Are you having trouble deciding between a mocha, cappuccino, or latte? All three espresso drinks are fantastic, but they each bring something unique to the table.
So let’s tackle them one at a time and see which coffee is the best match for each of their distinct personalities.
Remember that your favorite may be different from someone else’s. After all, this is a highly subjective subject.
Let’s start with each drink individually and go over their key points.
What exactly is a cappuccino?
Cappuccino, along with latte, is probably the most well-known espresso drink.
It’s a milky drink traditionally made with a shot of espresso and two layers of milk.
Some coffee shops may serve cappuccinos that do not adhere to the 1:1:1 ratio of espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth.
Cappuccinos may be made with 1 oz/33 ml of espresso, four times more milk, and a bit of milk foam.
However, most of the time, the barista will attempt to create the perfect cappuccino. It is light and milky, with a strong espresso flavor.
There’s just enough milk to soften the edges but enough espresso to bring everything together.
Cappuccinos are typically prepared and served in a 5 oz/150 ml cup, with the top domed from frothed milk.
Latte art is available on top of both the cappuccino and the latte.
What exactly is a latte?
A latte is what some people refer to as “just a bigger cappuccino.”
While they aren’t entirely incorrect, the latter isn’t as simple as simply doubling the volume of a cap.
A cappuccino is made with steamed milk and milk froth, whereas a latte is made with steamed milk and microfoam.
The distinction, in this case, is that microfoam is a finer, denser version of milk froth. The milk is very well aerated, with tiny air bubbles that transform into a creamy liquid that sits on top of steamed milk.
The crema from the espresso blends better with the milk, and the resulting latte art is more defined.
Latte is often made with an espresso to milk ratio of 1:7, resulting in one shot of espresso and the remaining half steamed milk and the other half microfoam (for the most part).
There are now lattes that contain more microfoam and less milk and lattes that contain more milk and less foam.
But, of course, everything depends on the barista’s ability and perception of what constitutes the “perfect” latte.
That’s a very personal matter, and no two lattes will ever be the same.
There is also a significant difference between lattes purchased from a coffee shop and those purchased from a coffee chain.
Typically, coffee shops offer smaller lattes that do not exceed 10 oz/300 ml. They’re made with a bit more care, and the coffee flavor is usually a little better as a result.
Larger lattes are available at coffee shops. They are usually always flavored or can be flavored with whatever you choose, even though the coffee itself is not necessarily of the highest quality.
What exactly is a mocha?
Mocha is a lesser-known espresso beverage when compared to cappuccinos and lattes.
This one, too, used espresso and steamed and frothed milk, but differently.
It also includes a dash of chocolate sauce.
Originally (hundreds of years ago), this coffee was made with beans traded through the port of Mocha, Yemen. That was the first Arabian trading post, and one of their main exports was coffee.
According to reports, the coffee served there was also believed to have a distinct chocolate flavor. In terms of the coffee beans themselves, they were a breed of Arabica that had a flavor comparable to that of cocoa beans.
To fully bring out the flavor of the mocha, it now includes a shot of chocolate sauce or syrup.
Mocha should be made with one part espresso, one part chocolate sauce, and one part steamed milk, with a very thin layer of milk foam on top.
Most baristas will use this ratio as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. And, to be honest, it’s always a lovely outcome.
No two mochas are alike, and each brings out the artistic side of the barista and what each believes is the best, stating chocolate coffee.
As a result of this ratio, the espresso flavor is also boosted slightly. In addition, this drink contains less milk than a cappuccino or latte, and the chocolate is an excellent complement to the espresso flavor.
This is a small drink, even if the ratio isn’t strictly followed. It normally does not exceed 5 oz/150 ml.
A summary of their main points
Below, we’ll compare the key points for each drink, which will help us decide which coffee is best for each category/scenario. One coffee may be the best, but another may outperform it when it comes to flavor.
So let us compare and contrast the creamy goodness of milk. If you prefer your coffee to be milky and creamy, this is the latte for you.
From a certain perspective, it’s barely coffee. It’s very milky, and it’s more of a comfort drink than a coffee meant to keep you awake.
Of course, you could always add more espresso to your latte, but that would drastically change the ratio, which isn’t what we’re after right now.
If you think the latte has too much milk, try the cappuccino. It ranks second in this category.
This is due to the presence of microfoam in lattes, which makes them creamier and more enjoyable than most other coffees.
But a cappuccino is a close second, even if it isn’t as creamy as a latte. The mocha comes in third place because it contains only 30% milk.
The flavoring element
On the other hand, the flavor may be a point on which no one can agree.
Which flavor is superior:
Hot, creamy milk with a coffee tinge coffee with the edge softened by sweet, savory milk or chocolate and coffee in the best possible ratio.
According to popular belief, chocolate will always triumph in any situation. So it’s the mocha this time.
Don’t give up if you voted for coffee flavor. If not overly sweetened, the chocolate syrup will bring out the coffee and highlight it rather than dull it.
Something about the bitter, earthy tone of coffee seems to improve when it’s present.
But what about flavored cappuccino or latte?
That is something you could always do. However, the additional milk will dilute the chocolate and turn it into a hot cocoa drink than anything else.
So, once again, mocha it is. If your barista is especially nice, you might even get a cocoa dusting or a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top.
The caffeinated high
Caffeine is the culprit. The primary reason we all turn to coffee, or at least the reason we began to love coffee in the first place.
Which drinks contain the most caffeine: cappuccino, mocha, or latte?
To be honest, none of them have a chance here. This is because they are all made the same, with one standard shot of espresso.
That is, caffeine is pretty much the same everywhere.
Yes, some baristas or coffee shops may make a double shot the standard for their drinks. For example, a latte from coffee shop A may have only one shot, whereas a latte from coffee shop B may have two shots.
This varies depending on the establishment, but the consensus is one standard shot per drink.
Unless you request a double shot from your barista, this will double the caffeine and give you an even bigger kick. However, that is entirely up to you.
The biggest and nastiest of them all.
If you judge your coffee by the size of the drink (hey, value for money, right? ), the latter is unquestionably the winner here.
Even if you’re not in a coffee chain shop, this is the largest coffee drink you can get.
A cappuccino or mocha is typically served in a 5 oz/150 ml cup, whereas a latte is typically served in an 8 oz/230 ml cup. It may even be 10 oz/300 ml in some cases, which is preferable.
So, who comes out on top?
This is entirely up to the individual and their preferences.
The cappuccino is the most popular drink, so you could say it’s the fan-favorite. But keep in mind that many people avoid trying new things out of fear of being disappointed.
To be honest, the names of the drinks rarely provide enough information about the ratios and ingredients to predict whether or not you’ll like it.
I’d go with the mocha because I enjoy a good chocolate treat whenever possible. And half of the time, I flavor my coffee at home with coconut milk and rum essence or vanilla or caramel or whatever I have on hand.
You may or may not agree with me. Finally, it is up to you to choose your favorite.
To each their own, I say. And each coffee has a different meaning for each individual.
As a result, you can’t pick just one coffee as the best. Some situations necessitate a different type of coffee.
Are you exhausted and in desperate need of a pick-me-up? Because it is smaller and quicker to drink, a mocha is preferable to a cappuccino or latte.
Do you want to sip something and watch a movie for an hour? Then a latte is a way to go, especially if you flavor it in some way.