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How to Make the Best Cafe Mocha with a Nespresso Espresso Maker

Updated on March 15, 2016
Make a cafe mocha at home
Make a cafe mocha at home | Source

Goodbye Starbucks

Mocha lovers, listen up! There are mochas.....and then there are mochas. If your pocketbook needs a break from hitting the drive-thru every morning to get your morning caffeine jolt, here is the perfect recipe to get your day started right. First, purchase a single cup coffee/espresso maker. There are several on the market such as Keurig and Nespresso that are relatively inexpensive and oh so easy-to-use. Similar in concept is Starbuck's recent introduction of Verismo, a single espresso maker. Compared to visiting your neighborhood Starbucks everyday, this initial investment will easily pay for itself in a little over two months.

My favorite Nespresso machine, and the best value for the money is the CitiZ with Milk for $299. Purchasing this combo machine saves $50 off purchasing a CitiZ and an Aeroccino steamer separately. A less expensive option is to purchase an Essenza ($129) and an Aeroccino ($99).

Nespresso Has Affordable Options

My Nespresso CitiZ w/Milk
My Nespresso CitiZ w/Milk | Source

Not All Chocolate is Created Equal

Once you have the espresso machine, its time to focus on the chocolate. The difference between an average cafe mocha and a fabulous, smooth beverage to be savored, is in the quality of the chocolate. Mocha powders, ground chocolate and ordinary milk chocolate chips will have you running back to Starbucks in no time. Ghirardelli Barista Dark Chocolate Chips are the answer for intense flavor and pure, velvety chocolate. These Ghirardelli chips will turn your not-so-great, made-at-home mocha into a gourmet café mocha. Even the Starbucks mocha powder leaves much to be desired next to the quality, rich chocolate flavor of Ghirardelli. You can't buy these Ghirardelli Barista Dark Chocolate Chips at a Ghirardelli retail or online store since they are only sold through Food Service companies. Have no fear, you can easily order the chocolate in a 10 pound box from or

The ingredients for a perfect cafe mocha
The ingredients for a perfect cafe mocha | Source
Pour the steamed milk mixed with chocolate into the espresso
Pour the steamed milk mixed with chocolate into the espresso | Source

Cafe Mocha Ingredients

  • 6 oz. milk, 2% or your choice
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips, Ghiradelli Barista Dark Chocolate Chips
  • two capsules Nespresso Ristretto, or your favorite espresso
  • whipped cream, if desired
  • chocolate shavings, if desired

Recipe for a Nespresso Cafe Mocha

  1. Pour the milk into the steamer along with two tablespoons of the Ghiradelli Barista Dark Chocolate Chips. (Two percent milk works well and has fewer calories than while milk). The chocolate chips completely melt and easily mix into the milk in the steamer.
  2. While the milk and gourmet chocolate are steaming and mixing, run two Nespresso Ristretto capsules, one at a time, through your Nespresso machine.
  3. When the steamer light turns off, add the steamed chocolate concoction to your espresso and enjoy and a delicious mocha!

Shipping Ghirardelli Chocolate

Once you start making these cafe mochas at home with Ghirardelli chocolate you will quickly appreciate the intense dark chocolate flavor. It is difficult to replicate this flavor with other brands, syrups or powders of chocolate. So, word to the wise--do not let your chocolate run out, especially in the summer months. The chocolate is not shipped with dry ice and it will melt. Unless you want your chocolate mini chips to arrive in a 10 pound chocolate block, it is a good idea to plan ahead. The average use for a 10 pound box of Ghirardelli Barista Dark Chocolate Chips is about four months if you are making one mocha a day, using two tablespoons.

Starbuck's Verisimo vs. Nespresso

Recently Starbucks made an entry into the single serving coffee business with its Verismo espresso machine. Similar in concept to the Nespresso, the Verismo uses pods, one powdered milk pod and one espresso pod, plus one tablespoon of Starbuck's mochas sauce to make a café mocha. There are two main differences between the Verismo and the Nespresso mocha.

Taste. The Verismo mocha uses a powdered milk pod which has more of an artificial flavor than fresh steamed milk.

Cost. Nespresso machines start at $129. You can buy the pods online for about 60 cents each. Starbucks Verismo machine starts at $200 and each pod costs one dollar. That is a significant cost difference. Since a tall café mocha costs $3.20 at most Starbucks, you aren't saving that much money by making the mocha at home with a Verismo. Like the Nespresso, the benefit is the time and convenience factor.

Good Ingredients Equal Good Mocha

Using the best ingredients, including intense espresso, fresh steamed milk and gourmet chocolate is the key to a good mocha made at home. Start your morning off right and reward yourself with a truly delectable café mocha.


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    • Kate 5 years ago

      Hey, can you use the steamer to make hot chocolates?

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Hi Kate. Yes, you can use a milk steamer to make hot chocolate. It works much better than using the microwave because it heats the milk evenly. The steamer is also easier than using a saucepan on the stove and much quicker. Make sure to use good, quality chocolate for the best results. Enjoy!

    • Kate 5 years ago

      Great! Do nestle chocolate chips work too? They're a lot easier to find. Is it okay to use baking chips instead of the original?

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Hi Kate, I have tried the Nestle mini chips and found they did not melt as well as the Ghiradelli Barsita Dark Chocolate chips. I do not recommend the baking chips as they have a different sugar content and will altar the flavor--unless you want to add your own sugar to the hot chocolate.

    • Brent 5 years ago

      Thanks for this idea. I want to make sure I buy a Nespresso model that will get the milk and chocolate warm enough to melt (read some reviews that models just got he milk warm). I was looking at the DeLonghi Lattissima Plus. Do you think that one will do it?

      I'm so excited, I love a great mocha!

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Hi Brent, I am not familiar with the DeLonghi Lattissima Plus-- I think that is a later model Nepresso model than mine as mine is two years old. I can tell you that my Nespresso steamer absolutely gets the milk warm enough to melt the chocolate. If the reviews are good on the DeLongho Lattissima Plus, go for it. If you buy quality chocolate, a good steamer will definitely melt the chocolate with the milk. You will love this mocha and crave it everyday--it has such great flavor! Enjoy!

      PS - one more tip--preheat your coffee by running one shot of just hot water through the Nespresso before you put your capsule in. This cleans the system and heats your coffee mug. Then dump out the hot water in your mug and start making your mocha.

    • Brent 5 years ago

      Awesome! Thanks so much. I was getting really tired of the Starbucks drive thru and not having anything at home.

    • Brent 5 years ago

      Im ordering the DeLonghi Lattissima Plus and the Ghirardeli chocolate.

      Any suggestions on making a caramel macchiato? That's my wife's fav.


    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Hi Brent, wow!! You are ordering the Mercedes of gourmet coffee makers--I am jealous! Sorry, I cannot give you any advice for making caramel macchiatos. I am not a true barista, just a cafe mocha fanatic. I bet you can google a good recipes for macchiatos. You can even try the Nespresso site to see if they have any suggestions. Good luck!

    • Brent 5 years ago

      Just got it home from Sur la Table and my wife has already enjoyed a great latte. The chocolate is on the way. Can't wait to make my 1st mocha.

      This machine is smaller than the old Keurig we had and makes great espresso. Very easy cleanup and what a neat design for just taking the milk container out and putting it in the fridge. Thanks again for the idea!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      This is too much. I'm a chocolate worshiper but have stayed away from mocha with chocolate till now. Get AWAY from me. (I live in Italy and the option to have chocolate on cappuccino is now normal! but I doubt the chocolate they use is Ghirardelli....even here...oh mmmm)

      Seriously though, well done! It's tempting and a great Hub.

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Thanks GoodLady! Give a Cafe Mocha a try, come only live once. Go for the good stuff!

    • Sandy 4 years ago

      I will give this recipe a try. It sounds simple. I have an Nespresso with steamer and its been a great investment. The steamer stopped working, but Nespresso replacedit quickly at no charge. Looking forward to using the Ghiradelli chocolate.

    • Brittany 4 years ago

      Which device do you use in the Aeroccino--the whisk or the mixer? I'm having trouble determining the functions of the two.

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      @Sandy--I have found Nespresso to have excellent service as well. Hope you enjoy the mocha recipe!

      @ Brittany- for mocha, I use the mixer, but if you are looking for a "frothier" result, use the whisk option. Its stored in the base of my Aeroccino. Good luck!

    • Mark 3 years ago

      I think I am going to buy my wife a Nepresso machine for Valentine's Day, so this recipe will help. Thanks.

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 3 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Mark, what a wonderful Valentine's Day present! I bet your wife will love it! Wrap it up with a big red heart.

    • Andy 3 years ago


      Wonderful guide!

      Could you point me in the direction of a site where us Europeans can order Ghirardelli Chips?

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 3 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Hi Andy. I am glad you found this hub useful. For ordering Giradelli barista chips, try You won't qualify for the Amazon Super Saver Shipping, but they do ship to Europe. Good luck!

    • Carrie 3 years ago

      I have been looking for a good mocha recipe to make my own at home. I will try the Ghiradelli chocolate chips. I have also found the powders to not be very good. Thanks for the good info.

    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 2 years ago

      Wow - what a comprehensive hub about coffee lol. I'm a simple man when it comes to my caffeine products, but perhaps it's worth expanding a bit and seeing what the fuss is all about. I like Ghirardelli, so maybe there's a chocolate/coffee combination to be had...

      Great hub - voted up!

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 2 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      @Taranwanderer, anything with Ghiradelli is pretty good:). Give it a try! Thanks for stopping by.

    • jamie 2 months ago

      ​I tried all kinds of online hacks, and none were starbucksy enough for me. This is the only one that really nailed it:

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