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How to Make a Cold Brew Mocha (So Tasty!)

iced mocha coffee with straw

Cold brew is one of our favorite brewing methods because it’s easy and makes smooth, chocolatey, delicious coffee. As cold brew’s popularity grows, more drinks are starting to use cold-brewed coffee in place of regular coffee or espresso. Compared to regular hot-brewed coffee, cold brew tastes sweeter, has a smoother mouthfeel, and has much lower acidity. These factors combine to give cold brew based drinks a distinct character that we like a lot.

One of the best cold brew twists on a classic espresso drink is the cold brew mocha. Cold brew naturally tastes sweet and chocolatey, making it the perfect foundation for a mocha. In this article, we’ll teach you our favorite cold brew concentrate recipe, show you how to make a fancy cold brew mocha, and give you a quick and dirty recipe for when you don’t have time to make the fancy recipe. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

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Cold Brew Concentrate

When we make cold brew, it’s almost always a concentrate. Cold brew concentrate keeps longer than ordinary strength coffee and is more versatile. It’s easy to dilute a concentrate to a regular strength level but impossible to increase the strength of regular coffee after it’s brewed. Especially when you’re trying out a new recipe, using a concentrate gives you more flexibility to change the flavors and get it tasting just right.

This recipe uses a 1:7 coffee to water ratio and makes enough for about two cold brew mochas.

cold brew coffee
Image Credit: Dennis Tang, Flickr
Ingredients
  • 50 g coffee
  • 350 g water
Equipment
  • Coffee grinder
  • Scale
  • French press (or jar and filter)

1. Grind your beans.

Start by grinding 50 g of coffee on a coarse setting. Slightly coarser than a French press, grind size is usually about right.

2. Pour the grounds into the French press.

Add the coffee to your preferred container. We recommend using a French press to make it easier to filter later.

3. Add water and stir.

Pour 350 g of room temperature water over the coffee. Stir until all of the grounds are wet.

4. Steep for 16 hours.

Cover the container and let it sit for 16 hours at room temperature.

5. Filter and serve!

After 16 hours, filter the coffee. Even if you use a French press, you should also pour the filtered coffee through a paper filter to remove fine sediment.

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Make it a Mocha

Now that you have your cold brew concentrate, it’s easy to turn it into a mocha. All you need is some cocoa powder, sugar, and milk.

iced mocha coffee
Image Credit: VirtualWolf, Flickr

This recipe uses slightly less coffee than you typically see in ordinary mocha recipes because the cold brew concentrate is stronger than a regular cup of coffee.

Ingredients
  • 6 ounces cold brew concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Equipment
  • Microwave or stovetop pan
  • Milk frother or French press
  • Large coffee mug

1. Heat the cold brew.

Don’t let the name fool you — cold brew is excellent in hot coffee drinks. The cold in cold brew only refers to how the coffee was brewed.

2. Mix in cocoa powder and sugar.

Add the cocoa powder and sugar to the coffee and stir until all ingredients are well-mixed.

3. Froth the milk.

If you don’t have a frother, you can use a French press to mimic frothing by rapidly moving the plunger up and down to aerate heated milk.

4. Combine milk and coffee.

Gently pour the frothed milk over the coffee.

5. Serve and enjoy!

If you prefer an iced mocha, just skip the heating and frothing steps. Iced mochas are perfect for hot summer days, but you should be aware that it will be more difficult to get the cocoa powder and sugar to dissolve in cold coffee.

Without the frothed milk, iced mochas have a different texture than hot mochas that might be more or less to your liking depending on how you feel about frothed milk. If you don’t have a frother and can’t be bothered to froth milk by hand – we don’t blame you – an iced mocha is a great alternative.

caramel iced coffee

An Easy Alternative

If our recipe sounds like a lot of work, we have a quick and easy recipe that tastes delicious even though it will make purists recoil in horror. For a delicious iced mocha imitation, mix the cold brew concentrate in a one-to-one ratio with chocolate milk. It’s not as good as a properly made mocha, but it takes virtually no time and is pretty darn good in its own right.

As long as you don’t expect it to taste like a real mocha, you’ll love it. We like making this version when we’re in a hurry or just want a sweet treat. It also works surprisingly well as a pre-workout drink since it’s packed with caffeine and the sugar in the chocolate milk gives you an extra energy boost.

what is mocha

Tasty Cold Brew Mocha

Making chocolatey mochas with cold brew concentrate isn't just delicious -- it's also incredibly fast and easy! Make this cold brew mocha recipe hot or cold for a tasty treat.
5 star average
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 80 kcal

Equipment

  • Microwave or stovetop pan
  • Milk frother or French press
  • Large coffee mug

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Heat the cold brew. Don’t let the name fool you — cold brew is excellent in hot coffee drinks. The cold in cold brew only refers to how the coffee was brewed.
  • Add the cocoa powder and sugar to the coffee and stir until all ingredients are well-mixed.
  • Froth the milk. If you don’t have a frother, you can use a French press to mimic frothing by rapidly moving the plunger up and down to aerate heated milk.
  • Gently pour the frothed milk over the coffee.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe uses slightly less coffee than you typically see in ordinary mocha recipes because the cold brew concentrate is stronger than a regular cup of coffee. If you want a lighter chocolate flavor, you can decrease the amount of cocoa powder or add extra milk.
If you prefer an iced mocha, just skip the heating and frothing steps. Iced mochas are perfect for hot summer days, but you should be aware that it will be more difficult to get the cocoa powder and sugar to dissolve in cold coffee.
Without the frothed milk, iced mochas have a different texture than hot mochas that might be more or less to your liking depending on how you feel about frothed milk. If you don’t have a frother and can’t be bothered to froth milk by hand – we don’t blame you – an iced mocha is a great alternative.

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal
Keyword cold brew, cold brew mocha, mocha

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Conclusion

The cold brew mocha is a recent trend that puts a slight twist on an already delicious drink and makes it even smoother and sweeter. Cold brew is the perfect base for a mocha since it has natural chocolatey notes and an incredibly smooth texture, and we find ourselves opting for the cold brew version more often than the original these days.

We hope you give these recipes a try and discover how good cold brew mochas can be for yourself. The full hot mocha recipe is our favorite, but the two alternative methods presented are tasty in their own ways and have some advantages over the somewhat time-consuming hot version. Don’t discount the chocolate milk version either. Despite what hardcore coffee rhetoric might lead you to believe, it’s a sweet treat that’s perfect for rushed mornings or warm summer days.

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Featured Image: Christopher Alpizar Gaviria, Flickr

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Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew. These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

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