Coffee 101: Coffee vs. Mocha

If you are new to the world of coffee, all the different types can be overwhelming and confusing to remember. So in this blog post, we're going to break down the differences between coffee and mocha.

What is Coffee?

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To start, what is coffee? Coffee is a type of beverage that is made from brewing roasted and ground-up coffee beans. Depending on the roast and origin of the coffee bean, each cup of coffee can have a slightly different taste. For example, some coffee may have a darker bitter taste, while some may even have a brighter fruity taste.

Coffee beans themselves are the seeds of the coffee fruit tree. The coffee plant is a type of flower most commonly grown within the area around the equator. This area is also known as the “Bean Belt” or “Coffee Belt.” It includes Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America, and the Middle East. Coffee plants grow the best in these areas due to the rich soils, frequent rain, and mild temperatures.

While coffee beans are named “beans,” they are actually the seeds of the cherry fruit from the coffee plant. These cherry-like fruits are picked when they are ripe and at their peak flavor and quality. Then the coffee beans are separated from the fruit and roasted. Once roasted, they look like the brown coffee beans we are familiar with.

Types of Coffee

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The main two types of coffee you can find in the market today are Arabica beans and Robusta beans. Within these general categories, there are many variations. For instance, the Arabica bean contains around 100 different varieties. The type of species and variety of coffee plant and bean affects the general taste once brewed.

Arabica beans make up the majority of coffee beans consumed throughout the world. While it is more expensive and harder to grow, its high-quality flavors are what make it so popular. Compared to Robusta coffee, Arabica has a sweeter and brighter aroma. In fact, Robusta beans tend to be more earthy and bitter.

How is Coffee Made?

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So what is the process of making coffee? First, the coffee plant's fruits are harvested once they mature. Then, the cherry-like fruits around the seeds are carefully removed. Usually, these fruits contain two coffee beans each. Unlike what we usually see in coffee shops, raw coffee beans are a light green color. Finally, the beans are roasted and become the beautiful dark brown color we are familiar with. 

After roasting, the coffee beans are finely grounded up and extracted with hot water to create a cup of coffee. There are actually many ways to extract coffee grounds. It ultimately comes down to your preference. You can use an espresso machine, pour-over drip coffee, a percolator, or even instant coffee!

What is Mocha?

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Now that we know what coffee is, what is mocha? Does mocha contain coffee? And is mocha coffee or chocolate? The simple answer to this is yes! Mocha is an espresso-based drink that is made from both coffee and chocolate. That may sound a bit confusing for now, but let’s break it down.

Caffe Mocha is a very prevalent type of coffee drink. Like the latte and macchiato, it is a drink that uses coffee as its base. In fact, mocha is sometimes used to refer to coffee in general. When you first hear the name “mocha,” you also may immediately think of chocolate. This is because a caffè mocha is a drink that uses both chocolate and coffee as the main ingredients.

Mocha coffee is made from one to two shots of espresso, hot steamed milk, sweetener, and chocolate. The chocolate can be in the form of syrup or cocoa powder. Sometimes even white chocolate can be used as an alternative. These ingredients make up a simple caffè mocha. You can also add extra ingredients and toppings. This includes whipped cream, cinnamon, or marshmallows. While the original mocha uses espresso shots, you can also use brewed or even instant coffee.

Depending on the coffee shop you go to, you may find many variations of mocha coffee. You can also make it by yourself at home. This allows you to customize the ingredients and flavor to fit your taste buds.

How to Make Mocha

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If you want to make your own caffè mocha at home, you can do so using quality instant coffee! The ratio for making mocha is one-third of espresso or coffee and two-thirds of steamed milk. The steamed milk is also mixed with cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. By using instant coffee, you can easily customize the flavor and strength of your coffee. All you need to do is add more instant coffee crystals for a stronger taste.

First, pour your preferred amount of instant coffee crystals into hot water. Mix until completely dissolved. Next, add two teaspoons of hot chocolate mix or cocoa powder into the coffee. Then add in hot milk and mix until combined. You can also froth up your warm milk to create foamed milk on top of the drink if you like. Finally, customize your mocha coffee however you like and enjoy! For example, you can add whipped cream, shaved chocolate, or even a chocolate syrup drizzle to the top. Moreover, if you need to, you can also add extra sweetener if you prefer.

Mocha vs. Coffee

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So what are the biggest differences between coffee and caffè mocha? While they are both coffee drinks, they taste very different from one another. For instance, coffee is a simple beverage made from extracting coffee grounds. It can be drunk on its own as black or with sugar and milk. It is a no-frills type of drink anyone can enjoy. On the other hand, a mocha coffee is a bit more complex. It is usually made with a shot of espresso rather than hot coffee. It also contains chocolate and sweeteners. While it typically consists of espresso and milk, caffè mocha is usually sweeter than a normal coffee. Moreover, regular coffee can be served either hot or cold, while mocha is mainly served hot.

Now that you know the differences between a caffè mocha and coffee, which do you prefer? Are you someone who has a sweet tooth and loves a chocolate and coffee combo? Or are you someone who enjoys a simple coffee to start your day?

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