a breve latte

What Exactly Is A Breve Coffee? | Can You Even Pronounce It?

Last Updated on 27/06/2021 by Miki

Have you heard of a “breve”? I was researching coffee types and found this unfamiliar coffee. I even didn’t know how to pronounce it! Well, it seems like “Brev-ay“. This is a small and simple, yet delicious drink that is not as popular as its counterparts. Curious about what exactly it is? You’re not alone—a breve typically has a lot of people saying “what?” A breve is a Latin term meaning “double cream” and it can refer to coffee with a lot of milk or one of the world’s own versions of a latte. It is also served as a variation of cafe au lait and Viennese coffee. This coffee is typically served in a smaller glass (similar size to a shot glass) and has the same thickness as a latte.

Is A Breve Coffee Different From A Latte?

A breve is an Italian name that we can translate to short, little, brief or concise. It is also known as breve coffee, latte breve, or cafe breve. It consists of espresso-based coffee and steamed half-and-half. Well, what exactly is half-and-half? It is a blend of half whole milk and half light cream (named perfectly!). On the other hand, a latte consists of espresso-based coffee with steamed milk. As a breve contains more fat content from cream, the result will be richer and creamier. Some claim that it is so rich that people don’t need any sweetener. I guess it would be more like an after-dinner drink than a morning cuppa…

Now we know that a breve and a latte are clearly different. And I know why I haven’t heard of it before because it is an American invention and unavailable here in Australia. There is no half-and-half seen at grocery shops, but we could have a substitute to make a breve at home if we wanted. It is just not that common compared to other coffee types such as a flat white, a latte and a cappuccino that are popular globally.

A Breve Coffee Calories In One Serve

As you can easily guess, the calories of a breve coffee are not the healthy ones. Let’s have a look at whole milk first. It contains approximately 150-160 calories in one serve of 8oz (240ml). On the other hand, the same amount of half-and-half would be approximately 320 calories. Obviously, if you choose a bigger size, the calories will become higher as well. You can make a breve to the iced one and it would contain fewer calories due to how it’s prepared. The total amount of half-and-half would be less as the milk and cream are added to a cup first and then filled with ice cubes.

If you would like to have a hot breve coffee with fewer calories, you could ask for a fat-free version of half-and-half at some coffee shops or get one to make at home. Either way, it would be probably better to be aware of the portion size and choose a smaller one if desired. A breve coffee, I believe, should be treated as a treat, definitely not as a daily cuppa. You might want to check the calories of other types of coffee. Having said that, if you are trying to gain some weight or having more strength, a breve coffee could be a perfect drink for a coffee lover. It ultimately depends on our individual needs.

Is A Breve Coffee Keto?

A breve coffee that contains half-and-half is supposedly keto-friendly as both whole milk and light cream is relatively low in carbohydrates. To make it even lower in carbs, you can opt to replace the milk with half hot water and half cream. The mix of the water and cream is steamed and added to a shot of espresso, which will result in being lighter and frothier than a latte. If you are on plant-based diets, full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream can be good options to make a keto-friendly breve coffee. Another alternative is nut milk such as almond or cashew milk. A breve coffee for vegan options would taste sweeter than dairy options due to their natural ingredients.

almond and cashew milk for breve latte

How To Make A Breve Coffee At Home

Making a breve coffee at home is relatively simple. Just follow the steps here 🙂

  1. Pull double shots of espresso (2oz) and place it into the desired cup
  2. Steam and froth 1/2 cup of half-and-half
  3. Pour the steamed half-and-half over the prepared espresso, holding back the milk foam
  4. Spoon the foam from half-and-half over the espresso and steamed milk

In case you would like to know how to steam and froth milk without an espresso machine wand, you can use a French press or a metal milk frother. (An electric one is available online, supermarkets, etc.) You need to pour the milk in a cup and heat it first in the microwave oven or pour it in a small saucepan and heat it on the stove. It will be ready when it gets hot and you can see small bubbles around the edge of the cup or the saucepan. Follow the rest of the steps above. There you have a nice cup of a breve at home.

What Is A Mocha Breve?

A mocha breve is apparently different from a cafe mocha or mocha latte which is a chocolate-flavoured variant of a latte. In short, a mocha latte is an espresso-based coffee and hot milk with chocolate flavourings and sweetener, typically in use of cocoa powder and sugar. You can also make it with hot chocolate by adding a shot of espresso. On the other hand, a mocha breve consists of the basic breve recipe by adding the steamed chocolate sauce. You can use either milk or dark chocolate and it would be a white mocha breve if you choose white chocolate, just like a white mocha latte.

Not only the hot version, but you can also make the iced one if you prefer. Here are the simple steps of how to make an iced mocha breve at home.

  1. Pull double shots of espresso (2oz) in a cup and add 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce (They should mix easily when it is done while the espresso is still hot.)
  2. Place some ice cubes in a drinking glass
  3. Pour the coffee mix and 1/2 cup of half-and-half into the glass (You can adjust the quantity of the milk according to your taste – more for a richer drink and less for a stronger coffee flavour.)
  4. Mix together and enjoy the drink 🙂

What is Breve at Starbucks?

The answer to this question is quite important if you want to get your drink properly. What does it mean? Well, if you order “breve” at Starbucks, there is a possibility that you would get a cup of half and half. What? This is simply because the term “breve” means half and half at Starbucks. Is it funny or frustrating? You decide!

Final Thoughts

There you have discovered what a breve coffee is. If you are new to this coffee and love experimenting, head off to your favourite cafe to try or even make one at home! It is certainly a unique one and I would like to know what you think of it. Please feel free to share your experience in a comment below 🙂

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