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Caffè Breve vs Latte: What’s the Difference?

Caffé Breve VS Latte

If you’re a coffee-lover, you are probably familiar with lattes, which are one of the world’s most popular espresso drinks. A less common beverage to see on a menu is a caffè breve. It goes by two different names: breve latte or caffè breve. So what separates a breve from a latte? Read on to find out what makes them different.

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What’s a Latte?

dirty latte espresso layered on top of milk
Image credit: Isaac Chou, Unsplash

Let’s start with an espresso beverage you are familiar with: a latte. To make a classic latte you need two simple ingredients, espresso, and steamed milk. A latte starts with the espresso shots, and then a large amount of steamed milk is added, often with a small layer of foam on top.

Lattes can be served in sizes varying from six to 20 ounces, so you can have as much or as little of it as you prefer. The latte has a smooth texture and a lot of espresso flavor without being overpowering, thanks to the milk. The best part is, that lattes can have a variety of flavors added, like hazelnut or caramel, to make them just right for you.

What’s a Caffè Breve?

caffè breve
Imagre Credit: Athena Lam, Unsplash

This drink is an Americanized, richer version of the Italian cappuccino. It is just as simple as a latte because it too only has two ingredients. It is an espresso-based drink that is made with half-and-half instead of milk. The half-and-half is frothed and added to the espresso to make a caffè breve.

Caffè breves are fluffier, creamier, and richer than lattes. They’re more like cappuccinos, topped with quite a bit of rich foam.

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Caffè Breve vs Latte: Highlighting the Differences

Lattes and caffè breves are similar drinks, but with one important difference: the dairy product used. This is followed by a few other technical differences that cause the two drinks to taste different.

Lattes are made with espresso and frothed 2% or whole milk. They’re typically topped with a small amount of milk foam and can have flavored syrups added. Caffè breves, on the other hand, are made with espresso and half-and-half. Like cappuccinos, caffè breves are topped with a large amount of foam. They’re also richer and creamier than lattes.

  • Espresso and frothed milk
  • Topped with small amount of milk foam
  • May have flavored syrups
Caffè Breve
  • Espresso and half-and-half
  • Topped with lots of foam
  • Richer and creamier

Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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