Mocha VS Macchiato (A Fair Comparison)

Mocha and macchiato are two variations of very strong coffees. They both are espresso-based coffees with a major difference. Mocha has a chocolate element and macchiato has a splash of milk.

Half of the world’s population is hooked on coffee for the right reasons. Nothing can replace the early morning caffeine fix or a late afternoon pick me up that coffee provides.

It is such a versatile drink that it can be customized however one likes. With that being said, since it is drunk all over the planet, every region or area has its own way of making it and enjoying it.

Some like drinking very strong coffee with balanced chocolatey flavors therefore they drink mocha and some like drinking espresso with a dash of steamed milk, therefore, they drink macchiato.

Both are very similar yet very different at the same time. Let’s find out more about these coffees together and see which one is better.

What’s The Difference In Preparing Each Of These Coffees?

A cup of coffee sitting at the edge of a wooden table

Macchiato has a dollop of steamed milk or milk foam added to espresso meanwhile mocha has espresso with steamed milk and chocolate which is topped with milk foam.

Most coffees have espresso as their base. Both coffees that we are discussing today have espresso in them. But each has its own respective way of preparation.

Let’s start with a macchiato. Now, this coffee is enjoyed all over the world. People who prefer to have straight-up coffee without much dairy or sugar enjoy this coffee.

It is a double shot of espresso, a dollop of full-fat steamed milk or milk foam.

This addition of dairy is not stirred and is served just like that. You also drink it without stirring so that the hint of dairy and its sweetness can outshine the espresso taste.

And if we talk about mocha, it’s a completely different game. Though it’s a strong-tasting coffee but with a chocolate twist. In a double shot of espresso, equal parts of steamed full-fat milk are added.

Then milk or dark chocolate powder or syrup is added and topped with milk foam. This style of coffee that is strong and chocolatey is enjoyed by people who love a well-balanced yet strong coffee.

Take a look at this video to understand how a macchiato is made.

awesome video for making macchiato

Below I’ve summarized a table of ingredients.

Ingredients MacchiatoMocha
EspressoYesYes
Steamed MilkA Splash Yes
ChocolateNoYes
Milk FoamA SplashYes
SugarNoNo

Is Macchiato Stronger Than Mocha?

Macchiato and mocha are considered strong coffees. But a macchiato can be considered as a stronger cup of coffee than a mocha because of lack of dairy.

In terms of coffee strength and potency, espresso is one of the strongest forms. In other words, it serves as a base for other coffee drinks.

Both of the coffees that we’re discussing today contain espresso. A macchiato, however, may be regarded as a little stronger than a mocha. What causes this?

Since a macchiato only has about a tablespoon of steamed milk or milk foam. This in turn makes the espresso transcend within the coffee. Thus, making it strong.

Now a mocha has plenty of steamed milk along with milk foam with the addition of chocolate. This enhances the flavor of coffee and makes it’s a strong but creamy cup of joe.

The extra quantity of milk in the espresso in a mocha makes the potency of espresso lesser than that of a macchiato. Therefore, a macchiato is stronger than a mocha.

But if you really want to get to know strong coffees, take a look at my article where I name the world’s strongest coffee.

Which Coffee Has More Caffeine In It?

A macchiato has more caffeine than a mocha. A macchiato has 128 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup. Whereas a mocha has 100 mg of caffeine.

Every coffee has different caffeine content. Well, almost all coffee is made with espresso, but what is added after that is what determines the caffeine content.

Plus, drinking coffee comes with a bonus. And you must be thinking what is that? The answer is you can always alter the measurements of your coffee. Like how much coffee powder you put, how much espresso, the quantity of milk and sugar.

Therefore, the contents of caffeine can be changed very easily.

But while making it the original way, a macchiato has more caffeine content than a cup of mocha coffee. A macchiato has 128 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup meanwhile a mocha has about 100 mg per 8 oz cup.

a barista is preparing a shot of double espresso

With that being said, also be very careful while sipping coffee.

You can easily cross the suggested limit of 400 mg caffeine in a day by FDA. Since coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine, this recommended amount can be breached.

Caffeine can be found in sodas, chocolates, candies, tea, energy drinks, and baked goods.

Also, for some people when they’re busy working hard, losing track of how much caffeine they have consumed can be a real problem. They can overdose on caffeine which can lead to some long-term damages or in some cases, can be life-threatening as well. Some short terms effects are:

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Jitteriness
  • Dehydration
  • Depletion Iron & Calcium
  • Insomnia

Below is a chart of some coffee brands that contain the highest amounts of caffeine.

Brands Of CoffeeCaffeine Content Per 8 oz Cup
Banned Coffee316 mg
Biohazard Coffee618 mg
Black Insomnia736 mg
Devil Mountain Coffee Company Black Label Coffee1036 mg
Maximum Charge by Cannonball Coffee734 mg

Healthier Option In The Long Run: Mocha or Macchiato?

Both are healthy in their own way. The lack of huge amounts of dairy and sugar can be beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant or want to control their elevated blood sugar levels. And the addition of chocolate echoes some of the benefits like providing more antioxidants.

Coffee naturally can be healthy for the human body. It has some pretty good things that help your body in many different ways. First of all, it’s the largest antioxidants supplier in the American diet.

How cool is that? Along with this, it helps you fight against many diseases like liver cancer, the development of gallstones in your kidney, and Dementia.

If you sip coffee before going to the gym it may help you pick up some extra weight if you’re bodybuilding or help you lose weight if you’re looking for that.

But one thing that I would like to add here is that you can only get these benefits only if you consume coffee in moderation. Over-dosing on coffee can reverse the benefits and can give you some really bad health-damaging effects.

With that out of the way, both the coffees that we are discussing are healthy in their own unique way. It’s all about preference and your health conditions.

If we talk about a macchiato, this coffee is perfect in every way for anyone who is lactose intolerant or is looking to have sugar-free coffee.  The majority of people don’t know that they’re lactose intolerant according to experts.

Usually, a person who is lactose intolerant will get diarrhea after consuming any form of dairies like cream, cheese, or milk. The espresso has a dash of full-fat steamed milk or milk foam.

This quantity usually isn’t a problem for people who cannot tolerate lactose. But even if it does, you can tell your barista to opt-out of the dairy cow milk to plant-based milk and continue to enjoy this power-packed coffee.

Plus, Physicians Committee suggests that dairy is one of the largest contributors to many diseases like type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

a blue cup of mocha with a opened book on a wooden table

Also, there is zero to barely any sugar in a macchiato. The hint of sweetness is only from the milk. Therefore, making it almost sugar-free and suitable for anyone looking to control their sugar intake.  

As a substance, sugar has many health risks, diabetes being among them. Sugar is an addictive substance.

Sugar should not be consumed in excess of 12 teaspoons a day, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Due to the abundance of goodies we consume (such as candies, baked goods, chocolates, etc. ), this amount is easily exceeded. By starting out your day with a sugar-free coffee, you can significantly reduce the amount of sugar you consume throughout the day.

Lastly, if we talk about mocha, the addition of chocolate amplifies the benefits of the already healthy coffee. Chocolate has tons of antioxidants and helps prevent many diseases like stroke, dementia, and heat-related problems.

But a mocha has dairy and sugar, consuming it every day isn’t the right choice. But drinking it every once in a while can be a good way to enjoy a creamy cup of strong coffee and also reap its benefits.

Final Thoughts

In terms of their strong-tasting coffee variety, a macchiato and a mocha are similar. They are both great for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and provide sufficient amounts of caffeine.

The preparation methods for these two coffees are very different, despite the fact that they share the same base. An espresso shot is not stirred into the steamed milk in a macchiato; there are only a few drops of steamed milk in it.

Early in the morning, those who enjoy caffeine-packed coffee rave about it. Whereas people who want a well-balanced strong coffee with milk and chocolate enjoy a cup of mocha. They both are healthy in their own way. You can consume either according to your liking and enjoy.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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