Marocchino is an Italian drink that uses the following ingredients: espresso, cocoa powder, chocolate, and milk foam. There are many variations of this drink, but the concept remains the same: chocolate and coffee make a delicious combination!
Cafes use Gibraltar glass to serve Marocchino, which typically holds 130 ml. It’s topped off with milk foam that’s about an inch thick and has a layer of darker, more viscous coffee on the bottom.
Origin of Marocchino Coffee
When you hear the word “Marocchino,” what do you think? Maybe exotic origins in Morocco? But Marocchino has nothing to do with the North African country—its origins are Italian.
So how did the name “Marocchino” come about? The name refers to the brownish shade of this coffee drink, which resembles a type of leather by the same name, popular in the early 20th Century.
Café Marocchino was invented in Alessandria, the Piedmont region of Italy then spread to other parts of the peninsula.
The Marocchino is actually a variation of another iconic drink—the Bicerin di Cavour. The Bicerin is the traditional Turin drink, and it features hot chocolate, espresso, and milk—but with a thicker consistency than a Marocchino.
Taste Profile of Marocchino Coffee
The intense flavor of the espresso blends smoothly with the creamy consistency to create a spanking cup. The Marocchino is not too thick, either. The outcome is a distinct taste that will (or will not) be addictive.
But it’s not only the ingredients that make this coffee special—the presentation matters, too! A Marocchino should be served in a small cup and presented with layers of chocolate and whipped cream that are clearly visible.
Making Marocchino Coffee
- Cocoa powder
- 2-3 tsp (10-15 ml) hot chocolate
- 1 shot of illy espresso
- 1 scant oz (25 ml) fresh whole milk
- Pour the hot chocolate into a small pitcher and pour it into the serving glass.
- Prepare the espresso in a separate cup and then add it to the hot chocolate.
- Sprinkle a light dusting of cocoa powder over the mixture.
- In a steaming pitcher, foam the milk with the steam wand of your espresso machine.
- Pour a layer of foam on top of the hot chocolate/coffee mixture, then serve.
The recipe above is probably what you’ll find in most Italian bars. Other versions of the drink may differ, but they’re all still Marocchinos.
You can substitute chocolate powder for bitter cocoa to sweeten the drink or use frothed milk instead of plain stuff. Or, try making a ristretto instead of a regular espresso for a more concentrated coffee taste.
In Alba, Italy—the birthplace of Nutella—some people prefer to use the chocolate hazelnut spread to flavor their espresso. Another common practice is to coat the inside of the glass with chocolate syrup before adding the coffee.
Moreover, people with a serious sweet tooth might use a larger mug so that they can pour in hot chocolate to make a mocha.