No matter if you think mocha is a chocolate-flavored coffee or a caffeinated chocolate drink, we’ve got a simple and extra delicious mocha recipe for you. Bonus: our happier mochas are vegan and gluten-free.
A classic mocha is a hot beverage usually made with 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk and chocolate (aka hot chocolate) and ideally a layer of milk foam. If you layer it as milk with chocolate, then espresso and finally milk foam on top, you can call it a Mocha Macchiato. Historically, mocha was made with a specific coffee bean known for its chocolate flavor.
What makes our Happier Hot Mocha Macchiato and Iced Mocha extra happier are two elements. Using cold brew coffee (concentrate) provides a smoother flavor and gets you sipping your mocha faster. Using oat milk makes the mocha creamier and the foam frothier – almost as if you were drinking a mocha breve (i.e., made with half-and-half instead of milk). Oat milk also adds a nut-free (!) nutty flavor and makes this mocha recipe lactose-free and vegan.
The “milk”: Yes, this mocha recipe also works with coconut or almond milk and of course with cow’s milk. We recommend oat milk because of its creamy dairy-like mouthfeel – and because it’s both lactose-free and nut-free. Personally, we usually get Silk Oat Yeah – The Plain One or the Original Oatly (haven’t tried the Barista version yet).
The “coffee”: Instead of cold brew concentrate, you can use the classic espresso or (strong) hot-brewed coffee. Use whatever makes YOU happier. For the office, we usually get Califia Farms Concentrated Cold Brew Coffee. Or we make our own cold brew! We included a recipe for a simple cold brew coffee concentrate below.
The “chocolate”: Also, feel free to play around with the amount of chocolate syrup you add. Despite loving chocolate, we keep the amount of chocolate syrup on the lower side because some syrups are quite sweet. But some people like to add a whole tablespoon or two! Our current go-to syrup is Greenwise Organic Chocolate Syrup.
Allergies, intolerance and free will: Both, the hot mocha recipe and the iced mocha recipe are gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan – as long as you use chocolate syrup that fits those requirements. Popular brands Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup and Starbucks Mocha Sauce are vegan and gluten-free – as are most brand-name and generic organic chocolate syrups. But not all chocolate syrups are lactose-free or vegan; so check the label if you care.
When, where and how… Of course, we’re sharing these recipes because we believe both the hot and the iced cold mocha are great drinks to sip outdoors. The happier hot mocha is a perfectly cozy and delicious winter-warmer on a hike, while snowshoeing, during a snow picnic (wear those snow pants) or before heading down a ski slope. The happier iced mocha offers a refreshing, chocolatey pick-me-up while cross-country skiing (so much hotter than you thought), on that beach outing (yay, vacation!) or any sunny day outings.
To make transporting and sharing easier, we’re including the measurements to fill the Happier Place double-wall, insulated, stainless steel bottle, which will keep your drinks at temperature all day.
All mocha drinks are ideal for the holiday season. The nutty chocolate flavor fits the cozy season perfectly. The caffeine will perk you up after big meals, while getting mesmerized by the fireplace and during dad’s loooong story.
Hot Mocha Macchiato Recipe
Ingredients – 1 Hot Mocha Macchiato (12 oz. mug)
1 cup (8 oz / 236 ml) oat milk – reserve some for milk foam (or add extra oat milk as foam)
1/2 cup (4 oz / 118 ml) cold brew coffee concentrate
2 teaspoons chocolate syrup
Shaved dark chocolate – as garnish
Recipe Steps – 1 Hot Mocha Macchiato (12 oz. mug)
- Warm up oat milk (do not boil).
Depending on how big your mug is, add up to a 1/4 cup extra for making foam.
- Warm up cold brew coffee concentrate (or alternatively make an espresso or hot brewed coffee). If you’re making a plain mocha, not layered mocha macchiato, you can warm up the oat milk and coffee together. And yes, you can do all that in a microwave – but also on the stove and over a campfire.
- Add most of the hot oat milk to a mug. Hold back some for frothing.
- Add chocolate syrup. Start with recommended amount, then dial in your preferred chocolate level after tasting finished mocha.
- Add hot coffee to the mug.
- Froth remaining oat milk by using a frother, shaking milk in a closed mason jar for 30 – 60 seconds, or by any of these methods.
- Spoon or pour oat milk foam on top of your hot coffee oat milk beverage.
- As garnish and extra level of chocolate goodness: sprinkle some freshly shaved dark chocolate on the foam.
Might be obvious, but still: NEVER put enamel mugs or other metal mugs or bottles into a microwave.
2 cups (16 oz / 473 ml) oat milk
1 cup (8 oz / 236 ml) cold brew coffee concentrate
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
- Let’s keep this simple: warm up coffee, oat milk and chocolate syrup on stove top – or grill or campfire.
- Pour into an insulated bottle.
- Let’s take it outside!
Iced Mocha Recipe
Ingredients – 1 Iced Mocha (12 oz. glass)
1/3 cup (2.67 oz / 79 ml) cold brew coffee concentrate
2/3 cup (5.33 oz / 158 ml) oat milk
1 – 2 teaspoons chocolate syrup
3 ice cubes
Recipe Steps – 1 Iced Mocha (12 oz. glass)
- Add ice cubes to glass, mug, or tumbler.
- Pour coffee into glass.
(If using hot espresso or hot-brewed coffee instead of cold brew: add chocolate syrup to warm coffee first so chocolate can melt into coffee; then let coffee-chocolate mixture cool off a bit before pouring into glass, then add ice cubes.)
- Add chocolate syrup to coffee. Swivel glass to distribute.
- Pour oat milk into glass.
- Adjust overall flavor to your personal taste by adding more coffee, chocolate, or oat milk.
- For more even distribution of chocolate, use a chopstick or straw (paper or reusable) to stir iced mocha.
Can you pour this delicious coffee chocolate concoction over a scoop of chocolate- or vanilla-flavored “ice cream” made from cashew-milk or similar lactose-free awesomeness? Yes, please.
3/4 cup (6 oz / 177 ml) cold brew coffee concentrate
1 1/2 cup (12 oz / 355 ml) oat milk
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
4 ice cubes
- Add cold brew coffee concentrate, oat milk and chocolate syrup to stainless steel bottle.
- Close bottle and shake it, shake it, shake it.
- Sip it and possibly adjust overall flavor to your personal taste by adding more coffee, chocolate, or milk.
- Add a few ice cubes.
Make Your Own Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate!
It’s surprisingly easy and delicious to make your own cold brews (both coffee and tea, btw). For a cold brew coffee concentrate pour 4 cups of cold water over 2 cups of coarsely ground coffee in a pitcher or similar. Let sit for about 8 hours. Then pour mixture through a sieve into another pitcher or similar. Then pour it through a coffee filter into a pitcher, carafe or stainless steel bottle. You may want to repeat the last step.
Want to Make Your Mocha Even Happier?
Add a shot of Irish Cream (keep it dairy-free and vegan by using Baileys Almande) or a shot of coffee liqueur (keep it brand-named by using Kahlua).
Let’s Inspire Each Other!
We would love to hear if you’ve tried this recipe and what you thought. Can you recommend any other delicious coffee or chocolate drink recipes to us and your fellow readers?
Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share…