Are you a coffee lover? Do the names ‘breve’ and ‘latte’ sound familiar? If so, or even if they don’t, I’m here to tell you all about these delicious coffee drinks.

Breve and latte have made their way into almost every cafe in the world, but as similar as they look on paper and taste in your mouth, there is actually more difference than meets the eye.

Quick Answer: What’s the difference between breve vs. latte?

The main difference between a breve and a latte lies in their ingredients; while both beverages use espresso as the base ingredient, a latte is made with steamed milk, and a breve uses half-and-half to create its unique flavor profile.

Breve vs. Latte: How Do They Differ & Which Is Better?

Get ready to take a deep dive into each drink so that the next time you hit up the cafe, you can be certain what’s best for your taste buds!

Breve vs. latte, how do they differ?

Before getting in-depth about the differences between a breve and a latte, have a look at this easy overview:

Flavor notesStrong flavor with a heavy mouthfeelCreamy and milk heavy
Coffee used?Yes, two espresso shotsYes, one espresso shot
Serving size4 oz (0.12 l)8 oz (0.24 l)
Dairy used?Yes, half-and-halfYes, whole milk
Caffeine content136mg of caffeine68mg of caffeine
Number of calories108 calories110 calories

As you can see, there are plenty of differences between a breve and a latte.

To help understand how they differ even better, it’s time to go over each subject in-depth below:

What is the flavor difference between a breve and a latte?

The flavor difference between a breve and a latte is quite distinct. While both are espresso-based drinks, the primary difference lies in their preparation.

A breve is made with steamed half-and-half, while a latte uses steamed milk.

This difference in ingredients creates a unique flavor experience for each drink:

  • Breves have an intense, creamy taste that takes the espresso’s already robust flavor to another level.
  • Lattes offer up a smoother experience that highlights the sweetness of the milk while softening some of the stronger notes found in espresso beans.
Coffee beans used for espresso-making.

In addition, you can expect more robust coffee notes since a breve uses more espresso, even though it’s a smaller serving size.

Which is stronger, a breve or a latte?

A breve is typically stronger than a latte because of the differing ratios of espresso and milk used in each respective drink.

A breve is made by combining espresso with half-and-half instead of regular milk, creating a rich, creamy texture that can also be quite ‘heavy’ on the palate.

Frothed half and half, ready to be used.
Frothed half-and-half

Since a breve is made with equal parts espresso and half-and-half, the serving size is half that of a regular latte.

This will make a breve more espresso-forward, making it the strongest of the two.

What is the difference in dairy used between these drinks?

Although they might sound similar, there is an important difference between latte and breve drinks.

A latte uses regular cow’s milk, while a breve requires half-and-half.

Steamed milk.
Steamed milk

Half-and-half is a combination of equal parts light cream and whole milk. It has more fat than typical cow’s milk (3-4 percent) but less than heavy cream (36 percent).

In comparison, regular whole milk contains 3-4 percent, and low-fat skim contains 0.5-1 percent of fat content.

By replacing the traditional steamed milk with half-and-half, you get a thicker layer of foam on top and a much richer flavor!

You can learn how to froth half-and-half by following this handy guide here!

How many calories are in breve vs. latte?

The answer to this question is actually quite simple, but it depends on how much you typically drink.

A 4-oz serving of breve contains 108 calories, while a same-size latte has 55 calories. However, a latte usually comes in an 8-oz serving, which comes out to 110 calories per serving.

Latte coffee finished.
Homemade latte

It’s also important to note that the fat content in breves and lattes varies significantly between different brands and recipes.

This means that one may be higher or lower in calories than another, depending on the ingredients used in its preparation and how it was served.

Is there a difference in caffeine content between these drinks?

Many people wonder if there is a difference in caffeine content between a breve and a latte. The answer is yes; breves have more caffeine than lattes.

What makes a breve unique in terms of its caffeine content? It has an extra shot of espresso that contributes to the higher caffeine content compared to other drinks.

The extra shot brings the caffeine content to 136mg per 4-oz serving, while a latte has 68mg of caffeine for an 8-oz serving.

Single and doppio espresso next to each other.
Single espresso on the left. Double espresso on the right

Keep in mind that every coffee shop makes its drinks differently.

For example, it’s very common to get a latte with a doppio espresso (double espresso) instead of a single shot, meaning it would equal a breve’s caffeine content.

Are there any variations to a breve and a latte?

Now that you know the base for both drinks, let’s explore some unique variations based on them.

An iced breve is made by adding a double shot of espresso over ice cubes in a glass before combining an equal part of cold half-and-half into the creation, along with any desired sweeteners.

Homemade iced breve coffee.
Iced breve coffee

A similar variation could be done with lattes if desired – simply substitute the milk for cold foam instead while adding your other ingredients to finish off your drink!

For those looking to switch up their beverages even more, special syrups, such as caramel or vanilla, can be added for endless flavor possibilities when making either drink hot or cold.

Homemade vanilla syrup.
Homemade vanilla syrup

Different kinds of dairy-free milk may also be used, such as almond or oat milk, to cater to everyone’s individual tastes, whether you’re lactose intolerant or vegan.

Which is better, a breve or a latte?

A breve and a latte are both delicious coffee drinks, but which one you prefer depends largely on personal taste.

If you’re not quite sure which would fit you best, I recommend the following:

  • If you prefer a slightly stronger and more decadent drink that you can quickly finish, a breve is the way to go.
  • Are you a bigger fan of a creamy drink that is lower in calories? Choose a latte instead.
A side-by-side comparison of a breve and a latte.
Breve on the left. Latte on the right

I prefer drinking a latte over a breve most of the time. A breve can be a nice pick-me-up, but I prefer the more laid-back flavor of a latte most of the time.

Related coffee comparison articles

Are you wondering how the breve and latte compare to other coffees?

Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:

And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!


Thus, after taking the time to delve into the nuances of both drinks, it’s safe to say that the breve and the latte can be considered two distinct coffee profiles.

The taste, caffeine content, origins, and ingredients used mean that each coffee provides a largely unique experience from one another.

While both beverages offer delicious flavors, a breve may act as a more satisfactory morning drink for those seeking an extra jolt or perhaps a slow but steady caffeine stream.

For others who demand lighter flavors and modest caffeine intake, then opting for a latte may be just what they need.

Other than that, preferences come down to personal opinions, as no coffee will ever beat another based on everyone’s needs and tastes. At the end of the day, there is something here for everyone!

Espresso-based recipes to try

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