What Is A Breve Coffee - Indulge In This Decadent Delight

What Is A Breve Coffee? – Indulge In This Decadent Delight

Last updated on October 26th, 2023 at 20:15

I get a lot of questions asking what is a breve, in our cool coffee community, this article, rather guide will tell you exactly what a breve coffee is and how it compares to other popular coffee beverages.

Here is the quick answer for those of you that are in a rush. A breve coffee is an espresso based drink with an equal amount of steamed half-and-half cream.

Keep reading for a more detailed answer!

What Is A Breve Coffee?

A breve coffee is a popular creamy coffee drink that you can find at any gourmet coffee shop. Instead, for being made with steamed milk as regular latte or cappuccino would be, it is made with a single or double shot of espresso and steamed half-and-half cream.

Unlike a latte, which has an espresso to milk ratio of 1:2 and normal breve coffee, it has a ratio of 1:1 with the dairy used.

The term breve itself is only in reference to the type of dairy used, which is always half-and-half cream, and a normal breve coffee, also referred to as a cafe breve, is always made with an equal amount of espresso and half-and-half cream. There are other breve drinks.

A breve coffee can be ordered as a mocha breve coffee, which is a regular mocha made with half-and-half instead of regular milk. You can also order a breve latte, where a normal breve latte is made with an espresso to half-and-half cream ratio of 1:2, which is different from a regular breve coffee which has a 1:1 ratio and differs from a regular latte due to the different dairy used.

A breve macchiato, a breve flat white, a tea breve latte, it is easy to figure out that these drinks are – they are the original drinks with the only change being the use of half-and-half cream instead of whole milk.

I highlight that as a breve coffee can be ordered as any coffee drink of your choice.

What Is A Breve Coffee
A Tasty Breve Coffee

Read: Starbucks breve nutrition

What Is An Iced Breve Coffee?

In the most basic of descriptions, an iced breve coffee is a hot breve coffee with ice! It’s made in the same way as a regular hot breve, usually made with an extra shot of espresso to compensate for the melting ice.

For clarity, it’s a coffee beverage with equal amounts of espresso and half-and-half cream with ice added to chill the drink.

Breve Coffee Starbucks

At the world’s most popular coffee shop, Starbucks, a breve coffee is a coffee drink made with dark roast espresso and an equal amount of steamed half-and-half cream with steamed froth added.

The richness of the cream matches the rich flavor of the dark roast perfectly.

At Starbucks, you need to mention the name of the coffee beverage that you want as a breve be it a café breve, breve latte, breve mocha, breve macchiato or whatever drink that you desire as a breve at Starbucks only refers to the half-and-half cream that is made using an equal amount of heavy cream and whole cream.

Order only a breve and all you will get is a cup of half-and-half cream with no coffee. Be sure to say the name of the coffee that you want, also.

Breve Coffee Recipe

Making a breve coffee is easy and can be made in two simple steps, very much in the same way as other popular espresso drinks like a cappuccino, latte, flat white and more.

At the core of the method is to make a double shot of espresso and then steam your half-and-half cream.

Making The Shot Of Espresso

Making a shot of espresso is easy and for the best results you will need a home espresso machine or at the very least a moka pot. To be clear, an espresso machine will get the best results.

For coffee beans, a dark roast will get you the best results with a French roast and Italian roast being particularly good choices.

Here are some great coffees to make a Breve coffee with:

  • Estate Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee by Koa Coffee (100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee).
  • San Francisco Bay Coffee French Roast
  • Olde Brooklyn Coffee Italian Roast.
  • Nossa Senhora de Fatima Dark Roast.
  • The Darkest Roast by Volcanica.
What Is An Iced Breve Coffee
What Is An Iced Breve Coffee

Read: What is breve latte?

Making Your Espresso Shot With An Espresso Machine

Start with fresh whole coffee beans and weigh 40 grams of whole beans per double shot of espresso that you are going to make.

Then grind your coffee beans to a very fine powder like grind of 200 microns using a ceramic conical burr grinder. Grind in bursts of 5 to 10 seconds. Given the grinding rate of this should take you 4 to 8 bursts. Grinding in bursts ensures a better quality grind.

Tamp your coffee grounds with a flat and even pressure of around 30 kg. Tamping is a very important part of brewing the perfect espresso. It’s easy, but pay attention to this part as getting it wrong can lead to extraction problems like channeling.

Pull your double shot and time the extraction time.

The brew time should be 25 seconds with a variance of plus or minus 5 seconds.

If your brew time is less than 20 seconds, your shot will likely taste sour. The principle problem is usually a grind size that is too large, which causes a reduced contact time between the coffee grinds and the hot water as it flows too quickly past them.

Conversely, if your brew time is longer than 30 seconds your shot will be over extracted and taste slightly bitter or overtly bitter. The main reason behind this your grind size is too small and causing too much contact between the hot water and yoru coffee grinds.

Making Your Espresso With A Moka Pot

Using a moka pot home espresso maker. Since we need a strong coffee it is best to adjust the ratio of espresso grounds to water, and instead of using the regular coffee to water ratio of 1:10 we will be using a ratio of 1:8.

With a moka pot, it is advised to brew a minimum of 4 oz  (120 ml) of coffee.

Per 120 ml (4 Oz) of coffee brewed, use 15 grams (1/2 oz) of coffee beans. Grind your whole coffee beans to an espresso grind and add them to your moka pot.

Add 120 ml (4 oz) of water per cup of coffee that you are brewing and heat to 70C (158F) and add it to the water chamber of your moka pot espresso maker. This small and slightly inconvenient step will result in a better quality of coffee brewed.

Brew your moka pot coffee.

Note: Although it is called a moka pot espresso maker it does not make espresso; it makes at best strong espresso like coffee. It lacks the pressure to get the rich thick crema on top.

Breve Coffee Recipe
Breve Coffee Is Best With A Real Espresso

Read: Breve

Steaming Your Half And Half Cream

The next step is to steam your half-and-half cream. Use the same technique as you normally would for steamed milk but only stretch the half-and-half cream to 20 to 25% by volume.

If you don’t have a milk steaming wand you can use a hand-held frother or my favorite alternative tool, a French press. Using a French press is so easy. Fill your press 1/3 full and pump the plunger for a minute and stop when it has doubled in volume.

Despite my love for the alternative use for a French press, a frother is much better and more convenient.

Serve And Enjoy

Pour your hot espresso shot into a 4.5 ounce (135 ml) glass and slowly pour your steamed half-and-half cream on top and spoon on a little milk froth.

If you are using a moka pot pour 4 ounces of your moka pot espresso into an 8-ounce glass and pour an equal amount of steamed half-and-half cream and a little milk foam.

Breve Vs Latte

The key difference between a breve and late is the different dairy product used and the different ratios of the dairy to espresso.

  • Caffe Latte: Made with regular steamed milk and a ratio of espresso to milk of 1:2.
  • Cafe Breve: Made with half-and-half cream and a ratio of espresso to milk of 1:1

A latte is usually 6 to 8 ounces (180 ml to 240 ml) while a breve is smaller, typically 4 ounces (120 ml).

A latte has the steamed milk textured and stretched to be like wet paint with shiny texture. A breve is steamed only and is not textured and has a more balance of espresso to dairy than a latte.

Breve Vs Latte
Both Drinks Can Be Made With A Moka Pot

Breve Vs Cappuccino

The principle difference between these two coffee beverages is the type of dairy used. Both a breve and a cappuccino are espresso drinks that use the same ratio of dairy to espresso ratio of 1:1.

Also, a breve does not have the fluffy microfoam topping that a cappuccino has. It, is also sweeter due to the dairy used and is a richer coffee drink than a cappuccino.

Breve Vs Americano

These are two very different coffee beverages with the stand-out difference being that an Americano is a combination of espresso and water while a breve is equal amounts of espresso and half-and-half cream.

By default, an Americano due to the lack of dairy a breve is a much richer coffee drink.

Breve Vs Cortado

The difference between a cortado and a breve is the different dairy product used. Both are made with a double shot of espresso and an equal amount of dairy. A cortado is made with steamed whole fat milk while a breve is made with steamed half-and-half cream.

In a sense, you could consider a breve as a more decadent cortado as it is the richer coffee drink.

Breve Vs Flat White

Again, the difference between a flat white and a breve is the milk that is used. With a flat white being made with steamed milk and a breve with steamed half-and-half cream.

One neat difference, which gives a flat white a bolder taste is the different type of espresso used as a flat white is made with a ristretto, which is a more focused and stronger espresso.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Is A Breve Coffee

What’s The Difference Between A Latte And A Breve?

The difference between these two beverages is that a latte is made using milk, be it whole milk, low fat milk, nonfat milk or an alternative non-dairy milk, while a breve is made with half-and-half milk. Due to being made with half-and-half, a breve has a higher fat content, more calories and a more velvet-like texture.

Is Breve Sweeter Than Latte?

Yes, a Breve has a sweeter and creamier taste than a latte due to the higher lactose content.

Which Is Healthier Breve Or Latte?

Due to the lower fat content and lower sugar content and having fewer calories, a latte is the healthier option between these two coffee beverages.

Why Do People Drink Breve?

I am guilty of enjoying a breve from time to time and drinking because I enjoy the rich texture, sweetness and what is a more substantial drink. It’s a flavor thing for me and I guess other people are the same. Other reasons are for the fuller mouthfeel that the half-and-half cream brings.

What Is A Latte With Heavy Cream Called?

A latte that is made with heavy cream is a latte con crème or just crème. With whipped cream it is called a latte con panna.

Is Breve Latte Same As Cappuccino?

No, these are two very different drinks. A breve latte is a latte made with half-and-half cream while a cappuccino is an espresso with an equal amount of milk, espresso and foam.

  • Breve Latte: Made with an espresso to half-and-half ratio of 1:2.
  • Cappuccino: Made with an espresso to steamed milk ratio of 1:1 and an equal ration of microfoam.

Is Breve High In Calories?

Yes, a breve is high in calories with 26 calories in a Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Breve latte has 426 calories. It is more accurate to say that it is high in calories. Compared to a traditional latte made with regular milk, it has almost 3 times as many calories.

Does Starbucks Charge For Breve?

Starbucks are not supposed to charge for half-and-half if it is being used as a creamer for brewed coffee but if it is used as an alternative to regular milk in a mocha or latte there is an extra charge.

Final Thoughts – What Is A Breve Coffee?

If you have read this far you know exactly what is a breve coffee and how to make it perfectly at home and how it compares to an American, latte, cappuccino, a cortado and a flat white.

Join our cool coffee community and share your coffee creations, recipes, amazing latte art, anything coffee related!

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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