Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Make the Perfect Cafe Mocha

This one goes out to all you caffeine addicts out there! Today, I want to show you how to make (in my opinion) the perfect homemade café mocha. *Note: this recipe has been updated as Starbucks no longer sells their mocha mix! For my Homemade Mocha Recipe using staple pantry ingredients, you can click here!

Even if you're not a fan of espresso drinks, it's nice to know how to make fancy coffee drinks when you have guests over. A really super-delicious mocha has the ability to make your guests overlook the playroom that looks like a Toys 'R Us delivery truck backed in through the window. Don't ask me how I know that.

I've never tried making a mocha with plain coffee, but I'd be willing to bet you could give it a whirl. The results could be interesting, but worth a try. But, truly, the $40.00 or so that an espresso maker like mine costs (on the very cheap end of the scale!) is worth the investment. Target and Wal-Mart both carry inexpensive espresso machines like mine. Each time I make a mocha at home, I'm saving a couple of bucks from being tossed into Starbucks' coffers.

1. We'll start with our main ingedients:

  • Espresso roast (If you buy the Starbucks brand--found at Target and WM--the 'Bucks will grind it for you for free!)
  • Starbucks Mocha Powder (Read about it here. Much better tasting than the other powdered kind you can buy on the coffee aisle. It is sweet, but not sugary syrupy sweet. More of a bitter cocoa chocolate as opposed to hot chocolate.)
  • Flavored Syrup (Optional. Found at Wal-Mart, World Market, Starbucks.)

2. Measure out a bit more espresso than what you'll need. I usually fill almost to the 4 "cup" mark.

3. Place 2 Tablespoons of the dry Mocha powder into a mug:

4. While your espresso brews, mix the mocha powder with 2 Tablespoons of hot water and stir until dissolved. It creates a syrup!

5. When your espresso is finished brewing (I do enough for 2 shots, which is pretty standard with at-home machines), pour about half of it in with the syrup and stir well.

6. For a small to medium size mug, you'll want to measure out about 1/2 cup of milk. I do 3/4 cup for really big mugs. You can use a measuring cup to froth your milk like I am here, or a frothing mug. I picked a frothing mug up from IKEA for about $6. I prefer skim milk, but I've been using whole milk because that's what my kids drink.

7. Place the cup of milk under the frothing tip, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom of your cup. Slowly turn the steam application on and watch your milk steam! (You can also just microwave your milk)

8. Add your milk and then the rest of the espresso to the mug and stir well.

9. For an extra punch of flavor, you can add a Tablespoon of flavoring. I love Torani's peppermint syrup and the sugar free raspberry (pictured) is delish! Stir well.

So now you have a perfectly good mocha, but it's looking a bit plain, yes?

Call in the calvary, people!

 Uh huh...

Oooh yeaaah...

And if you have a friend who is nice enough and you want to thank her by sending her into a diabetic coma, pair it with a most indulgent cinnamon bun.

Don't you seriously want to be my best friend now? It's okay if you admit it.

Once you've tried this technique a few times, it becomes second nature. I packed up my stuff once and brought it to a girlfriend's house to play barista. Our friends took turns ordering drinks, and we had the most lovely play date. I'm telling you...mochas are the way to win friends for sure.

{What's your favorite beverage to serve morning guests?}

Linking to Tasty TuesdayThe Shabby Chic Cottage


  1. {raising hand} i'll be your best friend! that sounds so delicious and how nice of you to bring it all to a friend's house to make drinks for everyone-wow!

  2. Seriously! I'm drooling! You *know* I'll come be your best friend :-) Great tutorial! Espresso machines always seemed scary to use but this seems pretty simple :-) I don't have a special drink really but maybe the one people like the most is my homemade mint tea from the mint we have growing in our back yard. :-)

  3. I'm all ready third in line, but I'll be your best friend, too! I may need to go and invest in one of those beauties! :)

  4. I have the day off and could be there in 2 1/2 hours!

    Seriously, this looks fabulous!

    I have a few questions. Do you use whole milk? Also, is the mocha powder already sweetened? I can't drink coffee without some sugar in it.

  5. You'd better get some more supplies, girl. Looks like we all want to be your best friend!

    We have an espresso machine, but I had no idea you could buy mocha powder. This looks like a fun drink to add to our menu!

    A question for you: what kind of milk do you use? My hubby now makes a wonderful espresso with great crema (is that how you spell it?), but frothing is still eluding him.

  6. Add me to the list:) And I also wondered if there is already sweetener in the mocha powder.

  7. Oh yum! I usually make mine with hot chocolate packs and and only a little hot water to dissolve and then add regular coffee and whipped cream. Last night I was thinking that I'd make one today, now I KNOW I will make one today! : )

  8. You go girl! Looks like you have it down pat. I don't drink coffee (yep, really) but DD loves it and she got the Cafe Frappe for Christmas to get her frozen coffee fix.

  9. Ok, my hips are doomed now! This sounds fabulous and easy enough to do.

    Thanks for sharing and stopping by.

  10. I just need an espresso machine. I'm looking forward to owning one of those!

    My Tasty Tuesday Recipe: Zucchini Corn Casserole

  11. I was at my parents this weekend, and my mom made me coffee with the mocha powder - OMGosh so good! I want an espresso machine...and more counter space to store it :)

  12. This is a great tutorial. I have thought about buying one of the espresso machines, but heard that they were hard to use and it took to long to get your drink. You made it look so easy!!! I think I may have to reconsider purchasing one. Do you gave any other coffee recipes to share? I love cafe latter, are they hard to make? Thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh, oh, pick me.....I want to be your friend! Your raspberry mocha AND cinnamon bun look heavenly.

    I feel like I’m cheating on Mr. Keurig for saying this but I’m totally jealous of your espresso machine.

    Kendra aka “Domestic Princess in Training”

  14. How funny that you asked the BFF question at the end because I was already thinking it early on in the post! Like a fool I got rid of my espresso machine. Fool, I say!

  15. Ummm... yum?! This sounds awesome. I don't have an expresso machine. I wonder if I can replicate with a coffee maker.

  16. You are a total professional! Yum!
    I got Craig a coffee grinder for Christmas a couple years ago (about $20), and now he's a total snob. He must have whole bean Starbucks coffee and grind it himself...he does it every morning.

  17. Is it weird that even though I don't drink or serve coffee, I found this strangely fascinating?

  18. Ooooh, a homemade mocha! This looks divine!! :)

  19. So can I expect you here in the morning to make a latte for me please and thank you? You are brilliant Amanda, this sounds and looks delish :)

  20. Honestly, I'm not much of a coffee fan. The closest I get is the powdered cappuccino mix from Sam's Club, which tastes nothing like coffee. :) But you sure made this look good, with the whipped cream and chocolate syrup! You could probably convert me!

  21. I like your blog, its very nice... why don't we follow each other? Thanks, kisses.

  22. Can I come to a playdate sometime? ;-) Looks amazing!!

    Okay, but may I ask another (unrelated) question? Could you please tell me about your white dishes? I've been on a quest for white dishes with a scallopped edge...and I LOVE yours!!!

  23. I love mocha. This looks delicious!

    I'm having the very first GIVEAWAY on my blog. Please stop by to submit an entry. Good luck.


  24. I tried a sample mocha at our Target Starbucks last month and now I'm hooked...and I have never been a coffee drinker. I think I've already spent 30$$ on my "special treats" not good! This post came at a great time, Thanks!!

  25. From Frances at Organize It!:

    Love the post, Amanda. I make mochas at home, too. To save you from washing the tablespoon, I just purchase my flavoring from Starbucks. They sell their bottles for about $10 or under (I can't remember). But, they come with a pump! That way, you don't even have to use a measuring spoon. Also, they are usually glad to tell you how many pumps they put in your drink. Works like a charm! Thanks, Frances

  26. Oh my! That does sound so yummy!!
    I will have to give this a try for sure!

  27. Yum!!
    I don't have an espresso machine, so I made this today with a packet of starbucks VIA......it was perfect!!! Thank you! The via dissolves in the warm/hot milk. My starbucks lady told me last summer to use via w/milk, vanilla syrup and ice and it tastes JUST like their iced vanilla latte.

  28. Best post ever!!! Love it, and your "tutorial" was fabulous! You may have even inspired me to use my espresso machine! I juuuust need whip cream now :-)

  29. I just googled how to make this. Your instructions are so easy to follow... it's making me want to go out and buy an expresso machine. ha!!!! Thank you!!!!


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