How To Make Breve Coffee – Definition, Recipe And FAQs

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What is Breve Coffee

How does it feels like in your mind when you add cream to your morning coffee or espresso? I hope it sounds delicious, and also tastes delicious and is called Breve.

Cafe Breve is another addition you can add to your favorites menu along with Latte and Cappuccino.

If someone tells you that a few centuries ago, little brown beans were discovered by goats on a plateau of Ethiopia, would have the world wrapped around its little finger. Chances are, you’d think they are maybe a little crazy. The truth is, you’d be wrong. The coffee bean has had the world enthralled for years. And while there might be some, who try to convince you, otherwise, there is no one way to enjoy your coffee. One kind of coffee is good for you but might not be for another one.

Your cup of coffee can be whatever you want it to be. Countries and cultures have altered brewing methods, and have added and subtracted core ingredients. Today there are so many variants to the coffee cup that you’ve possibly not heard of a few, and definitely not tried them all.

The Breve Coffee for instance is a caffeinated concoction that has stayed in the shadows long enough. We’re here to throw some light and get you everything you need to know about Breve coffee.

What is Breve Coffee

When it comes to your morning cup of coffee, some can stomach nothing other than a strong black. Others prefer to pour in some milk on the top, while others still love to lump on a delicious dose of creamer.

Creamy cup of Breve coffee

Like the Cappuccino, Latte, Americano, and many others, the Breve is an espresso-based coffee drink. And like many of its predecessors, the drink originated more than three centuries ago in Italy. The name itself has been derived from the Italian word that translates to short or brief. It also goes by the names breve coffee, café breve or latte breve.

Breve is an American version of latte made from steamed half-and-half, instead of milk topped with a perfect layer of frothed milk foam.

If you are someone who prefers a creamy comfort to their cup of coffee, then it is the perfect drink for you. For a Breve does not use milk as one of its core ingredients, instead, it includes half-and-half. For those of you who do not know what that declaration means – Half-and-half is a mix of equal parts whole milk and light cream. Be aware, it boasts of a ten to twelve percent fat content. The change in content leads to a richer fuller tasting cup of coffee.

Breve vs Latte vs Cappuccino

The Latte and Cappuccino have ruled over the coffee community for years now. They are the giants that stand synonymous with coffee itself. So you might ask what place a Breve apart from its counterparts.

The simple answer is the type of milk used. Most caffeinated beverages are layered to add texture and taste. A cappuccino for instance has one or two shots of espresso at the bottom and is topped off with steamed milk and an equal proportion of milk foam on top. The milk used here can be whole or skimmed or even non-dairy.

A latte begins in a very similar fashion. One or two shots of espresso at the bottom topped off with a healthy portion of steamed milk and a light layer of milk foam as a crown completes the drink. A latte allows for leeway when it comes to choosing the milk to use. The Breve, on the other hand, will only allow for half and half. It needs it to form the iconic creamy cup.

How to make Breve Coffee

I’m sure by now we’ve wet your appetites. If your hands are itching to create a cup of Breve Coffee yourself, we’re here to tell you how.

The Requirements

  • Coffee – Grab a bag of your favorite coffee beans. While it is always smart to pick an espresso roast, it is not a compulsion. Go for whatever blend suits your taste buds best.
  • Half and half – The one rule you cannot break. The half and half need to be cold, it cannot be room temperature, and having it warm is close to sacrilege. Make sure it’s sitting safely in your fridge before you’re ready for it.
  • Espresso Machine – The market is absolutely filled with espresso machines with each one offering you something more than the last. Don’t get lost in all the shiny buttons and knobs though. Find one that suits your kitchen needs and serves your budget guidelines and we’re good to go.
  • Grinder – If you want your coffee to taste truly exceptional, you’re going to grind your coffee beans fresh right before you brew. Try if you can, to get your hands on a burr grinder. It works well to ensure the coffee grinds are cut consistently.
  • Your favorite mug
  • Thermometer (Optional) – If you wish to be extra precise when foaming, you need to check the temperature to be sure you don’t burn the half and half.
  • Spoon

Step by Step Breve Coffee Recipe

  1. Measure and grind beans – Start by measuring out and grinding your coffee beans. Most grinders have espresso size settings, if yours doesn’t, aim to grind your coffee till it mimics the sight of salt.
  2. Make foam from half and half– First, grab your half-and-half from the fridge. It is time to foam. While most espresso machines come with a milk wand, if yours does not, you can use a handheld frother, or a kitchen whisk to get the job done. If you have a steaming wand, place close to 16 ounces of cold half-and-half into a jar. If you’re going to try and be precise, place your thermometer in as well. You’re going to have to Goldilocks the steam wand into the milk jar. This means it shouldn’t be too deep nor too close to the surface. Turn on the steam and tilt your milk jar till the wand is causing a bit of a whirlpool. You don’t want to aim for foam rather attempt just tiny bubbles on the top.
  3. Stop steaming – Stop the steamer when the temperature nears 150 oF. If you’re not using a thermometer, give the milk time to expand but not froth. Once it’s done, turn off the steamer and set your half-and-half aside to cool a little (you just have learned steaming in short, but we have a full guide about How to Steam milk, go through it if you want to master that tact). Now it’s time for the coffee.
  4. Pull espresso shots – Place the ground coffee in your portafilter. Tamp well and pull one or two shots of coffee depending on how strong you want it to be.
  5. Pour milk into the mug – Grab your favorite coffee mug. With a spoon, hold back the foam in the jar of half and half and pour the milk into your mug. Once all the milk is in, allow the foam to follow behind.
  6. Pour the espresso – Grab the double espresso and delicately pour it in on top of the milk. Lastly, top off with remaining bits of foam.
  7. Enjoy – Sit back, sip, and enjoy your cup of coffee. Don’t forget to wipe down all the surfaces and clean the machine after use.


  1. How many calories does one cup of Breve holds?

    On account of the shift up in core ingredients, a single cup of Breve can contain up to five hundred and fifty calories.

  2. How much caffeine does a cup of breve hold?

    Depending on the size of a cup, if opted for a Breve, you’re getting anything between 60 to 80 mg of caffeine.

  3. Is the Breve coffee only served hot?

    Not at all! You can treat yourself to a chilled version of the cup any time by adding in ice.

  4. Is Breve healthy for you?

    Since a breve is based on half-and-half, which is half cream and half milk, the cream adds up some extra calories. So, it wise to add Breve as an occasional drink so that you don’t raise your cholesterol levels and calorie intake to roof.

At the end of the day

Coffee is a compulsion for some and a luxury for others. Relishing the drink means different things to different people. Is Breve coffee the healthiest option on the menu? Definitely not. However everyone is allowed to indulge every now and again. So next time you’re in the mood for a warm hug in a cup, you definitely know where to turn.