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How to Make Your Instant Mocha Look Like the One on the Packet

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by Tamyka Bell (subscribe)
An outdoor enthusiast and coffee addict, Tamyka Bell escaped the corner office to live, run and write. twitter.com/tamyka
Published July 17th 2011
Your local supermarket no doubt stocks a variety of instant creamy beverages that look amazing on the packet: hot chocolates, mochas, hazelnut lattés and even strong cappuccinos with a little sprinkle of chocolate on top. But when you get home and make yourself this treat, carefully following the instructions, you end up with something that more closely resembles a standard instant coffee topped with dishwashing detergent suds.

By adding a simple extra step at the end — the "tap and swirl" manoeuvre that you'll see real baristas do with frothed milk — you can make your mocha look just like the frothy treat on the packet. Here's how:

1. I'm assuming you've already bought your instant mocha/latté. Here I'm using a combination of Nescafé Cappuccino Strong and a Nescafé Hazelnut Latté, but they all work in a similar way. Jarrah is an old favourite, and the store brands have a good variety too. If you're coeliac, you'll probably want to try the Coles brand, which is the only gluten free option I've found so far.

Nescafé Mocha


2. Read the instructions. You need to do this so you don't add too much water, which would make the concoction too thin to hold a nice froth. Most brands use 100–200mL of hot (not boiling) water. That means that if you have a large travel mug like mine, you will need two sachets.

Choose your coffee
Use two packets in a big travel mug


3. Make your drink as per the instructions. As you pour the hot water, you'll notice that the nice froth starts to form, but it's laden with chunks of unmixed chocolate and coffee. If you don't mind the lumps of powder, you can stop at this step, but if you want the real deal, go ahead and stir it.

Pour on the hot water
Pour on the hot water - not too much!


4. By now, your beverage should have a rather unattractive froth on top, with large bubbles. Yuck! (If it has no bubbles at all, you've probably added too much water. Start over again, or thicken it up with another sachet.)

Thin froth
This does not look like the packet


5. Now you're ready to try the "tap and swirl". First, pick up your mug and gently tap the bottom on the bench top a few times. I think this step pushes the bubbles to the top.



6. Then swirl the cup a few times, as if you were gently mixing something, so that the froth spins and pulls away from the edge of the mug.



7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 several times, alternating your direction of swirl. I like to think of this as the "bi-directional tap and swirl" and I find it even more effective than the one-way swirl.

Nice froth
This looks more like a real latté


8. Now that the froth is nice and thick with tiny little bubbles, your mocha should look like the one on the packet (except for the little swirl of steam coming out of it, unless it is a particularly cold day). If your packet contained a little chocolate sprinkle, the froth will now hold it without sinking straight through the bubbles.

Instant mocha success
Voilà! A delightful instant mocha.


Of course, it's still not a real mocha — it just looks like one. There is a better way to get that real froth. All it takes is an espresso machine and a bit of training. Interested? Find out about Barista Courses in Brisbane.
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Why? Sometimes it's too cold to go out to a café
When: Whenever you like
Where: The comfort of your own home
Cost: Under a dollar
Comments
I was just saying to my wife today, when she offered me an instant latté, that I didn't like them. I get my hopes up for a latté, but end up with a Nescafé that someone's spit on.
By Anonymous
Monday, 18th of July @ 06:44 am
Easiest way to make a Mocha:

* Microwave 3/4 mug of milk
* Add 1 teaspoon of instant coffee
* Add 1 teaspoon of chocolate powder
* Add 1 teaspoon sugar
* Stir until diluted
* Add 1/4 boiling water
* Stir and Enjoy!
By Anonymous
Tuesday, 19th of July @ 12:48 pm
Fascinating Tamyka! I will try out your method.
By Jenny Rossiter - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 27th of July @ 01:51 am
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