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Did you know that a breve coffee is made with half-and-half instead of whole milk? This means the espresso has more room to move, and it makes for a richer, creamier cup.

This might be your perfect drink for those who enjoy a creamy, heavy espresso-based drink in the morning or as a dessert! It’s also great as an after-dinner treat or when you want something sweet without all the calories.

To learn more about this American espresso drink, keep reading!

What is the difference between a latte and a breve?

Tijana Drndarskion


When comparing a breve to a caffè latte, the difference is in the dairy used. While a caffè breve has half-and-half caffè latte has milk. As a result, the breve coffee has a creamy texture.

The drink construction is similar is almost the same for a latte and a breve, and the espresso-to-dairy ratio depends on the coffee shop. Still, it is quite common to find a 6:1 milk-to-espresso ratio as a reference.

Because of half-and-half, the breve is heavier and fattier than a whole-milk latte. This makes it a treat on its own. Additionally, it’s slightly different to froth half-and-half properly with an espresso machine wand.

Why is it called breve?

Isabela Kronembergeron


Breve is the Italian word for short, brief, little, or concise. You can ask this espresso drink as a breve, breve coffee, caffè breve, and even latte breve.

Coffee shops serve 16 oz breves, so the size has nothing to do with its name. As an Americanized version of a latte, it might refer to its thinner layer of foam, making it a bit shorter than a traditional caffè latte.

What Does a Breve Coffee Taste Like?

Because of milk cream, a breve latte is sweet without adding sugar or sweeteners. In this regard, this type of coffee tastes like a latte, with a heavier body and milky sweetness.

Breve fans like to take it as a treat or a dessert. For this reason, some add sweet syrups like caramel or chocolate.

The combination of cinnamon and half-and-half sweetness makes it a good add-on for the breve.

Who is a Breve Coffee For?

This coffee that contains more cholesterol and fat might not be suitable for some diets because of the half-and-half cream content. It is believed to taste rich, so it does not need added sugars or sweeteners by many breve drinkers.

An active lifestyle might go well with it, although half-and-half doesn’t seem like a good thing to have in our everyday diet.

Overall, a breve is a dessert in itself, and it’s a great alternative for a morning espresso drink.

It’s not definitely for people who want to reduce their calorie intake or want to reduce their dairy consumption.

What Is Half-and-Half Milk?

Half-and-half milk is a unique blend of whole milk and cream, with each component constituting an equal proportion. This combination yields a creamier texture and richer flavor compared to regular milk, making it an ideal ingredient for coffee-based beverages such as breve. Half-and-half milk can easily be found in most grocery stores, or alternatively, you can create your own at home by mixing equal parts of whole milk and cream.

The main problem with half-and-half is its high calorie and fat content. While drinking regularly whole milk has its own share of health risks, half-and-half is even worse. So, it’s definitely not for daily consumption.

What is a breve at Starbucks?

Starbucks isn’t currently displaying breve on their menu, but you can ask for a breve latte if they have cream or half-and-half. It’s quite likely that your barista will know how to make it.

Espresso con panna is part of Starbucks’ regular menu, and it’s an espresso topped with whipped cream. It can be a good option for those who want a sweet espresso drink with less dairy.

Breve coffee variations

Vanilla Breve

If you enjoy the taste of vanilla, consider incorporating some vanilla extract or vanilla beans into your coffee. This can provide a delicious and natural hint of sweetness to your beverage.al sweetness of your coffee.

Mocha Breve

For chocolate lovers, consider enhancing your breve coffee with cocoa powder or melted chocolate. This provides a combination of both chocolate flavor and milk texture, offering the best of both worlds.

I like to top my mocha breve with chocolate shavings, for extra chocolatey punch.

Irish Breve

A tasty twist on coffee is the Irish breve. Add Irish cream syrup or Bailey’s to your cup for a rich and unique cocktail.

Caramel Breve

To enhance the flavor of your breve, add caramel syrup or flavored caramel. This is a great option for people who enjoy their coffee with a sweet and rich taste.

Hazelnut Breve

If you’re a fan of Nutella’s flavor, you can add some hazelnut syrup to your breve coffee for a nutty twist.

Iced Breve

For those who enjoy cold coffee, consider trying an iced breve. Prepare a shot of espresso over ice and add the milk and your favorite add-ons.

How to Make a Breve Coffee

Are you prepared to whip up a caffè breve in the comfort of your own home? Follow these three simple steps and let’s get to work.

Although a double espresso is the best option for this recipe, Moka pot coffee is a great alternative. Below you’ll find my ingredients and steps recommendations for brewing a breve coffee with a 2-cup Moka pot and a milk frother.


15 g of medium-fine ground coffee. This is an approximate amount. Simply fill your portafilter without tamping

60 ml of filtered water

120 ml of half-and-half

Step 1: Make two demitasse cups of strong coffee

If you can’t access an espresso machine, two demitasse cups of very strong Moka pot coffee will do.

While espresso’s rich and strong flavor is important, the half-and-half adds a creamy mouthfeel and heavy body. If you don’t have a Moka pot, you can use an Aeropress, Nespresso machine, or even a French Press to brew super-strong coffee. Still, the Moka pot is my favorite for this drink because it produces steaming hot coffee, balancing the relatively lukewarm temperature of steamed half-and-half.

In my experience, a double shot of espresso isn’t crucial to get the best breve coffee.

Step 2: Steam the half-and-half

Heat half-and-half to 56-60 °C. Then, froth until it feels thick and smooth without making it excessively frothy. Steaming half-and-half properly is essential for this recipe, so it mustn’t be too hot but barely lukewarm to start frothing.

Step 3: Put everything together

Fill up your portafilter with finely ground coffee beans and tamp them down. Place it into the espresso machine, and pull a single or double shot. The goal here is to make a concentrated brew that carries the bold flavor of espresso without needing too much-added cream to balance it out.

To create a breve latte, you must hold back the foamed milk in the frothing pitcher using a spoon. Then, pour the steamed cream over the espresso in the latte glass until the cream is twice the amount of espresso. Finally, use the spoon to add a layer of milk foam.


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Frothy coffee top

Breve Coffee Recipe: How to make it at home without an espresso machine

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A breve latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed half-and-half instead of milk. It has a creamy, rich texture and a slightly sweet flavor. The espresso is combined with the half-and-half to create a smooth, velvety beverage that can be enjoyed hot or cold. A breve latte is similar to a cappuccino in that it has layers of foam on top, but it differs in that the foam is created from the combination of the espresso and half-and-half rather than just frothed milk. Breve lattes are often served with an extra shot of espresso for an added kick. Whether you’re looking for something to start your day or just need an afternoon pick-me-up, a breve latte will surely hit the spot.

  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


Units Scale

  • 15 g of medium-fine ground coffee. This is an approximate amount. Simply fill your portafilter without tamping

  • 60 ml of filtered water

  • 120 ml of half-and-half


  1. Prepare two demitasse cups of very strong Moka pot coffee (around 15 g of coffee per 60 ml of water).
  2. Heat half-and-half to 56-60 °C. Then, froth until it feels thick and smooth without making it excessively frothy.
  3. Preheat your cup with a bit of hot water. Discard the hot water and serve 100 ml of strong coffee.
  4. Add 120 ml of frothed half-and-half. And you’re ready to get an energy boost!
  5. Top with your favorite add-ons or enjoy as is!


We used Verywell’s Nutrition Calculator to obtain information on the recipe’s nutrition facts.

  • Author: Yker Valerio
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Coffee drinks


  • Serving Size: 200 ml
  • Calories: 133
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 44 mg
  • Fat: 11.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 38 mg
I fell in love with coffee before I could even read, and my passion for this elixir has shaped my entire life. Through research and learning, I honed my knowledge of specialty coffee and espresso culture by seeking the advice of the most prominent coffee experts and researchers. I have been fortunate enough to meet inspiring individuals, expand my knowledge, and cover exciting coffee-related topics in my writing. My skill in translating complex facts into a reader-friendly style caters to coffee connoisseurs and newbie enthusiasts alike, so everyone can fully appreciate the richness and diversity of the world of coffee.
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