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What is a Breve Coffee?

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Latte. Cappuccino. Espresso. Mocha-chocolata-ya-ya. There are so many kinds of drinks now. If you don’t know what you want when you go up to order, one of two things happens. You get the smirk from the barista as she (or he) corrects your order, and you want to run out of the door without your drink. Or the person behind you shakes their head at you and you want to run out of the door without your drink.

So, what are you going to order? We usually get a latte, but after learning about a breve, we might be changing our order. Why? What is a breve coffee? We are glad you asked! Let’s check out what one is so we can hurry up and order it.

A little history

Your favorite coffee order comes from somewhere. It’s usually an Americanized version of another one. The breve is no stranger to that. A breve is actually what you get when you take an Italian latte and change it up a tad.

Depending on where you go get your coffee, you can order a latte breve, café breve, or a regular breve coffee. Since a breve is made with half and half, you won’t need to add any additional sweeteners or anything.

We do have to let you know though, that breves are a bit heavier and higher in calories. With a latte, you can have it made with skim milk or nonfat, or any kind of milk that’s healthier for you. A breve has to be made with half and half or cream. So while it will taste smoother and maybe sweeter, if you are calorie counting, this bad boy might need to be for celebratory purposes only.

Cappuccino, latte, or breve

Okay. There are so many that are pretty similar. Which is which? Does it matter? Let’s slow down and look at each drink.


A cappuccino is steamed milk, foamed milk, and espresso, all evenly distributed, but evenly layered, with the foam on top. Simple


A latte has the same ingredients, but there is way more milk than espresso. The steamed milk is poured over the espresso. Since there is more milk, it’s not as strong as a cappuccino, and the flavor isn’t as strong either. We get the difference so far.


Basically, a cappuccino, but with half and half. So then what is the difference between a breve and a cappuccino?

Breve versus cappuccino

We have discovered that a breve and a cappuccino are the same, except a cappuccino uses milk and a breve uses half and half. Does that make a difference? It’s coffee, so any change makes a world of a difference, duh.

Since a cappuccino uses milk, it will be only slightly sweet. You can always add sugar or syrup if you want.

A breve will have a bit of a sweeter taste to it. The cream in the half and half will make it a bit richer than a cappuccino. The foam will be heavier and thicker too. Changing that one ingredient changes the taste and texture of the drink.

So the next time you get in line at your local coffee shop, don’t feel the need to panic order. We’ve all been there. Try a breve and see if you are going to switch your order up.

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