Help me make a good Mocha!
May 31, 2015 4:37 PM   Subscribe

I love mochas, but I haven't been able to perfect them at home with my espresso machine. Is there a foolproof recipe out there somewhere?

I think I'm struggling most with the mocha powder/syrup part. I can't seem to make it taste right! Is there a good brand (powder or syrup) out there that I should be buying? Is there an easy way for me to make the powder/syrup at home?

Any mocha tips are appreciated!
posted by modesty.blaise to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've made this in the past, and the cafe that my roastery owns uses a similar recipe (scaled up a bit). Its phenomenally easy to make, and you'll probably end up making better stuff than your local cafe…because you can easily spring for the fanciest cocoa powder around.

But, when I'm making it at home, I get REALLY good cocoa powder (dutch process, yo). The better the powder, the better the syrup. I go by parts, so you can scale it up as needed.

1 part cocoa powder
2 parts sugar (I've used refined, organic, and brown…they all work fine…I like dark brown)
2 parts water
pinch of salt
glug of vanilla extract (or coffee liqueur!)

Heat the water over medium-low heat, whisk in the cocoa powder while its still warming. Once its warmed, toss in the sugar and dissolve it all. If you skimp here, it'll be grainy. Bring it to a boil for a minute or two, but don't burn it. Let it cool, and toss in the salt and vanilla.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I make a very similar recipe (no salt, sometimes a different extract), and it's great and keeps for a bit in the fridge, you don't need to make it new each time. And you can use this + milk to make hot cocoa.
posted by jeather at 4:49 PM on May 31, 2015

Best answer: I make mocha lattes at work, we use Hershey's syrup, and the customers LOVE them. We use Stumptown "Hair Bender" espresso, two shots in everything no matter s, med, or L. Three or four liberal squirts of syrup, hot fresh espresso, steamed milk, in that order of course.
posted by vrakatar at 5:42 PM on May 31, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: We use Ghiradelli sweetened cocoa powder for mochas where I work. Tasty and not too sweet, and it has a long shelf life.
posted by MadamM at 7:27 PM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I mix 1 part cocoa powder and 2 parts vanilla sugar with a pinch of salt and keep it in a mason jar next to my espresso machine. When I'm craving a mocha I dump some into the steam pitcher with a little milk and steam it until it turns into a syrup, add more milk, and steam to normal temperature. Having typed this I now need to go make myself a mocha.
posted by foodgeek at 9:08 PM on May 31, 2015

The place I used to go that made the best mochas I've ever had usually put chocolate syrup AND caramel syrup in. It looked to be a 3:1 chocolate:caramel ratio.

Doing similar at home ends up being pretty delicious.
posted by MonsieurBon at 10:17 PM on May 31, 2015

Best answer: If you like Starbucks mochas, you can buy Fontana Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce online. (Which is what Sbux uses.) I know they sell a limited range of Fontana syrups on the Starbucks website, but I'm not sure about the sauces. I have seen them selling on eBay (you can also find the Pumpkin sauce there when the season rolls around) and possibly other online vendors. I'm on my phone at work or I'd check.
The thing that really makes a good cappuccino/latte/etc. is getting the proper texture from steaming the milk. If you don't have an espresso machine with a proper steamer, I've heard good things about the "shaking a jar of milk technique," but I've never tried it.

(Source:I am a barista.)
posted by catatethebird at 9:21 AM on June 1, 2015

I strongly recommend using Bosco Chocolate Syrup in lieu of any other commercial product (and is easier than making your own). (I'm biased, though. I'm one of the owners of the brand.)
posted by scottso17 at 12:47 PM on June 1, 2015

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