There is more to coffee than the regular black coffee, espresso, and lattes. In the recent past, the world of coffee has seen new and interesting coffee variants, the latest being breve latte.
It has become one of the most requested types of coffee in our restaurant. Back then there was not much about breve latte and I had a hard time searching for a recipe to use with my latte coffee machine. Fortunately, after many tries, we finally cracked the recipe and it has become a hit.
In this article, we explore the topic of breve lattes, what it is, how to make one, and a whole lot more.
What is a Breve Latte?
The breve latte is also known as breve coffee, Caffe breve, and simply breve. It is an American version of the classic Italian cappuccino or latte that uses espresso as the main ingredient. Breve is derived from the Italian word for short.
Similar to cappuccinos and Caffe lattes, breve lattes contain steamed milk and froth. However, it has a creamier texture with a higher foam volume than the typical latte espressos. It is easy to confuse the breve latte with the typical latte, but the main difference is in the texture and the taste.
A breve latte is made from steamed milk and espresso and finished off with a layer of milk froth. However, instead of using 2% or whole milk as you would when preparing a typical latte, use half-and-half when making breve latte. This adds a creamier and richer texture to the latte.
The half-and-half is frothed and added to the espresso. This results in a fluffier top layer of foam due to the high-fat content in the cream.
Difference between Breve and Regular Latte
Regular lattes typically use syrups and whipped cream to add flavour, but the breve latte has a natural velvety and sweet taste. With that said, depending on your preferences you can add the flavoured syrups to make it sweeter.
The half-and-half means that it is half milk and half cream. This gives breve latte a higher cholesterol level than typical lattes. With that said, a breve latte also contains a good portion of proteins and carbohydrates due to the added milk.
Making a Breve Latte
A good cup of coffee is dependent on the coffee beans used. The beans will determine the flavour of the coffee. However, the type of half-and-half will also determine the taste and texture of the latte. For example, if you use an espresso made from light roast beans or the beans had a coarse grind, the result will be a lighter taste and the espresso will be overpowered by the half-and-half.
With that said, dark roast beans ground finely produce a richer and stronger espresso that is easily complemented by the half-and-half. What this means is that the method of making the espresso will determine the quality of the breve latte.
While you might be used to getting your breve lattes from your favourite café, did you know that you can take strides to make breve lattes at home? Here is what you will need:
Fresh and finely ground espresso dark roast beans
A two-tablespoon size scoop
An espresso machine
10 ounces half-and-half
If not using an espresso machine, a milk frothing device
With the above items in place, this is the process you will need to follow to make a perfect cup of breve latte:
Begin by heating the half-and-half. If you do not have an espresso machine, heat the half-and-half on the stove or microwave for not more than 90-seconds
Froth the half-and-half. You could use an immersion blender to froth the half-and-half if you do not have an espresso machine
Grind the coffee beans finely using a coffee grinder
Combine the espresso and half-and-half
With that said, combining the various elements is an art that you can learn over time. Here is the secret to combining the perfect breve latte:
Pour two shots of espresso into a mug
Slowly pour the heated half-and-half into the espresso
As the mixture reaches the brim of the cup, pour the foam into the espresso
Serving a Breve Latte
There is a difference in how different types of lattes are served and breve latte needs to be done differently. Typically, experienced baristas serve breve latte hot and presented in a bowl-shaped mug. This leaves enough room for the espresso to mix well with the half-and-half.
With that said, breve latte is typically served after a meal in place of dessert due to its indulgent creaminess and richness. However, you can have a breve latte at any time of day whenever you want it.
Iced Breve Latte
Iced lattes are best enjoyed in hot weather, but did you know that you can have an iced breve latte? The process of preparing an ice breve latte is similar to that of the regular hot breve latte. The difference comes in how you prepare it.
First, you start by filling a glass with ice cubes, add cold or hot espresso, and finally cold half-and-half. You could finish off the latte with whipped cream and flavoured syrup. As we had mentioned earlier, a breve latte has a higher cholesterol content. However, an iced breve latte has fewer calories since the ice fills up most of the glass.
Non-Dairy and Skinny Breve Latte
As non-dairy movement rages on, you could modify your breve latte and remove the half-and-half. Instead, you could use cashew or full-fat coconut milk since they have a similar texture. However, you will require some additives to increase the sweetness level.
Skinny breve lattes are the best if you are going on a keto diet. To make it, you could use half-and-half almond milk. The reason for this is that almond milk has low carbs with a good portion of healthy fats.
Moreover, almond milk is cholesterol-free since it is plant-based milk compared to dairy milk.
If you are a coffee connoisseur, then you should have a breve latte sooner or later. Moreover, you do not have to wait in line at your coffee shop for one. With the recipe outlined above, you could make a breve latte at home.