Caramel Macchiato vs White Chocolate Mocha

7 min read MAY 06, 2022

Caramel macchiato and white chocolate mocha beverages are both espresso-based drinks with added milk. Yet when comparing these two drinks, the differences, depending on the coffee outlet’s or barista’s recipe, might outweigh the similarities.    

So whether you’re a coffee novice or a seasoned enthusiast who wants to learn more about the difference between these two rich, creamy drinks, we’re here to assist. We’ll give you all the information you need about the similarities and differences between them.          

Below, we describe and compare these two coffee choices and also provide you with suggested recipes. 

What This Article Covers:

The Relationship between Macchiato, Mocha, and Latte 

iced mocha cloud macchiato

A good starting point to better understand the similarities and differences between macchiato and mocha is to draw a comparison between these drinks and a latte.

The basis of these three beverages is one or two shots of espresso.

A latte is made up of one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk, which makes the beverage milkier and creamier compared to espresso or macchiato.

Mocha is similar to a latte with the only difference being that half of the steamed milk used in a latte is replaced with hot chocolate in a mocha. In other words, the ingredients, texturing, and layering in the two drinks differ, but the extraction method is mostly the same.

Macchiato is an espresso-based beverage served in a smaller cup with a dollop of steamed milk or foam added to the espresso. A caramel macchiato in many coffee outlets, however, more resembles a latte than a traditional macchiato because baristas tend to proportionally top up the cup with more milk.        

The Main Differences Between Caramel Macchiato and White Chocolate Mocha

Milk and Cream Content 

mocha cloud macchiato recipe

One of the main differences between a caramel macchiato and a white chocolate mocha is the milk content.

With macchiatos, the espresso shot comprises approximately 80% to 90% of the cup while the milk comprises approximately only 10% to 20% of the cup.

However, in the case of caramel macchiatos, many baristas use more steamed milk than usual, changing the milk content to be much closer to that of a mocha or even a latte.    

With mocha, milk takes up approximately one-third of the cup. The espresso shots and chocolate sauce take up the other two-thirds of the cup.  

Caramel vs Chocolate Flavoring

The overriding flavor that distinguishes caramel macchiato and white chocolate mocha, except for the espresso and the milk flavors, is the chocolate flavor as opposed to caramel.

While the use of caramel syrup is standard, varieties of chocolate textures are available. Some baristas choose to use chocolate flakes while others use chocolate syrup to flavor the coffee.

Sweetness and Richness

Both white chocolate mocha and caramel macchiato drinks are rich in flavor but for different reasons. 

A caramel macchiato is rich due to the milk and caramel flavors mixing with the strong taste of espresso. A mocha is rich thanks to the mix of chocolate, milk, and espresso with the decadent taste of whipped cream. 

If you have a sweet tooth and aren’t afraid of a dessert-type drink with a creamy aftertaste, mocha will be your natural choice.   

In the case of a caramel macchiato, the caramel added to a macchiato also makes the drink sweeter than a traditional macchiato.

Coffee Beans and Roast  

The preferred coffee beans for a mocha and also for white chocolate mocha are medium-dark or dark roast coffee beans.  Medium-dark and dark roast beans have a bolder, more pronounced flavor that ensures that the espresso taste is not overshadowed by the chocolate.

The same beans are used to prepare a macchiato as well as caramel macchiato to ensure that the milk and caramel balance well with the taste of the espresso.

recipe of mocha cloud macchiato

If you want to cut out the added sugary syrup, you can use our specially-crafted Caramel Macchiato Coffee Beans. They’re low in acid and high in flavor, perfect for getting a quick cup of unique, healthy coffee when you aren’t in the mood for fiddling with brewing and whipping.    

Health Concerns 

Choosing between a caramel macchiato or a white chocolate mocha for the health-conscious depends on your diet preference. 

For many who prefer weight-loss diets, a macchiato is superior because, as a rule of thumb, it has fewer calories than a mocha. The fat content of mocha is higher due to the large amount of milk and chocolate inside.

For those who believe that your fat intake is as important as your calorie intake (e.g., the Keto diet), the mocha might be the preferred choice.

This differs from coffee outlet to outlet as some coffee houses choose to use more milk in a caramel macchiato as opposed to a traditional macchiato. You also have to consider the sugar content of a caramel macchiato as opposed to the chocolate in a mocha.

Iced Caramel Macchiato vs Iced White Chocolate Mocha  

White Chocolate Mocha vs Caramel Macchiato

You can drink both a macchiato and a mocha as a hot drink or as an iced beverage. The ice further dilutes the acidity in both beverages.  

To make an iced mocha or macchiato, you add ice blocks to the drink. You could even make the shots of espresso beforehand and freeze them in an ice tray. That way, your drink won’t dilute as the ice melts.

Mocha and Macchiato Beverage Combinations

Various coffee outlets have moved away from the traditional way of serving macchiatos or mochas. These outlets have created new recipes which don’t necessarily align with the more traditional coffee traditions.             

One example of such a drink that’s been trending over the past few years is a marble mocha macchiato.

The marble mocha macchiato doesn’t look similar to the more traditional macchiato but is more comparable to a caramel macchiato due to its extra milk content.

It’s an iced drink with three-quarters of dairy or coconut milk, dark chocolate syrup, white chocolate syrup, and one or two shots of espresso. Be warned, this drink probably has enough calories to keep you going for the whole day.

Another favorite that’s currently trending is the hazelnut mocha macchiato. It’s made of similar ingredients to the marble mocha macchiato with one difference - the syrup or sauce used is primarily chocolate hazelnut.         

White mocha macchiato is yet another favorite, which contains white chocolate flakes or sauce instead of hazelnut chocolate syrup or dark chocolate flakes or sauce. 

If you’re feeling a bit more inventive, whip up some egg white powder to make yourself a cloud mocha macchiato to take your brew to the next level.

Overall Experience 

If you’re on the lookout for a satisfying coffee experience, you can’t go wrong with either a white chocolate mocha or a caramel macchiato. Both drinks provide you with your caffeine boost of the day, veiled in steamed milk and syrup.

The choice between the two depends on whether you prefer a richer, milkier coffee to a stronger espresso taste. In the case of baristas topping up a caramel macchiato with more steamed milk, the taste boils down to a preference between chocolate and caramel.

Suggested Recipes 

iced mocha cloud macchiato recipe

We suggest the following recipe to prepare a white chocolate mocha. You can always adjust the recipe as you see fit and learn what flavors you like.  


  • Espresso (1-2 shots); 
  • steamed milk; 
  • white chocolate flakes or white chocolate syrup   

Step 1: Pour white chocolate sauce or chocolate flakes into the base of the cup or glass    

Step 2: Pull 1 or 2 shots of espresso and pour it on top of the white chocolate sauce  

Step 3: Steam the milk

Step 4: After steaming your milk, tap the jug on the surface to remove any large air bubbles   

Step 5: Start pouring from a slightly elevated position (1-2 in above the cup). As the amount of milk in the cup increases, bring the milk jug closer to the cup and on a steeper angle while speeding up the pouring rate

Step 6: Add whipped cream on top

The steps to prepare a caramel macchiato are as follows:

Step 1: Steam milk similar to the way the mocha milk is steamed

Step 2: Add vanilla syrup to the milk

Step 3: Froth the milk with a frother

Step 4: Add 1-2 shots of espresso to the cup

Step 5:  Top up with the steamed milk that has been frothed (one-third to two-thirds of the cup, depending on your milk content preference)

Step 6: Drizzle caramel syrup on top


While a white chocolate mocha is a slightly richer and sweeter dessert type drink, a caramel macchiato is a distinctive drink that is more focused on the taste of espresso than on the taste of the milk or the caramel. 

The recipes to prepare these two drinks overlap to the extent that both start from a shot or two of espresso with added milk.

The main difference between the two beverages relates to the amount of milk, chocolate, or caramel you use and how you layer and present these ingredients to your customer.

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