Hot chocolate bombs are all the rage right now, but a cup of hot cocoa to me is not complete without espresso – the perfect mocha coffee. This chocolatey drink helps you bring out your inner child while also providing the perfect caffeine boost.

If you like coffee and hot chocolate, this hot cocoa is for you. This recipe makes the perfect “Adult Hot Chocolate.” (Though be careful searching for that as there is an inappropriate magazine that comes up in that search…)

You can make your “Adult Hot Chocolate” using espresso in the morning or afternoon as a delicious wake-up drink or after dinner with decaf espresso or Bailey’s Irish Cream (after the kids go to bed, you deserve to treat yourself.)

A red mug of hot chocolate topped with steamed milk on a wooden background surrounded by spilled coffee beans.

🥘 Ingredients Needed

The ingredients in hot chocolate bomb mocha coffee before heating, laid out and labeled.
  • Homemade (and HOT!) Espresso – I use two shots per drink. (This drink will be best with freshly made espresso. We like to get our beans from Summit Coffee or Hannah’s Coffee House and grind them fresh when we are about to use them. We use a conical burr grinder from Baratza – it is a burr grinder and is more expensive, but it is well worth it to get an even grind on the beans. The even grind means the espresso flavor will be more consistent because it will be evenly extracted from the beans – the opposite of what happens with a cheap grinder that gives you big chunks mixed with dust particles. We set our grinder to #5 for espresso.)
  • Steamed Whole Milk – Whole milk has the highest fat content, so when you steam it, it makes the creamiest hot chocolate. You can use whatever milk you prefer though. (To make it vegan or dairy-free, I would use heated coconut cream to keep the hot chocolate really thick.)
  • A Hot Chocolate Bomb – Here is a list of my 20 Favorite Hot Chocolate Bomb Recipes or if you can’t find a mold to make your own, you can buy them from someone like BrewHaHa on Etsy.
The ingredients in hot chocolate bomb mocha coffee warm and ready, laid out and labeled.
  • Optional – Whipped Cream Topping, Extra Mini-Marshmallows, or Bailey’s Irish Cream instead of Espresso for a real adult hot chocolate.

🍽 Equipment Needed

🥣 How to Make It

First, gather your ingredients – coffee beans, milk, and a hot chocolate bomb. (If you already know how to make espresso, skip to the rest of the instructions.)

How to Make Amazing Espresso

The most important tips to making a great espresso are to use fresh beans, store them properly, and grind them only when you are ready to use them. We buy our beans from Summit Coffee or Hannah’s Coffee House. (I used to work at Summit Coffee, so I am a little snobby about my coffee.)

When you are ready, measure out and grind the beans. We use around 15 – 16 grams of beans for two shots. (Picture 1)

We then use a Baratza grinder set to #5 and grind up all the beans. This grinder is a conical burr grinder and is more expensive, but it is well worth it to get an even grind on the beans. (The even grind means the espresso flavor will be more consistent because it will be evenly extracted from the beans – the opposite of what happens with a cheap blade grinder that gives you random sized grinds.)

Now, carefully pour your ground espresso into the portafilter lined with a portafilter basket. (A portafilter basket is the little metal cup and the portafilter is the handle that it sits in.) (Picture 3)

Tamp the espresso in the portafilter by pressing straight down on it ever so slightly. You don’t want to pack it too hard, but you do need to press it down a little. (I always brush whatever is on the edges into the portafilter after I tamp it and give it one more light press down so that there aren’t loose grinds all over that can clog the machine or fall into the espresso.) (Pictures 4 – 5)

A collage of images showing how to make espresso, steps 1 - 5.

Now, lock the portafilter into the machine and press start. Watch the beautiful espresso flow. (Pictures 6 – 7) After you make many cups of espresso in your life, you will learn to watch the color change and stop the machine with the perfect amount of crema on top.

I like to steam my milk while the espresso is pouring but our machine does not allow this – so I do it as soon as the coffee is done. (Picture 9)

(Make sure to wipe down the steaming wand immediately after using it and spray steam into a towel in a few short, quick bursts to clean out any milk that may have gotten into it. (Picture 10) )

A collage of images showing how to make espresso, steps 6 - 10.

Here is a link to detailed instructions and more information about the parts of an espresso machine.

How to Make the Mocha Drink

You want to work quickly so the espresso and milk stay warm enough to melt the chocolate. (The best way to do this if you don’t care about watching the “bomb” explode it to make the espresso right into a mug with the hot chocolate bomb in it to start melting the chocolate right away.)

If you want to get the full effect, place a hot chocolate bomb in a large mug. (Picture 1) Then make two shots of espresso (about 2 ounces of coffee) or heat a shot glass (or two) worth of Bailey’s Irish Cream. (For detailed instructions on how I make espresso, see the notes above.)

Steam the milk right away – save the cleanup for later. Steam the milk warmer than you would normally do for a latte to help melt the chocolate. (If you are making this for kids (decaf) or someone who might accidentally burn themself, let it cool before serving it to them.)

Now pour the espresso over the chocolate ball (Pictures 2 – 3), then the milk immediately after (Pictures 4 – 5) – try to save a little foam if you can to top it off.

A collage of images showing how to make a hot chocolate mocha coffee with a hot cocoa bomb, steps 1 - 5.

Then stir until the chocolate is dissolved.

A zoomed out image of a hand holding a red mug of hot cocoa with green garland in the background.

Top with leftover foam or some whipped cream and drink immediately.

A red mug of mocha hot cocoa with garland behind it.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a hot chocolate bomb?

I made a separate post with links to my favorite Hot Chocolate Bomb Recipes.

What is a hot chocolate bomb?

A hot chocolate bomb is a ball of chocolate filled with hot cocoa mix and marshmallows that melts as warm milk is poured over it.

What is the best kind of coffee to use for making espresso?

We prefer to use a single-origin coffee with a lighter roast – darker roasted coffees (like Starbucks) can have a strong, burnt taste. The lighter roast allows all of the different flavors in the coffee to come through – fruity, chocolatey, etc.

How do you make a mocha hot chocolate without a hot chocolate bomb?

If you don’t have hot chocolate bombs, you can still make a delicious drink. Mix about 1.5 tablespoons of chocolate syrup or melt two tablespoons of chocolate chips in a mug. Add espresso and mix in a packet of hot chocolate mix. Add hot milk and stir until completely dissolved. Top with whipped cream or extra foamy milk.

How can you make a vegan or dairy-free mocha?

You can make your mocha dairy-free by using a dairy-free hot chocolate ball and my personal favorite dairy-free milk for coffee — coconut cream. It must be heated before adding to coffee, however, or it will curdle. You can also use Nutpods as well – peppermint mocha is the best! (But always be sure to heat them before mixing them with hot coffee.) This recipe has instructions on making dairy-free hot chocolate bombs as well.

A red mug of cocoa on a porch overlooking the woods.
Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

🍲 Serving Size

This drink uses two shots of espresso and one cup of milk. Use your biggest mug to avoid spilling!

🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating

If your hot chocolate gets cold – it happens – just reheat it in the microwave. If it has been out for several hours, it should be dumped out because the milk will not be safe to drink anymore.

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Make your espresso fresh if you can. It will taste so good!
  • Use your biggest mug to avoid spilling when you stir the chocolate. Then top with foam or whipped cream. (And who doesn’t love clasping a huge warm mug of hot cocoa when it is chilly outside?)
  • Make a nighttime drink out of this using decaf espresso and/or Bailey’s Irish Cream.
  • Add a drop or two of peppermint extract to make a perfect peppermint mocha. (Or use Peppermint Mocha Nutpods in place of milk!)

Cheers!

A hand holding up a red mug of cocoa on a porch overlooking the woods.

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A red mug of hot chocolate topped with steamed milk on a wooden background surrounded by spilled coffee beans.

Hot Chocolate Bomb Homemade Mocha Coffee

5 from 2 votes
Hot chocolate bombs are all the rage right now, but a cup of hot cocoa to me is not complete without espresso. This chocolatey drink helps you bring out your inner child while also providing the perfect caffeine boost.
Author: Kari
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 2 ounces espresso about 15g beans and 2 shots brewed espresso
  • 1 hot chocolate bomb
  • 1 cup whole milk or alternative milk

Optional

  • whipped cream
  • 2 ounces Bailey's Irish Cream

Instructions 

  • First, gather your ingredients – coffee beans, milk, and a hot chocolate ball. You want to work quickly so the espresso and milk stay warm enough to melt the chocolate. (The best way to do this if you don't care about watching the "bomb" explode it to make the espresso right into a mug with the hot chocolate bomb in it to start melting the chocolate right away.)
  • If you want to get the full effect of the exploding cocoa ball, place a hot chocolate bomb in a large mug.
    1 hot chocolate bomb
  • Next, make two shots of espresso (about 2 ounces of coffee) or heat a shot glass (or two) worth of Bailey's Irish Cream. (For detailed instructions on how I make espresso, see the notes above.)
    2 ounces espresso
  • Now, steam the milk right away – save the cleanup for later. Steam the milk warmer than you would normally do for a latte to help melt the chocolate. (If you are making this for kids (decaf) or someone who might accidentally burn themself, let it cool before serving it to them.)
    1 cup whole milk
  • Now, pour the espresso over the chocolate ball, then the milk immediately after – trying to save a little foam if you can to top it off.
  • Then stir until the chocolate is dissolved. Top with leftover foam or some whipped cream.
    whipped cream

Video

Notes

(For detailed instructions on how I make espresso, see the notes above.)
Serving Size
This drink uses two shots of espresso and one cup of milk. Use your biggest mug to avoid spilling!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a hot chocolate bomb?
I made a separate post with links to my favorite Hot Chocolate Bomb Recipes.
What is a hot chocolate bomb?
A hot chocolate bomb is a ball of chocolate filled with hot cocoa mix and marshmallows that melts as warm milk is poured over it.
What is the best kind of coffee to use for making espresso?
We prefer to use a single-origin coffee with a lighter roast – darker roasted coffees (like Starbucks) can have a strong, burnt taste. The lighter roast allows all of the different flavors in the coffee to come through – fruity, chocolatey, etc.
How do you make a vegan or dairy-free mocha?
You can make your mocha dairy-free by using a dairy-free hot chocolate ball and my personal favorite dairy-free milk for coffee — coconut cream. It must be heated before adding to coffee, however, or it will curdle. You can also use Nutpods as well – peppermint mocha is the best! (But always be sure to heat them before mixing them with hot coffee.) This recipe has instructions on making dairy-free hot chocolate bombs as well.
Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating
If your hot chocolate gets cold – it happens – just reheat it in the microwave. If it has been out for several hours, it should be dumped out because the milk will not be safe to drink anymore.
Tips
  • Make your espresso fresh if you can. It will taste so good!
  • Use your biggest mug to avoid spilling when you stir the chocolate. Then top with foam or whipped cream.
  • Make a nighttime drink out of this using decaf espresso and/or Bailey’s Irish Cream.
  • Add a drop or two of peppermint extract to make a perfect peppermint mocha. (Or use Peppermint Mocha Nutpods in place of milk!)
  •  

Special Equipment Needeed

  • an espresso machine
  • a milk frother
  • a large mug
  • a small saucepan

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: hot chocolate bomb, hot chocolate bomb coffee, hot chocolate mocha, hot chocolate mocha coffee
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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