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Starbucks Coffee Guide: Mochas

This Starbucks Mocha guide is perfect for chocolate lovers and coffee drinkers. Learn all about Starbucks mocha drinks including what's in a mocha and how to custom order this popular drink.
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Starbucks Mochas

Starbucks mochas are a favorite among all types of coffee drinkers. As a matter of fact, mochas are one of the best options for people new to Starbucks coffee. Of course, seasoned coffee drinkers love Starbucks line-up of mochas too.

And it’s easy to see why. Mochas are a rich blend of coffee and bittersweet mocha sauce. It’s a bit like a marriage made in heaven. A nice fluffy topping of Starbucks whipped cream pairs perfectly with this chocolate coffee drink.

That’s why mochas are the best drink for customers trying coffee for the first time. The sweetness of chocolate and whipped cream balance the coffee in a magical way.

So if you’re a coffee and chocolate lover but have never tried a mocha, I highly recommend this drink.

Of course, like all Starbucks drinks, there are lots of options and ways to customize mochas.

In this Starbucks Mocha Guide I show you everything you need to know about ordering a mocha.

For instance, this guide shows all the menu options, how to order a mocha, and ways to customize this drink.

In short, here’s everything you need to know about Starbucks mocha drinks.

How Starbucks Makes Mochas

There are two types of Starbucks mochas on the menu: hot and iced mochas.

No matter if you’re in the mood for a warm and cozy drink or its iced version, all mochas begin with the same basic ingredients: espresso, mocha sauce, milk and whipped cream. That is how a Caffè Mocha is made.

Then you can build up from there to create lots of delicious flavors.

What Goes in a Starbucks Mocha

  • Espresso
  • Mocha Sauce
  • Milk
  • Whipped Cream
  • Flavored Syrup (optional)
  • Toppings (optional)
  • Ice (for iced mochas)

Mochas on Starbucks Menu

One thing that makes Starbucks mochas so popular are all the delicious variations.

Actually, you’re probably very familiar with Starbucks Peppermint Mocha. It’s a holiday classic. As you can imagine, peppermint, mocha sauce, coffee, whipped cream and peppermint topping are a real treat.

But Starbucks has lots of other flavors of mocha on the menu. Just don’t think you have to stick to the list.

They can make mochas any flavor you want. Additionally, if you’re Starbucks has decaf espresso (not all do), you can even get a decaf mocha so long as you select white mocha sauce.

21 Starbucks Chocolate Drinks: Menu Favorites & More

Here’s a list of Starbucks mocha drinks on the menu:

Each of the following Starbucks mochas is available hot or iced.

How to Order a Starbucks Mocha

Select Hot or Iced

When ordering a mocha the first thing you need to do is decide if you want it hot or iced.

The same flavors are available for both hot and iced. The only real difference is that obviously the cold mocha has ice and the milk isn’t steamed.

Pick a Size

The next thing you need to decide what size mocha you want to order.

Keep in mind, the cup size determines how many shots of espresso goes into the drink.

Hot mochas are available in four sizes beginning with small. However, iced mochas are only available in three sizes.

One thing to note is that an iced venti mochas contain 1 more shot of espresso compared to a hot venti mocha. This is because an iced venti drink actually is 4 ounces bigger than a hot venti.

Here’s how many shots of espresso Starbucks puts in each cup size for mochas.

  • Short (8oz): 1 shot (only available for hot mochas)
  • Tall (12 oz): 1 shot
  • Grande (16 oz): 2 shots
  • Venti Hot Mocha (20 oz): 2 shots
  • Venti Iced Mocha (24 oz): 3 shots

Choose a Mocha Sauce

When it comes to Starbucks mocha drinks don’t think dark chocolate mocha sauce is the only option.

They’re white chocolate choices make equally delicious and decadent coffees, too.

Here are the three standard mocha sauce options at Starbucks.

  • Mocha Sauce
  • White Chocolate Mocha Sauce
  • Toasted White Chocolate Mocha Sauce (seasonal)

And here’s the amount of mocha sauce per Starbucks cup size:

  • Short (8oz): 2 pumps (only available for hot mochas)
  • Tall (12 oz): 3 pumps
  • Grande (16 oz): 4 pumps
  • Venti Hot Mocha (20 oz): 5 pumps
  • Venti Iced Mocha(24 oz): 6 pumps

Select a Milk Option

The standard milk Starbucks uses for hot and iced mochas is 2% dairy milk.

However, if you’re a Starbucks regular you know they have a whole bunch of milk choices including plant-based milks like almond and soy.

Of course, they also have several dairy options in addition to 2% like non-fat, whole, breve and heavy cream.

Just keep in mind, the type of milk you choose may change the creaminess of the mocha.

Add a Flavored Syrup

The basic Caffè Mocha does not have any flavored syrup in it.

But a little syrup transforms a simple mocha into something special.That’s why peppermint mochas are so popular.

And in case you’re not aware, Starbucks has peppermint syrup available all year long. That means a Peppermint Mocha isn’t just for the holidays. You can even make your own copycat Starbucks peppermint syrup for homemade drinks.

While peppermint mochas are the only flavored ones listed on the menu, feel free to select any syrup you want. For instance, vanilla or sugar-free vanilla is a popular choice.

Here are the number of pumps of syrup Starbucks adds to flavored mochas:

  • Short (8oz): 2 pumps (hot mochas only)
  • Tall (12 oz): 3 pumps
  • Grande (16 oz): 4 pumps
  • Venti Hot Mocha (20 oz): 5 pumps
  • Venti Iced Mocha(24 oz): 6 pumps

Sprinkle on a Topping

All mochas come topped with a big dollop of Starbucks sweet whipped cream.

But peppermint mochas have a little something more: chocolate curls.

Additionally, the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha comes with holiday sugar sprinkles, seasonally.

But nothing is to stop you from adding chocolate curls to any mocha that doesn’t already come topped with them. Not to mention, you can substitute chocolate curls with any other type of topping Starbucks has.

More Ways to Customize Starbucks Mochas

The Starbucks menu has their best and most popular drinks listed. Sometimes, it’s not worth messing with a good thing, like adding six pumps of syrup when the recipe calls for two. Customizations like that can turn a mocha or any drink into a sugary glop.

But customizations are the name of the game at Starbucks, especially if you just want to switch up flavors or meet some diet or nutritional needs. And the baristas always seem happy to help or make suggestions.

Make a note, though, that increasing add-ins like more espresso or selecting more expensive milks, changes the price of the drink.

Here are a few ways to customize mochas.

Add an Extra Shot of Espresso: There are two ways to get more espresso and caffeine in a Starbucks mocha.

The first way is to order a drink size that’s made with more shots of espresso. Otherwise, you can order any size drink with additional shots of espresso.

Make it Skinny: Skinny at Starbucks means no sugar, non-fat milk, no whipped cream.

Since all Starbucks mocha sauces contain sugar it’s not possible to get a skinny mocha. However, you can order it with non-fat milk and request for the whipped cream to be left off. Additionally, you can ask for less mocha sauce to reduce the amount of sugar. Here a few more ways to cut calories at Starbucks.

Get it Decaf: Not all Starbucks stores have decaf espresso, but if your go-to location does, then it’s possible to get a decaf mocha.

The thing is, chocolate also contains caffeine, so if you want a completely caffeine-free mocha, also order it with white chocolate mocha sauce.

If you’re interested, here’s a list of all the ways to get decaf coffee at Starbucks.

Starbucks Mocha FAQs


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