A breve is a creamy Americanized version of the Italian café latte, using half-and-half cream instead of milk. A breve is fluffier than other coffee drinks because half-and-half increases the foam and, of course, the fat content. This rich drink is typically served as a “dessert” beverage, but it can be a decadent treat any time of day.
Fun fact: In Italian, breve means “short.” If you’re curious about how to pronounce it, “breh veh” is the correct way.
We’ll show you how to make a breve with minimal tools in about 10 minutes. You’ll just need a way to make espresso and froth milk. Additionally, if you want to make enough to share, just double the recipe!
Making a breve at home is straightforward. Heat and foam half-and-half, combine it with a shot or two of espresso, and you’ll have a rich, creamy beverage. Keep reading for our guided steps to making the perfect breve.
1. Prepare the half-and-half.
For a microwave:
Place half-and-half in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave uncovered on high until hot, with slight bubbles along the edges (approx. one minute).
Remove from microwave and whisk earnestly. You can do this by placing the whisk between your palms and rolling it back and forth.
As foam forms, gently scoop it into another cup. Continue whisking until you have about 1/3 cup of foam.
For a milk steamer:
You can steam and froth half-and-half at 145 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Froth and allow it to set while you make the espresso.
2. Prepare the espresso.
If you don’t have an espresso maker, you can substitute strong coffee brewed using your favorite method.
RELATED READ: How do you brew strong coffee?
3. Combine the half-and-half and espresso.
Add the espresso to your coffee mug. Then, slowly pour in the warmed half-and-half. If you didn’t set aside the foam, just hold it back with a spoon while you pour the creamer into the espresso. Spoon the saved foam on top. To add extra flair, sprinkle the top with cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, or any other topping that you like.
Delicious decadence at your beckoning!
For those who may be unable to use a dairy-based creamer, using full-fat coconut milk will get you a comparable foam texture. If you love your coffee a little sweeter, add your desired flavored syrup or other sweetener into the espresso before pouring it into the mug. As with any recipe, adjust to your liking, whether it’s more or less milk or a different roast of coffee. We’ve just given you a basic guideline, so run with it and make it your own!
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