When I was a Starbucks barista, I loved making mocha Valencias because of the chocolate-y, orange-y, espresso-y aroma that would waft up from the cup when I swirled all those components together, but I always opted for a caramel macchiato or some sort of white chocolate mocha when I wanted to take my espresso-drinking experience to eleven.
So, I probably wouldn’t have done a post about this particular coffee drink if a friend hadn’t requested it, but making one with a piece of orange zest—as opposed to a syrup like Starbucks does—was a bit of a game changer for me.
This is how Seattle coffee shop, Cafe Ladro, makes them, but I’d never actually tried it for myself. It’s shocking how much flavor comes through with just a small piece! And I like that you can adjust the sweetness with this method—more orange doesn’t equate to a sweeter flavor—simply add sugar as you wish to create your own mocha Valencia adventure. I am now officially a fan. Will I turn you into one??
Ready in: 5 min
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (hemp milk is my favorite)
2 tablespoons dairy-free dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon raw sugar
3 inch-strip of orange zest
2 shots of espresso
NOTE: If you don’t have an espresso machine, use 1/2 of a cup of double-strength brewed coffee and reduce non-dairy milk to 1/2 of a cup.
- Use a potato peeler to peel orange zest.
- Steam milk using espresso machine (or heat in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot).
- Put orange zest, chocolate chips, and raw sugar in a mug. Pour espresso into mug, then milk. Stir until chocolate is melted—it should only take 30 seconds or so. And that’s it!
And if you want to sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top, I won’t tell anyone. 😉