Have you ever been to a café and been overwhelmed by the choices? When you go beyond the usual cappuccinos and lattes, you find several coffee drinks that you may not be so familiar with. Among these choices is breve coffee. What is a breve? And should you try it?
Breve Coffee Definition
A breve coffee is made by mixing one or two shots of espresso with half-and-half milk. Half-and-half is made by combining half heavy cream and half whole milk, for a thicker and creamier dairy option. Half-and-half was popularized in the United States before popping up in stores around the world.
Despite the Italian name (‘breve’ means short in Italian), breve coffee is an American invention that gives you a creamy yet strong and potent coffee drink. The milk can be foamed or frothed to give you different textures, similar to a latte or cappuccino. Breve coffee tends to be heavy and quite sweet, so it's rarely consumed as a morning cup. Instead, it’s a good midday treat or evening drink.
The Origins of Breve Coffee
Like most sweet coffee concoctions, Breve coffee is an American drink. It was a method to make the classic Italian espresso drinks like latte and cappuccino more palatable to an audience that prefers sweetness and creaminess in their coffee.
Its richness makes this more of a coffee dessert beverage. In fact, breve coffee is often so sweet that most people can drink it without additional sweeteners. Breve coffee is commonly served hot, but most cafes will customize your breve coffee to make it cold, blended, or iced.
Breve Vs Latte
A latte is made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk, without any foam. The main difference between a standard latte and a breve latte is the type of dairy used. A normal latte is made with your usual milk while a breve latte is made with half-and-half milk which is creamier and has more fat. This gives you a smoother and heavier latte.
Breve latte is often so heavy and sweet that you can’t really drink it every day. It also has a lot of fat, making it very high in calories. This decadent drink is best reserved for the occasional treat.
Much like a latte, cappuccinos are also espresso-based with steamed milk. The difference is that a cappuccino has more milk foam. A breve cappuccino is simply a cappuccino made with half-and-half milk instead of normal milk. Just like a breve latte, a breve cappuccino is a richer, sweeter, and denser drink than your usual cappuccinos.
Can I Make Breve Coffee At Home?
You can absolutely make breve coffee at home! All you need is an espresso machine, half-and-half milk, and good coffee of course.
If you don’t have an automatic espresso machine, you can also brew espresso in a Moka pot or French press. Half-and-half milk can also be improvised at home if you can’t find it in a store- simply combine equal parts whole milk and heavy cream. The last variable, good coffee, is the most important. No matter how perfect your technique, it all comes down to selecting the best coffee to give you that perfectly brewed cup.
You can also choose to take it up a notch and make your breve coffee more luxurious by adding flavored syrups, a dash of chocolate, or additional sweeteners. Go easy though, breve coffee is plenty sweet as it is!
Most days, a basic pour-over or drip coffee will suffice. But some days, you may want a bit of a treat or just a more decadent coffee experience. This is where breve coffee shines. The rich, creamy, sweetness is definitely a satisfying treat that not only solves your caffeine needs but also gives you something to savor as a delicacy.