Introduction: Make an Italian Coffee and Chocolate Extravaganza!

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Here is one of my favourite coffee and hot chocolate combinations to come out of an Italian bar: the marocchino. The marocchino is made in small glass cups, a tiny bit larger than Italian espresso cups. The layers you can see are a small shot of espresso, followed by thick Italian hot chocolate or nutella, then foamed milk, and finally covered in a sprinkling of cocoa powder. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is! This is not a coffee drink that you can get anywhere in Italy. It is said to have originated from the beautiful Northern city of Turin, which is the place you can see in the above photo.

Beware though; if you are in Italy and you ask for a marocchino down in the South of Italy, you will probably get quizzical looks from the barista in the cafe, as the word “marocchino” also means “a Moroccan person”. The name is said to actually have been given to the drink because it has a similar colour as a type of leather that was produced in the 1930’s called by the same name.

So that you can go into a cafe in Italy and make sure they know what you’re asking for, marocchino is pronounced “mar-o-ki-no”.


  • Espresso machine
  • Milk steamer
  • Sieve
  • Small cups

Step 1: Ingredients Needed to Make a Marocchino Coffee

Ingredients needed:

Espresso coffee

Nutella or Italian Hot Chocolate Milk

Cocoa powder

A note on Italian hot chocolate:

I made the two versions of the marocchino so that you can see the approximate quantities of each ingredient. Italian hot chocolate is a very thick drink. The chocolate is so thick that you can almost stand a spoon up in it. It is more like pure melted chocolate than the drink we know as hot chocolate outside of Italy. In fact, take that as a warning – if you ever offer a hot chocolate to an Italian, they’ll expect the thick version and won’t quite know what to make of the thin watery version we drink. It may be difficult for you to get hold of the real thing, so instead you can use Nutella, which is also a legitimate way to make a marocchino. It is often served like this in bars in Northern Italy.

Step 2: Add the Chocolate Layer

If using nutella, using a teaspoon, smear the chocolate spread on the sides of the cup. If using Italian hot chocolate, pour some ready-made hot chocolate into the cup until it is a third full.

Step 3: Add the Espresso Coffee

Make a cup of espresso coffee using your coffee machine, then pour some of it into the prepared cup (about a third for the hot chocolate cup, and about 1/2 a cup for the nutella cup).

Step 4: Add the Steamed Milk

Steam the milk until it becomes a thick foam.

Fill the cups with the foamed milk.

Using a fine-meshed sieve, sprinkle the top with cocoa powder.

Step 5: Drink and Pretend You Are in Italy

Drink the marocchino immediately and pretend you are sitting in a café in Turin, Italy.

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