What Is A Breve Latte The Precise Definition Of A Breve Latte

What Is A Breve Latte? The Precise Definition Of A Breve Latte

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 21:38

Learning What is a breve latte and how it is different from a regular latte as well as how to make it at home will open your coffee world up to a delicious, delightful and decadent coffee drink.

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A breve is a coffee drink made with a double espresso and an equal amount of steamed half-and-half cream.

Keep reading for a more detailed definition and instructions for how to make it at home.

What Is A Breve Latte?

A breve latte, also known as a caffé breve, café breve, breve coffee or simply just a breve, is an espresso-based drink that is made with a double shot of espresso and an equal amount of half-and-half cream. It’s a decadent and rich drink that is creamy, tasty, delicious and decadent.

It is an Americanized version of an Italian latte, just smaller, creamier and richer tasting. It’s often served in a 4.5 Oz to 5 ounce glass cup known as a Gibraltar glass, making it very similar to the Spanish classic coffee drink, the cortado.

Both a cortado and a breve are made with a doubleshot of espresso and 2 ounces (60 ml) of dairy. A cortado uses whole fat textured milk while a breve uses half-and-half as its dairy product.

What Is A Breve Latte
A Breve Latte

Read: What does a latte lates like?

Breve Vs Latte

To get a good comparison of these two beverages, let’s have a look at a breve Vs latte and their composition:

  • Breve: An espresso drink made with two espresso shots or a double espresso and steamed half-and-half using a dairy to espresso ratio of 1:1.
  • Latte: One of the most popular espresso drinks made with a single espresso shot with steamed milk in a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2. Has a fine layer of foam on top and finished with latte art.

We can see from the composition that these two drinks are very different and result in a different tasting. coffee. Here are the Key differences between each of the two coffee beverages:

  • A latte uses whole fat milk while a breve is elaborated with steamed half-and-half.
  • The dairy to espresso ratios are different: Breve 1:1 ratio, while a latte it’s 2:1.
  • A breve has no milk foam, a latte has a fine layer of creamy foam.
  • A latte has some latte art on top, a breve has no latte art.
  • A Latte is typically 180 ml (6 Oz), a breve is 120 ml (4 oz).

A café breve, while smaller, is a richer latte with a perfect balance of espresso and dairy while a latte is dominated by the dairy content.

How To Make A Breve Latte At Home

Making a breve latte at home is easy, very easy. The half-and-half or light cream is steamed and then frothed. Then your strong and bold espresso is pulled into a 4.5 to 5 Oz Gibraltar glass. Pour your hot half-and-half cream while being careful to hold back the foam with a spoon. Then spoon your foam on the top of your espresso beverage for a perfect breve latte.

Optional: Sprinkle chocolate flakes or shavings on to your breve for decoration.

How To Make The Perfect Espresso Shot At Home For Your Breve

To make the perfect shot of espresso you need an espresso machine. There are many high quality home espresso machines that are great for making coffee shop quality shots at home.

If you have not yet invested in an espresso machine you can use a moka pot to get a strong espresso like coffee at home.

For an espresso machine weigh 40 grams of whole espresso beans and grind them to a fine powder like grind size using a ceramic conical burr coffee grinder. 200 microns is a good grind size.

Tamp your coffee grounds with a good, even pressure of 30 kg. Pull your double espresso. It should take 25 to 30 seconds to pull your shot. There is a variance of plus or minus 5 seconds.

If your shot takes more than 30 seconds, it is probable that your espresso is too bitter. Make your grind size a little larger to encourage less contact between the hot water and your espresso grinds, which should allow your water to flow past them slightly quicker.

If your shot takes less than 20 seconds to brew, your shot is likely to be sour and under brewed. To encourage greater contact between the hot water and the coffee grinds, make your grind slightly smaller.

With a moka pot weigh 7.5 grams of coffee beans per beverage and grind them to the same fine grind size as an espresso grind. Weigh 60 grams or measure 60 ml of water per beverage that you are making.

The coffee to water ratio we are using here is 1:8 instead of 1:10 for a stronger coffee flavor to come through.

Pro Tip: To get a better flavor from your moka pot coffee, preheat your water to 70C (158F) and then add the preheated water to the water chamber.

Breve Vs Latte
Making The Perfect Shot

Read: Difference between a mocha and latte

Steaming And Frothing Your Half And Half

If you have a home espresso machine, simply steam and froth your half-and-half in the same way that you would with regular whole fat milk.

If you don’t have a steam wand, you can start by heating your half-and-half in a saucepan at a low to medium heat. When steam starts to rise from your half-and-half, take it off the heat and use a hand-held frother or a manual whisk to froth your dairy.

It is best to transfer your dairy to a tall glass or a tall container and move your hand-held milk frother slowly and evenly through your half-and-half cream from the bottom to the top to get a good and even consistency.

You can also use your French press. Simply transfer your heated half-and-half cream to your French press and pump the plunger for about a minute until the dairy doubles in volume.

You can also use a mason jar or cocktail shaker and shaker with vigor and energy.

Serve in a small 4 Oz or 5 Oz (120 ml or 150 ml) glass and enjoy.

Vanilla Breve Latte Starbucks

To replicate the vanilla breve latte from Starbucks at home, simply follow the instructions above and add a tablespoon or two of vanilla syrup to your half-and-half while steaming it.

There are many vanilla syrups on the market; you can use Starbucks own brand or opt for Torani or DaVinci gourmet, which I have a strong preference for due to both companies have sugar-free options and more exotic French vanilla and Madagascar vanilla syrups.

Vanilla Breve Latte Starbucks
Vanilla Breve Latte From Starbucks

Read: Latte Vs Mocha

Breve Latte Calories

While a breve latte is a tasty treat, a very enjoyable beverage it is unfortunately very high in calories with a calorie density of 35.5 calories per fluid ounce.

Here are how many calories that you can expect in common drink sizes:

  • Short 8 Oz (240 ml): 284 calories.
  • Tall 12 Oz (360 ml): 426 calories.
  • Grande 16 Oz (480 ml): 568 calories.
  • Venti 20 Oz (600 ml): 710 calories.

Breve Vs Latte Calories

A breve latte has a lot more calories than a latte, in most instances almost three times as much. A breve is decadent and should be enjoyed as an occasional treat due to the high fat, high cholesterol and elevated calorie count.

See the table for details and a direct comparison of just how many calories a breve has when compared to a latte.

Drink Size Breve Latte Caffé Latte
Short 8 Oz (240 ml). 284 calories. 100 calories.
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml). 426 calories. 150 calories.
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml). 568 calories. 190 calories.
Venti 20 Oz (600 ml). 710 calories. 250 calories.

Breve Pronunciation

Breve is an easy Italian word that is easy to pronounce. Say it in two syllables, Bre-Veh. See more details in the video below.

Breve Latte Pronunciation

Breve Latte is also very easy to pronounce. Each word is said in two syllables, Breh-Veh Lah-Teh.

Click play, watch, listen and practice. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Is A Breve Latte

To highlight the main and principle difference between a latte and a breve latte is the type of dairy milk used. A regular latte is made using whole fat steamed milk while a breve latte is made using half-and-half cream. The result of this is the higher fat content of the half-and-half produces a richer and more velvet-like texture to the espresso drink. Some latte lovers call it the perfect latte.

Opinions vary and what is “better” is very subjective. If you enjoy a rich creamy treat with a high fat content, then absolutely you will enjoy a breve, perhaps a little more than a traditional latte. A breve latte is made with half whole milk and half low fat (or half skimmed milk) or half heavy cream and half whole milk.

What Is A Latte With Heavy Cream Called?

To get with the latte lingo, a regular Italian latte that we all know and love is made with espresso and whole fat milk. A Breve latte is made with espresso and half-and-half cream; an espresso con panna is a latte made with heavy cream. 

A breve is naturally sweeter and richer than a classic latte made with espresso with whole fat milk. The extra sweetness is from the additional lactose, milk sugar, in the half-and-half cream used to make a breve.

It is called a breve due to the meaning of the word in the Italian language, and it describes the drink perfectly. Breve translates to short, a café breve, also known as a breve latte or latte breve, is a short coffee drink.

There are two shots of espresso (or one doubleshot of espresso) and two ounces of half-and-half cream. It is often served in a 4.5 ounce glass cup.

Final Thoughts – What Is A Breve Latte?

Now that you know what is a breve latte with the definitive answer and a great recipe with easy-to-follow instructions, you can go right ahead and make this decadent delight and enjoy it! 

Be careful of those calories, though!

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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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