Are Mocha and Macchiato the Same Drink?

Are Mocha and Macchiato the Same Drink

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With so many different types and kinds of coffee on the market these days, you’d be forgiven for getting them mixed up with one another. One question baristas are commonly asked is: Are mocha and macchiato the same?

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is, I’ve gone hunting for the answers. Let’s get stuck right in…

Are Mocha and Macchiato the Same Drink?

No, mocha and macchiato are not the same drink.

There are several differences that set these two hot drinks apart. They may have somewhat similar sounding names, and they both contain espresso coffee and some milk, but that’s pretty much where the similarities stop.

Let’s start with the basics – the beverages themselves.

A Quick Guide to Mocha Coffee

A mocha is essentially a hybrid drink, combining hot chocolate and coffee in one.

Starbucks, for example, describes their caffè mocha as:

“Espresso with bittersweet mocha sauce and steamed milk. Topped with whipped cream.”

Starbucks Caffe Mocha

The popular mocha is known by a host of other names including caffè mocha, mocaccino, mochaccino, mochachino, and others.

Other types and hybrids of mocha coffee are now available. You can have it both hot and cold, and you can make it in a slightly different way – adding a shot of espresso to a mug of hot chocolate, for example. Typically, however, it is made with a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a shot of chocolate syrup or flavouring. 

A Quick Guide to Macchiato Coffee

If you head to Costa Coffee and order a macchiato, this is what you’ll get:

“A perfectly extracted double or single espresso shot marked by a dash of milk foam.”

Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee Macchiato

You can customise your drinks these days, of course, but traditionally, a macchiato – or a caffè macchiato, if you want to get technical about it – is made from one shot of espresso, served with a spoonful (ish) of the milk foam you’d also add to the top of a cappuccino.

If you want a “double”, you’ll get a double shot of espresso plus a slightly bigger spoonful of foam.

In short: a macchiato is an espresso with an additional spoonful of milk foam added to the top.

It’s a little bit like an espresso with a hat on, which is why it’s also sometimes known by the name ‘espresso macchiato’.

Latte Macchiato

As well as caffè macchiato (the type you can order in Costa Coffee) there’s another coffee drink that goes by a similar name: latte macchiato.

A latte macchiato is often served in layers – a layer of milk, a layer of espresso, and a layer of foam.

This isn’t always the case, however. Sometimes, the coffee is all served mixed-up in a cup or mug. When this is the case, the milk is heavily frothed (for longer than for a latte) and then poured into the cup, with the espresso then added to the top.

The humble macchiato is actually quite a complicated little drink. Find out why, and more right here: What is a Macchiato Coffee?.

How are Mocha and Macchiato Coffees Different?

To start with, a mocha contains chocolate flavouring, and a macchiato doesn’t. If you’re expecting a chocolatey treat and accidentally order the latter, you’re going to be disappointed.

Because of the bittersweet chocolate syrup addition, a mocha is sweeter than a macchiato. If you then add sugar to the drink, a mocha will be even sweeter. The macchiato is simply espresso and a spoonful of froth, so it’ll carry all the bitterness of espresso coffee.

Not only that, but a mocha also contains more milk than a macchiato, which makes it thicker and creamier. With a macchiato, only a spoonful of milk froth is added to the espresso base.

Latte Macchiato & Caffee Macchiato

In a mocha, however, chocolate syrup is added to a shot of espresso, then the same amount of steamed milk is added, then frothy milk is added to the top. You can also get a whipped cream topping, as shown by the Starbucks version.

Because mocha contains more milk (and chocolate syrup), it is served in a larger cup or glass (6-ounce) than a macchiato (3-ounce).

If you want more coffee to drink, a single serving of mocha is bigger.

Mocha Coffee

Are you interested in learning more about new coffee types, and perhaps even trying new drinks? Why not have a rummage around in the coffee archives of Buzzy Kitchen? You might just find your next favourite drink in there!


Looking for a new coffee drink? You might find your next favourite right here…

By Buzzy Kitchen

Lovers of food, owners of opinions, pleased to share!