I've owned my espresso machine for a few months now but I didn't try making a mocha until last week. I had some random chocolates hanging out in the kitchen so I decided to try to make a good mocha. I tried everything as hot chocolate first, then made a mocha if the flavors worked out. I used whole milk for hot chocolate, and whole milk plus a double shot of Klatch Belle Espresso* for mochas.
1. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup: Oh yes. I steamed the milk and syrup together, then poured it over the espresso. The resulting mocha was similar to what your average American cafe serves. Not revolting but not great either. The chocolate was a bit too sweet and the artificiality was easy to detect through the coffee and milk.
2. Trader Joe's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: I almost didn't try this because I thought that it would taste terrible. Well, it didn't. I added a heaping tablespoon of powder to about 4 ounces of milk and steamed them both until the chocolate melted and the milk came up to temp. Normally you would want to add sugar to balance the unsweetened chocolate but I was hoping that the sweetness of the steamed milk would be sufficient. The hot chocolate wasn't great but the mocha was pretty tasty. I don't like overly sweet mochas so I'd say that the drink was decent.
3. Trader Joe's 72 % dark chocolate bar (guess where I went shopping last): I grated the chocolate, then dumped it into a pitcher with 4 ounces of milk and steamed it until the chocolate was melted and mostly integrated into the milk. Sidenote: this was my first time grating chocolate and I didn't realize how much static builds when you grate chocolate. I grated onto a plate and when I picked the plate up the shavings exploded 3 feet in every direction. Whoops. The hot chocolate and the mocha were both excellent, but I know that a better chocolate could make them even better.
Now I'm looking for better chocolate. I'm a chocolate noob so any suggestions? I'd like to try some chocolate with a more ethical background if possible. I feel like the grated chocolate is going to yield the best results but do any of the syrups (Torani, Monin etc.) make a decent mocha?
* I didn't love Belle by itself to be honest, but I loved the way that it worked with milk drinks.