When it comes to coffee, there are a few popular choices that people seem to gravitate towards.

Cappuccino and mocha are two of those choices, but what’s the difference between them?

Quick Answer: What’s the difference between a cappuccino and a mocha?

The main difference between a cappuccino and a mocha is that a cappuccino is made with espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk, while a mocha is made with espresso, chocolate, and steamed milk and is oftentimes finished with a serving of whipped cream.

Cappuccino vs. Mocha: How Do They Differ & Which Is Better?

So, which one is better? This article will break down the key differences between cappuccinos and mochas and help you decide which one is right for you. Let’s get started!

Cappuccino vs. mocha, what are the differences?

Before going in-depth about the difference between a cappuccino and a mocha, you can have a look at the overview below:

Espresso?Yes, one espresso shotYes, one or two espresso shots
Milk?Yes, 1/4 cup (0.06 l)Yes, 1/2 cup (0.12 l)
Flavor notesA smooth and creamy flavorA rich chocolate flavor with earthy undertones
Caffeine content68mg of caffeine68 or 136mg of caffeine
Number of calories38 calories162 calories
Topping?Milk foam topping and a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powderChocolate sauce and whipped cream topping

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between these coffees. I’ll get in-depth about each of the differences, and at the end of the article, you’ll know which will suit you better!

What is the flavor difference between a cappuccino and a mocha?

When it comes to flavor, a cappuccino is much more intense. It’s got that strong shot of espresso, and the rich, creamy milk amplifies the coffee beans’ flavor.

A mocha has a lot going on flavor-wise too, but the chocolate takes center stage. You still get the coffee flavor, but it’s more in the background alongside the chocolatey goodness.

So if you’re looking for a bolder taste, go for a cappuccino. If you want something sweeter and more chocolatey, go for a mocha.

Homemade cappuccino.

Depending on your preferred flavor in coffees, you might already know which might suit you better.

Below, I’ll get into the difference in milk preparation, which coffee is stronger, if there is a calorie difference, and so much more!

Is there a difference in milk preparation?

There is definitely a difference between how milk is prepared for cappuccinos and mochas.

For cappuccinos, the milk is steamed until it’s nice and foamy, and a cappuccino will feature equal parts steamed milk and milk foam:

Adding steamed milk to espresso coffee to make a cappuccino.

Whereas for mochas, the milk is simply steamed and doesn’t usually have much in the way of foam, although you could make it with more milk foam for more texture.

Which is stronger, a cappuccino or mocha?

In general, cappuccinos are stronger than mochas because they have less sweetness. The chocolate sauce in a mocha can make it seem like a sweeter drink, but all that sugar can actually end up diluting the coffee flavor.

Chocolate sauce.
Homemade chocolate sauce

The chocolate in a mocha also cuts the bitterness of the espresso, making it more enjoyable for those who don’t like their coffee too strong.

While a cappuccino has equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, making it less sweet and higher (or equivalent) in caffeine content.

For this reason, many people perceive cappuccinos as being more robust drinks. However, both drinks can be considered strong depending on your individual liking.

How many calories are in a cappuccino vs. mocha?

A cappuccino has 38 calories, while a mocha has 162. This is because a cappuccino is made with milk and espresso, while a mocha also contains chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

The added ingredients in the mocha make it more exciting to drink if you love a sweeter coffee.

Mocha coffee.

The calories are calculated from the homemade recipes that use whole milk. You can check out the recipe for the mocha in this article if you’d like to give it a try.

If you’d rather make a cappuccino, you can check out this article where I go over everything you need to know.

Is there a difference in caffeine between these drinks?

Yes, there is a difference in caffeine content between cappuccinos and mochas. A cappuccino typically contains 68mg of caffeine, while a mocha can contain double that amount or even more. (Source)

So if you’re looking for a more potent caffeine kick, a mocha is the way to go.

Single and doppio espresso next to each other.
Single espresso on the left. Double espresso on the right

Depending on your strength preference, you can make a mocha with one espresso shot. If this is the case, then it’ll have an equal amount of caffeine as a cappuccino.

Which is better, a cappuccino or mocha?

It depends on what you’re looking for in your coffee, but I recommend the following if you’re unsure which might be the better pick for you:

  • A cappuccino is probably the better choice if you want a strong, bold flavor.
  • If you prefer a smoother, sweeter coffee, then a mocha might be more to your taste.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which style of coffee you prefer.

Cappuccino vs. mocha comparison side by side.
Cappuccino on the left. Mocha on the right

While both cappuccinos and mochas are delicious, I believe that cappuccinos are slightly better.

Cappuccinos have a richer and more complex flavor, while mochas tend to be sweeter. Thanks to the perfectly steamed milk, they also have a more velvety texture.

If you’re looking for a truly decadent treat, try a cappuccino with whipped cream on top!

Related coffee comparison articles

Are you wondering how the cappuccino and mocha compare to other coffees?

Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:

And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!


So, what’s the difference between a cappuccino and a mocha? The main difference is that cappuccinos are made with espresso, steamed milk, and foam, while mochas are made with espresso, chocolate sauce, and steamed milk.

Most people also prefer different levels of sweetness in their coffee drinks – cappuccinos are typically less sweet than mochas.

If you’re looking for a creamy drink with a touch of chocolatey sweetness, go for a mocha!

I hope you’ve found a new favorite coffee by reading through this article. If you like to try some delicious coffee recipes, you can have a look below:

Coffee recipes to try

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