Breve Coffee: What Is It and How to Make It At Home?

The breve is a richer, more luxurious-tasting version of the latte, perfect for espresso lovers who want a decadent experience.

June 11, 2024
A fresh breve coffee in a transparent cup.

In its simplest form, a breve coffee is a sumptuous twist on the traditional latte. The difference comes down to the dairy content. Instead of using regular milk or plant-based alternatives, a breve uses half-and-half to create a richer, creamier beverage. 

In this ultimate guide, we’re going to show you what a breve is, how you can make it at home, which coffee works best, and why this could be your new favorite brew. 

What is Breve Coffee?

Simply put, a breve coffee answers the question, “What would happen if I made a latte with half-and-half?”

In terms of what you’ll need to make a breve coffee, it’s essentially just espresso and half-and-half. You’ll also want a steaming wand to get that light, frothy texture. 

A breve, like most espresso-based drinks, is strong, so you need a bold coffee like our SaiGon OG so it can stand up to the richness of the extra cream. 

How to Make Breve Coffee

All ingredients to make a breve are gathered in one place.

So, how do you make a breve coffee? Luckily, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Here’s our simple step-by-step brewing process to make the perfect breve. 

Step-by-Step Brewing Process

  1. Brew a strong espresso (a strong coffee made with a phin filter or moka pot also works).
  2. Heat the half-and-half to a steamy temperature without boiling.
  3. Pour the espresso into the warm half-and-half by pouring slowly to achieve a creamy consistency.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy the rich flavor.

Best Coffee Beans for Breve

Of course, any good cup of coffee starts off with the right beans. Not all coffee works well for every brewing method. With the rich half-and-half, you need a coffee that is bold, smooth, and concentrated.

That’s exactly what our Cafely SaiGon OG offers. Combining robusta, arabica, and peaberry beans, you get the best of everything: 

  • Strong caffeine punch from the robusta beans
  • Smooth flavor profile from the arabica beans
  • Concentrated flavor from the peaberry (some of the strongest coffee in the world)

Our other blend, DaNang, a mix of arabica and robusta, is another great option.

 If you go for a coffee that isn’t punchy enough, you risk the creamy flavor masking everything. On the other hand, if you go for the strongest robusta you can find, it might not be smooth enough to suit your taste. A combination blend is ideal for making the perfect breve coffee.

However, if you're like us and love strong coffee we recommend trying a bold robusta like our HaNoi. And if you prefer something lighter, go with our 100% arabica, DaLat.

Related: What’s the Difference Between Robusta & Arabica Coffee?

Variations & Customizations

As with all good coffee styles, there are plenty of ways you can customize a breve coffee. It’s similar to a latte, so essentially, any flavor you've seen in Starbucks or other coffee shops will work here.

Some of our favorite flavors include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Caramel
  • Spice mixes
  • Other flavored syrups

Pairing Food With Breve Coffee

What is a delicious coffee without a tasty snack or dessert to go with it? Breve coffee is rich, so pairing it with salty, savory options like an omelet can balance out the flavor profiles, complementing the two items perfectly.

If you’re in the mood for something sweeter, classic coffee pairings of pastries like croissants or pain au chocolat are ideal as there’s a solid texture and buttery flavor that works with the creaminess of the breve. Or, go all-in by indulging in a cheesecake with your breve coffee for ultimate decadence! 

FAQs: Breve Coffee

A traditional breve coffee, and an iced breve coffee placed next to each other.

Okay, before you rush off and make a breve coffee, here are some frequently asked questions that you might want to think about!

1. Can I use non-dairy alternatives for breve coffee?

Yes, you can use non-dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk, but they will alter the taste and creaminess. If you’re looking for a compromise, use coconut cream mixed with coconut milk to get that half-and-half texture. However, the taste will be a lot different from a traditional breve due to the coconut flavor. 

Related: How to Make Vegan Vietnamese Coffee

2. What is the best temperature for serving breve coffee?

The best temperature for serving breve coffee is hot. Ideally, you want to enjoy it immediately after combining the espresso with half-and-half. As the base is steamed half-and-half, it should not be boiling hot; otherwise, it can curdle the cream.

3. How does breve coffee differ from a traditional latte?

The main difference between a breve coffee and a traditional latte is the use of half-and-half. This makes a breve richer and creamier than a latte, as lattes use milk as a base. While a latte tends to be healthier, a breve tends to have a richer and deeper flavor.

4. Can breve coffee be made iced?

Yes, breve coffee can be made iced, just like an iced coffee or latte. Prepare the espresso and pour it over ice and cold half-and-half for a refreshing drink. This works really well with extra flavorings or syrups, especially vanilla or caramel!

Related: How to Make Traditional Vietnamese Iced Coffee

5. Is breve coffee suitable for all times of the day?

Yes, a breve is suitable for all times of the day. While traditionally enjoyed as a morning or after-dinner drink, breve coffee can be savored any time you crave a rich, creamy coffee drink. Of course, it’s quite rich in cream, so enjoy it in moderation!

The biggest factor to keep in mind is the caffeine content in espresso. One shot has 60-70 mg of caffeine, so try to avoid drinking coffee 6-8 hours before bedtime

Related: How Long Does Caffeine Stay In Your System?