What Is A Breve Coffee? Recipe To Make Breve Latte At Home

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Most people have a go-to coffee drink that gives them a kick of caffeine in the morning. If you love cappuccinos or lattes, you might enjoy mixing up your usual by trying a breve coffee. Whether you like the crisp, dark taste of espresso or prefer to add sugar and flavors to your drink, you can customize a breve beverage to suit your tastes. 

What Is Breve Coffee? 

Breve coffee, also known as a caffè breve latte, is an espresso-based drink similar to a cappuccino. “Breve” means “short” in Italian, so you can picture a breve coffee as a smaller version of a cappuccino with another twist.

Instead of adding whole milk to a double shot of espresso, a breve coffee uses half and half, making this espresso based coffee drink a real treat. For cappuccino fans who want something less sweet and a lot richer, a cafe breve is going to hit the spot.

Baristas made these drinks based on the traditional Italian cafe latte, though that beverage uses steamed milk. A breve coffee is fluffier because half and half produces more foam than steamed milk. However, you may not tell the difference between a latte and breve by the look in some cafes.

Since half and half is richer than milk, breve coffee has higher fat and cholesterol contents than a cafe latte. You don’t need to add sweetener to it because it’s already so decadent, but you can add sugar or flavor to the coffee beverage to change up your routine.

Half and half is high in fat, a breve coffee has higher cholesterol levels and calorie count than many other coffee drinks. A breve coffee shouldn’t be your go-to every morning, but it makes for a nice treat to sweeten up your day. 

Half and Half Instead of Milk?

Half and half is a mix of half whole milk and half cream. It typically has a butterfat content of 11%, compared to about 3.5% for whole milk [1]. The high fat content makes the drink rich and creamy. But since milk cuts the cream, your beverage won’t be as heavy as it would using full cream.

Most people who add half and half to their coffee, especially breve coffees, don’t feel the need to add extra sweetener. The richness of the creamy milk cuts the espresso’s acidity and brings out the depth of flavor. But if you like sugar or flavor in your coffee, you can certainly add some. Just make sure you stick to a 1:1 ratio for this beverage.

How to Make a Breve Latte?

The basic rules to remember to make a breve latte are to use equal parts espresso and half and half. When you steam and froth the half and half, you’ll get enough foam to still create equal parts of all three ingredients. 

Espresso is the base of this drink, so it’s crucial to pull the perfect shots. But not everyone happens to have a barista-worthy espresso machine in their kitchen. In this case, you can brew espresso, which is a concentrated shot of coffee, using a Moka pot, French press or a portable espresso maker.


Breve Coffee Recipe – Breve Latte

This recipe shows you how to make a breve latte at home.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 74 kcal


  • Espresso Machine
  • Steam wand and metal jug
  • 4.5-ounce breve glass or coffee mug


  • 2 oz double-shot espresso
  • 2 oz half and half cream


  • Grind, measure, and tamp enough espresso beans to make two ounces of espresso.
  • Pull a single or double shot of espresso and pour them into your breve cup or mug.
  • Steam or froth half and half. It’s best to keep the half and half in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it so it froths properly. Be careful not to burn it or else it will get too thick, almost custard-like.
    If you don’t have a steam wand, you can heat the half and half on the stove in a pan. Aim to heat it to about 150℉, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t boil. Use a whisk to froth it to your desired volume.
  • Use a spoon to hold back the creamy foam while you pour the half and half into the espresso. Restricting the froth gives the half and half a chance to mix with the espresso for the best flavor.
  • Gently spoon the foam from the metal jug onto the top of your breve latte. Be careful not to scoop it out, or it will lose its volume.


Always stick to the 1:1 ratio for a caffè breve. If you use too much half and half, you’ll dilute the deep taste of the espresso.
Since half and half is so rich, you want to choose dark roast coffee beans. Otherwise, the richness of the half and half could impact the flavor of your breve coffee.
Taste your finished drink before adding any sugar, sweetener, or flavors. You might find that you enjoy the straightforward, rich, slightly sweet taste of plain breve coffee without any additions.
You can froth cold half and half to craft an iced latte breve drink.
If you love an artistic presentation, you can try your hand at making latte art on the foam as other popular espresso drinks.
For a stellar presentation without needing any artistic talent, you can invest in glass breve coffee cup. Since they’re transparent, you’re able to see the three layers of your beverage: espresso, half and half, and foam.


Serving: 5ozCalories: 74kcal
Keyword breve, breve coffee, breve latte
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Breve vs Latte

As you’ve learned, a cafe breve is richer than many other options because of the use of half and half instead of whole milk or skim milk. They’re topped with a lot of foam to add texture to the mouthfeel. Since “breve” means “short,” it only makes sense that they’re typically served in a smaller cup, usually no larger than 4.5 or 5 ounces.

A caffè latte, on the other hand, uses espresso and steamed milk. While breve coffees use a 1:1 ratio of espresso and half and half, a traditional latte uses more milk than espresso. They use more milk, but less foam, than a breve coffee. Lattes usually just have a thin layer of milk foam on top of the drink. You can add any of your favorite flavored syrups to a latte.


You can order different sizes of latte depending on your coffee shop. The smallest option is 6 ounces and the largest can be up to 20 ounces by adding more milk and an extra shot. 

Starbucks Breve

Many people order a breve latte at Starbucks, see the “B” written on the cup, and think they got a traditional caffè breve. However, it’s not as straightforward of an order as you might think.

When you say “breve” at Starbucks, you’ll get a cup of steamed half and half. For this chain, “breve” means half and half, period, not a specific drink. You have to be precise and order a breve latte to get a standard latte made with half and half instead of whole milk. A breve cappuccino is a regular italian cappuccino made richer with half and half.


You can substitute half and half for any dairy option at Starbucks by ordering it “breve.” To ensure you get exactly what you want, you can order your espresso drink and clarify that you want steamed half and half as your milk choice. However, just like many popular Starbucks drinks on Tiktok, you can fully customize your drink according to your preference.

When you make a breve coffee at home, you’ll most likely sip it hot. But when you order any espresso-based beverage at Starbucks, you can get it iced. During the heat of summer, a rich, cool iced breve latte really hits the spot.

Final Thoughts

A breve coffee is an espresso beverage most coffee fans will love, especially if you find yourself ordering a cappuccino or latte most visits to the coffee shops. Due to the high fat content of half and half, a breve coffee is a nice treat to have every so often. You can also make it at home and customize the ingredients and add-ins to create something new.


  1. Fat-Free? Ultra-Filtered? Understanding Types Of Cow’s Milk – https://www.usdairy.com/news-articles/fat-free-ultra-filtered-understanding-types-of-cows-milk
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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of BrewCoffeeHome.com. With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.