Cafe mochas are one of the most popular types of coffee ordered around the world. They are made with a shot or two of espresso (depending upon how strong you want your coffee) with a hint of chocolate or cocoa added on top. But does mocha have caffeine?
Well, we know the espresso has caffeine. But does the mocha flavor? In this guide, we’ll explain it all.
Here you’ll find the complete breakdown of how much caffeine a mocha has, compare the differences between a latte and mocha, find out if a shot of espresso is better and whether a white chocolate mocha is a healthier order.
If you’re also curious why a mocha isn’t called a hot chocolate, we answer that too. Read the guide below and make yourself a good, hot cup of mocha.
How Much Caffeine Does Mocha Have?
A mocha generally has 12.67 mg of caffeine per fl oz or 152 mg of caffeine in a 12 fl oz cup. The espresso accounts for around 128 to 130 mg of caffeine, and the extra drop of mocha raises the level of caffeine and gives it that extra boost.
A Mcdonald’s mocha has about 167 mg of caffeine in a 16 fl oz cup, generally called a medium. In comparison, a cup of mocha at Starbucks will get you about 175 mg of caffeine in a 16 fl oz cup. At Tim Hortons, a large 20 oz cup of mocha latte will get you around 125 mg of caffeine.
This shows how caffeine levels in a mocha can greatly differ depending on the coffee bean used, how it is ground, the amount of chocolate added, and whether it is shavings or syrup.
What is the Difference Between a Latte and a Mocha?
It is primarily the difference in ingredients. Coffee has come a long way since it was originally found in Ethiopia. Today, it is commonly made with steamed or frothed milk and shots of espresso. This ratio of ingredients is varied in order to get different types of coffees, such as lattes and mochas.
A latte, meaning ‘milk’ in Italian, is a mild coffee made with a combination of ⅓ espresso and ⅔ steamed milk with a light foam on top. Here’s how you can make it at home:
- Heat a cup or two of milk to 140°F and froth it using a whisk or a frother.
- Take your coffee beans and brew a shot of espresso.
- Pour the espresso into a mug.
- Add the steamed milk and top with the foam.
A mocha, also called a creamy coffee, is a latte with the addition of shaved chocolate or chocolate syrup. It tastes like dark chocolate flavored coffee and has more caffeine than a traditional latte. Here’s how you can make it at home:
- Heat up a cup or two of milk to 140°F and froth it using a whisk or a frother.
- Add half of it to a mug and mix in your choice of chocolate.
- Brew a shot of fresh espresso and add it to your mug.
- Pour in the remaining milk and top with the foam.
Is a Cup of Mocha Better than a Shot of Espresso?
Generally, yes, it is. A cup of mocha is made with steamed and frothed milk with some chocolate mixed in, making it creamy, fulfilling, and smooth. However, a shot of espresso is made by brewing coffee beans and is served as a concentrated shot of caffeine.
A 16 fl oz cup of mocha has about 152 mg of caffeine, while a 2 oz double shot of espresso has 80 mg of caffeine. The per serving intake of caffeine is higher in a shot of espresso than in a mocha.
Where caloric intake is concerned, a shot of espresso is a healthier alternative to drinking a cup of mocha as it only has 3 to 10 calories per ounce. It is important to mention that a shot of mocha may be a quick and easy way to be energized, but it is to be consumed in moderation as high levels of caffeine can be unhealthy.
Are Mochas the Same as Hot Chocolates?
Hot chocolates and mochas are commonly confused because of the similar taste and use of chocolate. However, there are more differences between the two than there are similarities.
A cup of hot chocolate is made with cocoa and milk, while a cup of mocha also uses a shot or two of espresso, which adds the caffeine boost.
While hot chocolate is typically enjoyed in the winter and can be enjoyed by both kids and adults, a mocha latte can be made any time of the year and is suggested for adults only (due to the added coffee).
Hot chocolate can also be customized with a number of flavors – from peppermint and mint to pumpkin spice and caramel. On the other hand, the flavor profile of mocha typically remains the same. It can only vary based on the kind of chocolate used. For example, dark chocolate mocha is slightly bitter, milk chocolate mocha is creamier, and white chocolate mocha is sweet.
Choosing between a hot chocolate and a mocha primarily depends on how much you need a caffeine fix. You can double up on the espresso for an energy boost or wind down with a hot cup of cocoa.
Is a White Chocolate Mocha Healthier than a Classic Mocha?
A white chocolate mocha is typically sweeter than a classic mocha and is not a healthier alternative. A classic mocha is made with high-quality dark or milk chocolate blended with a shot of espresso, which gives it a smooth, slightly bitter flavor profile.
White chocolate mochas are a recent innovation and are best enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts with a sweet tooth. As the sugar content is higher than a classic mocha, the calories in a white chocolate mocha are also higher.
The most popular take on the white chocolate mocha has been by Starbucks. They introduced a Toasted White Chocolate Mocha with their holiday menu and the drink can amount to a whopping 560 calories when ordered with whole milk and topped with whipped cream in a venti cup.
In comparison, their Caffe Mocha ordered in a venti cup has a nutritional value of only 380 calories. However, both coffees must be consumed in moderation despite the lower calorie count, as the added sugars can be unhealthy long-term.
In fact, experts recommend that added sugars should amount to less than 10 percent of the total calories consumed each day. That’s why making a cup of coffee at home is generally better than having it out.
Tips on How to Make the Best Mocha at Home
It is generally recommended to get high-quality ingredients for the espresso, the chocolate of choice, and even the milk for the best mocha. Here is a favorite: Starbucks Mocha flavor from Amazon.
The finer the grind of coffee beans, the stronger the taste will be, so make sure the chocolate you choose will cut the bitterness down and make a creamy, smooth cup of mocha.
The ratio of chocolate to coffee depends on your preference, but two teaspoons of any type of chocolate typically works great. For a more pronounced taste, add dark chocolate, but choose white chocolate for a sweeter flavor. If you’re undecided, milk chocolate is always a classic.
And if you just want it done for you in a convenient “grab n go”, check out Starbucks Frappuccino (Amazon).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to drink mocha every day?
Yes, it is okay to drink mocha every day if you’re making it at home since you can control the amount of added sugar. However, it is still recommended to drink mochas in moderation if you are a regular at your coffee shop and pair it with a sugary treat every time.
Does mocha give you energy?
Yes, the extra shot or two of espresso in a cup of mocha is a great way to boost energy levels, while the added milk and chocolate makes it a fulfilling drink – especially for breakfast. Pair it with a croissant, and you’ll be pretty full until lunchtime.
Is mocha good for weight loss?
No, mochas or any other type of sugary coffee generally aren’t recommended for weight loss. However, there are ways to balance your diet and get your caffeine fix at the same time. Add in non-fat milk, substitute sugar with honey or stevia, and add a good quality dark chocolate.
Mochas are enjoyed worldwide for their unique blend of chocolate and coffee. But for coffee enthusiasts, it’s the caffeine that matters most. So, does mocha have caffeine? Yes, it does. In fact, it has more caffeine than a classic cup of coffee. Now that you’ve read this guide, you understand why.