Caffè mocha is a popular drink that usually blends two favorites: hot chocolate and espresso. The shot of wake-me-up juice in the middle of a traditionally relaxing hot chocolate is an exciting and delicious combination. But nobody’s judging if you want to skip the espresso once in a while and just have a warm cup of cocoa.
That’s what brings us to this important question: Can you make hot chocolate in the espresso machine?
Yes, you can. In fact, many have found that their hot chocolate is smooth and delicious when made in the espresso machine.
Will the cocoa powder damage the machine?
Probably not, as long as you’re using the standard powder for hot chocolate. However, if you’re concerned about clogging with cocoa beans, you can use the blade grinder or processor. This will allow you to get the powder into its finest possible form before you dump it in the machine. Then you should have no problems at all making a tasty cup.
Be aware that you may want to use a separate processor for your cocoa beans. This will ensure you don’t cause any damage to your espresso equipment, and you don’t leave a chocolatey taste for when you want standard espresso later.
Is it better than making hot chocolate in the microwave?
The trouble with making hot cocoa in the microwave is that you will struggle with regulating the temperature.
Sometimes your drink won’t be warm enough, and other times it will be scalding. You also have to make sure you’re using a microwave-safe mug. And let’s not even get into what happens if the liquid begins to boil when it’s still inside the microwave.
Of course, if you prefer the microwave or have no other options, you can always use it in a pinch.
How do you make hot chocolate in the espresso machine?
There are a few steps you’ll need to take when you’re preparing the best hot chocolate in your espresso maker.
- Start with about 5 oz. of milk. If you’ve been making your hot chocolate with water, be prepared for a major step up in taste. We’re cooking with the good stuff here. You’ll want about five ounces of milk to start. As you practice with this, you will decide how much milk is best for you, but this is a good starting point.
- Add about 1 oz. of cocoa powder. This is a good baseline measurement: 1 ounce of powder to 5 ounces of milk. For those who like their hot cocoa a little stronger, you can fiddle with these ratios as much as you like.
- Stir, then use the steam wand. Once you’ve stirred your cocoa/milk mixture until it’s completely blended, it’s time to bring out the steam wand. Yep, this is everybody’s favorite part. Steam-wand it up until you have that perfect foam.
- Tap out the bubbles. Sometimes little air bubbles are hiding at the base of your milk jug by the end of this process. You can release them by giving the bottom of the jug a few little taps. This should bring them to the top so your drink can stay leveled out.
- You did it! Sit back, take a nice sip, and congratulate yourself.
Will it taste the same?
This is up for debate. Some say it tastes better, some say it tastes bland, and others say they can’t tell the difference. The overall quality of your drink will depend more on what kind of hot cocoa you’re using, and less on whether you’ve made it in the espresso machine.
Hot Cocoa vs. Hot Chocolate
While most people will refer to hot chocolate and hot cocoa synonymously, they aren’t technically the same thing. Let’s get pedantic for a bit.
If you’re drinking hot cocoa, then you are drinking cocoa powder, probably with added sugar and milk. This is what you find in standard grocery store versions of instant hot chocolate. It’s made from fermented and roasted cocoa beans. If you’re using instant powders, those probably also have added preservatives to make their shelf life much longer.
This is a much-loved, tasty drink that is quick and easy and perfect for cold nights by the fire. Chances are you have good memories of this concoction, whether you drank it with hot water or milk, and whether it was made in the microwave or an espresso machine. It’s known for being a simple treat.
If you’re drinking hot chocolate, then you’re having something a bit more complicated. This involves melting chocolate into hot water or milk. The process can take a while, and the actual steps and ingredients will vary depending on where you’re from.
For example, Colombian hot chocolate calls for a variety of spices, as well as cheese and salt. The result is decadent and creamy. Then there’s the European option, which calls for bitter-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate and is a completely different experience.
If you’re in the mood, it can be a lot of fun to find hot chocolate recipes from around the world and give each one a try. What will be your new family favorite?
How do you make caffè mocha?
While you have the espresso machine out, you might start thinking about the delicious taste of a good hot cocoa/espresso mix. No worries; this is easy to do.
For this drink, simply prepare one shot of espresso in your preferred way.
Melt the chocolate in milk separately on the stove or in the microwave.
Then, slowly pour your chocolate into the espresso. You can also do this with coffee!