Although a mocha is often interpreted differently across the world, it's basically a shot of espresso combined with a chocolate powder or syrup, followed by milk or cream. It is a variant of a latte, in the sense that it is often 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, the main difference being that a chocolate flavour is added, which can be light or dark.
Essentially, 'mocha' means a type of coffee that is made from a specific coffee bean originally only grown in Mocha, Yemen. It also means a mixture of coffee and chocolate, or a flavouring that tastes of this.
It is said that a mocha tastes like a chocolatey coffee. Whilst this is true, a mocha is so much more than that. Where the espresso shot offers an almost bitter taste, the chocolate combination adds a sweetness to create a velvety smooth, luxurious beverage.
It is believed that the drink was originally named after the mocha bean, historically shipped from the port of Al Mokka in Yemen. Mocha beans were known for their naturally chocolatey flavour. These days, the name mocha doesn’t reference these coffee beans as such, but rather the presence of added chocolate flavourings in the coffee.
For starters, the cappuccino hails from Italy and the mocha originates in Yemen. They’re both espresso-based drinks, but the mocha contains chocolate flavouring and the cappuccino is topped with a milk foam to form a frothy coffee beverage – sometimes with a dusting of chocolate on top too.
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