Coffee plus chocolate? For those who take their caffeine with a side of sweetness, it’s a match made in Heaven.
We call those chocolatey coffee concoctions “Mocha,” and for good reason—they are inspired by early coffee beans that hailed all the way from the port city of Mocha, Yemen!
In honor of National Mocha Day on September 29th (which just so happens to coincide with National Coffee Day…) we’re taking a closer look at mocha—the storied city, the delicious coffee and the winding path that brought us to our current craze of chocolate in our cup of Joe. Take a look.
Mocha’s sweet history
Today, coffee is a hot commodity—and a common one at that. We can’t go very far without seeing our favorite coffee being offered up in some way, shape or form!
Of course, back at the time of coffee’s introduction to the world—which really picked up around the 16th century—the new, exciting bean-based beverage was not quite so easy to come by. Much of the world’s coffee commerce depended on the thriving port cities, through which ships from the world’s biggest traders traveled, picking up exports of the curious coffee bean and spreading them all over.
Of course, Mocha’s ties to the origins of coffee are also legendary in nature. One story suggests that coffee was discovered by an exile from Mocha, who found the bean and, famished, boiled it for sustenance. He wasn’t expecting it to brew into something deliciously energizing—modern coffee as we know it—and, as the legend goes, Mocha welcomed him back happily for his groundbreaking discovery.
By integrating itself in the early days of the coffee trade, Mocha made a name for itself in the coffee community—to this day, you can’t go to a coffee shop without seeing a delicious Mocha drink on the menu! But as it turns out, there’s an interesting reason why we specifically associate the Mocha name with chocolate flavors…
More than a bean?
Mocha’s earliest export, the local variant of the coffee arabica plant, brought something special to the table. It was noted, historically, for a unique chocolate-like flavor that other beans did not have.
Of course, modern Mocha drinks aren’t made with Mocha beans—instead, they are incorporated with true chocolate. But without those early beans, where would we be? As early fans of Mocha exports realized so long ago, there’s something truly special about chocolatey coffee—and we’re thankful to them for prompting a sweet tradition that’s survived the centuries to follow!
Today’s Mocha concoctions continue to toe the line between “drink” and “dessert.” Coffee flavors are effortlessly integrated into homemade treats like Mocha coffee cakes, ice creams and milkshakes.
Of course, for a coffee treat that’s equal parts dessert and pick-me-up, you can’t go wrong with this most well-known Mocha variant: Caffe Mocha! You can enjoy this sweet delight—made with a base of espresso and hot milk—at Peach Valley today.