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What Is a Breve? The American Latte

Most of you that are reading this will likely have no idea when it comes to what is a breve.

It’s actually not a very common coffee term used, so you are not alone. Coffee shops should know how to make this type of coffee, but many will not have it on the menu. 

If you like your milk-based espresso drinks or slightly sweeter milky coffees, then a breve might be your new go-to brew. 

Let’s have a look into the breve coffee, what it is, and how you can make one.

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What Is a Breve Coffee?

Breve coffee, also known as a breve latte or café breve, is a type of coffee that is made with either one or two shots of espresso and steamed half and half. It has a richer and creamier taste and creates a more full-bodied coffee with reduced bitterness.

Made with a balanced ratio of espresso and steamed half-and-half. Breve coffee is a lighter and airier version of the classic latte, perfect for those who want something more subtle in flavor.

It’s the perfect caffeine pick-me-up. Made with a blend of quality espresso and steamed half-and-half, this American take on the latte is perfect to enjoy at any time of the day, but more preferred as a dessert coffee.

This type of coffee is not as popular as your regular cup of joe, but it is perfect for those who want a slightly sweeter drink with a thicker texture.

Why Is It Called a Breve?

The name ‘breve’ comes from the Italian and Latin word “brevi” which means short. It’s a strange name for a coffee as there is nothing really ‘short’ about it.

One potential reason has been because the half and half doesn’t rise as much so the drink is ‘shorter’ than a latte. 



What Does a Breve Taste Like?

The combination of espresso and half-and-half creates a very creamy and full-bodied brew with a sweet aftertaste all thanks to the half and half. 

As it is similar to a latte, you can always add flavored syrups or extra sugar to the coffee if you want to sweeten it up some more. 

There are some variations out there where people are testing a breve with different kinds of half-and-half flavors such as French Vanilla.

We have yet to try any of these, so if you do, be sure to let us know! 

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Breve Coffee?

Breve coffee has less caffeine than regular coffee and it also has less acidity, perfect for those with acid sensitivities. These benefits include:

  • It is less acidic compared to other brewed coffee.
  • It reduces the risk of getting acid reflux.

Is a Breve Coffee Good For You?

Not really. Half and Half can contain a large number of calories, increase fat percentages, and even sugars if flavored ones are used.

It all depends on the type of half and half that is used, but generally, a breve is more of a sweet treat! 

What Is the Difference Between a Latte and a Breve?

The main difference between a latte and a breve is that a latte uses milk and a breve uses half and half.

When the milk is steamed it usually rises and creates a large layer of foam – when the half and half is steamed, it stays dense and creates a ‘shorter’ drink. 

Both of these drinks are still made the same way, however, depending on who makes them, they will either be made with the same ratio as a latte or one that is similar to a cappuccino. 

When comparing the latte to the breve, both suppress the taste of the espresso/coffee and make the perfect milk-based coffee for those who don’t like the taste of brewed coffee but still want the caffeine kick.



How to Make a Breve?

Making a breve is pretty much the same process as making a latte. You will need a coffee machine with milk steaming wand if you want proper results.

  1. Start by using cold half-and-half (never warm or room temperature) in your milk frothing pitcher.
  2. Begin to steam with the wand ¾ of the way down in the half-and-half.
  3. Once you reach a temperature of 145F; bring the wand below the surface of the half and half to create some foam.
  4. Be sure to tap the pitcher on the surface and allow it to rest whilst you prepare the espresso.
  5. Prevent the foam from pouring and pour the steamed half-and-half into your cup. Then pull the foam out onto your milk. 
  6. Finally, add the espresso or two that you brewed.

The Final Sip

Breve coffee is an espresso-based drink that is healthier, tastier, and more environmentally friendly than traditional espresso-based drinks.

This drink is made with 100% Arabica coffee beans. These types of coffee beans are known to be less acidic, with a slightly lower caffeine content than their counterparts.

The breve also has no sugar or artificial sweeteners, which makes it a healthier alternative to traditional espresso-based drinks. 

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