Breve Coffee

Breve Coffee – Everything You Need To Know

Breve coffee is made up of equal parts espresso and steamed half-and-half milk instead of whole milk. The breve or half-and-half milk is frothed and layered on top of rich espresso to give the beverage a creamy and decadent taste.

Coffee lovers are always in search of new and exciting ways to enjoy their favorite beverage. That includes customization of recipes and trying out different component options and substitutes. For example, several milk alternatives other than whole milk are introduced in many coffee shops today–soy milk, oat milk, and so on. Another very popular choice is half-and-half or breve, which is actually the same as creamer and is complementary for drips and americanos. In this article, we are going to talk all about breve coffee and what makes it so lovable and delicious!

Breve Coffee
Main Ingredients: Espresso, Steamed Breve
Serving Temperature: 62–71 °C (145–160 °F)
Place of Origin: United States
Caffeine per Serving (mg): 26 milligrams of caffeine per fl oz. A breve coffee with one shot of espresso has about 75 mg of caffeine. A latte and a breve coffee of the same size have the same caffeine content.

What Does Breve Coffee Mean?

Breve coffee is also known as cafe breve or breve latte. Ordering this drink by any of these names will get you a delightfully rich treat of espresso and creamy milk without the need to add any extra sugar.

Breve is an Italian word for short or brief–that’s how much time you need to make this beverage. In the coffee world, breve is another term for half-and-half, which is a type of dairy made from combining equal parts cream and whole milk. It’s something you would have heard if you frequent a Starbucks store and is offered as an alternative to coffee creamers.

What Is A Breve Coffee Made of?

What is a breve coffee made of

Breve coffee is a very simple drink with two major components. It’s pretty similar to a latte or a cappuccino, but with little altercations in the preparation method and ingredients.

Just like every coffee beverage, a great breve coffee should be made with high-quality espresso grounds. Then, we combine the rich and flavorful espresso with some steamed half-and-half, typically in a 1:1 ratio but varies based on personal preferences.

What kind of beans or grounds are used for a good Breve coffee?

In making a breve coffee, we use espresso as the base. Espresso beans are known for their straightforward, rich, and flavorful character. When looking for the right type of coffee grounds for making espresso, aim for dark-roasted Arabica coffee, which offers rich and refined flavors. Also consider coffee beans from the Latin American region as they highlight nutty and cocoa characteristics that go well with milk. Coffee blends with Asia Pacific beans are also top choices.

Why is Breve coffee layered?

There are two main reasons why breve coffee is layered–presentation and taste. A layered breve coffee creates a beautiful aesthetic with a distinct separation of the espresso at the bottom and the fluffy frothed half-and-half on top of the drink. Having the milk above the coffee allows you to taste the breve first, which will tone down the intense flavor of the espresso as you take a sip.

The History Of Breve Coffee

Breve coffee is essentially the so-called Americanized version of an Italian latte. While it is difficult to attribute the invention of a specific coffee drink to a single person because of many variations and innovations in coffee made over the years.

Who invented breve coffee?

It isn’t easy to attribute the invention of a specific coffee drink to a single person because of the many variations and innovations made over the years. It is believed that breve coffee is a product of the creativity of baristas and coffee enthusiasts alike.

Where is the breve coffee from?

Like most coffee beverages, breve coffee probably has Italian roots too. However, the half-and-half or breve milk story began in Florida, United States way back in the late 1960s. This is likely to say that famous breve coffee or breve latte were served first in American coffee shops.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Breve Coffee?

The caffeine content of a cup of breve coffee can vary depending on the amount of espresso used. Typically, a single shot of espresso contains around 65mg of caffeine. This means a breve coffee made with a single shot would have around the same amount of caffeine.

How Many Calories Are In A Breve Coffee?

Breve coffee has more calories than other usual espresso favorites. The high-calorie content mainly comes from the half-and-half or breve milk used in making the beverage. If a coffee drinker consumes a standard 16 oz breve coffee, they will get about 300-400 calories, depending on how much half-and-half milk is added to the recipe.

How To Make Breve Coffee

How to make breve coffee

Making breve coffee is as simple as making a latte. They basically have the same beverage build and preparation method.

  1. Brew your espresso: grind your coffee beans medium fine and tamp accordingly. Pull a double shot of espresso into your cup.
  2. Prepare your breve for frothing: pour half-and-half into a clean steaming pitcher.
  3. Aerate and steam your milk: aerate the milk for three to four seconds to create the froth. This will result in a more velvety milk texture.
  4. Add sugar as needed: if you prefer a sweeter coffee, add a packet of sugar or a teaspoon of syrup into your cup.
  5. Layer the beverage: place the double shot of espresso into your cup. If you add sugar or syrup, swirl the espresso until the sweetener is diluted completely. Pour the steamed half and half and spoon some froth over the top of the drink.
  6. Serve and enjoy: enjoy your delicious and creamy breve coffee.

How to prepare breve milk?

In making a DIY half-and-half, you only need two main ingredients–whole milk and heavy cream. Stir both components together in a 1:1 ratio. Ideally, you should make breve milk on demand to avoid wastage. If you are not able to use the milk right away, store it in the refrigerator for up to two days.

How to steam breve milk?

Steam breve milk the same way you do with any other type of milk. The only difference lies in how long the aeration process takes as you will need to produce more froth in creating your breve coffee.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Espresso machine (steam wand)
  • Stainless steaming pitcher
  • Calibrated thermometer
  1. Combine your ingredients: stir the milk and heavy cream together. Always use a 1:1 ratio.
  2. Pour the mixture into the pitcher: pour the half-and-half milk into your steaming pitcher.
  3. Purge and prepare the wand: purge the steam wand of the espresso machine to remove excess water. Wait for about five seconds and turn the valve open until the water turns to steam. Turn off the valve once you see the steam produced.
  4. Aerate and stretch the breve milk: submerge the tip of the steam wand and position it just slightly below the surface. Turn the steam wand on and at full blast to begin frothing. Ensure the tip of the wand is positioned slightly below the milk’s surface, which will create a paper-tearing sound. After about three to four seconds, submerge the body of the wand and let it heat the milk until you get the desired temperature.
  5. Finish steaming: close the valve to turn off the steam. Carefully remove the wand from the milk and use a clean damp cloth to sanitize the wand.
  6. Make your breve latte: now it’s time to make your favorite breve latte. You can use the recipe we’ve shared for a homemade version of this treat.

You don’t have to visit a coffee shop to get a breve coffee. Here’s how to make your own at home!

Breve Coffee

Print Pin
Prep Time: 3 minutes


  • Saucepan
  • Milk frother or whisk
  • Serving cup


  • 2 shots of espresso
  • 1 cup of half-and-half
  • Sugar (optional)


  • Brew two shots of espresso and set aside.
  • Heat 1 cup of half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat, constantly stirring until it begins to steam.
  • Remove the pan from heat and use a milk frother or whisk to froth the half-and-half until it becomes thick and creamy.
  • Pour the espresso shots into your cup.
  • Add sugar if desired. Swirl your espresso until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Gently pour the steamed half-and-half milk over the espresso shots. Spoon some of the froth and layer this on top of the coffee beverage.
  • Serve hot, and enjoy!

What’s The Difference Between Breve Coffee and Latte?

The main difference between a breve coffee and a latte is the type of milk used. Breve coffee is made with half-and-half, which is a combination of milk and cream. On the other hand, lattes are typically made with steamed whole milk. Because of this, breve coffee is, therefore, richer and creamier, and lattes tend to be lighter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is breve coffee strong?

Breve coffee can be strong, depending on how many shots of espresso are used in the recipe.

Is breve or half-and-half milk sweet?

Breve or half-and-half has a naturally sweeter taste as compared to other dairy options. It also has a creamy and rich flavor that can complement the bitterness of the espresso.

Is breve sweeter than a latte?

Breve coffee is typically sweeter than latte because of the addition of half-and-half, which has a naturally sweet taste.

Does breve taste like coffee?

Breve coffee has a distinguishable coffee flavor but is less than what you get from black coffee or lattes. This is mainly due to the creamy and rich taste of the half-and-half.

How much sugar is in breve coffee?

The amount of sugar in a breve coffee can vary depending on the recipe and personal taste preferences. Most coffee drinkers consume breve coffee without additional sugar as it is already naturally sweet.

Is breve coffee healthier than a latte?

Breve coffee and latte both have similar nutritional values and calorie counts. However, breve coffee is made with half-and-half, so it can have a higher fat content than lattes made with regular or skim milk.

Is breve coffee good for weight loss?

Breve coffee is not considered a weight loss drink due to its high calorie and fat content. However, it can be enjoyed in moderation as a treat.

Does breve have more caffeine?

The amount of caffeine in a breve coffee depends on how much espresso you add to the recipe. A breve coffee and a latte with two shots of espresso have the same amount of caffeine.

How do you pronounce breve?

Breve is pronounced "breh-vay" or "breh-vuh."

Is breve coffee hot or cold?

Breve coffee is typically served hot, but it can be enjoyed cold as well by adding ice to the drink.

Wrapping Up

While the word “breve” means brief in Italian, we can say otherwise how much there is to learn about the famous breve coffee. Breve coffee is a product of the constant search for better and innovative drink recipes that many coffee lovers would love and enjoy. Let this be your sign of moving away from getting that same order at the coffee shop repeatedly. Be more adventurous, as there are thousands of different flavors and combinations to try!

Main image credit > Jeanie de Klerk from Unsplash