Are you a coffee lover who craves a creamy and indulgent drink? Look no further! In this post, we're unraveling the key differences and details between two classic coffee drinks - breve and latte. Get ready to learn about the milk used, the brewing methods, and the taste profiles of these two drinks. Let's dive in and discover your new favorite indulgence!

Breve vs Latte: What's the Difference

Both breve and latte are popular espresso-based drinks that provide coffee lovers with a delicious and satisfying experience. However, there are distinct differences between the two, especially when it comes to the components and taste profiles of each beverage. This section will delve into the unique characteristics of both breve and latte, enabling you to differentiate and appreciate these delightful caffeinated treats.

Caffè Breve

Caffè breve is an espresso-based beverage made with steamed half-and-half instead of whole milk or 2% milk. The higher fat content in the half-and-half imparts a rich, creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor to the drink. When compared to a latte, a caffè breve has a more significant emphasis on the bold taste of espresso, accented by a touch of caramel-like sweetness. Due to its velvety consistency and foam layer, caffè breve's texture is smooth and thick, providing a luxurious and indulgent experience for coffee aficionados.

Key components of a caffè breve:

  • Espresso
  • Steamed half-and-half
  • Foam layer


A latte, on the other hand, is made from espresso and frothed 2% or whole milk. Unlike a caffè breve, the milkier and milder flavor profile of a latte is a result of the larger milk-to-espresso ratio. The steamed milk in a latte is lighter and provides a smooth and silky texture combined with the rich taste of espresso. Lattes are typically topped with a small amount of milk foam and can be enhanced with flavored syrups for a personalized coffee experience. Due to its versatility and mild flavor, the latte is an ideal choice for those who prefer a more subtle coffee taste.

Key components of a latte:

  • Espresso
  • Steamed 2% or whole milk
  • Milk foam

In summary, the main distinctions between a caffè breve and a latte can be observed through their respective ingredients and resulting flavors. The breve incorporates steamed half-and-half, making it richer, creamier, and bolder than its counterpart, the latte, which uses steamed milk for a milder and smoother taste. Although both drinks contain espresso, the breve accentuates the coffee flavor for a luxurious sensation, while the latte offers a more subtle coffee experience perfect for those who enjoy a creamier and lighter beverage.

Key Components of Each Drink

Espresso Base

Both breve and latte are espresso-based drinks, which means they share a common foundation of a freshly brewed espresso shot. The espresso provides the foundation's flavor profile and the caffeine content for both the drinks.

Milk and Milk Foam

In a latte, the primary ingredient added to the espresso is steamed milk. This milk is typically 2% or whole milk, which contributes to the latte's smooth and light taste. The latte is topped with a layer of milk foam that adds to its creamy texture and velvety mouthfeel.

Half-and-Half vs Whole Milk

On the other hand, a breve is made from a combination of espresso and steamed half-and-half, which is a mixture of equal parts milk and cream. This ingredient gives the breve its rich, thick, and velvety texture. Due to the higher fat content in half-and-half, breves tend to be sweeter and more calorie-dense than lattes.

Several factors differentiate the breve and latte:

Category Breve Latte
Milk Steamed half-and-half Steamed 2% or Whole Milk
Flavor Rich, creamy, and slightly sweet Light and smooth
Calories Higher (about 420 for 12 oz.) Lower (about 150 for 12 oz.)
Fat Content Higher (about 36 grams for 12 oz.) Lower (about 6 grams for 12 oz.)

In summary, breves use a different type of milk component which primarily consists of half-and-half instead of whole milk, which gives the beverages distinct flavors, textures and nutritional differences. While lattes are smoother with a lighter taste and lower calorie content, breves are richer, thicker, and ultimately higher in calories due to the use of half-and-half.

Taste, Texture, and Appearance

Flavor Differences

When comparing a breve to a latte, one can notice differences in their flavors. A breve latte is made with half-and-half (a combination of cream and milk), whereas a regular latte is made with whole or 2% milk. The higher fat content in half-and-half contributes to a breve's velvety and slightly sweet taste. With options such as adding caramel, hazelnut, or other flavors to both beverages, personal preferences can guide drinkers to customize their experience.

In comparison, a latte offers a lighter taste, with less emphasis on the natural sweetness that comes from lactose found in the milk. The lower fat content in lattes keeps the richness of flavor less pronounced, allowing individual flavors from added ingredients or the coffee beans' natural acidity to shine.

Texture and Thickness Differences

The texture and thickness of breves and lattes diverge due to their use of different dairy products. A breve's use of half-and-half delivers a thicker and richer mouthfeel, closely resembling that of a cappuccino with its foamy top layer. Lattes, on the other hand, provide a smoother drinking experience with a more uniform consistency. The blend of espresso and frothed milk creates a lighter texture within the latte, while also ensuring that it is lower in calories compared to a breve.

Breve Latte
Fat Higher fat content Lower fat content
Flavor Richer, sweeter Lighter
Texture Thicker, richer Smoother

Appearance and Presentation

In terms of appearance and presentation, the difference between a breve and a latte is noticeable. A latte is typically served in a larger 15-ounce glass due to the greater volume of milk used in its preparation. The resulting beverage has a well-mixed, light appearance with a velvety layer of milk foam on top.

Conversely, a breve is served in a smaller 5-ounce cup, as it uses equal parts of cream and milk. Its appearance is easily distinguishable due to the thick cream layer that rises to the top, giving it a unique visual contrast between the cream and espresso mixture below.

To achieve the perfect brew and optimal flavors in both breves and lattes, it's crucial to use high-quality machinery. Whether you're a café owner or a coffee enthusiast aiming for professional standards, choosing the right equipment can make a significant difference. For those keen on exploring the finest options, be sure to check out the commercial espresso machine collection at Majesty Coffee. Not only do they offer top-tier machines, but their range ensures that anyone can find the perfect espresso machine for commercial purposes to suit their needs.

Caloric and Nutritional Differences

Caloric Comparison

A breve and a latte are both espresso-based drinks, but they differ significantly in their calorie content. A 16-ounce breve contains around 473 calories, while the same volume of latte has only 190 calories. This difference is primarily due to the type of milk or cream used in each beverage.

Fat Content Differences

The fat content in breves and lattes is another important distinction. A breve is made with half-and-half, a combination of whole milk and light cream. This results in a fat content of approximately 12%. On the other hand, a latte is typically made with frothed 2% or whole milk, with whole milk containing around 3.5% fat.

Thus, breves have a higher fat content which contributes to their rich, creamy texture and increased calorie content.

Sugar and Syrup Content

Both breves and lattes can be sweetened with flavored syrups or sugar. However, due to the use of half-and-half in breves, they have a naturally sweeter taste compared to lattes.

When it comes to adding sugar or flavored syrups, the nutritional content of both drinks is directly affected. Using whole milk versus skim milk in a latte will alter the fat content, but it does not have as significant an impact as the use of half-and-half in a breve. Customers should be aware of the additional calories and sugars associated with the use of flavored syrups, as well as the difference in sugar content between skim milk, whole milk, and half-and-half.

In summary, the caloric and nutritional differences between a breve and a latte are primarily due to the type of milk or cream used and the amount of sugar or syrup added. Breves have higher calorie and fat content due to the use of half-and-half, while lattes are relatively lighter, made with milk and often containing fewer calories. The choice between a breve and a latte will depend on individual preferences and dietary considerations.

Popular Variations and Customizations

Cappuccino Vs Breve and Latte

When it comes to coffee beverages, a cappuccino is another popular choice as opposed to a caffè breve or latte. A cappuccino is made with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, while a breve consists of espresso and steamed half-and-half, resulting in a creamier, richer flavor. On the other hand, a latte is a combination of espresso and steamed milk, with only a small amount of milk foam on top. The main difference between these three beverages lies in the milk-to-espresso ratios, as well as the type of milk used.

Adding Flavored Syrups and Spices

To enhance the flavors of a breve, latte, or cappuccino, many individuals opt to add flavored syrups and spices. Commonly used syrups include vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, and chocolate, while spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom can provide a unique twist to the beverage. Experimenting with various syrups and spices allows coffee-lovers to personalize their drinks according to their preferences and taste buds.

Iced Breve Latte and Iced Latte

For those who prefer a cold beverage, the iced breve latte and iced latte are popular options. The iced breve latte incorporates espresso, half-and-half, and ice to create a rich and velvety drink. In comparison, an iced latte uses espresso, milk, and ice, resulting in a lighter and more refreshing taste. These iced variations are perfect for warm weather or for individuals who enjoy a more chilled coffee experience.

In summary, the popular variations and customizations of coffee beverages, such as the caffè breve, latte, and cappuccino, revolve around the types of milk and milk-to-espresso ratios. Additionally, the inclusion of flavored syrups, spices, and ice variations can further enhance and personalize these delightful coffee creations.

Choosing the Right Drink for You

As a coffee enthusiast exploring the world of espresso-based drinks, you may find yourself curious about the differences between a café breve and a latte. Knowing the unique features of these two beverages can help you make an informed decision when it comes to picking the right drink for your taste and preferences.

Breve and latte are both espresso-based drinks, but there are key differences in taste and texture. A breve is made with an espresso shot combined with half-and-half, resulting in a richer and creamier texture compared to a latte. A latte, on the other hand, consists of espresso combined with steamed milk, creating a smoother taste with a coffee-like flavor.

In terms of appearance, the amount of foam varies between the two drinks. A latte usually has a thin layer of foam on top, while a breve features a thicker layer of foam that gives it a distinct look. For those seeking a more luxurious treat, the breve's creamy texture provides a decadent option.

It's important to keep in mind that breves tend to be higher in calories than lattes, as half-and-half contains up to 12% fat compared to whole milk's 3.5% fat. With triple the calorie content, a breve may not be the best option for those who are health-conscious or watching their calorie intake.

If you're interested in other coffee variations, you might want to consider the red-eye coffee as well. This drink consists of a shot of espresso combined with drip coffee, providing a more robust and intense flavor for those who prefer a stronger taste.

In summary:

  • Café Breve: Richer, creamier texture with a thicker layer of foam on top; higher in calories due to half-and-half.
  • Latte: Smoother taste with a coffee-like flavor; thinner layer of foam and fewer calories due to steamed milk.
  • Red Eye Coffee: Robust and intense flavor, ideal for those who prefer a stronger taste.

By understanding the unique features of each drink, you can choose the right drink for your preferences and needs. So whether you're in the mood for the indulgence of a café breve, the simplicity of a latte, or the intensity of a red-eye coffee, you're now equipped with the knowledge to make the perfect choice.

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Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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