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What is a Mocha? Origin, Caffeine Content & More

How to make a mocha latte

If you love coffee and chocolate (and who doesn’t?), you’ve probably ordered a mocha latte. But what exactly is a mocha, and does it go by other names?

We took a close look at mochas, including the fascinating history and key ingredients. We will show you everything you need to know about this rich, chocolatey drink. Then you can go enjoy one!

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What is a mocha?

what is mocha
Image credit: Unsplash

A mocha, also called a mocha latte, is a latte with chocolate in it. The ingredients are one or two shots of espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup. You might also see whipped cream or cocoa powder on top of this sweet, rich coffee drink.

Where does the name come from?

The word “mocha” originally referred to a type of coffee bean. Hundreds of years ago, there was a port in Yemen called Al Mokha that exported high-quality Arabica coffee beans. The beans, which were known for their chocolate-tasting notes, were called “mocha beans.” At some point, people started adding chocolate to their coffee, and the term altered to its modern meaning. The Mokha port doesn’t dominate the coffee trade anymore, but the mocha latte is going strong!

Image credit: bark on Flickr, licensed under CC 2.0

How much caffeine does a mocha latte have?

A mocha latte typically has one or two shots of espresso (64 or 128 milligrams of caffeine). But the caffeine level doesn’t end there! Chocolate also has caffeine in it, which can push the mocha caffeine level to around 150 milligrams.

How do you order a mocha?

Most baristas will understand a simple mocha order. You can also specify “cafe mocha” for an Italian touch, or say mocha latte. The good news is that you’ll find mochas listed on most coffee shop menus, so there’s no need to overthink this one.

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Now get out there and order a mocha! What is not to love about a chocolate and coffee drink? We hope you’ve learned everything you need to know about this popular drink — including where it came from and how to order it.

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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