I confess. Over the years I’ve had relationships with multiple espresso makers. The longest fling was with a Wega MiniNova which unfortunately developed a leak that never got fixed. If money were no object I would have quickly replaced it with another Wega. In the meantime, while saving my pennies, I’ve come up with pretty good solution.
The good news is that for about $35, accessories not included, you can buy an AeroPress to make consistently good espresso. The bad news is that it takes 10 minutes to make one cafe mocha, or at least that’s how long it takes me.
Cafe mocha! What’s great is that I can whip one up at home much faster than going somewhere to buy one, and, to me, it’s just as good. Plus it’s much less expensive.
The mug I use is almost 15 fluid ounces, make sure yours is microwave safe. If you like your coffee drinks hot it’s important to preheat the mug, so fill it up with water and put it in the microwave on high for about three minutes or until the water starts boiling. Make sure to note how long this step takes in the microwave, you’ll be using the exact same time to heat the milk.
As a rule of thumb I use 1/4 ounce of coffee beans per cup of coffee. However, when making a cafe mocha I use a whole ounce of coffee beans for three AeroPress servings (150 milliliters total for 3 servings). Often I’ll use from 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of decaf beans to reduce the caffeine. You’ll want a fine grind when making espresso so you may need to experiment with different grind settings.
Add 150 milliliters, or 5 fluid ounces, of water to a microwave safe measuring cup and heat on high in the microwave until it just starts to boil (this is contrary to the AeroPress instructions, but I find it much easier… just stick with me). Be sure to note how long it takes in the microwave to boil the water as you’ll heat the milk for the same amount of time.
Pour 7 fluid ounces of milk into a 2 cup measuring cup. You’ll want the extra space of the larger measuring cup when frothing the milk using an immersion blender. Heat the 7 fluid ounces of milk for the same amount of time it took to bring the 5 fluid ounces of water to a boil, be sure to not boil the milk.
I always froth the milk in the sink because there’s always some milk that spills during the process.
Add about an ounce of chocolate syrup to the expresso and stir. Pour in the frothed milk and spoon the foam into the top.
Back when I started making cafe mochas I didn’t add shaved chocolate. When taking photos I thought the chocolate garnish would look great. What a surprise when I drank the Cafe mocha after the photo session! It wasn’t the taste so much as the smell of the chocolate when lifting the mug to take a drink.
For the total experience I highly recommend the chocolate shavings.
Cafe Mocha on the Cheap
- 1 oz ground coffee fine (espresso) grind
- 5 fl oz water heated
- 7 fl oz 2% milk heated
- 1 oz chocolate syrup
- 1/4 oz chocolate bar shaved
- Fill mug with water and heat in microwave until water boils, about 3 minutes.
- Measure coffee beans and grind.