Anyone who drinks coffee regularly has likely had a latte before (or at least seen them on the menu). This espresso-based drink is a favorite of many people. However, there is also the option to order a caffè breve (which is sometimes known as a breve latte). What makes a Caffè Breve different from a latte? There are a few things to take note of.
Where Does the Name Come From?
Breve is an Italian word that essentially means little or brief. The name makes sense when you understand how a breve is made. This drink may be referred to in several different ways; you can find it listed as a latte Breve, a Breve coffee, or a Caffè Breve.
Regardless of what you call it, the result is the same. You’ll receive a drink with creamy milk and espresso. There is no additional sugar included in the beverage.
How is a Breve Listed at Starbucks?
If you want to purchase a cafe breve coffee at Starbucks, you’ll need to use a specific language and make sure the word “breve” is included. Instead of milk, Starbucks puts either steamed half-and-half cream or light cream in the espresso drinks.
This espresso drink is known for its rich and creamy taste, setting it apart from a traditional latte because of the way it is prepared. Many customers also find that this coffee drink is a little sweet as well.
Are Breves and Lattes the Same?
Lattes are trendy espresso drinks. They come in many different flavors, so customers can order them repeatedly and keep mixing up the flavor combinations. A breve and a latte are not the same, however. When creating a latte, both espresso and steamed milk are used as the ingredients. Typically, whole milk is used for the steamed milk portion. While a caffe breve is also brewed with espresso, it includes steamed half-and-half instead of milk.
Therefore, breves and lattes are certainly in the same family of coffee drinks, but the type of dairy used in the drink and to create the foam on top causes these coffee beverages to differ from one another. Also, they are made a little differently, and that slightly changed process impacts the taste of the espresso beverage.
Lattes have espresso (Comparing Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee – What are the Differences?) and either whole milk or two percent milk. Generally, a little milk foam is added to the top, and they can also include a flavored syrup.
Caffè breves, as stated before, do have espresso as well. However, they also include half-and-half. There is milk foam on the top of the Breve, just like with the latte. Because of the half-and-half, though, breves taste creamier and more decadent than their counterpart.
How does Half-and-Half alter the Taste of a Beverage?
Half-and-half, as the name implies, consists of half whole milk and half light cream. It does have about ten percent fat, so when added to a beverage, it increases the drink’s creaminess. It would be best if you did not attempt to whip half-and-half. However, this rich ingredient meshes well with espresso and creates a delicious caffeinated beverage. Those that enjoy a latte may enjoy a caffè breve as well.
Be Your Own Barista – Prepare a Caffè Breve Yourself!
Are you ready to make coffee beverages from the comfort of your own home? There are a few things to think about when mixing up a breve latte for the coffee lover at home.
Ensure the milk is cold so that proper foaming occurs. Do not let the milk sit out before you make your cafe breve; it should be as cold as possible. It is also essential to have a thermometer handy that will allow you to measure the foaming half-and-half heat accurately. Part of making a good breve is ensuring that the temperature is right; aiming for 160 degrees Fahrenheit is a good strategy.
Take the steam wand and make sure you hold it right under the half-and-half. You are not trying to achieve large bubbles; you want the half-and-half to increase in volume without overdoing it. Make a circular motion in the drink (picture how your bathtub drains and try to replicate that).
Once you achieve a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you want to stop this process because the half-and-half will keep cooking before the cooling process begins to occur. Depending on how strong you like your breve latte, you will use either one or two espresso shots in your drink.
Separate the milk and the foam so that the milk goes down. Take your spoon and pull the foam on top in, but do not scoop! Finally, allow the espresso to trickle into the breve latte – going very slow is the key here. The half-and-half should be pretty thick, so the espresso remains at the top for just a bit. What you want to see is a gradual change from espresso to milk.
Is a Breve a Healthy Option?
Considering that a breve consists of half whole milk and heavy cream, it is not the healthiest beverage you can drink. Breves often contain a lot of calories, and cholesterol is a concern.
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There is also a difference in how whole milk and half-and-half react when frothed. Half-and-half does not increase its size the same way that whole milk does.
What should you drink instead? Go for a skinny latte (or even a regular latte) if you are consuming these regularly. Save the Breve for when you want to treat yourself. However, you are the only one that can determine what is right for you, so figure out a routine that works going forward.
The most important thing is that you now understand more about lattes and espressos and can order with confidence when you go to the store. You can also turn your home into your little coffee shop and try to make some of these beverages.