What is Breve Coffee and How to Make this Creamy Latte Drink

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Johny Morrisson

Breve coffee is an espresso-based drink similar to lattes and cappuccinos that is prepared with steamed half-and-half or cream instead of regular milk. It results in a richer and creamy texture with a very sweet flavor profile compared to traditional latte. The word “breve” means “short” in Italian and refers to the small size of the drink.

In the 1980s, San Francisco baristas came up with the idea of Cafe Breve, aiming to refine the traditional latte with a creamier, richer base.

Since then, this delicious coffee has gained popularity, and it is now a popular menu item at coffee shops and cafes worldwide.

The strong espresso and creamy half-and-half create a perfect balance, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts. Breve coffee can be enjoyed hot or cold, often topped with foam or a sprinkle of cocoa powder for a luxurious appearance.

Breve Coffee

How to Make Cafe Breve

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to making rich and creamy Cafe Breve at home

What you need

  • Espresso Machine
  • Steaming Wand
  • 14-18 grams coffee grounds
  • 2-3 oz Half and Half Milk

What Coffee beans are best for Cafe Breve?

Dark roasted beans with an intense flavor profile are best for Cafe Breve, as the stronger flavor of these beans balances out the sweetness of the cream, resulting in a delicious and well-rounded drink.

What milk is used in Cafe Breve?

Cafe Breve is traditionally made with Half and Half Milk. Half-and-half is a dairy product made by combining equal parts of whole milk and light cream.

It’s what you use when you need something richer than milk, but not quite as thick as cream.


For the best taste use chilled half-and-half milk straight from the refrigerator as Properly chilled cream creates a denser and creamier foam. If the cream is too warm, it will not create a stable foam, resulting in subpar texture and taste.

Step-by-Step Recipe

1. Prepare Espresso: Prepare a double shot of Espresso using 14-18 grams of dark roasted beans in your Espresso machine.

You can also make strong coffee using Moka Pot or French Press if you don’t have an Espresso Machine

2. Prepare Milk: Pour 2-3 ounces of cold Half and Half Milk in a steaming pitcher. Insert the steaming pitcher and steam it until it reaches a thick and velvety consistency. While steaming the half-and-half, aim for a temperature range of 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don’t have a steaming wand you can froth the half-and-half in a Milk frother or heat it in a saucepan and froth it with a blender or whisk.

3- Combine: Pour the steamed half-and-half on top of the espresso shot and use a spoon to layer foam from the pitcher on top of the drink. Sprinkle the cocoa powder or cinnamon on the foam and serve it in a small glass.

Breve is served in a small glass similar to Cortado coffee and prepared with a double shot of Espresso and 2 ounces of Half and half milk.

Cafe Breve

Also read: 30 different varieties of Espresso drinks

How does Breve Coffee taste?

In Breve Coffee, The bold and rich flavor of espresso pairs perfectly with the smooth and creamy texture of the half-and-half or cream, creating a sweet and rich experience.

The higher fat content in the half-and-half gives the drink a richer and heavier mouthfeel, making it the perfect treat for coffee lovers who enjoy heavy and sweet drinks.

It’s important to keep in mind that half-and-half, packs a significant caloric punch. Just one ounce of this creamy addition contains around 37 calories – that’s three times the amount of calories found in an ounce of whole milk.

There’s something about a breve coffee that always draws me in, even though I don’t have it often. But once a month, I make sure to treat myself to this delicious and sweet coffee drink.

How’s Breve different from Latte

The main difference between a breve and a latte is the type of milk used.

  • A latte is made with steamed milk, typically whole milk. On the other hand, a breve coffee is made with half-and-half, which is a blend of whole milk and heavy cream.
  • Breve is sweeter than Latte as it uses half-and-half, which is sweeter and creamier than the whole milk typically used in lattes.
  • Breves are usually served without foam, in small glasses. In contrast, lattes are typically served in taller glasses or wider mugs and topped with a layer of foam.

Both lattes and breves can be personalized with various flavored syrups or non-dairy milk alternatives. For instance, vanilla or chocolate syrup are commonly added to both drinks.

Let’s talk about the variations of Breve

Iced breve

Iced Breve coffee offers a refreshing taste, with a creamy and smooth texture that is perfect for a hot summer day.

The drink typically starts with a shot or two of espresso, which is then poured over ice and topped with cold frothed half-and-half milk.

If you want to prepare an Iced Breve smoothie, Simply blend together espresso, half-and-half, and ice cubes until smooth and creamy. This blending technique provides a thicker and more uniform texture.

Flavored Breves

Breve Coffee is served with various syrups or flavorings in fancy cafes.

Some of the most popular flavored syrups for Breve include vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, peppermint, and cinnamon.

Breve is also often topped with whipped cream, crushed cookies, or chocolate shavings. These toppings improve the visual appeal of the drink and also provide an extra layer of flavor and texture.


It’s made by adding chocolate syrup or cocoa powder to the Espresso shot before topping it with half and half milk.

Mocha Breve can be enjoyed hot or iced and is often topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce for an extra decadent treat.

If you’re a fan of both chocolate and Breve Latte, then Mocha Breve is definitely worth a try!

Also Read about Mocha Coffee

What is Breve at Starbucks

At Starbucks, Breve Coffee isn’t actually a unique type of drink. Rather, it’s simply a reference to using half-and-half milk in place of regular milk in any beverage.

Breve at starbucks

Don’t order just breve at Starbucks unless you want plain half-and-half milk.

Instead, you can order any espresso-based drink and substitute the regular milk with half-and-half to make it a “Breve” version. Therefore, you can enjoy a Breve Latte, Breve Cappuccino, Breve Mocha, or any other espresso-based drink.

Starbucks Breve

Final Thoughts

After reading this article, I hope you can now prepare Cafe Breve in the comfort of your own home. Give it a try and thank yourself later for mastering the art of making this delicious drink.

Whether you’re enjoying it hot or iced, with a variety of flavored syrups or just plain, Breve coffee is a treat for the taste buds.

What flavorings or syrups do you think pair well with Breve Latte? Do let us know in the comments!

Read about delicious Espresso based coffee drink


How unhealthy is a Breve latte?

Breve Latte is not a very healthy drink due to its significant fat and cholesterol content.
Half-and-half, which is the primary ingredient in Breve, is a rich and creamy dairy product that contains a high amount of fat and calories almost three times more than regular milk.
While you don’t have to avoid Breve coffee completely, you shouldn’t make it your daily drinking habit.

Is Breve strong coffee?

Breve coffee is not necessarily stronger in terms of coffee flavor, however, the higher fat content of the half-and-half gives breve coffee a thicker and full-bodied mouthfeel.

Breve Coffee Recipe

You can easily prepare a delicious Cafe Breve from the comfort of your home following this simple recipe.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • Espresso machine
  • Steaming pitcher


  • 14-16 Grams Coffee Grounds
  • 2 ounces half and half milk
  • Sugar or sweeteners


  • Prepare a double shot of Espresso using your Espresso machine
  • Steam half-and-half milk in a steaming pitcher until it reaches a thick and velvety consistency.
    While steaming the half-and-half, aim for a temperature range of 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pour the steamed half-and-half on the top of the espresso shot, filling the cup about 2/3. And use a spoon to scoop some of the foam from the pitcher on top of the drink.
  • Sprinkle the cocoa powder or cinnamon on the foam and serve it in a small glass.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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