Maybe you’ve heard and learned the lattes, americanos, long blacks, espressos, mochas, and flat whites. However, just like mainstream media, the coffee industry also has its trends and the latest craze: breve. What exactly is breve, and how is it different from other types of coffee?
Breve coffee is a type of coffee that is pretty similar to the everyday latte. However, instead of milk, it uses half and half. In some places like the United Kingdom, half and half are also called half cream.
Want to learn more about breve coffee? Then I suggest you read on!
What is Breve Coffee?
Breve coffee is one of yet a plethora of milk-infused coffee choices out there. It uses a particular type of dairy product called half and half, and it is pretty similar to milk. In fact, half and half contains milk.
Although its origins cannot be traced to a particular place, breve coffee has undoubtedly risen in popularity worldwide regardless of location. It has made breve coffee be offered in more places and cafes around the world. However, this does not mean that you can order it easily.
The Breve at Starbucks
If you really want to drink breve coffee at Starbucks, you might need to dig more into the intricacies of breve coffee. Instead of ordering “breve coffee,” you should order “breve latte” or “breve cappuccino.”
When you say these terms, you will be served latte or cappuccino with half and half used instead of milk.
1. Breve Latte and Breve Cappuccino
If you really want to drink breve coffee at Starbucks, you might need to dig more into the intricacies of breve coffee.
Instead of ordering “breve coffee”, you should order “breve latte” or “breve cappuccino”. When you say these terms, you will be served latte or cappuccino with half and half used instead of milk.
2. The Quad Short Breve Latte
If you want to get to the more detailed side of things, a Starbucks insider once recommended that you order breve coffee to ask for the “quad short breve latte.” However, be warned that ordering this drink will cost you back six dollars and fifty cents.
The reason behind this is that the quad short breve latte will include three additional shots of espresso, and more importantly, the half and half ingredients used to modify regular milk.
3. Money Pinching
However, there is one trick to get breve coffee cheaper while ordering at a Starbucks. One way to do this is to ask them for four espresso shots with steamed breve on top. Overall, this drink will set you back three dollars but will more or less taste the same as the quad short breve latte.
So the next time you ask, “what is breve coffee?”, you will need not be surprised by the different answers. If you are talking to a Starbucks employee, they will tell you it’s a steamed half and half.
What is a Half and Half Really?
Many people use the half and half in many ways, from being a substitute coffee creamer to a staple ganache ingredient, finally, breve coffee. Unlike the milk you find in lattes, half and half is made of equal parts whole milk and light cream.
As said earlier, in some places like the United Kingdom, half and half is also called half cream, as it is made of 50 percent light cream.
Half and half contains 10 to 12 percent fat, meaning it is fatter than milk, but definitely not more than cream. If you don’t have readily available half and half at home or at the supermarket, you may opt to make one yourself.
Creating half and half is straightforward. Basically, since the ratios of half and half are literally on its name, you won’t need to look up many recipes online to make it. All you need to do is to create as much as you need.
For example, if you need a cup of half and half, you might as well mix half a cup of whole milk and half a cup of light cream. Afterward, mix thoroughly. After all the ingredients have been mixed with each other, refrigerate and consume when needed.
What’s In A Name?
The name for the coffee we come to identify as breve coffee today has had (like most coffee menus) Italian origins. Breve is the Italian word for “short” and is also called in many names. The following are the other names for breve: breve coffee, cafè breve, and breve latte.
Breve Coffee vs. Latte vs. Cappuccino: The Differences
Although many people might think that breve coffee is an entirely different coffee drink not similar to another, the truth is, breve coffee is based on a few drinks we already consume every day.
Here, we discover how different breve coffee can be and how things may seem more similar than they initially look (and taste).
1. A Summary And Comparison Of Breve Coffee
Before we start comparing breve coffee with latte and cappuccino, we must first review what breve coffee really is. So breve coffee is a type of coffee that uses a half and half for its dairy needs together with a shot of espresso. You may also add milk foam at the top of the drink.
So what is breve coffee? Basically, breve coffee is all things that point to America. Breve coffee, despite its Italian etymology, is actually the American amalgamation of the Italian cappuccino.
Because breve coffee uses half and half, it is generally creamier, fluffier, and more affluent than other milk-infused coffee drinks. However, its major downside is that it is generally (and significantly) fatter than other milk-infused drinks.
2. The Latte
The latte, or caffe latte, is a coffee drink made out of espresso and steamed milk. We must be cautious of this difference as ordering a latte in Italy means asking for a cup of milk. Instead of saying you want a latte, opt to say “latte macchiato” or “caffe latte” instead.
The latte has many similar drinks, two of them being the cappuccino and the breve coffee. A latte, in particular, is made with a third of espresso and two-thirds of it being steamed milk. Milk foam is then added on top afterward.
Unlike breve coffee, latte actually uses whole milk instead of half and half. It makes the latte less thick, less sweet, but definitely healthier, especially when compared to breve coffee.
Most lattes contain one or two shots of espresso, but most are generally free to add as much as they want, given that they follow the standard ratios to a certain extent.
Today, a latte is very different and is only a derivative of its Italian past. It does not mean that modern latte is terrible, though, only that it is different.
Modern latte has its own quirks, being that it now contains certain aspects that may have been considered unimaginable at the standards of the past. For example, latte today now has the custom of having coffee foam art added. This type of art requires a lot of training and skill to perform.
3. The Cappuccino
The cappuccino is similar to both the breve coffee and cafe latte, as both are milk-infused. However, unlike the latte, the cappuccino has equal parts steamed milk, cappuccino, and milk foam.
Because of this difference in ratios, cappuccino is generally considered the more potent drink as it carries more espresso in relation to its ratio to milk.
The cappuccino is most known to be the original recipe for the latte, while the breve coffee is the derivative, American latte. Cappuccinos were reported to have been originating from Viennese-style cafes in Italy. From there, they have grown into a worldwide craze.
Breve Coffee: A Health Drink?
What is breve coffee, and is it a health drink? Many people ask this question in hopes of increasing their consumption of breve coffee.
Breve coffee is a sweet, caffeinated drink. I wish it were healthy, and I would have chosen to drink it every single day. However, the truth is that breve coffee is not healthy. Far from it, actually.
If we are talking about calories themselves, we can safely say that even though lattes and cappuccinos are not the healthiest drinks out there, they are certainly healthier when compared to breve coffee.
Like everything American, it tastes fantastic, but it certainly is not the best for the body (looking at you, American serving sizes).
Since breve coffee contains light cream, it indeed contains more fat compared to regular steamed milk. Additionally, the cream has a lot of cholesterol, sugar, and calories. And unlike milk, the cream does not balloon in size when frothed.
For a six-ounce breve cappuccino, expect 97 kilocalories with eight grams of fat, three grams of carbohydrates, two grams of protein, five grams of saturated fat, 26 milligrams of cholesterol, 37 grams of sodium, 138 mg of potassium, and 74 milligrams of calcium. Also, expect some vitamin A in there.
If you really want to drink coffee but healthily, skip the breve, latte, and cappuccino. Instead, opt to drink the Americano, no sugar added. However, no pressure here if you really want to drink the breves, lattes, and cappuccinos!
Making The Breve: How To Make Breve Coffee
Breve coffee is delicious, alright! If you plan to make some at home, you have come to the right place (or the right article). Let us discuss a simple way to create breve coffee on your own!
Now for this recipe, we will consider both breve latte and breve cappuccino. First, let us discuss breve cappuccino. We need equal parts of espresso, steamed half and half, and half and half foam. Do note that this will be a more potent recipe compared to the latte variant.
Before we start, we must first drop a few reminders. Do know that breve foam or half and half foam is temperature-sensitive, so keep it close at 150 degrees Fahrenheit as much as possible. Moreover, before steaming the half and half, make sure that it is cold.
You might need to steam and create froth for the half and half at 150 degrees Fahrenheit to get started. Afterward, allow it to rest. In another cup, pour half the espresso. Add the steamed half and half later, without the foam.
Half of the overall amount of foam will be added afterward. Pour the rest of the espresso into the mag and top it up with more foam. You can add powders for aesthetics afterward.
What Coffee Beans are Optimal For Breve Coffee?
Coffee beans are the heart and soul of coffee. No matter how good the other ingredients are, the coffee will inherently be affected as long as the coffee beans are beyond remorse. So let us discuss that topic here: what coffee beans are optimal for breve coffee?
Most of the world prefers the softer, smoother, Arabica coffee beans for most espressos. Even better if you can secure the washed Arabica coffee beans (Colombian coffee beans). For a safer bet, you can also opt for espresso blends.
Some people would want to drink stronger, harsher coffee. It is where you might opt to consume Robusta coffee beans. Robusta is one of the most produced coffee beans globally, so finding it won’t necessarily be a huge problem.
As for Arabica coffee beans, if you find yourself wanting nutty, chocolatey coffee beans, then South American Arabica beans are the best for you. For the fruity, citrus notes, you can rely on the African variants for that!
How To Make Half and Half
What is breve coffee without half and half? Half and half is an essential ingredient for breve coffee, and it wouldn’t be called breve coffee without it anyway.
Half and half is a straightforward mix to make. All you need is some cream and some milk. All you need to do is put equal parts of cream and milk in a mixing bowl and mix it well. After that, you might want to leave it refrigerated.
Other Uses for Half and Half
Aside from breve coffee, can I use my half and half for other recipes? Certainly! Half and half is a very flexible product that can be used for many concoctions.
First of all, one of the most common uses for half and half is coffee creamer. Half and half offers you a fresher version of coffee creamer, unlike those powdered coffee creamers they sell at the convenience store.
Basically, half and half is an excellent product for food needing milk but would greatly appreciate a thicker consistency. Some of these recipes may include ice creams, cream sauces, quiche, cookies, cake, and fruits.
Some of the more savory dishes for half and half include fried chicken and rice soup. Half and half is also excellent as an additive for pudding.
Breve Coffee Flavor Notes
Breve coffee is undoubtedly in a league of its own when it comes to taste. Like other milk-infused drinks, breve coffee contains heavy notes of milk and coffee blended together.
However, breve coffee stands on its own as unlike cappuccino and latte, which both taste very similar, breve coffee has another trick on its sleeve: creaminess.
The half and half from the breve coffee definitely contributes to creating a milkier, creamier product. The resulting coffee will definitely feel a lot creamier, especially when using heavy cream instead of light cream for the half and half.
Breve coffee, because of this, is more preferred by consumers. However, people who dislike the different consistency and the general feel of the cream may stick to the regular latte and cappuccino options.
Additionally, breve coffee is clearly the unhealthier option, prompting people who are very health conscious not to consider it at all.
What Is Breve Coffee and Other Inquiries: Frequently Asked Questions
Is breve coffee good for lactose intolerant people?
Although breve replaces the steamed milk with half and half, we must remember that half and half also contain milk. Lactose intolerant people will surely not enjoy the side effects of drinking breve.
If you are lactose intolerant wanting to enjoy coffee without too much hassle in the restroom later, be sure to order dairy-free coffee, especially those whose milk contents are substituted by soy milk.
Can I use soy milk for half and half?
Going back to the topic of dairy-free alternatives, especially to those who are vegan or who are lactose intolerant, making use of half and half that utilize soy milk will be a fantastic choice.
It allows you to enjoy breve coffee without you breaking your diet. Moreover, soy milk is a very healthy drink as well.
Is breve stronger than latte?
A latte breve and a cafe latte will probably have the same strength as both use the same amounts of espresso. However, what you will notice is that latte breve will feel richer and taste heavier.