If you think that a hot mocha latte is the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee, just wait until you try it iced! We’re going to show you how to make an iced mocha at home using two different recipes. A traditional iced mocha recipe, plus a vegan iced mocha recipe featuring a variety of dairy-free milk options.
Here’s what you need to know to get your barista on and whip up one of these refreshing coffees!
What is a mocha latte?
A mocha latte or a “caffè mocha”, is a coffee drink made with a single or double shot of espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate. Sometimes it’s topped off with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Delicious, right?
The mocha latte gets its name from a port city on the Red Sea coast of Yemen, which used to be a major coffee exporting hub back in the 17th century.
The mocha latte’s first appearance in North America was in 1892 in a Betty Crocker cookbook.
The modern-day versions of the hot mocha latte and iced mocha are some of the most popular coffee drinks worldwide.
What makes a mocha, a mocha?
The ingredient that makes a mocha truly a mocha is chocolate. Known for its sweet and rich equal parts chocolate and coffee mochas are also famous for their versatility.
Coffee shops love showing off all of their unique iced and hot mocha flavors and often offer a range of options including peppermint, salted caramel, cinnamon, and even cookie crumble mochas.
Origins of iced coffee
Iced coffee drinks have been around longer than you think! Mazagran is a cold coffee beverage that originated in Algeria in 1840, and the frozen Coffee Slush has been around since the 19th century. Both varieties were made with a base of coffee syrup and cold water.
Knowing how to make your own iced coffee is key to making the perfect iced mocha from the comfort of your kitchen.
How to chill coffee fast
Chilled or iced coffee is a must to make an iced mocha. Adding hot coffee instantly melts the ice cubes and instead of an iced mocha, you’ll end up with a watery, diluted coffee that doesn’t taste great.
Here are two ways to quickly chill coffee so you get the best flavor out of your iced mocha.
- Frozen Coffee ice cubes – This needs a little bit of preparation but it’s super fun and it makes your drink look fancy. All you need to do is brew some coffee, pour it in an ice cube tray, and freeze it. Once your coffee cubes are fully frozen use them to quickly chill the espresso shot you use for your iced mocha. By replacing water ice cubes with coffee ones your mocha won’t lose flavor.
- Ice bath – This method is quicker than the coffee ice cubes one. Fill a bowl with ice cubes and cold water, then pour your hot coffee into a ceramic mug and place it in the bowl so that the bottom half of the mug is submerged in the ice bath. This will chill the coffee and make it iced mocha-ready within a few minutes. Avoid using glass if you choose this method. Placing hot glass into ice water may cause it to crack or shatter.
Alternatively, you can use a ready-made concentrate like Starbucks cold brew concentrate and skip the coffee chilling step.
What’s in an iced mocha?
An iced mocha is a cold coffee drink made with a single or double shot of espresso combined with chocolate syrup, milk, and ice, then topped with whipped cream. Unlike hot mocha lattes, iced mochas don’t have steamed milk.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s in an iced mocha:
Coffee – you can use espresso (here’s how to pull a perfect shot), strongly brewed coffee, or a cold brew concentrate.
Milk – dairy or plant-based.
Chocolate syrup – dark chocolate flavors work best!
Ice – we recommend using ice cubes and not crushed ice.
Whipped cream – this is optional but makes for the perfect topping!
How to make an iced mocha
Iced mocha recipe
- Espresso machine
- Coffee mug
- Burr grinder
- 2 shots espresso Or, cold brew concentrate
- 5 oz milk Or, plant-milk alternative
- 2 pumps chocolate syrup
- 3 tbsp whipped cream
- 6 cubes ice
- First, you need to make sure you chilled your espresso if you're not using a cold brew concentrate.
- Grab a tall glass or a mason jar and add two pumps of chocolate syrup.
- Pour the chilled coffee on top and mix well with a spoon. Use a muddler spoon if available.
- Add the ice cubes to fill your glass or jar and mix again.
- Pour in the milk slowly.
- Add whipped cream and chocolate shavings to taste.
- Try experimenting with flavors. A drop or two of vanilla, coconut, or hazelnut extract makes for a nice twist.
- Instead of chocolate syrup, try melting a few pieces of your favorite chocolate bar or chocolate chips.
Iced mocha vs. frappuccino
The main difference between an iced mocha and a frappuccino is that a frappuccino doesn’t have to be made with chocolate, has no espresso shots, and is made in a blender.
A portmanteau of “frappe” and “cappuccino”, the frappuccino was originally invented in Massachusetts by The Coffee Connection in 1994. The “frappe” is a New England term for a milkshake that contains ice cream, while cappuccinos are hot brewed coffee drinks topped with frothed milk.
The version of the frappuccino that Starbucks created is a mix of espresso, milk, ice, sugar, and chocolate syrup.
Turn a mocha into a frappuccino
Turning your mocha into a frappuccino is very easy to do! Use all of the typical iced mocha ingredients except for the espresso shots, add them to the blender, and blend until smooth. Then, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. It’s up to you if you also want to omit the chocolate syrup!
Iced mocha vs. iced latte
Iced mocha iced lattes are very similar.
An iced mocha brings together iced coffee, espresso, rich chocolate syrup, ice, and milk, topped off with whipped cream.
An iced latte is a mixture of iced coffee, espresso, and cold milk over ice.
While they contain the same amount of coffee and milk, iced mochas have a more pronounced flavor thanks to their chocolate syrup and the whipped cream.
Iced mochas also tend to be sweeter and have more calories than iced lattes.
Can I make a vegan iced mocha?
Turning an iced mocha vegan is super easy! Replace the dairy milk with a plant-based alternative and buy (or make) vegan whipped cream.
Here are our favorite non-dairy milk for vegan iced mochas:
- Pacific Natural Foods Barista Series Soy – This is a neutral-tasting plant-based alternative that lets the flavors in your iced mocha shine!
- Oatly Original Oat Drink – Barista Edition – This oat milk adds extra sweetness and creaminess to your iced mocha without overpowering the chocolate and coffee flavors.
- Pacific Barista Series Original Almond – This almond milk brings a unique marzipan flavor to your iced mocha!
- Pacific Foods Coconut Milk, Unsweetened – Looking to try a more unusual iced mocha? Try adding coconut milk!
Takeaways on how to make an iced mocha
One of the things we love most about coffee is that there is so much room for experimentation! This is especially true with iced mochas.
Now you know just how simple it is to make these delicious chocolate coffee drinks at home, you’re well on your way crafting barista-level iced mochas!