Want To Make Coffee Like Your Favorite Coffee Shop?

Download our FREE guide to learn how to brew coffee like a barista at your favorite coffee shop. Just enter your email address to download the guide today!

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Get our FREE Coffee Lover Newsletter

Sign up for a free newsletter to help you brew amazing coffee at home.

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.
  • What Is A Breve?

    CLICK HERE to subscribe to our weekly emails on finding and brewing amazing coffee!

    If you’re like us and you love a little cream added to your morning coffee or espresso, your search can end here. Have you heard of a breve?

    Latte and cappuccino fans beware, there’s another drink you need to add to your coffee repertoire.

    Just so you know, if you click on a product on RoastyCoffee.com and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

    So what is a breve? It’s an American variation of the latte.

    A breve is an espresso-based drink made with steamed half-and-half instead of milk. The drink is then finished off with a nice layer of frothed milk foam on top.

    Why is it called breve?

    Coming from the Italian language, breve can translate to short, brief, little or concise, which is kind of how a breve is made to be.

    A breve can also be known as a cafe breve, breve coffee, or a latte breve. Ordering drinks by any of these names will get you a delightfully rich drink of espresso and creamy milk without any extra sugar added.

    What is a breve at Starbucks?

    So what if you want to walk down to your local Starbucks and order a breve? Which of the above names should you use to get your point across?

    At Starbucks, as with many other coffee shops, the words breve or cafe breve are used when ordering this espresso-based beverage. Half-and-half or light cream is substituted for milk.

    Because of the way this drink is made, it turns out to be richer and creamier than a traditional latte.

    It also has a hint of sweetness added from the flavorful notes of the half-and-half.

    Breve

    What is the difference between a latte and a breve?

    A latte is probably considered the more popular brother or sister of the two drinks. With all the flavor varieties, options can seem endless.

    However, a distinct difference between a breve and a latte is in the type of milk or cream used. A latte is made with steamed milk, usually whole milk, and espresso. A breve is made with espresso and steamed half-and-half instead of milk.

    What exactly is half-and-half? and how does it affect the taste of your drink?

    It’s a blend of half whole milk and half light cream. It usually contains about 10 to 12% fat in its content, making it the perfect addition to your morning coffee if you are looking for a creamy pickup.

    Half-and-half can’t be whipped, but it adds a whole lotta richness to your espresso without being as heavy as the cream can get on its own.

    How to make a breve at home

    If you’ve recently read our post on microfoam and you’re ready to take your at-home barista skills to the next level, there are a few things you will need to consider before you make one of these breve latte drinks.

    1. It is absolutely vital to make sure that your milk is ice cold and straight out of the fridge. If it’s warm at all or even room temperature it will not foam correctly.
    2. Use a thermometer to gauge your heat. Aim for 160 oF or 71 oC. If you want your family and friends to drink coffee at your house again, you do not want to burn your half-and-half.
    3. Position your steam wand in your half-and-half to just below the half-and-half. Aim for a light, pleasant-sounding hissing noise and a whirlpool motion in your liquid that raises the volume of your steamed half-and-half but doesn’t make thick bubbles.
    4. Cut your steamed half-and-half from your steam wand when you reach about 140 oF or 60 oC as it will continue to cook a bit before cooling down.
    5. Make one to two shots of espresso depending on the desired strength you want your breve latte to be.
    6. Use a spoon to part your silky foam with the steamed milk, and allow the steamed milk to flow into the bottom of your favorite cup.
    7. Without scooping, pull in the foam with your spoon.
    8. Lastly, pour in your espresso to your breve latte as slowly as you possibly can. The steamed half-and-half is so thick with air that it will hold the expresso afloat at the surface for a few seconds. You’ll know you’ve achieved success when you end up with a nice fade from espresso to milk.

    Breve

    Are breves good for you?

    When it comes to the nutritional value of a breve and the fact that it is made with half whole milk and half-light, or let’s be honest, sometimes heavy cream, the calorie count and cholesterol levels for this beverage can go through the roof. Not to mention the fact that half-and-half does not double in size the way whole milk does when it is frothed.

    If you are in search of a healthier option, we recommend leaving the breves for special occasions and making a regular latte or skinny latte your daily choice.

    But hey, no judgment here on what you’re drinking. You do you and we’ll be here along for the ride.

    Now that you’ve learned everything you need to know about adding some half-and-half to your espresso or lattes, you can order like a pro at your local coffee shop.

    Or if you’re feeling brave, you may even want to test out your cafe quarantine skills by making these drinks from the comfort of your own kitchen.

    Recommended Reading

    Best Moka Pot: What’s the Top Stovetop Espresso Maker?
    Absolutely addicted to espresso? Us too. But we get that not everyone can afford a real-deal espresso machine. So, our team at Roasty has put together a guide on the best moka pot you can buy. That way, you can get great espresso-style coffee without killing your budget.
    The Ten Best Commercial Coffee Grinders
    Do you love coffee enough to make a business out of it? If you're thinking of opening your own coffee shop or cafe, you'll need a reliable, durable, high-quality coffee grinder to keep up with the pace. Check out our favorite options for commercial coffee grinders, right here!
    Nespresso CitiZ Review: Quick And Easy To Use For Everyone
    This small dimensional espresso machine does just as good of a job as a large one. Check out our full review on the Nespresso CitiZ machine.
    Breville Creatista Plus Review: Match Made in Heaven?
    Like the idea of a Nespresso capsule machine but still want a little something extra to spice up the experience? This Breville+Nespresso collaboration machine might be perfect for you. Check out the full story in this Breville Creatista Plus review.
    The Six Best Espresso Tampers
    Just starting out in the coffee business? Looking to sharpen your barista brewing skills? Then you'll also need a strong, sturdy, trusty tamper to help you pour your espresso deliciously and consitently. Click here to learn more about which one of these tampers is perfect for you!
    Microfoam: What It Is & How To Perfect It
    The light and airy foam added to the top of your latte or espresso at a local shop can make or break your coffee. Check out our tips to learn how to make microfoam right in your home.
    Roasty Coffee

    Learn to Make Barista-Level Coffee From The Comfort of Your Home

    The Home Barista Coffee Course 14-lesson video course about brewing consistently amazing coffee at home. Stream or download the entire course to learn how to make coffee as good as your local barista for a fraction of the cost.

    Click Here To Learn More