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What is Breve Coffee?

cup of Breve coffee

Breve coffee, also known as breve latte or caffè breve, is an espresso-based drink that uses half-and-half is used instead of the regular milk present in traditional lattes. This simple yet significant change leads to a velvety, smooth texture that coffee aficionados rave about. Keep reading to discover what is breve coffee and why you need to try it!

The Main Difference Between Breve Coffee, Lattes, and Cappuccinos

  • Lattes consist of espresso combined with steamed milk and milk foam, typically using whole or 2% milk.
  • Cappuccinos follow a similar technique but have more foam than lattes.
  • Breve coffee, with its rich half-and-half base, offers a distinct taste and mouthfeel, making it a decadently delightful alternative to its more well-known counterparts.


Breve Coffee Basics

Espresso Shot Base

Breve coffee, also known as breve latte or caffè breve, is an espresso-based drink. It starts with a shot of espresso, which provides the foundation and the deep, rich flavor that coffee aficionados love. The espresso shot is an essential component of breve, giving it its strong taste and caffeine kick.

Steamed Half-and-Half

One significant aspect that sets Breve coffee apart from other espresso drinks is the use of half-and-half instead of milk. In a traditional latte, whole milk is used, but in a breve coffee, equal parts of milk and cream (known as half-and-half) are steamed together.


Foam Texture

The foam texture in breve coffee is distinct as well. While a latte typically has a light, airy foam on top, the foam in breve is thicker and creamier due to the presence of half-and-half. This delightful, velvety texture makes breve coffee an excellent option for those who enjoy a touch of luxury in their daily caffeine fix.


Sweetness Levels

The natural sweetness of half-and-half used in Breve coffee adds a subtle touch of sweetness that balances out the strong, bold flavor of the espresso shot.


Popular Breve Variations

Breve Latte

Ovaltine Latte

The Breve Latte is the base of all breve coffee variations, consisting of a rich espresso shot combined with steamed half-and-half. This creates a luxuriously creamy beverage with a mild sweetness. The breve latte sets the stage for other flavors to be added, making it a popular choice among coffee lovers.


Mocha Breve

For chocolate enthusiasts, the Mocha Breve is an indulgent treat. This version incorporates a shot of chocolate syrup, which is mixed with the espresso and steamed half-and-half to create a silky smooth drink.


Caramel Breve

Sweet and velvety, the Caramel Breve is a delightful variation made by drizzling rich caramel syrup into the mix of espresso and steamed half-and-half. A dollop of whipped cream on top can also add an indulgent touch.


Breve Cappuccino

For a frothy spin on the traditional breve, the Breve Cappuccino combines a shot of espresso with equal parts steamed and frothed half-and-half. This creates a velvety beverage with a satisfying creamy layer on top. Like its cortado counterpart, the foam adds texture and lightness to the classic breve experience.


Vanilla Breve

A splash of vanilla syrup transforms a standard breve latte into a fragrant and flavorful Vanilla Breve.


Breve Nutritional Info

Caloric and Fat Content

The exact caloric and fat content can vary depending on the serving size and the specific half-and-half used. However, here is a general outline of its nutritional aspects:

  • Calories: A typical breve coffee can have anywhere between 200 to 350 calories.
  • Fat: The fat content in a breve coffee ranges from 12 to 18 grams per serving. This includes both saturated and unsaturated fats due to the presence of cream in the half-and-half.
  • Caffeine: The caffeine content in a breve coffee primarily comes from the espresso used. A single cup of breve coffee contains approximately 77-128 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the type of beans used.


Tips to Make at Home

In this section, we’ll cover some friendly tips to make breve coffee at home. We’ll discuss the crucial ingredients and proportions, how to select the best espresso beans, perfect your milk-steaming technique, and even make an iced breve for those hot summer days.


To make breve coffee at home, you’ll only need a few ingredients:

  • Espresso coffee
  • Half-and-half


Selecting Espresso Beans

cup of latte

Choosing the right espresso beans is important for a delicious breve coffee. Here are some tips on selecting espresso beans:

  • Freshness: Buy freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them at home for the best taste.
  • Roast level: Medium to dark roasts are recommended for espresso drinks, as they provide a bold and robust flavor.
  • Bean type: Arabica beans are often preferred for espresso due to their bright flavor profile and lower acidity.


Perfecting the Steaming Technique

milk steaming picher

To achieve a creamy texture in your breve coffee, you must steam the half-and-half correctly.

  • Fill a milk steaming pitcher with cold half-and-half.
  • Insert the steam wand from your espresso machine into the pitcher at a slight angle.
  • Turn on the steam, and gradually lower the pitcher until the tip of the wand is just beneath the surface of the half-and-half.
  • Once you see a spinning vortex forming, slowly raise the steam wand to create a soft, velvety milk foam.
  • Use a thermometer to ensure the half-and-half reaches a temperature of 150-155°F (65-68°C), as overheating could cause a burnt taste.


Iced Breve

If you’re in the mood for a refreshing iced beverage, making an iced breve is simple! Follow these steps:

  • Prepare 2 shots of espresso and let them cool down.
  • Fill a glass with ice, and pour the cooled espresso over the ice.
  • Top the glass with cold half-and-half.
  • Stir to combine, and enjoy your delicious iced breve coffee.


Exploring Other Types of Coffee

As coffee enthusiasts continue to seek new ways to enjoy their favorite beverage, we’ll explore some popular alternatives to breve coffee. In this section, we’ll introduce the Flat White, Cortado, Café Latte, Americano, and Italian Latte, all of which offer unique flavor profiles and textures.


Flat White

The Flat White consists of a double shot of espresso combined with steamed milk, typically at a 1:2 ratio. The microfoam on top is minimal, creating a velvety texture that allows the coffee’s natural flavors to shine through. It is ideal for those who enjoy a balance between bold espresso and a subtle milk presence.



The Cortado is another popular espresso-based drink that has equal parts espresso and steamed milk. It is known for its smaller size and is usually served in a 4-ounce glass. The 1:1 espresso-to-milk ratio allows the Cortado to maintain a strong coffee flavor while still offering a smooth, creamy texture. This beautiful balance is achieved through minimal foam and a slightly thicker milk consistency.


Café Latte

The Café Latte is a popular drink among many coffee enthusiasts who enjoy a mild yet flavorful coffee experience. It consists of one to two shots of espresso, steamed milk, and a small layer of foam on top. The ratio of milk to espresso is around 3:1, resulting in a more diluted taste compared to other espresso beverages. In this drink, you may use 2% milk to create a lighter feel while still retaining its creaminess.



The Americano is a classic option for those who enjoy the taste of black coffee with a milder taste. It is made by pouring a shot or two of espresso over hot water, diluting the espresso, and making its flavor profile similar to that of a drip coffee. The Americano can be enjoyed either black or with a touch of milk.


Italian Latte

The Italian Latte is a nice twist on the traditional Café Latte. Most notably, it is served with a layer of frothed milk on top, adding a foamier and lighter texture to the drink. Like the Café Latte, it has a milder flavor profile due to the higher milk-to-espresso ratio.



frozen coffee
How do you pronounce breve coffee?

“Breve” is pronounced as “BREV-ay.” It is an Italian word that refers to the type of milk used to make this coffee drink.


What makes a Dutch Bros breve coffee unique?

Dutch Bros breve coffee stands out because of its signature blend that consists of three types of beans, creating a rich and smooth flavor profile.


How many calories are in a breve coffee?

The calorie count in a breve coffee depends on the size of the drink and the amount of half-and-half used. Generally, a 12-ounce breve coffee contains around 330 calories since half-and-half has more calories compared to regular milk.


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