Mocha & The Frozen Mocha @ a coffee shop!

Ok, when I go in and request a mocha at a coffee shop, I expect it to be espresso, chocolate, and milk.

Well, it turns out that is not always the case this was brought to light recently when I went into a coffee shop called Royal Blend its a New Orleans coffee shop on Royal Street in the French Quarter (They do have a store in the suburb of Metairie too)

I asked for an iced mocha, and I saw them putting iced coffee in the drink. I was not happy. (More on that in a sec–Very last paragraph… after “NOTE”) They proceeded to say that the way a [an iced] mocha is normally made. I believe they make there iced different from hot. To me, they seemed to think that is the way they are always made everywhere. (I’m not sure if that is an aspie interpretation)

This goes all the way back to the time I first started coming back to NOLA after Katrina. I was traveling between the midwest and New Orleans, as I grew my market in the city, and remained responsible to my employer in Missouri.

Around that time, I started asking if the mocha was Coffee or Espresso based. I don’t remember why, other than a coffee shop made there mocha with coffee.

Perhaps it was just there Iced Mocha. I have not in recent memory re-found a place that makes a mocha with coffee*. I had started adding mocha latte or cafe mocha (though some may interpret cafe as coffee while other as espresso, but that is more of a regional thing North America/Northern Europe/France).

Why ICED? It seems that many of the places differentiate iced from hot as to weather they used cold brew vs espresso.

  • Royal Blend (NOLA): ICED = Cold Brew; HOT = ?
  • PJ’s (NOLA): ICED = Cold; HOT = ? “PJ’s Famous iced coffees are brewed daily using a special cold-drip process that protects the flavor and strength of the beans while producing a coffee that is 2/3 less acidic. PJ’s has been using this technique for more than 30 years”
  • 1369 Coffee House (Boston): Hot = Espresso; Iced = Espressp; Specialty Blended Frozen Drink = Cold Brew — There blended drink “MochaSlide is a specialty drink, and they clearly state the cold brew in the brief description.

Please make note that I can tell a definite difference in the cold brew vs espresso in these drinks, and I feel the cold brew while it may be 2/3’s less acidic, sure seem (?)more bitter(?) or less yummy.

Plus, starting hot makes more sense. First, espresso is more dense than a brewed coffee, thus once diluted, it  can still taste good. Yes, PJ’s point “pouring coffee over ice [results] in an inferior beverage” is valid for coffee vs espresso, but starting with a warm beverage allows you to better dissolve the chocolate. Of course, in a blended drink, dissolving the chocolate may be less of an issue as the blades of the blender thoroughly mix all ingredients, and even if not dissolved, are still thoroughly mixed.

Machine freezing is another matter. I am not making an opinion at this time on frozen drinks that come out of a machine.

I will however comment on CC’s “Mochasippi” ™. It is there term for a frozen coffee drink i.e. frape.  It uses the word Mocha in the name. If I ask for a plain mochasippi, I am asking for a Mocha. DO NOT make me say a “MOCHA MOCHASIPPI” Plain mochasippi should be enough. Frappe should also be enough. NO frappe is not trade marked. Yes, Frappicino beer was mistakenly assumed by starbucks to be a coffee too similar to there trademarked “frappuccino” name, but Frape is a description first coined in Greece in the 1950’s. If you want to say frozen or blended, use those plain English terms.

In conclusion, though regional vs national chains, these crappy cold brew, and misuse of “mocha” are reasons I avoid PJ’s and CC’s Coffee houses.

NOTE: I am not a barista, but I have been to probably 100+ coffee shops from dozens of owners. Most independent, as I’m not a huge fan of the big business. In fact, I can taste the burnt flavor of some like Starbucks. I am told that Starbucks both over roasts and over heats the brew to gain consistency (no reference for that).

Continued: MORE on that… I was already a little trigger happy when I sternly said “NO you are not making that with iced coffee are you” because I ran into someone who had assaulted me as I entered. When the manager did a very good job supporting both me and the barista by quickly ensuring that the drink would be made the way I wanted. The good or bad response on the interaction at the door was interesting none the less. “Its New Orleans that’s not unusual” (That was the feeling of the response. NOTE, this was probably 4-6 months ago. I think I did write it down, and will correct it if I come across it and its different.)



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