Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
30 Nov

Primal Mocha

Primal MochaWe’ve got a super simple recipe for you today. After all the Thanksgiving festivities, simpler is probably better in the recipe department.

So, start with your favorite cup of piping hot coffee and drop in a square of high-quality dark chocolate. Add a pinch of cinnamon. You can stop there if you like. Or, gussy it up with whatever transforms your Primal Mocha into an irresistible beverage: a little sweetener, a drizzle of heavy cream or coconut milk, a pinch of cayenne or nutmeg, or a drop of vanilla. Drink it straight up or throw it the blender to create a frothy coffee. And don’t forget a pinch of sea salt; it amps up the flavor of everything.

Why mess with a perfectly good cup of regular coffee? If you crave a mocha, this barely-sweetened, antioxidant-packed version is way healthier than anything you could buy in a coffee shop. Should you drink Primal Mochas every day? You could, but why would you when there are so many other delicious ways to fill your mug? Don’t forget about Primal Egg Coffee, Primal Egg Nog, or Egg-less Nog and Primal Hot Cocoa.

What are your favorite ways to dress up a plain cup of coffee?

Servings: 1

Time in the Kitchen: 5 minutes


  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 1 square of high-cacao dark chocolate
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Optional add-ins: pinch of sea salt, heavy cream, coconut milk, vanilla, and/or a sweetener of your choice


Drop the square of dark chocolate into piping hot coffee. Stir well as the chocolate melts.


Add additional ingredients as desired. Drink straight up or throw in the blender (or use an immersion blender ) to froth it up.


Use a spoon to stir as you drink, as the chocolate settles towards the bottom.

Primal Mocha

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Greetings from South Africa…Awesome as always Mark. My morning coffee is a double esspresso with a tablespoon of organic cold pressed coconut oil and a teeny bit of coconut milk. Sets me up for the morning until I eat at around 12. Definitely going to try it with a bit of cinnamon and dark chocolate. Yummm.

    Malcs wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • Amazing – I make the same morning drink, but with two double espressos. I may addnutmeg too.

      Ralph wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • Is that just-coffee-with-coconutoil-to-break-a-fast thing okay for women? I’ve read so many clashing reports and views and write ups etc; some saying women’s hormones are too delicate (in the least patronising way possible) for long periods of fasting and others saying it’s all well and good. Really conflicted!

      lucy wrote on December 1st, 2013
      • I make sure I eat first, then drink my coffee. Drinking coffee first might interfere with your appetite and digestion.

        Ralph wrote on December 1st, 2013
      • I didn’t know this was debated… I do this on a regular basis when I don’t have time or am not hungry enough for a “full” breakfast- just coffee, couple T’s of coconut oil, and some heavy cream or half n half (the cream helps cut the sharpness of the coffee and icky feeling of the coconut oil)

        SB wrote on December 1st, 2013
    • I’ve seen it suggested on MDA and in the comments to add coconut oil to coffee… I was excited about it and tried it, and it was disgusting. The oil doesn’t dissolve (which makes sense), which makes for an interesting time trying to drink it. Am I doing something wrong?

      Librarian wrote on December 2nd, 2013
      • I’ve never used coconut oil. I just substituted coconut milk/coconut cream for dairy. It took a little getting used to (I had never liked coconut in anything before), but that’s all I add any more.

        Jim T wrote on December 2nd, 2013
      • This is coming from a breakfast-loving black coffee fan, so I’ll probably never know first-hand, but I’ve heard it’s much tastier when blended in a blender, not just stirred in– probably emulsifies better.

        Paleo-curious wrote on December 2nd, 2013
      • I don’t have time to whip out my blender in the morning, so i just put some oil and heavy cream or half n half in the coffee and give it a good stir before each sip/gulp. Start small with just 1-2tsp and work your way up to a couple tablespoons.

        SB wrote on December 2nd, 2013
      • Use a milk frother. ( use it with just a little coffee in the cup, enought to melt the fat. otherwise it’ll go all over the place. Then add the rest of the coffee.

        Halvard wrote on December 5th, 2013
      • Get an immersion blender and whip it up. PROBLEM SOLVED. DELICIOUS.

        Personally, I add grassfed butter as well as coconut oil. Will add some spices tomorrow.

        Louise wrote on December 8th, 2013
        • Good suggestions! I will try a frother/immersion blender. Thanks, everyone!

          Librarian wrote on December 9th, 2013
  2. I love this. Motherhood rekindled my appreciation for coffee, though my love of dark chocolate has always been fervent.

    Jessica wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • That’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say that. I’ve always wondered having had a kid has increased my coffee craving and tolerance. But so many other changes happened at the same time (giving up grains and sugar).

      Anna wrote on November 30th, 2013
  3. I’ve started drinking coffee at the age of 42 (6 months ago).
    I’m in a slump I can’t get out, personal losses, financial stress and what not and coffee seems to be my drug of choice…

    I am otherwise primal and don’t consume any grains, beans (xept that ground up coffee bean =P) or ‘vegetable’ oils of any kind.

    The milk is organic/raw and the sweetener is organic palm sugar (I know it destroys the habitats of orangutans but I don’t know what else to use, raw honey tastes like s***).

    Issabeau wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • I use Xylitol sometimes, or stevia. But if you don’t like the taste of honey I’m sure stevia won’t do it. Xylitol tastes just like sugar.

      Aria Dreamcatcher wrote on November 30th, 2013
  4. Sorry to hear things are rough right now Issabeau, but ENJOY your coffee! No guilt tripping yourself for a spoon of Palm sugar!
    Sometimes we need to just take care of ourselves and not take on all the world’s ills and issues. Compassion starts at home.
    Best to ya!

    RenegadeRN wrote on November 30th, 2013
  5. I add green tea to my coffee when I brew it. From there i dump it into the vitamix with a tablespoon of bakers cocoa, tablespoon of organic cinnamon, couple tablespoons of coconut oil, and some crystal gelatin. I have antioxidants, good fats, blood sugar regulators, brain food, and joint food. I am set til about noon most days.

    ReggieW wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • Hi guys!!! Do you have to cool the coffee first or can it be thrown in hot into the blender?

      Janine wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  6. Sounds yummy, but what about coffee if I am IMF in the morning?

    loriw wrote on November 30th, 2013
    Off topic, but searching for Vibrams today on Google led me to Never heard of them before but they have a load of vibram styles and sizes. Original Sprints for 19.99. I bought a pair of KMD Sport for $43. With free shipping!

    Joshua wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • wow thanks, got me komodo sport LS on the cheap !

      wildgrok wrote on November 30th, 2013
      • Awesome! Glad I could help. Happy hiking!

        Joshua wrote on November 30th, 2013
  8. I just recently started mixing a heaping tablespoon of Optimum Nutrition double chocolate whey protein in with my morning coffees, add a little organic milk and it makes a very nice mocha. I never eat in the mornings so now I am able to get about 25-30 grams of protein in my two cups of coffee first thing in the morning. The wife likes it too, it’s our daily routine now.

    bayrider wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • ooo I really like this idea!

      Hannah wrote on December 1st, 2013
  9. Hey!

    New to the primal life and making some good changes! was having a down day today due to my love of coffee with sugar and while watching a youtube video (one of many interviews with mark) I signed into MDA and I see Primal Mocha :) Big grin on my face and between the video and new recipe Im feeling positive again :) im gonna DO THIS and I believe this could really change my life!

    Hannah wrote on December 1st, 2013
    • Good luck, Hannah. Of course you can do this, it just takes caring enough about your own health.

      Keen wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  10. 1T Kerrygold butter, 1 T MCT oil, 1t cinnamon, whirl in blender. Yum! Good until lunch. Will add a raw egg yolk & 1t honey if playing tennis mid-morning. Love my morning coffee!

    Janet wrote on December 1st, 2013
  11. God bless you, Mark Sisson. God bless you.

    David Thompson wrote on December 1st, 2013
  12. Delicious and delectable!

    Tried this with melted 85% chocolate in Coconut milk, and a double-shot of (well extracted) expresso on top.


    Rocky wrote on December 1st, 2013
    • I meant ‘Espresso’. Duh!

      Rocky wrote on December 1st, 2013
  13. I tried this today, but don’t have blender at work, so had to just stir it. I ended up with most of the chocolate at the bottom. So I went back to my normal mocha recipe, using powered cocoa (1tsp) and cream (2Tbl or 1/8 cup). Mixing the cocoa in the cream before adding the coffee ensures it will give you an intense chocolate taste and stay fairly well suspended in the coffee. Add your sweetener of choice, if desired. I often add a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon, as well. A friend of mine recommended a shot of tabasco sauce, but I have not tried that yet ;).

    Damien Gray wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  14. I just tried this at home… and WOW!!!! Awesome! Thanks!

    Neil S wrote on December 4th, 2013
  15. I use a handheld immersion blender to mix my coffee with coconut oil and grass-fed butter. Works great and it is easy to clean!

    Goddess wrote on December 5th, 2013
  16. I love hazelnut creamer in my coffee. Any idea how I can make it paleo? maybe a hazelnut cream from blended hazelnuts?


    jana wrote on February 18th, 2014

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