I made instant mocha at work and am now writing a silly blog post about it.
In this 24-hour economy, the modern workforce has little time to consume fancy beverages, yet working adults are fueled almost exclusively by caffeinated and sweet drinks. This creates an inherent dilemma: work or coffee break? When the sourcing or preparation of delicious drinks is costing the same amount of time as is won by increased working speed as a result of consuming said drinks, no net productivity is achieved.Here, we solve this problem by developing a quicker way to produce a drink that costs 10-30 minutes (depending on distance between place of work and place of coffee procurement) to source from an external supplier.
Here, we solve this problem by developing a quicker way to produce a drink that costs 10-30 minutes (depending on distance between place of work and place of coffee procurement) to source from an external supplier.
Making the mocha
Mochas were produced by adding indicated amounts of instant hot chocolate powder (Cadbury, UK) and instant coffee (Kenco Coffee Company, UK; caffeinated) to a drinking vessel and adding 300 ml water of approximately 97-99 degrees Celcius.
The ingredients of a “mocha” are coffee and chocolate. In previous studies, we have successfully created a cup of hot chocolate by adding one big scoop (as provided by the supplier) of powder to a mug of hot water (unpublished). We have also made coffee of varying strength by adding two or three small spoonfuls of instant coffee to a similar amount of water, and adding sugar or milk to taste (personal communication, unpublished.) Our initial attempt to create the derivative drink called “mocha” focused on utilizing an equal amount of resources as the two source drinks. Therefore, in our first attempt (“Mocha 1”) we used a normal amount of water, half of the chocolate powder, and half of the coffee. (See Table 1)
|Drink||Amount of hot water||Amount of coffee||Amount of chocolate|
|Coffee||300ml||2-3 little spoons||–|
|Mocha 1||300ml||1.5 little spoons||0.5 scoop|
|Mocha 2||300ml||2 little spoons||1 pouch|
Table 1: ingredients of source drinks and derivative drinks.
As previously published in a brief publication of preliminary data, a taste test of Mocha 1 (non-blinded, N=1) revealed that the flavour did not resemble that of commercial drinks of a similar nature. Taste was described as “watery” and “not very good at all”. The objective qualifier “watery” was utilized to optimize the production of the beverage, as described below.
A classic method to make a drink less watery is to add less water, but a less conventional approach is to increase the amount of solute and solid particles. We used this second experimental method to create the optimized derivative beverage “Mocha 2”. In producing Mocha 2, we made use of a premade pouch containing the exact amount of chocolate powder needed to make one cup of hot chocolate. We added to this 2 little spoons of instant coffee, and the amount of water needed for one cup (see Table 1). Despite the excess amount of solid matter in the cup, emulsification and solubility were not notably affected (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Visible spectrum optical analysis of Mocha 2 indicates no apparent deviation in solubility compared to control beverages (not pictured)
Taste tests (N=1, non-blinded) described Mocha 2 as “just like hot chocolate”, “oh, wait, now I taste the coffee”, and “this is pretty good, actually”.
In both cases (Mocha 1 and Mocha 2) total production time did not exceed 5 minutes, including boiling of water using an electrical kettle.
We describe herein the rapid production of a beverage similar in flavour and basic ingredients as commercial products that may prove far more time consuming to source. Although we have yet to perform a full financial analysis, our own budget calculations (not shown) indicate that long-term adoption of this drink may also be more economically desirable. Together, our data suggest that Mocha 2 may increase productivity by offering a similar nutritional value as commercial beverages, while being less demanding on both time and monetary resources.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest, but would welcome Cadbury donations.