What is a Breve? (& Difference From a Latte)

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by brewthatcoffee

What is a breve? You’ve probably seen it on many local coffee shop menus, but haven’t heard people order it that much. This is an unfortunate reality since it’s a very delicious coffee drink! Read on to learn about the caffe breve and how it compares to other coffees.

A breve is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed half-and-half. These two ingredients are combined in a 1:1 ratio, meaning you will get just as much espresso as you will get half-and-half. It’s quite delicious!

Breve Meaning

It The breve gets its name from the Italian word for “short,” referring to the short shot of espresso that is used as the base.

Breves are a flavorful and rich coffee drink that was created in the United States. They are similar to lattes, but the main difference is the type of milk that is used.

How to Pronounce Breve

The word “breve” is pronounced, “breh-vay.”

What Does a Breve Taste Like?

A caffe breve has a smooth and rich taste. The espresso shot provides a strong coffee flavor, while the steamed half-and-half adds sweetness and creaminess. The drink is usually served unsweetened, but some coffee shops will add a bit of vanilla or chocolate syrup if you request it.

The ratio of espresso to milk in a breve is similar to that of a latte. However, because half-and-half is richer than whole milk, the drink has a slightly different texture and flavor. Half-and-half also contains more fat than milk, so a breve will usually be richer and less foamy than a latte.

What is a Breve Coffee at Starbucks / Dutch Bros?


It’s crucial to know that simply asking for a breve at Starbucks won’t give you what you are looking for. Instead of a traditional breve, your barista will hand you a cup of steamed half & half. Weird!

At Starbucks, breve is a drink modification rather than a stand-alone drink itself. By asking for a breve version of a drink, you’re requesting the barista to use half & half instead of the usual milk.

For example, you can ask for a breve latte, breve cappuccino, or a breve espresso.

To get as close as you can to a breve, order an espresso with steamed half & half instead of milk.

Dutch Bros

If you want delicious regular menu breve spinoff drinks, you need to head over to Dutch Bros. Their selection of breve drinks is immense.

In addition to espresso and half & half, you can also get whipped cream, syrup, sauce, or drizzle, depending on which drink you choose.

These breves do not follow the traditional 1:1 ratio, so your drink may be as strong as 6 shots of espresso or a milky, sugary indulgent drink with less espresso.

Here are the drinks you’ll likely catch on your local menu:

  • 9-1-1 (6-Shot Irish Cream Breve)
  • Annihilator (Chocolate Macadamia Nut Breve)
  • Golden Eagle (Vanilla & Caramel Breve W/ Caramel Drizzle)
  • Kicker (Irish Cream Breve)

Difference Between Latte & Breve

The main difference between a latte and a breve is the type of milk that is used. A latte is made with whole milk, while a breve is made with half-and-half. Half-and-half is a combination of milk and cream, so it has a richer flavor and texture than milk.

A latte is also typically lighter and foamy, while a breve is richer and creamier. The ratio of espresso to milk in a latte is 1:3, while the ratio in a breve is 1:1. This means that a breve will have more coffee flavor than a latte.

If you’re looking for a stronger coffee flavor, a breve is the drink for you. If you’re looking for a light and frothy drink, a latte is a better choice.

Is a Breve or Latte Healthier?

Whether a breve or latte has more calories will depend on the kind you order and where you order it from. A latte made with whole milk will generally have fewer calories than a breve made with half-and-half.

However, since lattes tend to come in larger sizes and are often ordered with syrup flavorings, the calories can add up very fast. Sugar content, amount of ingredients, and type of milk will all greatly influence the calorie count of your beverage.

So the sake of comparison, let’s compare a plain latte to a traditional breve.

A traditional breve contains 2 oz of espresso and 2 oz of half & half. 2 oz of espresso is typically around 6 calories and 2 oz of half *& half will run around 74 calories. In total, you can expect around 80 calories in a traditional breve.

A plain Caffe Latte at Starbucks in grande size is around 190 calories, effectively making it over twice the amount of calories in a breve.

So if you are looking to reduce your caloric intake, a breve is the best option, but you will be getting much less drink for the calories.

Which is Sweeter?

A latte is going to be the sweeter drink out of the two. The main difference in sweetness is going to come down to the milk that is used.

Whole milk is going to be naturally sweeter than half & half because it has more sugar. The other factor that will contribute to the sweetness of your drink is any flavorings that are added.

Lattes are often ordered with flavored syrups, which will add more sugar to the drink. Breves can also be ordered with flavored syrups, but it is less common. If you are looking for a less sweet drink, a breve is a better choice.

How to Make a Breve



This creamy and delightful coffee will have you wanting more! Combining espresso and half & half, this breve will become your favorite indulgence.


  • 1 shot espresso
  • 2 tablespoons half & half
  • 2 tablespoons milk


    1. Brew your espresso. You will need 2 ounces for a traditional breve.
    2. Heat your half & half until it is steaming. You can do this in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
    3. Use a milk frother or steam wand to foam the half & half.
    4. Add the espresso and foamed half & half to a cup and enjoy!


If you want a less traditional breve, you can use any milk you like. You can also add flavorings like syrups or chocolate to your drink. Get creative and make the breve that suits your taste!

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