Mocha vs Latte: Know the Differences

The popularity competition between coffee and tea is a tale as old as time. Tea lovers insist that tea is more popular and that we often leave out Asian countries when making the comparison. Coffee aficionados say that in recent decades coffee took the lead. It is, hence, the most popular beverage globally.

If you’d place your bet on coffee, you would win!  Considering that people worldwide drink more than 400 billion cups annually, we believe it is safe to say that coffee rightfully gets the gold medal.

There are so many different brews and types of coffee in the world that you probably couldn’t taste them all even if you had another life. Only when you go to Starbucks, you are likely to get lost among all the options they offer. Many of us in the States like good old drip coffee, right? But apart from that, there are two more incredibly popular coffee drinks! Do you know what they are? You are right; we are talking about mocha and latte. These two espresso-based drinks are the most popular in America

However, despite the popularity and the fact that these drinks “conquered” American mainstream culture, many people still don’t know the main differences between mocha vs latte. Can you think of the ways they differ?

Honestly, telling the difference between mocha and latte isn’t straightforward. There are plenty of similarities, including the fact that espresso is at the base of both beverages. So we’ve decided to share with you how exactly latte vs mocha is different and which will be the best just for you!

What is a Latte?

If you visited Italy, you probably realized that “latte” literally means milk in Italian. Yet, when talking about latte, we refer to coffee. So, then what is a latte?  Well, the base of a latte is a single or double espresso shot. When the coffee is combined with several ounces of steamed milk, you get a rich, creamy beverage widely known as a latte. The word comes from Italian “café e  latte,” which means coffee and milk.  People have been combining milk and coffee since 1600. But the term “café e latte” got introduced to the English language only in the mid 19 century through the essay called ”Italian Journeys” by William Dean Howells.

Latte doesn’t just make your taste buds happy, but it also comes with some benefits. For example, regular consumption can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also improve cardiovascular health and aid the fat-burning process.

How to Make Latte at Home?

There isn’t just one way to make a latte, as you can imagine. But when you are making it at home, it is best to master the basic option and then make combinations as per your preference. Many people think that you need an espresso machine with a steamer to make a good latte. In that case, you will use Nespresso pods for latte or something similar. It is cool if you have it, but bear in mind that you can also make a perfect beverage even without fancy equipment.

To do so you need:

  • First, prepare espresso.
  • While the coffee is brewing – heat the milk.
  • When the milk is hot enough, mix it with a whisk until you get the foam. Alternatively, you can also use a milk frother.
  • Once the coffee is ready, pour it into the mug and add frothed milk.

What is Mocha?

Okay, and what is mocha, then? It is another espresso-based drink with milk. However, the major mocha and latte differences are that mocha comes with chocolate flavor and sweetener. Originally the name mocha referred to the specific type of coffee beans named after the port in Yemen, called Al Moka. The beans belonged to a variety of Arabica grown in the mountainous region of the country, though. It is believed that the popular drink got the name Mocha because of the chocolaty flavor of those beans. The first traces of our chocolate mocha are found in 18th century Italy where people drank a combination of coffee, milk, and chocolate in a small glass. It was called Bavareisa at the time. And the term café mocha appeared first in a Betty Crocker recipe in 1892.The combination of chocolate and coffee in this drink proved to be pretty effective for improving the mood.

Also, some people ask is a mocha a latte? In a way, you can say that. Mocha is indeed a latte, but with an added chocolate.

How to Make Mocha at Home?

  • To make mocha, first, you need to brew espresso.
  • Then add chocolate cubes or syrup and mix.
  • Heat the milk.
  • Use a frother or a whisk to make the milk foam and add it to the beverage.

Latte vs. Mocha In-depth Comparison

Caffeine Content

Caffeine content is where the difference between mocha vs latte is the most obvious. Mocha is made with chocolate which also contains caffeine. Hence, on average it contains 12.67 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce. A 12 ounce cup will come with 152 mg caffeine.  Meanwhile, the latte is a combination of coffee and milk only. Latte contains 9.62 mg caffeine per ounce. Hence the caffeine content is a bit higher in mocha. And even when we’re talking about frappe vs latte the latter still has lower caffeine content. Hence latte is a perfect drink for those that don’t need, want, or not allowed much caffeine.


If you are watching your calorie intake and thinking about whether to drink mocha or latte, the answer is pretty straightforward – latte. Mocha comes with added sugar from chocolate, and hence it’s more caloric. However, you can opt for sugar-free chocolate. In that case, the mocha will have fewer calories. At the same time, no one stops you from adding various condiments that can increase the caloric value of an ordinary latte. One cup of mocha comes with nearly 200 calories, whereas latte has only 67 calories in one cup.


You are wondering what does mocha taste like? Mocha has a sweeter taste than latte because of the chocolate, or more precisely, sugar in the chocolate. Plus, you can add other things to mocha, such as cinnamon and whipped cream, that make it even sweeter. Even without it, mocha always has a specific chocolaty taste. Latte, on the other hand, has a pretty mild taste because of the steamed milk.

Serving Methods

Another difference when it comes to mocha versus latte is related to serving methods. You can serve both of these drinks in various ways. However, there is something like a rule of thumb. Latte is usually served in a white ceramic mug to emphasize the layers and the art. Meanwhile, mocha is served in a glass with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Latte vs Mocha: Overall

Latte Mocha
  • Combination of steamed milk and espresso
  • Milk foam on top
  • Not as sweet, more like espresso
  • Combination of espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon on top
  • Sweet, and chocolaty

How to Make Milk for Latte or Mocha?

So as we mentioned earlier, for both drinks, you can use steamed or frothed milk.  To make them, you can use a steam wand or espresso machine. Alternatively, you can also use an appliance called a milk frother.  Put the wand about one inch into the cold milk and create a whirlpool effect while the milk is steaming. The process for making frothed milk is similar. However, you have to go with the wand through the milk while the foam is forming. You don’t have any of these devices?! Don’t despair, just yet, because you can make a similar effect with a whisking tool.


Which one to choose? The answer entirely depends on your preferences and needs at the specific moment. If you want something strong but also sweeter, mocha is your choice. If you don’t want unnecessary extra calories and prefer a milder taste, then go for a latte.

These two coffee beverages have plenty of similarities which is why people often confuse them. You, however, know the difference between mocha vs latte. Hence you can impress your friends by showing that you are a real coffee connoisseur! What is your favorite coffee beverage?

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