Don’t Knock the Mocha!

The coffee world can be very sniffy when it comes to adulterating coffee with anything other than milk. But, says Paul Eagles from Kokoa Collection, the mocha deserves a second look. Photo: Andy Waterman.

Mocha can be such a conundrum: is it coffee with extra chocolate? Or is it hot chocolate with a shot of espresso? Or could it be the perfect pairing of the two? There isn’t an exact science. It depends on the intensity of both the coffee and the chocolate, and it depends on whether it’s your drink of choice, a rare treat, or whether you just can’t make up your mind between coffee or hot chocolate that day. 

To some, mocha is an ‘off-piste’ drink, but to those who drink it regularly, a little differentiation will be appreciated. To make things a little livelier, Caffeine set Paul the challenge of coming up with five dessert-themed mocha recipes.

“People who drink mocha realise it actually has its own personality, it’s not just a coffee substitution. But one thing’s for sure, people who enjoy mocha are a little more playful, have a sweet tooth, and like to mix it up.”

Paul will be using five of Kokoa Collection’s single-origin hot chocolates – the differing terrain, varieties of cocoa plants, sweetness and cocoa ratios each bringing their own flavour characteristics.

From The Kokoa Collection :

  • White chocolate from the Ivory Coast, with cocoa butter and natural vanilla
  • 58% cocoa from Venezuela, light fruits
  • 70% cocoa from Ecuador, balanced, floral and herbal notes
  • 75% cocoa from Haiti, rich, indulgent, roast hazelnut
  • 82% cocoa from Madagascar, for chocolate lovers and not too sweet

THE COFFEES

Natural Spirit Blend by Union Hand-roasted. Zesty dark luxurious chocolate. Sweet honey roasted almonds with lemongrass vanilla chocolate finish. Complex and bold.

Brazil Fazenda Pantano by North Star Roast. Pulped natural coffee with honeyed sweetness; red berries, plums, dried fruit, toffee, chocolate, nuts, and an orange tang on the finish.

Fleet Street Press Blend by Caravan. Sweet cocoa body, biscuity apricot sweetness with macadamia and spice notes and a gentle lime acidity.

Rwandan Gashonga by North Star Roast. Plummy in character with notes of cherry, sweet damson and blackcurrant. It has exceptional sweetness and hints of cocoa 

Bolivia, Finca David Vilca by Hasbean. Wonderfully sweet, milk chocolate with walnut hints. Think pear and mixed berries mashed with hints of spice and citrus aftertaste.

THE MOCHAS

The Sticky Toffee Pudding

Mix one shot of Brazil Fazenda Pantano with two tablets of Kokoa Collection Venezuela 58%, an optional single white chocolate tablet steamed together with 200ml of milk (at home you can make a paste with the chocolate tablets by melting them in the espresso and then pouring in the milk). The Venezuelan chocolate has light notes of fruit from the
criollo and trinitario cocoa which compliments the sweet and fruity Fazenda. With the white chocolate addition, as if by magic you have vanilla ice cream on the side!
Recipe is courtesy of Bean & Bud, Harrogate

The Crème Brulee

Take three tablets of Kokoa Collection Ivory Coast (approx 25g) and an espresso shot of Union’s Natural Spirit blend. Both are excellent drinks in their own right, but paired together the vanilla and smoothness of the white chocolate emphasises the heights of the espresso. The final result is a crème brulee in a cup, with wonderful texture. The boldness of the espresso is the key factor here, a lighter espresso could get lost but the Natural Spirit keeps its personality.

Tiramisu 

Our Ecuadorian 70% is typically regarded as the perfect meeting point for a bittersweet flavour profile. Ecuador is the only country in the world where you can find the ‘arriba nacional’, the cocoa plant that gives the most delicate floral flavour with a natural hint of almond and arabica as an aftertaste. It matches effortlessly with most light- or medium-roasted coffees. At Fleet Street Press, they serve it with the Press Blend (Brazil, Colombia, Kenya) roasted by Caravan that brings out cocoa, biscuit and macadamia. If you’re feeling adventurous, it can also be served as an alcoholic hot chocolate mocha by adding a dash of amaretto liquor.

Bicerin

This is a traditional type of mocha that originated in Turin in 1703, where it is a speciality to this day. It’s more an experience than just a drink. Like the mochas we know, it’s made
of espresso, drinking chocolate (we recommend Haiti* 75%) and milk or cream, but the novelty lies in the way that its served – layered in a small rounded glass or, as I love it, arriving ‘deconstructed’. They are serving it this way, with a Hasbean Bolivian espresso, in the Vagabond café in London N7. So on a wooden board arrives a cup with a single espresso, a 5oz Haiti 75% hot chocolate, a tablet of Haiti chocolate to eat and whipped cream to the side – DIY style!

Black Forest Gateau

Kokoa Collection’s Madagascar 82% has the highest cocoa content in the collection and a pronounced earthy finish bursting with red fruits which matches best in a mocha with a sweet coffee that can hold its own. We paired it with a Rwandan Gashonga coffee from North Star Roast. The result is literally Black Forest Gateau in a cup, the full-bodied cherry flavour and the warmth and moistness of a rich decadent chocolate to indulge your senses. You can finish it with some grated Madagascan chocolate on top for a real treat.