Why do Mochas get a free pass?

Isn’t it a little odd that some baristas in speciality coffee shops turn their noses up towards customers asking for syrup, yet often have a mocha on the menu? After-all surely the addition of a chocolate powder/ganache/solids (or however else you make a mocha) is just as much an adulteration of a coffee than vanilla syrup.

Now this is not a criticism of mochas. More it is a criticism of those baristas that, with an air of coffee puritanism and snobbery, mistreat syrup-seeking customers whilst being unaware of their own contradictory offering. If anything mochas have more of an altering affect upon the drink than any syrup – as chocolate dominates whatever it is added to.

Mochas are nice. They are also really useful as a first-time, accessible drink.

They’re what I first chose to drink at the tender age of 18 when I started Uni, it kick-started my journey down the long winding path towards becoming a coffee professional. If only I’d chosen a red bull…

Accessibility is important. We have to remember as baristas and coffee sellers we’re not just selling incredible flavour, story and diversity, we’re selling caffeine. We are drug dealers.

As I’m sure you know, one of the first rules of being a drug dealer is to get the kids hooked. That way you can push your drug onto a whole new generation and continue to thrive. Mochas are how we get the young’ins into coffee, preferably speciality coffee by also providing a cool space and great service.

Use a mocha to get’em hooked and then gradually get them to appreciate more quality focused drinks. Just don’t act all superior to people who want syrupy drinks, they’re no worse than the mochas you’re happily serving.


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