A breve latte is a tasty, outstanding decadent drink that is well worth the effort in making it like a life-long master barista, especially at dinner parties with your friends, boss and other VIPs.
Serve it as a post-dinner coffee, and they will just love the richness of the coffee and cream mixing together.
Keep reading for all you need to know and detailed instruction on how to make a breve at home.
What Is A Breve? The American Latte Of Espresso
Some of us coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts enjoy a little cream treat added to our morning coffee or our espresso. Thankfully the coffee gods blessed us with such a drink.
…and called it a breve.
If you’re like us, and you love a little cream added to your morning coffee or espresso, your search can end here.
A breve rivals a cappuccino and a latte, and it is an occasional coffee drink that is rich, creamy and enjoyable and your local coffee shop can make it!
Some call it the American variation of a latte, but to be more accurate, it is more like the American variation of an Austrian Einspanner coffee or a Viennese Cappuccino with the whipped cream melted into the coffee beverage.
So what is a breve?
It is a tasty espresso-based coffee beverage that is made with steamed half and half milk.
A word to the wise, be sure to order a breve half and half; if you don’t, you might end up with an American breve, which is the same drink but made with heavy cream.
Once it is ready, it is topped with a layer of milk foam.
Read: How to make a breve latte at home
What Is A Breve At Starbucks?
So, what do you do if you want to order a breve at Starbucks? How do you communicate perfectly to your barista that drink that you want?
At the S’bucks as it is with any specialist coffee shop the word’s breve, breve latte, or café breve are what you should use when ordering this drink.
Use those magical words and magical rich, tasty and creamy coffee drink that is made with light cream or half-and-half cream instead of milk.
Due to the way that a breve is made, it tastes a lot creamier and richer than a traditional latte.
It has a lovely hint of caramel due to the steaming of the sugars in the cream and a natural sweetness from the half-and-half cream.
Why Is It Called Breve?
Breve is a word with its origins in the Latin language, from brevis, meaning brief, short, little. Which is how a breve is supposed to be.
It is pronounced with two syllables, “Bre” and “ve”. The first Syllable is pronounced like the first three letters in Breakfast. practice that sound a few times.
Then practice the second syllable “ve”, which has a sound like the word “way” except with a “v” sound.
Practice that a few times and then put it all together for a perfect pronunciation.
What Is The Difference Between A Breve And A Latte?
A latte is the more popular and better known espresso based drinks and is very similar to a breve. After all, a breve is also called a breve latte.
There are a few key differences between the two drinks, the principle one being the dairy product used, a latte being made with regular steamed milk, low fat milk or any number of plant based milks or nut based milks like soy milk, almond milk etc.
A breve is made with creamy milk, half and half cream or heavy cream.
A latte can have a whole host of flavor varieties like hazelnut, vanilla, pumpkin spice, Irish cream and many, many, many more.
You can’t flavor a breve, flavored syrups don’t work so well with this drink. The only option you have is flavoring the half-and-half cream with a shot or two of vanilla syrup, chocolate syrup, chocolate syrup and a shot of mint syrup, or Irish cream.
You can only flavor the cream in the same way in which cold cream is flavored for the topping on a cold brew coffee. You can’t actually flavor the coffee as such with a breve latte.
Also, with a latte you can use any coffee roast from a medium roast and above. With a breve you really have only one choice due to the thick cream. You need to use a dark roast as any other roast just will not cut through the cream.
The taste of coffee from both drinks are also very different.
A latte has a very soft subtle coffee taste whereas breve has a stronger, more pronounced, more prominent taste of coffee.
A breve, due to being made with half-and-half cream which is a blend of half light cream and whole milk, has a creamy rich sweet taste.
What Is The Difference Between Breve And Mocha
The main difference between a mocha and a breve is the chocolatey taste of the mocha.
However, if you want a chocolate taste with your breve you can decorate the cream topping with a sprinkling of cocoa and chocolate shavings.
What You Need To Make A Breve
There are few ingredients and a specialist piece of coffee brewing equipment that you need to make the perfect breve.
- A home espresso machine with a milk steaming wand.
- A good quality dark roast coffee. The better the coffee, the better your drink will be.
- Mineral water or filtered water. Clean water creates a better, cleaner taste. Top quality half-and-half milk.
- Cocoa powder and dark chocolate shavings for decoration.
Remember, the better the quality of the ingredients, the better your end result will be. At Latte Love Brew, we believe fully in the chef’s principle of using the best ingredients to get the best results.
The Espresso Shot
Get this part right, the art of pulling an excellent shot, and you are half way there to making a great café breve, or a breve latte whatever you wish to call it.
Having a good quality espresso machine is important and critical to making a great breve or any espresso beverage.
If you don’t have a perfectly brewed or pulled shot of espresso, the rest is an uphill task.
You just won’t have what is the spine, the solid base or platform for a great drink that cuts through the thick creaminess and sweetness of the half-and-half cream.
A percolator, moka pot, Turkish coffee Ibrik or French press won’t brew a coffee strong enough to get the job done.
You need a legit, bonafide espresso.
When you pull your double shot, you will need a coffee to water ratio of no greater than 1:2 – 1:1.5 even better, but a 1:2 is fine.
Use 30 grams of finely ground dark roasted coffee grounds. Grind your beans immediately before you pull your double shot.
This, at a 1:2 ratio, should yield you a double shot of 60 ml or 2 ounces.
Your brew time should take 25 to 30 seconds. If your brew time is too slow for you, more than the indicated time, you will need a slightly coarser grind size.
if your brew time is too quick, you will need a slightly finer grind size.
The 1:1.5 to 1:2 coffee to water ratio produces an espresso that is of a perfectly balanced shot with all the right flavors and strength, not too strong, not too weak and not too much nor too little body.
While medium and medium dark roasts work well for a latte and other espresso beverages, only a dark roast will pull you through the heaviness, the thickness, sweetness and creaminess of the cream.
You definitely want a coffee flavor to pull through that.
Making The Half-And-Half Cream
Let’s get the second half of this rather tasty drink.
It is 100% optional if you want to make your own half-and-half cream. If you go down this road, mix both your milk and cream in equal amounts as you want to reach a fat content of 10% to 15%.
Of course, it is completely fine to buy half-and-half cream. Should you opt to purchase it, buy the best that you can.
Steam your cream in the exact same way as you would when you are steaming regular milk. This time pay closer attention to the temperature and don’t overheat your half-and-half cream.
Maintain a temperature of 140F (60C) and no more. If you go above this temperature range, you may very well end up with something that is lumpy and looks like custard.
Spending a few pennies and getting a color-changing temperature monitoring tag and sticking it on your milk jug will be worth it as you will get perfect steamed milk (and steamed half-and-half cream).
Every single time.
They work in the same way as the temperature sticker on a home aquarium.
Keep your eyes and your ears open for a hissing sound from your steam wand and a whirlpool motion from your foam.
At this point, your steamed half-and-half cream is ready.
Simply pour it slowly over your espresso and spoon some thick and tasty cream on to your espresso.
Optional: Dust the top with cocoa and add some dark chocolate shavings to decorate and add a tasty chocolate hint.
Final Thoughts – Breve
A breve is one of those few amazing rich creamy coffee drinks that is somewhat both a coffee and a dessert – especially when you make it with heavy cream, dust it off with cocoa and sprinkle on some chocolate shavings.
Indulge yourself and make it!
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