Breve is a name derived from Italian or Spanish, depending on whom you ask. The beverage, however, is thoroughly American. This latte is smooth and indulgent with a lovely texture,
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You can always order one from a café, though brewing it at home is fairly easy. This detailed guide on how to make a breve goes through the nuances and the basics. Let’s strap-in for the ride.
How Do I Pronounce Breve Coffee?
Given the non-English origins of the word, many people have trouble pronouncing it right. Usually, they pronounce it as “brevé” or “breeve”.
Another common name is caffè breve, which perhaps sounds more exotic, or so I have been told. You’ll notice the beverage is known by several variations of the name, including breve latte, breve coffee, caffè breve, and coffee breve. There are probably a few more, but these are the most common.
What Is A Breve?
Coffee Breve as a drink is thoroughly American, despite its name encouraging you to think otherwise. In a very simple way, you could consider it an Americanized version of the latte. It could as well be seen as a latte with more calories!
This is largely because breve replaces milk in favor of half-and-half. As such, you get a creamier, sweeter beverage. This is also the reason most patrons avoid adding sugar or sweeteners. Although adding syrups and flavors is fairly common.
So what is a breve? To put it simply, it’s a latte where milk has been replaced with half-and-half.
Preparing To Brew Your Breve Latte
What Is The Best Coffee To Use?
The taste and flavor of the breve latte will be decided largely by the espresso used as its base. And good espresso comes from good coffee beans! Ideally, picking a medium or medium-dark roast should work best. However, dark roast is fairly popular as well, and the full-bodied espresso certainly is attractive.
The grind of choice has to be fine to brew a great espresso. My suggestion is to grind the beans right before you brew them for espresso. Freshly ground beans are key to amazing flavors and a great espresso.
Is It Possible To Use Milk Alternative For Coffee Breve?
The use of half-and-half plays a big role in the texture and flavor of coffee breve. Therefore, alternatives can be tough to pick. Milk alternatives that come closest to the conventional breve texture are cashew milk and full-fat coconut milk. Both of these are useful as breve milk options, though matching half-and-half is tough.
Basic Ingredients And Preparation
Here’s a full list of the ingredients you will need. Primary ingredients for a breve are:
- Half-and-Half (10oz per serving)
- Milk frother
The comprehensive ingredient list for this step-by-step guide, not including the three already mentioned is:
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- Coffee beans and burr grinder (or fine ground coffee)
- Espresso maker (espresso machine)
- Measuring scoop
- 2-3 bowls and cups
- Stove or microwave to heat milk
Step-By-Step Instructions — How To Make A Breve
Step 1: Getting Started With Espresso
Place coffee grinds in the espresso machine and set it to work. While the machine does its work, we can move to the next step.
Step 2: Getting The Froth Ready
Getting the milk to froth right is crucial to deciding the texture and mouthfeel of the coffee breve. If you have an automatic milk frother, simply pour the half-and-half into the frother. Set the temperature, and let it do its work.
The ideal temperature for frothing milk is 145-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Going above this temperature can spoil the foam. Also note, the milk should not come to a boil, as it won’t be useful for frothing after boiling.
If you have a kitchen thermometer available, you can use it to check the temperature of the milk. Alternatively, letting it stay in the microwave for 70-90 seconds could also heat milk to the right temperature. Once the milk is heated, simply run the frother until you get the desired foam.
If you’re using a pump/manual frother or French press, vigorously push the plunger until the milk doubles in volume. The froth quality from a French press is at par with the best quality microfoam.
Step 3: Pull That Shot Of Espresso
The espresso machine should be raring to go by this time. Pull a double shot of espresso for your breve latte.
Step 4: Milk, Meet Espresso
Pour the frothed milk into the espresso. A slow and steady approach brings the best texture and mouthfeel. It’s best to use a wide, bowl-shaped cup for this purpose. It allows the espresso and milk to mix really well and has enough room for the ingredients.
Step 5: Need More Additives?
The conventional breve doesn’t need you to add any additives, including sugar or sweeteners. However, depending on how indulgent you’re feeling, there’s a possibility to add quite a few of them! Cinnamon is my personal favorite. It adds a sweet taste, without actually needing sugar and enhances the flavor.
You can also add syrups and flavors of your choice. Remember to count the calories!
Getting The Recipe Right
Unless you’re a culinary wizard, it might take some time before you can get the taste and texture right. A few tries should get you right where you want with this wonderfully decadent beverage. This guide on how to make a breve has detailed steps and nuances for your convenience. It’s great fun to brew your own breve latte at home.