Mocha and Macchiato

What is the Difference Between Mocha and Macchiato: Find Out Now!

Coffee enthusiasts or not, a lot of people believe mocha and macchiato are the same types of coffee drinks. Especially based on how similar they’re spelled and how alike they sound. But there is a difference between mocha and macchiato.

This article will state some facts to help you differentiate between mocha and macchiato. 

So, the next time you find yourself ordering a coffee, you will know exactly what you want.

Let’s dig in!

What Makes a Mocha ?

A Mocha

Mocha is a typical coffee drink that is a divine combination of coffee with chocolate. The base of a mocha is coffee and some form of chocolate (either syrup or powder), to which steamed milk is added. 

Mocha is also considered a latte variant that can be topped with chocolate shavings or whipped cream to add to its decadence.

The name “mocha” came from a certain coffee bean that originates in Mocha, Yemen, and belongs to the coffee Arabica line of beans. Also, these beans are known for their distinct chocolatey, nutty flavor. 

The chocolatey flavour you get while drinking a mocha, even without adding chocolate syrup or cocoa powder, is because of these ‘mocha’ beans.

What, then, is the Macchiato?

The Macchiato

Macchiato, also known as a latte macchiato, is just a single or double shot of espresso topped with milk foam. It’s a drink with all the goodness of regular espresso with a hint of milk that dilutes and sweetens it.

In this coffee drink, the layering of milk foam gives a speckled appearance to the surface, which is why it has been named the macchiato or “spotted” in Italian. The coffee and its name originated as a way for servers to identify a macchiato from an espresso because of its spotted appearance. 

Macchiato is more like a perfect afternoon coffee!

Suggested reading: which is stronger mocha or cappuccino

Is that all the Difference Between Mocha and Macchiato?

The basic differences between mocha and macchiato lie in the ingredients. However, it runs deeper with the difference in preparation, the flavours, and the calories each carries.

Let’s explore the unique characteristics of each:

1) Components

Mocha and macchiato both use espresso shots as a base, but mocha also adds chocolate to the espresso. 

The ratio of espresso to milk varies in both drinks, which is why one has less caffeine as compared to the other. 

A macchiato would work as the perfect pick-me-up, while the mocha is more like an after-dinner treat.

2) Flavor

Going by the ingredients of the two, it is easy to tell how different their flavours would be.

Macchiato has just a tinge of sweetness that comes with the splash of milk foam and is preferred for its slight bitterness. On the other hand, mocha has a sweetened, nutty, rich, and creamy flavour with a chocolate base topped with a wholesome quantity of steamed milk and the slightest of milk foam. 

The perk of a mocha is that it can be adapted to seasonal flavours like peppermint and hazelnut. Furthermore, it can be served cold simply by adding ice and cold milk to the espresso and chocolate base.

The rich chocolatey flavour always prevails and is more prominent in a mocha, no matter what other flavours you add.

3) Serving Size and Style

Mocha comes in 8 oz and 12 oz servings, whether served hot or cold. 

On the other hand, a macchiato is always served in lesser quantities, comprising a few tablespoons of milk foam with two espresso shots. The serving size is understandably smaller as it has a more robust espresso flavour and is heavily caffeinated.

Mocha is styled in various ways, as baristas can boast their skills using cream and chocolate toppings. At the same time, a macchiato is simply served in its layered form, with a few dark specks appearing naturally on its surface.

4) Nutritional Value

Mocha usually contains a whopping 197 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, owing to the generous quantities of chocolate, milk, and cream. Whereas a macchiato hardly carries 13 calories, only 0.5 grams of fat.

In terms of caffeine, mocha contains 68 mg, while macchiato contains 136 mg.

5) Preparation of Milk

Both drinks use milk, yet mocha and macchiato differ in their preparation of milk. 

In mocha, the milk is first steamed at medium heat. Once the milk is steamed, it is added in the mixture that contains espresso and chocolate.

Meanwhile, in a macchiato, only foamy milk is added on top of the espresso which is prepared using a milk frother.

Mocha is steamy and foamy, encouraging baristas to go fancy by creating patterns on the top of the drink. However, macchiato, whether latte or not, just adds a few tiny dollops of foam on top of the drink.

Which One is Better: Mocha or Macchiato?

Well… there is no answer to this question—because, in the end, it all comes down to what you choose to like or dislike.

Mocha and macchiato are a good choice for multiple reasons, but will those reasons match your coffee-pick profile? That can’t be said.

Mocha is rich, sweet, and chocolatey in flavour, whereas macchiato is a bold coffee drink; it just has a pinch of sweetness over it.

So, considering how they taste, mocha should be your pick if you need something fully sweet; however, if you need something bold, macchiato should be your pick.

Ultimately, you’re the person to decide which one is better.


You might also like to read our blog on the difference between mocha and cappuccino.

Bottom Line

The difference between mocha and macchiato is because of a few elements. Also, they both are types of coffee drinks that are preferred at different times for different reasons. 

Mocha is truly delightful to drink and can be created in various flavours, while macchiato can be held in high esteem for giving a real kick and coming closer in taste to espresso.

What you choose to drink depends entirely on what you’re in the mood for, as there isn’t any type of coffee that can be refused!

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