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Coffee has been a part of the world’s heritage for centuries; the oldest rumor is that in the 9th Century when a goat herd stumbled upon some leaves that seemed to make his goats much more active and excited than usual.

There are many such theories about the discovery of coffee. After years and years of being one of the most beloved and popular drinks around the world, plain old coffee has undergone major breakthroughs that have led to the innovation of at least thirty different types of coffee, although there are hundreds of unexplored possibilities waiting ahead of us!

For today, I wanted to discuss the three most popular types; mocha vs latte vs cafe au lait. So let’s take a look at these three delicious drinks.

The Basic Composition

The different types of coffees are made mainly through variations in combinations of milk, espresso, cream, and in the case of mocha, even chocolate.

But to choose between mocha vs latte vs cafe au lait is a tricky discussion.


Mocha is more loved by chocolate enthusiasts, and consists of a bottom layer of espresso, with a middle layer of hot chocolate, finished with a layer of steamed milk – all ingredients are to be added in equivalent amounts.


Latte is one of the simplest versions of coffee, but the soothing effect it has is unmatched. You can make a latte by starting with one part espresso, then comes four parts steamed milk, and the drink is topped off with one part foamy milk froth.

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au lait is a delicacy that has many versions in different places around the world. The most common one is the basic mixture of equal parts espresso and equal parts milk. Another much-loved version is equal parts French pressed coffee and equal parts milk.

If it’s a hot summer day, you can even make an Iced Mocha or an Iced Latte or an Iced Cafe Au Lait, by adding ice to your glass and using cold milk instead of steamed milk.

The Intricacies

The composition of coffee is not the only factor that matters here. Each coffee has its own unique flavor, with varying levels of richness, creaminess, and caffeine strength that allows the drinker to be able to telephone to another world, all while sipping on a cuppa.


As mentioned earlier, mocha is more beloved by chocolate fanatics. It has even been deemed unworthy of being called a coffee by many over-passionate coffee enthusiasts.

However, that is simply because of the inauthentic versions of mocha that have developed around the world. Many people just add chocolate syrup or even chocolate ice cream!

In those cases of course the taste of the coffee is often over-powered. The real Cafe Mocha is a simple concoction that is actually very detail-oriented.

The small details are actually the make-or-break factors when it comes to any form of food or beverage preparation.

The hot chocolate that needs to be used for a Cafe Mocha is the rich and creamy kind. It is made from melting high-quality chocolate and mixing milk and cream into it.


The details that involve lattes are mainly related to the steaming and frothing of the milk, as well as the espresso shots that are used in the coffee base.

If the milk is not steamed, it may remain unheated, or it may burn and clump up. If the espresso shot is not made from high-grade roast coffee, then of course the quality of the coffee would also be mediocre.

Lattes are mainly popular around the world because of the latte art that many skilled people do in the layer of frothy milk. They make abstract patterns, flowers, objects, and a few highly-skilled people could even make portraits of people and animals.

For people who are always in a rush, a latte is usually their first choice. It is quick and easy to make, and very cheap, no matter where you buy it from (unless it’s some posh restaurant!)

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au lait is a delicacy that is simple but has cultural ties to the Italian and the French.

The main difference between a cafe au lait vs a latte is that there is no foamy milk on the top.

In many places and households where espresso shots are not used, there is also the difference that cafe au lait is actually made exclusively with strongly brewed French pressed coffee, which gives an oily and heavy after-taste, that makes it a more popular choice.

The traditional way to serve cafe au lait is in a small, wide glass bowl. It becomes easier to dunk pastries or cookies in your coffee, without worrying about crumbs everywhere. In some places, it is also served in a cappuccino cup for better heat retention.

The most famous regional variation of the café au lait can be found in New Orleans. In New Orleans, they mix chicory coffee and scalded milk. There is a slightly bitter taste from the chicory. It is complemented by their traditional very sweet, sugar-coated donuts called beignets. This wonderful combination can be found in almost any cafe in New Orleans.

The cafe au lait is probably the most democratic and accessible milk-based coffee out there.

Tom Clark, President of Coutume Cafe in Paris


Coffee is an unavoidable part of not just my life, but of millions of lives around the world. The fact that there are so many variations to coffee, makes the whole experience even more exciting and memorable.

Coffee doesn’t just give you the much-needed warmth on a cold winter day, it also gives you the much-needed cooling down in the sweltering heat of summer; and how can we forget how it helps form memories with our loved ones?

So get up off your chairs, sofas, and beds right now and go make yourself a steaming hot, or freezing a cold cup of coffee, and enjoy!

Hopefully, now you can decide between a mocha vs latte vs cafe au lait!

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