Difference Between Macchiato vs Mocha

Macchiato vs Mocha

It is easy to confuse a macchiato with a mocha, especially when you don’t know the differences between each drink. Understanding the macchiato vs mocha differences will help you decide your preferred coffee. 

Macchiatos are espresso cups with steamed milk and a dash of foam. 

Mocha is a four-layered drink made of an espresso shot, chocolate, steamed milk, and foam. 

Macchiatos can be enjoyed if you like strong coffee. On the other hand, Mochas are great for people who love dessert-type beverages.

Let’s look at the differences between a macchiato vs mocha and see which one suits you best.


  1. What is a Macchiato coffee?
  2. How to Make a Macchiato at Home?
  3. How to Order an Espresso Macchiato?
  4. What is a Mocha coffee?
  5. How to Make a Mocha at Home?
  6. Differences Between Macchiato vs Mocha
  7. Which Is Better –  Macchiato vs Mocha?

What is a Macchiato coffee?

American coffee shops often serve macchiatos that are less authentic and more sugary. Macchiatos were created by the Italians to enhance the flavor of espresso and not hide it behind syrup.

What is authentic macchiato? Italian macchiato means “stained”, “spot”, or “marked.”

Macchiatos refer to a shot of espresso with a little steamed cream and foam. The drink creates a robust and bold espresso flavor complemented by a splash of milk. This is the original macchiato. It’s also known as an “Espresso macchiato.”

Macchiatos are great if your preference is strong coffee, but they might be too intense for you if you prefer a more balanced ratio of milk and espresso to make your coffee.

Layers are created by slowly pouring the espresso over the steamed milk. This macchiato is very similar to a latte, except it’s slow-poured and has layers.

RELATED TOPIC: What is the Difference Between Cortado vs Macchiato?

The History of Macchiato 

This espresso coffee is named after the Italian word macchiato, which means “mark,” “stain,” and “spot.” The “mark” refers to a milk dollop on top of the espresso. The drink’s origin can be explained by baristas who needed to differentiate between espresso with milk and plain espresso so that waiters could tell the difference. They would mark the coffee with milk and hence the name “macchiato.” 

Another explanation is that the milk in espresso contains a “stain,” and the hot coffee drink has a “spot of milk.”

“Cafe piado” is the Portuguese name for this espresso drink. It means coffee with a drop. 

It is also known as a cortado in Mexico. And what is cortado coffee? It contains more milk than a macchiato. Its espresso to milk ratio is 1:1. This can lead to confusion because other countries have a different name for this coffee drink, the cortado.

RELATED TOPIC: What is a Cortado vs Latte Coffee?

How to Make a Macchiato at Home?

A macchiato is distinguished from other espresso-based coffee drinks by the amount of milk in espresso. The espresso to milk ratio is 2 to 1. Cappuccinos are 1 to 2, and lattes are 1 to 3. 

The milk is meant to enhance the espresso flavor and not overwhelm it.

Traditional macchiatos consist of a one-shot (1 ounce) espresso and a small amount (1 to 2 teaspoons) of milk. 

What about the milk? 

The macchiatos are mostly steamed with light foam to make visible marks. You have to heat the milk to 140-150 F. This causes the milk to expand and form a layer of bubbles. You can do this with a steam wand and an espresso machine.

How to Order an Espresso Macchiato?

When ordering at a reliable coffee shop, ask for a macchiato. The barista will serve you this small beverage with a little bit of foamed milk. Although it may not be on the coffee menu, the barista will know exactly what it is. When the barista hears “Macchiato” in some cafes, he will add caramel to the drink with whipped cream. To avoid this, order the barista “espresso macchiato.” Do not confuse Macchiato or Espresso with a Latte Macchiato. This is the exact opposite of espresso macchiato. Latte macchiato is a foamed milk that contains a small amount of espresso.

What is a Mocha coffee?

What is a Mocha coffee

Mocha is coffee made of four layers and 3 ingredients: Espresso, chocolate, and a large amount of milk. Mochas give you a rich, chocolaty cup of coffee. You may be able to get a mocha with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if you’re really lucky.

Mochas are a classic dessert-type drink, which some people may consider the best combination of coffee and hot chocolate.

Mochas may not be the best choice if you want your coffee to taste like espresso. The rich, creamy steamed milk and sweet chocolate flavor can make it difficult for authentic espresso tastes to be detected.

Mochas are a great option if you have trouble swallowing espresso or need to get the caffeine benefits from coffee. They are similar to hot chocolate, but with a twist.

RELATED TOPIC: Iced White Mocha with Sweet Cream Foam from TikTok

The History of Mocha

The Mocha or Caffe Mocha is a sweet, chocolate-laced coffee staple in coffee menus worldwide.

This drink was created in the USA and takes inspiration from the Turin coffee known as the Bicern.

This is a tribute to Mocha, Yemen’s Red Sea coastal city exporting coffee since the 15th century.

The coffee from this region was thought to be rich in chocolate, so the term “mocha” describes the added chocolate to the cappuccino.

The mocha is very similar to a cappuccino. It contains frothed milk that is sometimes topped with whipped milk.

It’s one-third of espresso, two-thirds steamed water, and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder/syrup. Thus, it’s not surprising that people with sweet tooths choose this rich choco-coffee beverage.

The mocha is relatively easy to make and is excellent for people who want to mix a hot chocolate with a regular latte/cappuccino but can’t decide which.

How to Make a Mocha at Home?


  • 2 Espresso Shot
  • 4 tablespoons of Chocolate syrup or half of Chocolate
  • ½ cup of Milk
  • Whipped Cream

Step-by-step preparation

  1. Prepare the 2 Espresso Shots.
  2. Put the chocolate syrup over the Espresso.
  3. Make a Steamed Milk and put it over the chocolate.
  4. Finish your drink with Whipped Cream if you want. 
  5. Enjoy.

How to prepare the Chocolate if you do not have syrup?

Heat the Chocolate with little milk and stir it slowly until they are smooth and fully mixed.

RELATED TOPIC: How to make Iced White Chocolate Mocha at Home

Differences Between Macchiato vs Mocha


There is a clear difference in the flavor profiles between mochas and macchiatos. Macchiatos have strong espresso flavors with creaminess from the milk.

Mochas combine the richness and strength of chocolate with the flavor of coffee to make a hot, sweet drink.

Mochas have a more subtle taste than a Macchiato because they contain more milk and chocolate.

Macchiatos are a different type of mocha. They have a predominant espresso taste

Macchiatos, unlike mochas, are not sweet and can be very bitter and strong.

Steamed Milk Quantities 

Both drinks contain milk but the methods used to make them are different. This has other effects on each drink. 

Espresso macchiato is the most concentrated and has the least amount of milk (2-to-1 ratio).

 A “Latte Macchiato” is an alternative version. This involves slowly pouring espresso over the steamed dairy to create layers in the beverage. 

Mochas are made with steamed milk and foam to balance the texture and highlight the stars: espresso and chocolate. In Mochas, we have 2 Espresso shots, 2 oz chocolate, 1 oz of steamed milk, and (sometimes) a layer of thin foam. Baristas topped the Mocha with whipped cream or chocolate shavings most of the time.

Macchiato vs Mocha Ingredients

Mochas are a delicious combination of espresso, chocolate, and steamed milk and are often topped with whipped cream. They are a dessert drink due to the addition of whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or cinnamon.

On the other hand, Macchiatos are a blend of espresso and steamed milk.


It is easy to see why mochas are higher in calories than macchiatos. This dessert-type beverage contains milk, chocolate, and possibly whipped cream.

Mochas may have approximately 200 calories, but macchiatos typically have 50 or less.

If you are concerned about calories, then a macchiato is a better choice for you.


Mochas come in various flavors ranging from white mochas to peppermint mochas. Coffee shops also often offer a wide range of flavored syrups that enable customers to customize their mochas.

In contrast, authentic macchiatos are only available as espresso macchiatos and latte macchiatos. However, some coffee shops may offer flavored, unauthentic versions that come in caramel or vanilla flavors.  

Serving Size

A macchiato provides quick access to caffeine, making it convenient for those on the move. Macchiatos generally weigh around 4 oz.

On the other hand, Mochas are a dessert-type beverage and are often enjoyed like hot chocolate. Mochas are usually 8 oz in volume, as they contain milk, chocolate syrup/powder, and steamed milk.

Which Is Better –  Macchiato vs Mocha?

You will choose which coffee you prefer, a macchiato or mocha. 

Mocha is a good choice if you are a sweet tooth and like chocolatey coffee. 

Macchiato might be more appealing if you want your coffee strong and rich.


Macchiatos are bold espresso drinks that include steamed milk and foam. These strong, rich, and creamy espresso drinks don’t have many flavor options. 

Mochas are very sweet espresso drinks with a lot of steamed milk. Except with chocolate, Mochas come in many other flavors like caramel or peppermint. Baristas often topped them with whipped cream or chocolate shavings.

Which one should you choose? You can choose! Try ordering a macchiato, mocha, or a latte next time you visit a coffee shop.

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