What’s the difference between Breve and Latte Coffee drinks

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Johny Morrisson

The main difference is that Latte is a milky coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk, often topped with a layer of frothed milk. On the other hand, a Breve is a lesser-known coffee drink made with espresso and half-and-half milk, which is a combination of cream and whole milk. 

With its velvety texture and bold espresso, the latte is a café favorite. But have you heard about the breve – another Creamy Espresso Drink.

Breve vs Latte

What is Breve?

Breve is a type of espresso drink made with steamed half-and-half milk instead of regular whole milk.

It originated in the United States and is sometimes referred to as a “Breve Latte”. The word “breve” means “short” in Italian, which is an accurate description of this coffee as it is typically served in a smaller cup than a traditional latte.

Breve is typically prepared with a 2-ounce Espresso shot, 2-ounce half and half, and a little milk foam on top.

Breve coffee can be enjoyed hot or cold, often topped with foam or a sprinkle of cocoa powder for a luxurious appearance.

Breve coffee

What is a Latte?

Latte is a popular coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk. The word “latte” is derived from the Italian caffè latte, which means “milk coffee.”

Latte is typically served in a larger cup than Breve and is often topped with a small amount of frothed milk.

There are many variations of Latte that can be made by adding Vanilla Syrup, Caramel sauce, Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Drizzle, Whipped Cream, etc.


Differences in The type and amount of milk

Breve and Latte differ primarily in the type and amount of milk used.

Breve is made with half-and-half, which is a combination of whole milk and cream, while Latte is made with whole or 2% milk. So, Breve has a higher fat content and is creamier and richer than Latte.

Breves are typically made with 1 part espresso and 1 or 2 parts half and half milk, whereas latte’s milk content is around 1:3-4.

This makes Breve a more coffee-forward drink than a Latte.

The type of milk of breve vs Latte

Taste and flavor profiles of Latte vs Breve

Breve is creamier, sweeter, and richer than a traditional latte, and has a nuttier, caramel-like flavor. On the other hand, Latte has a more delicate and lighter taste with a smooth mouthfeel.

The higher fat content in the half-and-half or cream adds a thick and luscious mouthfeel and contributes to a fuller-bodied taste. The rich creaminess of Breve gives a dessert-like experience.

Whenever I feel like a sweet and creamy coffee dessert, I enjoy drinking Breve, but for a regular drink, a Latte is better, as it’s lighter and smoother and does not leave me feeling heavy.

Breve vs Latte

Calories and caffeine content

In terms of calorie content, a breve generally contains more calories compared to a latte.

At Starbucks, A small 8-ounce Breve contains about 280 calories, while a 12-ounce Latte contains approximately 100 calories. So, there is a difference of approximately one-third!

Additionally, both a classic latte and a breve are typically made with a double-shot Espresso and have a caffeine content ranging from approximately 120 to 133 mg.

While having a creamy and rich breve can be a delightful treat, it’s important to keep in mind that its higher fat and calorie content does not make it the healthy choice for daily consumption.

The origins and variations

It’s no secret that Americans have an insatiable love for sweet and creamy beverages. So, it comes as no surprise that Breve, the sweet coffee drink, found its origins right here in the United States.

In Contrast, Latte originated in Italy but is also more popular in the US than in Italy itself due to the American obsession with sweet coffee.

Both beverages have variations based on different regions and cultures. For example, in some regions, Breve is made with heavy cream instead of half-and-half, while in others, it is made with a mixture of steamed milk and cream instead of half-and-half.

Similarly, Latte also has various regional variations. In Italy, a traditional Latte is typically served in a smaller cup with a higher concentration of espresso. In the United States, Latte is often served in larger cups and customized with various sweet flavors and syrups. 

Other variations of Latte include the popular flavored lattes such as vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut, and the popular seasonal lattes such as pumpkin spice latte and peppermint mocha latte.

Iced Latte vs Iced Breve

The differences between Iced Latte and Iced Breve are similar to their hot counterparts.

Iced Breve is made by blending together ice cubes, half and half milk, and Espresso shots in a blender. The drink has a deliciously thick consistency, which is refreshing, and has a very rich mouthfeel.

On the other hand, Iced Latte is made with cold-frothed milk, resulting in a lighter and smoother consistency.

Iced Latte is my go-to drink during the summer months because of its refreshing taste and lighter consistency. However, Iced Breve is a delicious treat that I drink occasionally when I want something creamier and richer.

Iced Latte

Breve vs Latte, So What’s Better?

The final choice between breve and Latte depends on how creamy and caloric you like your coffee drinks.

Lattes let the espresso shine alongside steamed milk, while breves are for those who like their cup extra creamy and rich thanks to that half and half.

So what’ll it be – a classic latte or an creamy breve? Let us know which one you’ll be sipping today! And if you have any other Breve or Latte thoughts to share, hit up the comments.

Read about 30 Delicious Espresso-based Drinks

Related Comparisons:


Is a breve or latte healthier?

The half-and-half milk in Breve contains a higher concentration of calories and fats, potentially making it a less healthy choice.
If you’re watching your calorie intake, opting for a Latte with skim milk or a non-dairy alternative will be a healthier option.

Is Breve sweeter than Latte?

Breve is sweeter than Latte, this is because half-and-half has a higher sugar content and naturally imparts a creamy and slightly sweet flavor.
However, the sweetness mainly depends on the sweeteners or flavorings you add to the drink.

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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