What is a Breve?

what is a breve
Sanne Bakker
Sanne Bakker

Updated: maart 3, 2023

Are you a big fan of a delicious Cappuccino or Latte coffee? Then pay attention. There is another amazingly delicious drink that you absolutely must add to your coffee drink favorites list. Make room for the Breve coffee! Also called Café Breve or Breve Latte.
This coffee is a strong, bold espresso with half and half milk. It is finished with a nice layer of frothed milk. As far as I could find the information about it, it is said this coffee drink is the American version of the Italian Latte.

Table of contents

Breve coffee meaning

The literal translation of Breve –  Brè• ve – means in Italian; short / concise. So it says a lot about the way it is prepared, in a nutshell. If you like a full(er), creamy taste, then the Breve drink is definitely worth preparing at home. Or order it from your local coffee shop to try it out!

Breve vs. Latte

So you have Breve and Latte, but what’s so different about these coffee drinks? They look similar.
The biggest difference is mainly in the amount of espresso and the amount and type of milk or cream that is used.

  • Latte: prepare with a shot of espresso and steamed milk, often (semi) whole milk. The top layer is finished with a layer of milk foam. A Latte generally has more milk than a Breve.
  • Breve: This is usually done with a double shot of espresso and steamed half and half, instead of milk. A Breve generally has an equal ratio between coffee and milk/cream.

What is half and half?

To better understand the difference of milk, it is nice to clarify certain terms and words. Because what is half and half anyway? The answer is simple, it’s a mix of half full fat milk and half heavy cream – half and half!

Thicker texture

Compared to milk, the texture is thicker, but less full than cream. A perfect middle ground. It usually contains about 10 to 12% fat, making it a wonderfully creamy and smooth addition to your morning coffee ritual.

How to make a Breve coffee

  • First prepare an espresso shot. Depending on your preference for coffee strength, you can opt for 1 shot or a double shot of espresso.
  • Foam or steam ¼ cup half and half. This can be done, for example, with a handheld milkfrother, electric separate milkfrother or the built-in milkfrother of your espresso machine (if you have one).
  • Add the steamed / frothed milk to the espresso and your Breve is ready!

Tip: Make a delicious Iced Breve. Brew a shot of espresso over iced and add the other ingredients!

Different types of Breve coffee

Like all other coffees, you can vary endlessly with the taste. So you can prepare your drink the way you like it best. This is also the case with the Breve. Below you will find different types of Breve that you can prepare:

Irish cream Breve

A super popular variant of the ‘normal’ Breve is the Irish cream Breve. This drink is made of espresso, half and half and Irish cream syrup as an extra addition. This creates a delicious, creamy taste. You can drink it warm and iced. Ideal for every season!

Mocha Breve

Ever tried a Mocha Breve? Well, if you are a big chocolate lover, just add some (melted) chocolate to your mug or some cocoa powder. The combination of the ingredients is perfect! Do you still need something stronger? Then add a little chocolate liqueur.

Caramel Breve

For the sweet tooth there is another delicious variation, namely the Caramel Breve! Simply add some caramel syrup to the basic ingredients. This combination is also delicious to drink iced.


Are you looking for a coffee with an extra full, creamy taste? Then the Breve is the perfect drink to choose. Simply prepare it at home or order it from your local coffee shop. And like many other types of coffee, you can give the Breve a personal touch by adding various other flavors, such as Chocolate, Caramel or a certain liqueur. Drink it hot or cold with ice cubes. It’s a perfect coffee drink for every season!

Want to know more about different kinds of coffee check out my other blogs: Latte vs. Cappuccino and Most popular coffee drinks in America!