various latte drinks

Greetings, coffee enthusiasts! Are you looking to become an expert in coffee choices? In this in-depth guide, we'll be exploring the key differences between three classic coffee drinks - breve, latte, and mocha. We'll be breaking down the milk, espresso, and chocolate used, the brewing methods, and the taste profiles of these drinks. Get ready to discover your new favorite coffee experience and impress your friends with your coffee knowledge!

Basic Ingredients

Ingredients in a Breve

A breve is an espresso-based drink that contains a mixture of espresso and steamed half-and-half, which gives it a richer and creamier texture compared to other beverages. The half-and-half's high fat content contributes to the velvety flavor of a breve, making it stand out from other espresso drinks. The basic ingredients of a breve include:

  • Espresso
  • Steamed half-and-half

Ingredients in a Latte

A latte is another popular espresso-based drink that primarily consists of espresso and steamed milk. The combination creates a smooth and creamy beverage with a more subtle coffee flavor compared to a breve. The type of milk used can influence the fat content of a latte, which can range from 100% to non-fat. The basic ingredients for a latte are:

  • Espresso
  • Steamed milk (whole, reduced fat, or non-fat)

Ingredients in a Mocha

A mocha is a variation of a latte that incorporates chocolate, resulting in a unique and distinct flavor profile. This drink takes the base of espresso and steamed milk found in a latte and adds chocolate syrup, creating a delightful blend of coffee and cocoa flavors. Mochas generally have more calories than lattes due to the added chocolate. The basic ingredients in a mocha include:

  • Espresso
  • Steamed milk
  • Chocolate syrup

In summary, while all three drinks – breve, latte, and mocha – are espresso-based, their ingredients and flavors differ significantly. A breve uses half-and-half for a richer taste, a latte is a harmonious blend of espresso and milk, and a mocha combines the core ingredients of a latte with chocolate syrup for a unique twist.

Composition and Preparation Differences

Differences in Milk and Cream Content

In a latte, the primary ingredients include espresso and steamed milk, giving it a smooth and creamy texture. On the other hand, a breve uses half-and-half instead of milk, creating a richer, velvety flavor due to the higher fat content. Mocha also includes espresso and steamed milk, but it is set apart by the addition of chocolate syrup, resulting in a sweeter and more indulgent beverage.

Latte Art and Layering

Both lattes and breves are beautifully layered, showcasing the espresso, milk foam, and steamed milk components. Latte art is a skillful technique used by baristas to create intricate patterns on the foam surface of a latte by pouring steamed milk. Despite its prominence in lattes, latte art is not as common in breves due to the heavier, creamier texture. As for mochas, the chocolate sauce is often drizzled on top of the foam, creating unique designs and adding a touch of delicious decadence.

Steaming and Frothing Techniques

The preparation of all three drinks involves steaming and frothing milk, but with variations in technique. For lattes, the milk is steamed to produce a velvety texture with a small amount of foam. In breves, the half-and-half is steamed to a similar consistency, but the higher fat content results in a richer, creamier beverage. For mochas, the chocolate sauce is mixed with steamed milk, and the combination is poured over the espresso.

When it comes to milk foam, an Aeropress can be used to create frothed milk at home, providing the perfect texture for these espresso-based drinks. The layering effect is achieved in lattes and breves by carefully pouring the milk over the espresso, while mochas often involve first mixing the chocolate sauce and milk together before pouring.

To sum up the different aspects of composition and preparation, here is a table highlighting the main differences:

Drink Milk/Cream Content Latte Art Milk Steaming Techniques
Latte Steamed milk Common Velvety, minimal foam
Breve Steamed half-and-half Rare Rich, creamy texture
Mocha Steamed milk, chocolate syrup Drizzle Chocolate-infused milk

With these differences in mind, you can now appreciate the subtle nuances in the composition and preparation of lattes, breves, and mochas.

Caffeine Content and Health Benefits

Which Coffee Has More Caffeine?

Comparing the caffeine content in breve, latte, and mocha can be helpful in determining the type of coffee to best suit your needs. Lattes typically have a caffeine content ranging from 60 to 95mg. Mochas, on the other hand, contain a slightly higher amount of caffeine due to the presence of chocolate, especially when made with dark chocolate. Lastly, breve drinks may have varying caffeine content depending on the espresso used, but generally fall within a similar range as lattes.

Health Benefits

All three coffee drinks, breve, latte, and mocha, are espresso-based and can provide potential health benefits if consumed in moderation. The antioxidants found in coffee beans may help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, coffee consumption has been associated with improved mental focus, mood, and energy levels.

Nutritional Factors

Considering the nutritional factors for breve, latte, and mocha drinks is important when looking to make an informed decision on which one to choose.

  • Breve: This drink is made with half-and-half, which results in a higher fat content when compared to lattes. This creamy texture gives the breve a velvety flavor while increasing its calorie count.
Nutrient Amount
Calories Varies depending on size and half-and-half used
Fat Higher than latte and mocha due to half-and-half used
Carbohydrates Varies depending on the type of espresso and sweeteners used
  • Latte: Lattes consist of milk and espresso. Depending on the type of milk used, the fat content may range from 100% to non-fat, thus influencing the calorie count in the drink.
Nutrient Amount
Calories Varies depending on size and milk used
Fat Varies depending on milk used (e.g., non-fat, whole, etc.)
Carbohydrates Mainly from milk and any added sweeteners
  • Mocha: Mocha lattes provide a sweeter taste due to the addition of chocolate. The nutritional factors largely depend on both the chocolate and milk used in the drink.
Nutrient Amount
Calories Varies depending on size, types of chocolate and milk used
Fat Varies on the chocolate used (e.g., dark, milk, etc.)
Carbohydrates Higher than lattes, mainly from the chocolate used and any added sweeteners


It is essential to consider the caffeine content, health benefits, and nutritional factors when choosing between a breve, latte, or mocha drink. These factors can help you make the best decision based on your preferences and dietary requirements. For those who have a penchant for crafting these drinks on a larger scale, say, in a café or restaurant setting, the quality of the espresso machine becomes crucial. A high-caliber commercial espresso machine not only ensures consistency in taste but also keeps up with the demands of a bustling environment. Whether you're looking to purchase a commercial espresso maker or exploring espresso machines for commercial use, investing in the right equipment can significantly elevate the coffee experience for your customers.


Variations and Recipes

Common Variations for Each Drink

Breve: A breve is an espresso-based drink made by replacing regular milk with half-and-half, resulting in a richer and creamier taste. Some variations include flavored syrups, such as vanilla or caramel, for added sweetness. An iced breve can also be enjoyed during warmer months.

Latte: A latte is a classic espresso-based drink consisting of 1/6 espresso, 4/6 steamed milk, and 1/6 foamed milk. Variations of lattes can include different types of milk alternatives such as soy, almond, or oat milk. Flavored syrups can be added for more diverse taste options. Moreover, lattes can be served iced for a cold beverage option.

Mocha: A mocha is essentially a latte with an added chocolate element, often in the form of syrup or dark chocolate. The chocolate contributes to this drink's higher caffeine content compared to a latte. While mochas are typically served hot, iced mochas are a popular alternative during warmer months.

Recipes for Home Brewing

Breve Latte:

  1. Brew a double shot of espresso using an espresso machine or Moka pot.
  2. While the espresso is brewing, steam the half-and-half using a steam wand or frother until it is hot and has doubled in size.
  3. Pour the espresso into a 12-ounce mug.
  4. Add the steamed half-and-half to the mug.
  5. Optionally, add flavored syrup to your preference.


  1. Brew a 1/6 portion of espresso using an espresso machine or Moka pot.
  2. Steam your choice of milk until it reaches 145°F to 155°F, using a steam wand or frother.
  3. Pour the espresso into a 12-ounce mug.
  4. Slowly pour the steamed milk into the mug, filling to 4/6 fullness.
  5. Lastly, spoon 1/6 volume of foamed milk on top.
  6. Optionally, customize your latte with a flavored syrup of your choice.


  1. Brew a 1/6 portion of espresso using an espresso machine or Moka pot.
  2. Heat your choice of milk and mix in 1-2 tablespoons of dark chocolate syrup or shaved dark chocolate, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the chocolate-infused milk into the brewed espresso.
  4. Optionally, add whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top for extra richness and presentation.

Remember, specialty coffee drinks like breve, latte, and mocha can be tailored to individual preferences by adding or substituting ingredients like cream, syrup, or dairy alternatives, resulting in endless possibilities of delicious variations.

Popular Retailers and Their Offerings


Starbucks offers a variety of coffee drinks, including the breve, latte, and mocha. Their caffe breve is made with steamed half-and-half, resulting in a rich and creamy texture. Their lattes, a popular choice among customers, are made with steamed milk and espresso, offering a smooth and balanced flavor.

If you prefer something sweeter, Starbucks' iced mocha is perfect for chocolate lovers. It combines espresso, chocolate syrup, and milk, poured over ice, and topped with whipped cream for a delightful and indulgent treat.

Local Coffee Shops

Exploring local coffee shops can provide unique and exciting takes on the breve, latte, and mocha. Since local coffee shops often have their own distinct flair, you can find a wider variety of flavor combinations and brewing styles in comparison to Starbucks.

At some local coffee shops, you might find a caffè breve made with high-quality espresso machines, ensuring a robust and flavorful espresso shot. Additionally, many local coffee shops have their own signature flavor combinations or seasonal offerings for their lattes and mochas.

When it comes to an iced latte, for instance, you might come across specialty infusions like lavender or caramel that complement the espresso and steamed milk. Similarly, an iced mocha could feature unique chocolate blends, creating a memorable tasting experience for coffee enthusiasts.

In conclusion:

  • Starbucks offers a standard range of breve, latte, and mocha drinks, consistently prepared and readily available for customers.
  • Local coffee shops provide a more diverse and ever-changing selection, often reflecting the creativity and style of the individual coffee shop.
  • Both options cater to a variety of preferences, from the classic, velvety caffe breve to more adventurous and specialty-infused lattes and mochas.

Customizing and Modifying Your Drink

Sugar-Free and Lighter Options

When comparing caffè breve, latte, and mocha drinks, it is important to consider their calorie content and the various sugar-free and lighter modifications available. A regular latte typically has a lower calorie content, as it is made with whole milk and espresso. On the other hand, a breve has more calories due to the use of half-and-half instead of milk, which makes it creamier and richer. And finally, mocha, which combines espresso, chocolate syrup or cocoa powder, and milk, contains more calories than a latte because of the additional chocolate.

There are sugar-free modifications available for these drinks. For instance, opting for sugar-free chocolate or caramel syrup in a mocha, or using sugar-free hazelnut or vanilla syrup in a latte or breve, can help reduce the calorie content.

Alternative Milks

Milk plays a significant role in shaping the texture and taste of breve, latte, and mocha drinks. Using alternative milks can have various effects on these beverages. Some popular alternative milk options include:

  • Soy milk: Offers a creamy texture while being lower in calories compared to regular milk.
  • Almond milk: Has a subtle nutty flavor and lower calories, but may lack creaminess.
  • Oat milk: Provides a creamy and slightly sweet taste, though it can be higher in calories than other alternatives.


Additions can be a fun way to personalize your breve, latte, or mocha drink. Some popular additions include:

  • White chocolate: Gives a sweeter and more delicate flavor to your mocha, compared to traditional milk chocolate.
  • Caramel: Adds a rich, sweet taste to lattes and breves or can even be used to make a caramel mocha.
  • Cocoa powder: Can be added to your latte or breve to introduce a subtle chocolate flavor without the added calories of chocolate syrup.

The Americanized versions of these drinks allow for a wide variety of customizations and modifications to cater to individual preferences. When choosing between a caffè breve, latte, or mocha, it is essential to consider the available options to create a drink that best suits your tastes and dietary preferences.

Latte information
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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