What Baristas Want You To Know About Starbucks Mocha Drinks

News flash: Mocha isn't coffee, it's actually just another word for chocolate. According to several Starbucks baristas on Reddit, mocha-based beverages continue to be one of the biggest misconceptions on the Starbucks menu, as many customers believe it's a coffee drink. In this Reddit thread, a barista recalled the time a customer ordered a peppermint hot chocolate, hold the mocha. From an ingredient standpoint, that means the drink would only contain steamed milk and peppermint syrup. It wasn't until his third or fourth visit that he clarified it was the espresso he didn't want in his peppermint hot chocolate. Because the drink listed "mocha" as one of its ingredients, he assumed the hot chocolate came with espresso in it, hence the request for no mocha.

Hot chocolate isn't the only beverage that's stumped Starbucks drinkers. Mocha lattes and mocha-flavored Frappuccinos have also confused customers, notably when ordering for a child or someone who doesn't drink coffee. It's more common than people realize, which begs the question — what is Starbucks doing wrong that its customers can't tell the difference between coffee and chocolate?

A possible solution to the mocha misunderstanding

As mentioned above, mocha-flavored drinks are confusing customers because "mocha" isn't specified as chocolate, leading some customers to believe it's a type of coffee. One understanding user among a customer and employee Reddit thread shares "A lot of people aren't aware that the hot chocolate is made with mocha sauce because many people think of coffee automatically being included when they hear 'mocha.' I wouldn't call that a matter of idiot-proofing, more a matter of trying to avoid giving coffee to their child and misunderstanding the recipe."

According to ROASTY COFFEE, anything that has mocha in the name means that it contains chocolate. For example, a mocha latte is one to four pumps of chocolate syrup, with two to four shots of espresso, and steamed milk. See how this can be confusing?

If Starbucks wanted to, there's a super-easy way to fix all of this — rewrite the ingredient list for mocha drinks. A Starbucks supervisor participated in the lengthy Reddit thread on the mocha debacle. The supervisor recommended that the coffeehouse chain rename mocha to "dark chocolate sauce" or something similar, this way, it's explicitly clear whether or not the drink comes with coffee. Sounds like a good solution for all involved.