/strip/machine reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • The milk shouldn’t be foamy; it should be warm with a thin layer of microfoam. 
  • To heat the milk, dip the steaming wand entirely in without touching the surface. Move the pitcher up and down to heat the whole milk. 

Once done, take a latte cup (it’s usually more significant than other coffees because Latte uses a lot of milk. Pour the espresso shots into a latte cup, and then pour the milk into the same cup. 

Latte will have an overpowering milk taste, but you will pick coffee’s undertones as well. 

Which One Is Healthier, Latte or Mocha?

When consumed in a standard quantity, both are considered healthy. Despite the misconception, chocolate and caffeine have beneficial aspects in your life. It’s over-consumption that leads to many health issues. 

The main content of Latte and Mocha is caffeine. The next on the list is chocolate made of cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and added sugar. 

Conceptual image of a large supply of coffee in the form of a coffee mug atop water tower stilts.  A funny concept for caffeine addiction or coffee lovers.


Studies suggest many health benefits of caffeine, including a fast metabolism, liver protection, heart disease protection, healthy exercising hours, etc. 

  • You should consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day. Consumption of 500+ caffeine can lead to a fatal overdose. Thus it’s advised not to overdo your daily coffee. Don’t consume 400 grams all at once. You can split your coffee intake into 2-3 sections and throughout the day.   
  • A single espresso shot of one ounce will have 64mg of caffeine. Other coffee brews and different brewing methods will deliver higher-caffeine content because they are usually drunk in giant cups.
  • It can also depend on the beans you use. Arabica beans have less caffeine content than robusta beans

Latte and Mocha use the same amount of espresso shots (either one or two, customizable).

Please note: Mocha has an additional chocolate touch to the brew, and chocolate does contain a fair share of caffeine. An ounce of chocolate will have at least 10mg of caffeine. 

Mocha will have more caffeine compared to Latte. 


Chocolate contains caffeine, sugar, cocoa, cocoa components, etc. Although the amount of chocolate used in Mocha is comparatively less, its sugar content increases the calorie intake. It’s suggested to consume one ounce of chocolate per day. 

Sugar has less to no nutritional value and a high amount of calories. One ounce of chocolate carries 150+ calories. So, if you are on a strict diet, Latte would be healthier because of less to no sugar content than Mocha. 

  • Mocha caffeine content (8 oz glass): 101.36mg
  • Latte caffeine content (8oz): 76mg
  • Latte’s Calories content: 150mg (Approx)
  • Mocha’s calorie content: 300mg (approx) The calorie intake also depends on the milk you use. Whole milk will have more calories than nonfat dairy. 

Which One Has a Sweeter Flavor?

There’s no doubt that Mocha would be sweeter than Latte with all the chocolate syrup and sugar content. Plus, Mocha is entirely customizable. So, you can sweeten your coffee without any boundaries. 

The chocolate and the milk both act as sweeteners in the coffee. While your Latte will not contain chocolate, it will still have the faint sweet taste of the milk and no coffee’s exclusive bitterness. 

An experienced barista will not miss the taste of the coffee even after adding milk and chocolate. If your Mocha tastes like hot chocolate, you are not at the proper cafe or the correct ratio. 

There’s a high probability that your Mocha will get too sweet and kill its natural coffee flavors if not properly majored. 

A latte with coffee beans lined up n the pattern of an EKG machine representing your heartbeat.

Which One Has More Caffeine?

Mocha has double the number of caffeine sources. Its main ingredients, chocolate, and coffee will yield more caffeine per cup. Although the amount of chocolate used for every Mocha is less, it still counts for an increased caffeine amount. 

Every ounce (28.4) of chocolate has 12mg of caffeine. This accounts for dark chocolate. White chocolate, milk chocolate, and nutty chocolates will have less caffeine. 

White chocolate has 0mg of caffeine content. So, if you want a decaf mocha, it’s actually on the menu as white Mocha. 

White Mocha uses white chocolate while brewing, accounting for no caffeine at all. Although the espresso shot will still have caffeine, the white chocolate will sweeten your coffee without adding additional caffeine.

You can say that black Mocha will have more caffeine than a latte. On the same note, white Mocha will have the same amount of caffeine as the Latte. 

  • White Mocha Caffeine Quantity: 150mg 
  • Latte caffeine amount: 154mg
  • Dark chocolate caffeine: 165-175mg (It also depends on the chocolate’s amount and the beans used)

Robusta beans will have more caffeine than Arabica beans. Robusta beans will be bitter to taste because of the exciting caffeine content and darker roast. On the other hand, Arabica will have sweetening flavors of chocolate, herbs, fruits, etc. 

If you are a home barista, choose wisely between robusta and Arabica beans. You can always use mixed robusta-arabica beans to meet at the fulfilling junction. 

Does Mocha Taste Like Coffee?

Yes, it takes a professional barista to balance the proper taste of coffee and chocolate without overpowering one another. To brew Mocha, you will first need to brew a latte. 

As we know, Latte is made of coffee and milk. The milk percentage in Latte is already over-powered and might ruin the coffee’s taste completely. Thus, before perfecting your mocha skills, understand and balance Latte’s milk and coffee ratio. 

For Latte, you will need to add ⅓ of coffee with ⅔ of steamed milk and a thin layer of microfoam. To accentuate coffee’s robust flavors, you must pull the shot properly with correct settings, temperature, and timing. 

The espresso shot shouldn’t be too watery or too thick. It should flow fluently with an intoxicating purr and golden crema for 25 seconds. 

Also, make sure you use fresh beans to extract complete coffee flavors and tones. Once you master brewing latte where milk doesn’t overpower coffee’s taste, you can jump to Mocha. 

It’s best to choose dark chocolate (if you are okay with increased caffeine amount). Dark chocolate won’t camouflage coffee’s taste; it will instead highlight the dark flavors of coffee. 

White chocolate is delightful without any hint of dark tastes at all. There’s a high chance that white chocolate mocha will taste like hot, too-sweet chocolate than actual coffee. 

Even if you use dark chocolate, there should be a limit. One ounce of chocolate will sweeten your coffee without overpowering it in two shots of espresso mocha.

The inner workings of a  machine with the gears showing with the word compare on one of them

What Are Some Similarities and Differences?

Latte and Mocha are similar in many aspects. They come from the same base of espresso shots and milk. Without the two, you can neither brew Latte or Mocha. 

Not just Latte and Mocha, every espresso-based hot beverage will have 80% similarities, and that’s the beauty of it. Every espresso-based variant specializes in small, delicate details and minor differences to please individuals with authentic coffees and satisfying undertones. 

For instance, Latte was specialized for people who do not like their coffee to be too bitter. The addition of milk lightened the bitterness/sourness away from the espresso. (Historically, it was made for American tourists who couldn’t bear the natural taste of coffee)

On the other hand, Mocha was specialized for people who liked Latte but a little sweeter rather than flat undertones of milk. 

Similarities Between Latte And Mocha

  • Base ingredient Espresso: Latte and Mocha are both espresso-based beverages. 
  • You will need the same equipment: Both require an espresso machine, steaming wand, glass, and steaming pitcher. 
  • Steamed milk: Latte and Mocha need ⅔ of steamed milk. 
  • Coffee-Milk ratio: Both request equal proportions. (⅓ espresso shots with ⅔ milk)
  • Pouring: you pour the espresso shots first and then the milk. 
  • Customizable: Both are customizable. 
  • Iced coffee variant.
  • Same caffeine content: White Mocha and Latte have the same caffeine content. 

Dissimilarities Between Latte and Mocha

  • Chocolate: The secret difference between Latte and Mocha is chocolate addition. Mocha requires chocolate, and Latte doesn’t. 
  • Brewing time: Mocha will take more time to melt, mix and garnish the chocolate than Latte. 
  • Milk: Latte uses a thin layer of microfoam; Mocha has a thicker layer of microfoam. 
  • Garnishing: Mocha is garnished with grated chocolate or cocoa powder or latte art with chocolate syrup. Latte only has microfoam latte art. 
  • Different caffeine amount: Black Mocha has more caffeine than Latte.
  • Calories: Mocha (black and white both) has more calories than Latte. 

Other Types Of Espresso-Based Drinks

As stated, although the difference between espresso-based drinks is trivial, it sums up to different tastes, different undertones, different aromas. While some prefer dry foam, others like wet foam. Some might enjoy the herb taste sprinkled on the top; some enjoy the fruitfulness of the drink.  

Depending on individuals and their preferred coffee taste, there are many espresso variants for you to choose from. Below is the explanation of every espresso-based beverage for you to get acquainted with. 


Cappuccino is an espresso-milk-based beverage but is very different from a latte, unlike Latte that uses steamed (hot milk) and thin foam. Cappuccino uses wet foam in a greater quantity than the Latte. 

The ratio of coffee, steamed milk, and frothed milk is ⅓ coffee, ⅓ steamed milk, and ⅓ frothed milk for cappuccino. Also, cappuccino comes in smaller cups. A cappuccino cup has a volume of 6 oz (2oz espresso, 2oz steamed milk, 2oz frothed milk) 

  • Caffeine quantity: 120-150mg
  • Calorie quantity: 200-230mg

Cappuccino brewing: Once you brew the espresso shots (refer to the steps mentioned above), frothing milk is the latter technique you’d need to master. To froth milk, you will need to keep the steaming wand at an angle that will allow air introduction in the milk. Too much air will result in giant bubbles. 

  • Place the steaming wand ½ inch under the upper surface of the milk in the pitcher. This position will instill enough air to produce microfoam. 
  • Once in a while, dip the steaming wand completely in and back to its initial position. This action will warm up the milk throughout. 
  • Once the desired temperature and foam are met, you can turn off the steaming wand.

Cappuccino requires a lot of foam, so you will need to fill the pitcher with ⅓ milk to keep enough space for the foam.

different types of espresso drinks like doppio, mocha, latte, flat white

Flat white

In my opinion, the flat white is more similar to Latte than any other drink. Latte is a giant cup of java with too much milk to dilute the coffee’s bold flavors. 

Flat white is the smaller version of Latte with the same amount of espresso. The only thing that’s reduced in the flat white is the milk dilution. 

Flat white still uses two shots of espresso but only half the amount of milk. Its cup is usually smaller compared to Latte’s cup. An average flat white will volume for 5-6oz and a latte will usually be 8-10oz. 

This reduced quantity allows the bold coffee flavors to sit in the mug without being disturbed by milk’s taste. 

Like Latte, flat white also requires steamed milk with a thin layer of microfoam, neither too thick nor too thin. 


Ristretto is more dense and concentrated than espresso. Ristrettos’ condensed body enhances the coffee beans’ fruitful undertones and waves away the bitterness. 

Ristretto is similar to espresso; it uses the same amount of coffee but less amount of water. In the Italian language, ristretto means restrict. Restrict/restrain the amount of water in the coffee grounds. 

When pulling a regular shot (espresso), we usually use 10-12 grams of coffee and brew for 25-30 seconds. A standard espresso shot has a volume of 30ml or sometimes more. 

While brewing a ristretto, you will need to reduce the water’s amount to pull out a concentrated shot. For ristretto, reset the brewing timing to 15 seconds and aim to extract 15-20ml with the same amount of coffee ground. 

Most of the machines come with a preset ristretto button to brew ristretto automatically. If you have a manual espresso machine, use a coffee scale with a timer and aim for 15-20ml in 15 seconds. 

an espresso machine using a spouted portafilter to brew 2 shots of espresso at the same time

Espresso – doppio – lungo

Most of the automatic espresso machines (semi-, fully-, and super-automatics) will come with two options: single shot and double shot. Single-shot refers to a standard espresso, and it uses a single-basket (30ml)

Double shots or doppio (the Italian word for double) have double the amount of regular espresso and brews a 60ml shot. Doppio uses a double-filter basket with a volume of 16-18 grams (sometimes 22grams.)

Lungo: Lungo is the less-concentrated version of a single shot. You use a single-filter basket with 10-12 grams of coffee puck and brew it for more than 30 seconds to dilute the espresso with more water and result in 60ml of coffee. 

Lungo often darkens the coffee’s flavors and enhances the bitterness by subliming and diluting coffee’s natural characters. 

Cafe Crema

Cafe crema is also known as the longer espresso that uses a different brewing method than the standard procedure. A cafe crema uses a coarser grind for brewing and demands 30+ seconds to brew perfectly. 

A coarser grind results in a fast brew with a lot of water and a rich crema. Given the big chunks of the coffee puck, the water quickly soaks through the puck and extracts medium flavors of the coffee without over-concentrating the shot. 

The concept is very much foreign in Britain and other European countries other than Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. Cafe crema uses a double filter basket to accommodate more coffee grounds because a coarser grind cannot extract all the flavors in such a short period. 

Cafe Noisette

A french, expensive word for Italian Machhiato is cafe noisette. The word Noisette in French means hazel and denotes the color formed after brewing cafe Noisette. 

Cafe Noisette or Italian Macchiato uses the same brewing process as the Macchiato. You will first need to brew a single espresso shot- 30ml (Refer to the standard brewing method mentioned above)

Once the espresso shot is pulled, all you need to do is add 2-3 tablespoon scoops of milk foam. The foam should fill 1-2 centimeters of the cup. Once the foam starts to texture with the coffee, it displays a beautiful hazel color contrasting splendidly with the white foam. 

That’s how cafe noisette got its name. 

a beautifully layered moccachino on a white saucer at a diner


Like Caffe mocha is to Latte with added chocolate, Mochaccino is added chocolate to cappuccino. Mochaccino has the same brewing process as the cappuccino.

Cappuccino is another espresso and milk-based beverage with the ratio of ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, and ⅓ frothed milk. As for Mochaccino, add chocolate syrup/cocoa powder-sugar/chocolate cubes to this proportion. 

To brew Mochaccino, 

  • First, prepare the chocolate syrup; you can either use cocoa powder with water and sugar or direct cubes/syrup. 
  • Brew the espresso shot in the same cup to heat the chocolate. 
  • Start to steam the milk and keep the wand at the milk surface’s tip (only ½ inch dipped inside). This position will add air to the milk and will create microfoam. 
  • Pour the steamed milk into the cappuccino cup. 
  • You can garnish the Caffe with grated chocolate, cream whisk, cocoa powder, etc. 

Cafe con Leche

Cafe con Leche is a Spanish espresso-based beverage that means coffee with milk in Spanish. You can brew this drink traditionally with a Moka pot and a stove. 

The traditional Moka pot won’t be as concentrated as suggested for cafe con Leche, but it’s good enough. 

Cafe con Leche doesn’t require steamed/frothed milk, only scald milk close to the boiling point. 

You can, of course, use the steaming wand provided by the espresso machine to heat the milk to the boiling water, or you can use the stove and a thermometer to scald the milk.

Cortado (Spanish: To cut/to dilute the bitterness)

Cortado is the bigger version of Macchiato. With one espresso shot, you add equal amounts of hot milk and sometimes a dollop of foam, but that’s optional. 

Cortado’s espresso and milk ratio are 1:1 (1 ounce of espresso with one ounce of steamed milk). This drink uses a single shot, pulled by a single-filter basket (10-12 grams of the coffee ground)

In Cuba, sweet condensed milk is used to brew Cuban cortadito to essence the taste of coffee with a natural sweetness. 


You’d love this if you have a sweet tooth for ice creams. Affogato is the perfect blend of ice cream with espresso. Now, this might sound like a weird combination, but a little experimentation can give you the best-tasting Espresso Affogato. 

For affogato, use eggless vanilla ice cream. Eggs and coffee don’t go together because they both conclude different textures and flavors. However, Vanilla, ice, and milk are the real essence of ice cream. 

Luckily, all these flavors blend beautifully with coffee. To pull an Affogato, 

  • Measure 50 grams of ice cream in an espresso cup. 
  • Make sure the cup is frozen to keep the ice cream cold. 
  • It would be best if you directly poured espresso in the same cup above the ice cream to make sense of the word affogato. Affogato means drowning in Italian. 
  • When you run the espresso into the cold cup, it doesn’t melt the ice cream altogether but drowns it slightly. 
  • Once you pull the shot, it’s ready to serve. You garnish it with cocoa if you’d like,
  • Ice Cream and coffee taste superb together. You notice the coffee taste, sided with ice cream taste and the cocktail of hot and cold. 
an americano sitting next to a black coffee in white mugs on a wooden table


Popularly known as black coffee, Americano is just a diluted espresso shot. To brew this coffee, pull an espresso shot and add hot water to the big American mug. 

Most of the fully- and super-automatic espresso machines come with a preset Americano option with a separate water spout to brew in the mug directly. Usually, an Americano has 16 ounces of volume with equal amounts of water to similar espresso amounts. Some people prefer to experiment with water percentage in the Americano, so it’s completely customizable and depends on dilution choice. 


Breve has the same brewing process as the cappuccino or Latte. The only difference between a breve and a cappuccino is the difference between whole milk and a half and half milk. 

Breve uses half and half milk to brew the perfect creamy espresso-based beverage. Half and half milk is half whole milk and half heavy cream. This heavy cream results in thick foam, thick milk, and overall thick, enriching espresso coffee. 

Breve has the ratio of ⅓ espresso, ⅓ half-and-half steamed milk, and ⅓ thick foam. You can always experiment with the milk ratio, increase or decrease the fatty cream depending on your dietary plan. 

Mocha Breve

Just like the cafe mocha or Mochaccino, Mocha breve is brewed like the cappuccino/latte with half and half milk(breve) and chocolate syrup (Mocha) 

Chocolate is a variant in mocha breve; you can pour ⅓ of chocolate in the breve proportion along with ⅓ espresso shot and ⅓ half and half milk. You can also use a minimal amount of chocolate syrup to sweeten and enhance the coffee flavors without overpowering them. 

a cafe con hielo which is the Spanish version of iced coffee

Cafe con Hielo

Cafe con Hielo is a Spanish term for coffee with ice. It’s effortless to brew iced coffee. You will need to pull an espresso (Some people prefer two espresso shots if you’d like long-lasting cold espresso) and add ice. That’s it! 

Ice in the espresso shot dilutes the coffee by a tiny percentage because ice doesn’t melt away quickly but slowly releases water as in drowning in the coffee.

Cafe au lait

Cafe au lait might or might not use espresso shots to brew the cup. It’s very much similar to other milk-based drinks but uses drip coffee. The correct balance between coffee and milk is 1:1. 

Cafe au lait will usually brew under 6-7 ounces (3 ounces of drip coffee and 3 ounces of scalded milk). You don’t need foam for cafe au lait; heat the milk on the stove right below the boiling temperature, or use the steaming wand but avoid air in the milk. 

Pour together and serve. American Cafe au lait adds chicory to the shot to give a woody, earthy taste to the coffee. 

Cafe Bombon

Another Spanish specialty made with espresso, condensed milk, and dollops of microfoam is Cafe Bombon. This is a three-layered coffee. The bottom is condensed milk (thick, caramel-textured milk, light-brown in color), the bottom-top layer is one shot of espresso, and the top layer is dollops of dense microfoam. 

Condensed milk can be poured directly into the cafe bombon glass (The glass looks like a big tequila glass). The ratio between condensed milk and espresso should be 1:1. (30 grams of condensed milk to 30 grams of espresso shot) 

You can swirl them together to loosen up the condensed milk, or you can keep it untouched and slowly allow it to flavor with the coffee. 

Con Panna

Another beautiful variant of espresso-based beverages is Con Panna. An Italian drink that means coffee with cream. It is made of one or double shots of espresso with whipped cream as the garnish. 

You can add the whipped cream according to your choice and make a nice swirl on the top. You can garnish with cocoa powder as well. 


Misto isn’t an espresso-based beverage. It is made either by using drip coffee or a french press. Misto is easy to brew with the right proportion of 1:1 (one ounce of drip coffee/french coffee with one ounce of scalded milk)

You can also use the steaming wand to heat the milk but avoid micro foaming the milk. Typically brewed with 8 ounces of capacity (4 ounces of strong coffee with four-ounce of milk)


Red-eye is the dark combination of drip coffee and one shot of espresso. Take a large cup of drip coffee (4 ounces), and then a single shot of espresso, you get red-eye. 

The red-eye refers to the color of the coffee. Some cities add two shots of espresso in drip coffee to brew stronger red-eye. 

This red-eye with two espresso shots is called black-eye. 


Vienna coffee is similar to con Panna with espresso shots and whipped cream. Usually, Vienna is a giant cup of joe. It uses three shots of espresso with 3/4th cup of boiling water and whipped cream topping. 

  • To brew Vienna, take a big cup, pour ¾ boiling water and place the cup below the portafilter. 
  • Pull three shots of espresso (90ml) in the same cup.
  • Garnish the top with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate powder. 

You can also brew Vienna with one shot of espresso. Take a smaller one-shot glass with ¾ of boiling water, pull a single shot in the same cup (30ml), and swirl whipped cream on the head. 


Galao is the milkier and more-diluted version of Latte. It uses more milk than a latte. Apart from the size and the milk, Galao is pretty much similar to Latte. With one shot of espresso and steamed milk, you are good to go. 

Galao cup size is usually 8oz and might get to 10 oz. On the other hand, Latte is usually 6oz-8z. 

Long Black

A long black is very much similar to Americano. Except for two differences: the pouring process and the water volume. 

  • In long black, water is poured first, and then hot water is poured. This pouring preserves the top crema by not diluting it down with water. 
  • Long black uses less water compared to Americano. The ratio is usually ½ (two-ounces of espresso shot to 4 ounces of water—this minuscule amount of water results in a more robust taste than Americano. 

Is Mocha and Mocha Latte The Same Thing?

Often, Mocha is considered Mochaccino with thick milk and heavy foam rather than plain steamed milk like the one used in Latte. Many cafes will serve you mocha+cappuccino (Mochaccino) instead of mocha latte if you order a plain mocha. 

To get Mocha Latte (steamed milk and no foam), you will need to order Mocha Latte quite specifically. It can be confusing because many countries believe mocha and mocha latte is the same (By definition, it is) 

People use Mocha as the short name for mochaccino and mocha latte for steamed milk instead of frothed milk. 

Mocha or Mochaccino will have a ratio of 1-ounce chocolate, ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, and ⅓ frothed milk. It will have a thick, creamy, and more robust taste. 

Mocha Latte will have a lighter taste; it will be more diluted than the cappuccino.

The Basic Difference Between Mocha, Latte, Macchiato, And Cappuccino

The significant differences between these espresso-based drinks are the coffee-milk ratio, size of the cup, additional flavors, and steamed/frothed milk. 

Size of the cup

  • Latte: It is an enormous beverage with 8-12 ounces of capacity. ⅔ of the drink is milk (6-8 ounces).
  • Mocha: Mocha has a similar capacity to Latte. The mocha cup size 8-12 ounces with ⅓ of steamed milk and ⅓ of frothed milk. It will have 6-8 ounces of steamed and foamed milk in a cup of Mocha in totality. 
  • Macchiato: This is a small espresso-based beverage with one/two espresso shots and only a dollop of steamed milk at the top. It is usually 2-3 ounces.
  • Cappuccino: It is a miniature beverage with one ounce of espresso, one ounce of steamed milk, and one ounce of frothed milk. The cappuccino cup is 5-6 ounce with 4 ounces of milk (steamed and frothed together)

Espresso shots

  • Latte: A single shot for 8 ounces. Double shots for grande and venti latte cups. 
  • Mocha: A single shot for medium Latte (8 ounces). Double shots for Grande and venti
  • Macchiato: Single shot for a minor beverage and double for a giant macchiato drink.
  • Cappuccino: Double shots for 6 ounces of hot beverage. 

Steamed milk/frothed milk

  • Latte: Only steamed milk with a thin layer of microfoam for latte art. 
  • Mocha: Steamed milk
  • Macchiato: Dollop of heavy milk
  • Cappuccino: Steamed and frothed milk both in equal proportion. 


  • Latte: No chocolate
  • Mocha: Chocolate, yes!
  • Macchiato: No chocolate
  • Cappuccino: No chocolate

Mocha vs Latte Conclusion

Espresso-based beverages have many variants for you to try. Although people usually have personal preferences, it doesn’t hurt to try and experiment with new coffee-milk proportions sometimes. 

You can try a fresh cup of joe every day and polish your barista skills. Trying different brews allows you to explore distinct flavors and java. You might end up brewing the best espresso-based beverage that’s entirely exclusive to your taste.