How-To Guide: 2 Ways to Make a Delicious Cup of Café Mocha

Last Updated: January 21, 2023

Date Published: September 10, 2020
Love café mocha? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make your own coffee drink at home using a coffee maker or espresso machine.
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Also known as a mocaccino, mochaccino, or mochachino, a café mocha is a chocolate-flavored variant of a café latte. The name comes from the city of Mocha, Yemen, one of the centers of early coffee trade.

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

In its most basic formulation, café mocha can also be referred to as hot chocolate with a shot of espresso added. Like cappuccino, café mochas usually contain the distinctive milk froth on top; however, as is common with hot chocolate, they are often served with whipped cream instead.

Usually, they are topped with a dusting of either sugar, cocoa powder, or cinnamon; marshmallows may also be added on top for decoration and flavor. 

Another variant is a white café mocha which is made with white chocolate instead of milk or dark chocolate. There are also café mocha variants that mixes the two syrups – this is usually referred to by different names, such as marble mocha or black and white mocha. 

Another variant is a mochaccino – an espresso shot (double) with either a combination of cocoa powder and steamed milk or chocolate milk.

Both café mocha and mochaccinos can have whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and added toppings like chocolate sprinkles, nutmeg, or cinnamon. 

When making café mocha, you can also use a coffee base instead of espresso. The combination would then be steamed milk, coffee, and chocolate – this is the same as a cup of coffee mixed with hot chocolate. 

How to Make a Café Mocha 

Love café mocha? Getting your daily café mocha fix from a coffee shop can become an expensive habit. If you’re looking to save – and if you want to enjoy a cup of café mocha at home any time you want – you can try making your own coffee drink at home using your drip coffee maker or espresso machine. 

Using a Coffee Maker.

Don’t have an espresso machine? Don’t worry! You can still make a great cup of café mocha with just your coffee maker. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make your favorite coffee drink.

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 2 tablespoons of drip coffee grounds for every 6 ounces of water
  • 3 tablespoons of sweetened cocoa powder or 1 ½ ounces of chocolate syrup 
  • 10 to 12 ounces of milk
  • Chocolate shavings or whipped cream (for garnish)


  1. Brew the coffee.
    Fill your coffee maker with filtered water and place coffee grounds in the filter basket. If your machine doesn’t use a metal mesh filter, don’t forget to put a filter in the basket! Then, turn the machine on to brew your coffee. Tip: While you can brew as much coffee as you’d like, try using this coffee-to-water ratio: 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water. 
  2. Prepare the cocoa powder or chocolate.
    If you’re using cocoa powder, place around 3 tablespoons of the powder into the mug you’ll be using for the mocha. If you’re using chocolate syrup, pour around 1 ½ ounces of chocolate syrup into the mug you’ll be serving the café mocha in. Tip: Not sure how sweet you’d like your café mocha? Prepare the café mocha using less cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. If you find that you’d like to make it sweeter, you can sprinkle chocolate powder or drizzle chocolate syrup over the top. 
  3. Heat the milk.
    Pour a cup of milk into a saucepan and heat it over medium heat on the stove. When the milk is hot enough, you should see small bubbles start to line the sides of the pan. Avoid scalding or boiling the milk – this would make your mocha taste bitter. You can also heat the milk in the microwave. Simply pour your milk into the mug that contains the chocolate or cocoa powder and microwave for about a minute. Fill the mug only 2/3 full so that you’ll have enough space to add your drip coffee. 
  4. Combine the mocha.
    Pour hot drip coffee over the cocoa powder or chocolate syrup in your mug. You can add as much coffee as you’d like, but remember that if you mostly add coffee, you won’t have enough room for the hot milk. Stir this mixture to dissolve the cocoa or chocolate and slowly pour in the milk. If you like your café mocha to be creamer, only fill your mug about 1/3 of the way with coffee before filling it the rest of the way with hot milk.
  5. Garnish and serve. 
    Want to add an extra creamy flavor to your café mocha? Top it with whipped cream! If you’d like your café mocha to have a stylish presentation, sprinkle cocoa powder over the top. Some coffee shops use a stencil over the top and sprinkle the powder over it to create a beautiful design. You could also drizzle chocolate syrup over your mocha or top it with mini marshmallows – the choice is yours! 

Using an Espresso Machine.

Got a fancy espresso machine at home? You can use it to create a delicious cup of café mocha! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it. 

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 15 grams of espresso grounds
  • 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup or 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder 
  • 10-12 ounces of milk
  • Chocolate shavings or whipped cream (for garnish)


  1. Measure your milk and chocolate.
    To make an 8 ounce café mocha, you’ll need around 3 tablespoons of sweetened cocoa powder or 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup. You can either place the chocolate syrup into a metal steaming pitcher with your milk or into the mug you’ll be serving the mocha in. Measure around 10 to 12 ounces of milk into the pitcher if you’re going to make an 8 ounce mocha. Tip: you can also put the chocolate syrup into a metal pitcher. This way, you can pull the espresso shot directly into the chocolate which will help it dissolve. This is particularly useful if you’ll be making an iced mocha and can’t steam the chocolate with the milk. 
  2. Pull the espresso.
    Place 15 grams of espresso grounds in a clean portafilter to make a double shot. Make sure to tamp it down so that it packs the grounds evenly – this will ensure that water passes through it evenly. Then, lock the group handle into the espresso machine and place a small metal pitcher underneath. Turn on the machine to pull the espresso shot. It should take around 20 to 25 seconds for the shot to pull through. Tip: Make sure to weigh your espresso grounds – if you don’t have enough grounds, your espresso will filter through too quickly and will taste weak. Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for espresso machine – adding too many grounds to the portafilter could damage the machine. 
  3. Steam the milk.
    Turn on the steam wand on the espresso machine for a few seconds to clean it out before you steam milk. Then, insert the steam wand into the metal pitcher of milk and turn on the steam wand – keep the wand towards the bottom of the jug and only bring it near the surface of the milk a few times to produce foam. Heat your milk between 60-71°C (140-160°F). Tip: You can either hold your hand on the side of the pitcher as you steam or you can insert a thermometer into the milk while you’re steaming. Once the pitcher becomes too hot to the touch, move your hand away and continue to steam the milk for a few seconds.  
  4. Combine the milk and espresso.
    If you placed the chocolate syrup in a small pitcher or a mug, you’ll have to stir the chocolate with the espresso to dissolve it. If you steamed the milk with chocolate in the pitcher, you’ll have to pour the hot chocolate over your espresso shots in the mug. Slowly pour the hot milk over your chocolate and coffee mixture. Tip: You can stir the mixture or pour an intricate design. To pour a design, you’ll have to place the espresso in your mug and carefully pour your hot chocolate over it so that it doesn’t break the espresso’s surface.  
  5. Garnish and serve.
    Typically, coffee shops top café mochas with whipped cream – this is an easy way to add that extra creaminess and style to the drink. You can also drizzle chocolate syrup over it or sprinkle cocoa powder over the top. Or, you could top it with mini marshmallows – it’s up to your tastes and preferences! Tip: If you garnish your café mocha with whipped cream, don’t forget to leave around an inch of space at the top of your mug. Otherwise, your mug may overflow as the whipped cream melts. 

The Takeaway

Whichever method you choose – whether you use a coffee maker or an espresso machine – just make sure to follow the instructions above and you’ll be able to make a delicious cup of your favorite café mocha at home!

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