With the heavy downpour being tempered down, the cold winds still bring forth the occasional morning chill. Little wonder then, as the rainy blues slowly creep in, with piles of unfinished work piling about; the morning combination of coffee and choclate keeps the day and the evening going fine.
“Suave molecules of Mocha stir up your blood, without causing excess heat; the organ of thought receives from it a feeling of sympathy; work becomes easier and you will sit down without distress to your principal repast which will restore your body and afford you a calm, delicious night.” Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
Though the caffè mocha or mocaccino ( or mochaccino, mochachino) is in fact a chocolate-flavored variant of a caffè latte; it can also mean a simple mix of hot choclate and coffee. Essentially caffè mocha is based on espresso and hot milk but with added chocolate flavoring and sweetener, typically in the form of cocoa powder and sugar. Many varieties, at times signature style of certain cafes’, use chocolate syrup, may contain dark or milk chocolate, with distinctive milk froth on top or with whipped cream, cinnamon or cocoa powder. For the more artistic coffee connoisseurs, marshmallows plain or coloured, nutmeg powder, bits of sprinkles with cream and the like may be added on top.
Interestingly, the word “mocha” didn’t have anything to do with chocolate. Originating in the 1770s’, the word “mocha” referred to a variety of coffee beans, named after the the port of Mocha (Al Mokha) in Yemeni (or Yemen), where the beans were shipped from. As their popularity increased in Europe, these beans became a part of the coffee culture. Today, these beans are commonly referred as Arabica beans, with “mocha” being the mix of coffee and chocolate.
“Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.” Cherise Sinclair
Over the years, mocha variants like white caffè mocha (made with white chocolate), as well as more exotic sounding names like black and white mocha, marble mocha, tan mocha, tuxedo mocha or zebra; all varying as per as the amount of choclate (dark or milk) and coffee mixed in. Variant as an espresso shot (double) with either a combination of steamed milk and cocoa powder or chocolate milk is known as mochaccino. Another variant on the caffè mocha is to use a coffee base instead of espresso with the combination be coffee, steamed milk and the added chocolate ( akin to sip of coffee with a shot of hot choclate).
No matter the way it is made, cafe mocha is essentially a drink that can be made in the kitchens of all coffee lovers. For keen experimenters, nothing would be better than the National Mocha Day (September 29th) to indulge in the crazy but delightful combinations and enjoy the flavours of the two C’s, chocolate and coffee.