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Cappuccino vs Mocha: Find Which One Is For You!

Cappuccino vs Mocha: Your go-to guide for distinguishing between these classic cups. From frothy tops to chocolatey bases, I spill the beans.

cappuccino vs mocha

Expert Consulted: Carl. Utilizing my 6 years of experience in the coffee industry, I’m able to provide accurate and concise information, helping you make informed choices about beans, brewing methods, and equipment, thereby elevating your coffee experience. In this article, I’ll share my knowledge and experience to help you understand the debate of Cappuccino vs Mocha!

Two of the most common coffee drinks around the world are the cappuccino and the mocha.

But what differentiates these popular drinks?

Well, the biggest difference is just chocolate. A cappuccino is made with espresso, and steamed foamed milk, while a mocha is usually crafted using espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate, then occasionally finished with whipped cream. Some coffee shops even use steamed chocolate milk instead of just chocolate!

Now that we know a little about the differences between them, which one is the best for you?

In the rest of this article, I will guide you through all the information and key differences between the cappuccino, and the mocha, to help you truly find the one for you.

Cappuccino vs Mocha: Key Differences

Before I fully analyze these drinks, take a look at a quick overview below!








1-2 shots of espresso

Very frothy and creamy

Super creamy with a prominent coffee flavor and hints of chocolate

64 or 128mg

Yes, dusting of chocolate or cinnamon and milk foam


2 shots of espresso

Smooth and silky

A strong chocolatey flavor and aroma meets smooth silky milk


Yes, chocolate sauce or whipped cream

So, there are quite a few differences between these two lovely coffees. This means I’ll have to go in-depth to cover everything there is about these beverages.

How Do They Differ In Flavor?

The cappuccino tends to have that intense coffee flavor that you either love or hate, and this is mainly because of two things:

  1. A cappuccino’s milk is much more airy, so there’s less actual milk to counteract the coffee flavor like a latte does.
  2. There’s no chocolate in the drink to sweeten it up and mask the coffee flavors. Obviously, I’m not counting the little chocolate dusting on top.

There’s also either a slight chocolate or cinnamon aroma from the dusting added on top.

On the other hand, a mocha is typically a much sweeter drink, and it’s easy to guess why.

Anyone who’s had a mocha before can tell you all about its delightfully sweet and chocolatey taste, and that’s very obviously due to the actual chocolate inside the drink.

But, the sweetness in a mocha is not entirely from the chocolate. If you remember, I mentioned whipped cream and chocolate sauce are some common toppings used in this coffee.

Both of these can easily sweeten up your coffee, so if you find that your mocha isn’t quite sweet enough for you, try and ask your barista if they could add these to your cup!

How Many Calories in a Cappuccino vs Mocha?

When talking about the cappuccino vs mocha debate, it’s important to remember the calories you’re consuming.

A cappuccino will have roughly 38 calories, depending on the milk type and dusting used. For example, if you would like fewer calories in your drink, try asking for a milk alternative like oat or coconut milk!

Whereas a mocha contains roughly 160 calories, due to the chocolate, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.

These tend to make a mocha more appetizing to most, because of the extra sweetness.

Caffeine Content

caffeine content: cappuccino vs mocha

The only main difference in caffeine between these two drinks will be the amount of espresso shots used.

As mentioned earlier, a cappuccino will contain either one shot or two shots, while a mocha will almost always have two shots.

I’ve spoken much more about caffeine content in my other article here, so I will just quickly glance over it now.

A mocha will have roughly 128mg of caffeine because each shot of espresso contains roughly 64mg of caffeine. (Source)

This means a cappuccino will possess anywhere from 64mg or 128mg of caffeine.

These numbers can also depend on the bean variety used, fortunately, most coffee shops will be using arabica beans which these numbers are based on.

Cappuccino vs Mocha: Which Is The Better Choice?

Well, it entirely depends on personal preference and what you’re looking for.

For those of you looking for that traditional coffee taste with some foamy milk, then the cappuccino will be the one for you. Also, if you don’t want any dusting on top, you can just ask your barista and they should remove it.

However, if you’re one of those people who has a sweet tooth or just prefers chocolate flavors, the mocha will suit you perfectly. You can’t really go wrong with a great mocha.

Differences In Milk Preparation

differences in milk preparation: cappuccino vs mocha

Let’s start with the famous cappuccino milk.

A traditional cappuccino’s milk will have a lot more air introduced while steaming than most drinks, this causes the milk to have that nice foamy and airy texture.

The end product will be equal parts milk foam and steamed milk, so you get the best of both worlds.

When talking about the mocha, it’s much more simple. The milk is steamed similarly to that of a latte, letting less air in than a cappuccino to create that velvety smooth texture and to bring out the sweetness of the milk.


What’s the difference between these two drinks? Well, the largest difference is chocolate. A cappuccino is made using espresso, and steamed frothed milk, while a mocha is usually crafted with espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate, then occasionally finished with whipped cream or chocolate sauce.

But how do they differ in flavor?

The cappuccino will feature a more pronounced coffee flavor that you’re probably used to. It also comes with a nice chocolate or cinnamon aroma from the dusting added on top.

On the other hand, a mocha is much sweeter and has a prominent chocolate flavor and aroma.

I would definitely recommend the mocha to those who prefer a much sweeter coffee.

Image Attribution and Licensing

Main Image: DALL-E 3.

#1: DALL-E 3.

#2: ‘Steaming milk for cappuccino’ by john shepherd. (Canva Pro/Getty Images Signature)