mocha java: coffee in a copper pot
Country Guides,  Types of Coffee

Mocha Java: An African and Indonesian Blend To Discover

mocha java: coffee in a copper pot

You hear the word mocha and instantly you start thinking of chocolate. Beverages made from cacao beans and lattes drizzled with chocolate syrup or packed with chocolate powder. We’re going to stop you right there because this coffee beverage isn’t made with cacao — but it’s every bit as delicious.

Mocha Java is a blend of African and Indonesian beans, offering a stellar combination of flavors that both beginners and connoisseurs will love. Read on to learn more about this tasty coffee variety including its history, flavor profile, and more.

What is Mocha Java?

mocha java: Coffee from Yemen

Mocha Java is a unique coffee blend featuring two different kinds of single origin coffee beans: Arabian Mocha coffee (typically from Yemen) and Indonesian Java beans. It’s known as the world’s oldest coffee blend, dating back to the 17th century. 

During this era, the port of Mocha was a popular shipping hub connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia. Traders from Europe would exchange goods with sellers from the Indonesian islands, Middle Eastern countries, and other far flung regions. 

Both Indonesia and Yemen grew coffee for centuries before, but this coffee blend arose when traders combined the two beans upon returning home. The result was a blend coffee that features elements from the Asian and African coffee growing worlds. Its unparalleled flavor makes it a popular choice for coffee drinkers that enjoy experimentation.

Today, true Mocha Java blends are rare and often expensive. It’s also difficult to import coffees from Yemen given sanctions, rules, and the political conflicts in the country.

That’s why some roasters offer a Mocha Java version featuring coffees from Sumatra and Ethiopia. While traditionalists may not consider the Sumatran and Ethiopian coffee blends as true Mocha Javas, these modern spins offer some of the same flavor characteristics, increasing the accessibility of the drink for the general public.

Flavor Profile of Mocha Java Coffee

Indonesian coffee in bowls

The beauty of Mocha Java is that it pairs two different beans with complimentary tasting characteristics. Arabian and African coffees from places like Yemen, Sumatra, and Ethiopia offer bright tastes with fruity notes like berry and citrus. Indonesian coffee is known for its earthy notes and full-bodied flavor. When combined, coffee lovers get a beverage that blends bright acidity with rich and velvety earthy notes: a truly unique tasting experience.

The flavor profile of Mocha Java makes it ideal for brewing espresso. Roasters sell it as a light roast, medium roast, or dark roast. Another popular brewing method is the French Press and you can even find decaf versions.

Each Mocha Java will taste different depending on which whole bean coffee is used in the blend. In general, these blends will combine earthy coffee beans with another type that is bright and acidic. In general, the best Mocha Java blends are made with arabica beans. Arabica coffee tends to be higher quality and offer a more complex tasting profile compared to robusta beans. 

For the best coffee, look for coffee companies that sell sustainably-sourced and Fair Trade beans. Coffee makers should also clearly list where the beans were cultivated and what flavors they contribute to the blend. Always brew fresh roasted coffee, which provides the freshest and most authentic flavors.

Avoiding the Chocolate Alternatives

dark coffee beans in bamboo bowl

The word mocha leads to a lot of confusion when it comes to this coffee blend. Some sellers try to infuse the beans with chocolate or offer blends with cocoa to meet customers expectations. A cafe mocha is a completely different drink that blends hot chocolate and coffee. While these beverages are tasty, they’re not Mocha Java. 

For a true Mocha Java, ask the roaster where the beans were grown. The blend should always consist of at least one type of African bean (like Kenyan coffee) and one type of Indonesian bean. The African bean should have high acidity and fruity or floral tasting notes. The Indonesian bean should be rich and earthy. 

Discover the Delightful Tastes of the Coffee World

women drinking mocha java in a bright cafe

A cup of coffee is so much more than a spoonful of crushed up grounds and hot water. Each cup of coffee tells a story. One of ancient origins and years of labor to create a specific flavor profile that will delight your senses. Discover a new world of taste with Mocha Java coffee blends. While the beans aren’t necessarily from Yemen anymore, these blends still combine the stunning bright acidity of African coffees with earthy indonesian beans for a truly unique tasting experience. 

Want to discover more about the world of coffee? Continue browsing Cup & Bean. Here, you’ll find all kinds of information on coffee. From tips on choosing between the dozens of different types of coffee drinks to trying out various flavored coffees, we aim to make the coffee world more accessible. Plus, we offer country-specific guides so you can understand how each nation puts its own spin — and flavor — on things.

After chasing down everything there was to know about tea on the Cup & Leaf blog, I'm now exploring the world of coffee. From different types to countries with the best brews and everything in between, I'll be your guide on this coffee discovery.