The Cafe Mocha: Best chocolate and methods. Your opinions?

Our Cafe offers several mocha choices and we wish to upgrade the quality of each. We struggle with the plastic pumps used with the standard chocolate syrup bottles. The powdered chocolates are good quality but time consuming to mix into individual drinks. What works well for you?

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Boy, open the floodgates for this one. You will certainly find opinions all over the place on this issue. Ultimately it's what's best for your customers and your shop. You'll have to figure out what that is. I know shops that use everything from Powdered Ghirardelli, to Hershey's syrup, and we use Torani's Chocolate Sauce, and you know what? Each one thinks their way is the best for their mochas. And that's the key. It's what's best for your mochas. I recommend you do some personal testing, and invite a couple of good customers in for input. You'll find what you need. I know a shop near me that uses Hershey's for their regular mocha, and Ghirardelli for their premium mocha. I, personally, don't recommend that, it's just one more thing you gotta buy and keep up with, but come up with the one that best suits your espresso and customer base. Best of luck!
try adding the chocolate powder in with the milk while steaming. with iced mochas you still need to mix the powder with the shot. it helps to add the shots into the cups first then powder otherwise the powder sticks everywhere. the heat from the shots makes should keep the powder from clumping.
I love the ghirardelli powder but a blind taste test is always a good idea.
oh yeah and there was the chocolate milk movement going on in seattle for a while where they stocked chocolate milk for mochas. tasted great, but some drawbacks are ; you cannot vary the dose of chocolate; you need room for chocolate milk; i've heard that the milk used to make chocolate milk is the worst of the worst.
To keep things simple, I make a genache using 4 parts choc (ghiridelli because its in the store) to 1 part water. Pour 1 oz of that mix in the bottom of the cup, spro on top, then latte art all over that. Super easy, super tasty! lets the spro come through, and its super cost affective.
Play around with in house Ganaches. Remember, quality in-quality out. Chocolate can be just as complex as coffee so find a good chocolate, Valrhona is excellent. I would recommend using a dark chocolate 60-80%, and possibly using a raw sugar to sweeten it.

Keep in mind this takes some time to make and will have smaller margins.

You can always blend some higher-end and less higher-end chocolates to. Helps cut costs.
Try callebaut chocolate or German Schokinag calets. We use the steam wand to melt the calets and then the our the espresso over it and stir. The crema is still sufficiently intact to do latte art!!!
Andrew Khoo said:
We use the steam wand to melt the calets and then the our the espresso over it and stir.

So you toss the Callets into the cup, blast with the steam wand to melt, top with espresso, then top with steamed milk? Sounds like something I need to try.
Yes. Make sure it is not a shallow cup. Insert the steam wand 2/3 of the way in so that the nozzle is a few inches from the calets. Turn the steam wand on (purge first) for between 5-10 seconds and voila, the calets will melt!
We use powdered chocolate from our roaster, add hot water from the machine and then stir into our own sauce, adding cocoa or sugar to change the flavour as desired. We then put sauce into plastic squeeze bottles,
this way we dont need to mix powder for individual drinks and dont have the problems of the pumps on plastic syrup bottles. Depending on what quantity you want/use daily you could premix chocolate into smaller bottles each day or make larger batches that last several days, the former works very well for us.
Monin put out a line of Sauces last year that are great. Their Dark Chocolate sauce is wonderful & I 've left Ghirardelli for it. Its more cost affective & in my opinion just as good. The pump is only 1/2oz which is plenty for a 12oz Caffe Mocha. But the Ghirardelli has such a name recognition that it really helps. Since I do a Concessions coffee shop out of a trailer at fairs in the summer, Im doing a heavy frozen cappuccino menu. I make a cappuccino mix in a large Margarita Freezer & just pull those suckers all day. I then have a bottle of Ghirardelli (starting to gradually switch over to Monin) Chocolate, White Chocolate, & Caramel sitting on the ledge & every person that orders a Frozen cappuccino gets asked if they want to add a shot. 90% of the time they say yes & thats an extra 50 cents onto the drink price. Most of the time they mention how much they love Ghirardelli or how well known Ghirardelli is. Not as many people recognize the Monin name but its still a good chocolate & like I said, more cost effective. I also hate the Ghiradelli pumps, why cant they make those straws an extra half inch longer so it gets all of the chocolate out of the bottle!!! I know all of you that have used them have been covered in chocolate trying to get the last few ounces out of the old bottle so you dont waste it!
In our shop we used to use Torini ... which at the time was the best mocha I had ever tasted. Then a little over a year ago we switched to Ghiradelli which really is a step up for us, and I don't think I could go back. (Customers enjoy it better as well.) We also get our white choc and caramel from them to help keep things all on the same page. The only draw back is they don't offer a suger-free choc. so we've had to keep some torini around.

Other random mocha tips: I don't know how fast other shops go through the suger-free, but for us we don't go through it fast enough. We have found that it keeps better in the fridge...keeps it from growing a coat of it's own. :)
And for iced mocha's we use one of our small in-house cups and put the sauce in first, brew the spro over that and then mix and pour into the ice/milk. It really helps for the choc. to not settle at the bottom.
As far as pumps go, all I can say is stock extra. We have had plenty of pumps just stop working on us because they wear out. And I know it can be hard to make sure everyone is making the full pumps needed to keep the taste consistant from barista to barista ... this is something we try to address during training, and that seems to help keep us on the same page.

Anyway, good luck on the search for the perfect choc.
Cherie
Monin does a really good sugar free dark chocolate sauce along with their full sugar dark chocolate (which Monin uses cane sugar to sweeten all of their regular syrups so no HFCS). Again, good choice. I cant stand most SF flavors but the chocolate is really good.

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