Latte vs Breve

When making Kona coffee at home or going to coffee shops, some people have a latte as their go-to brew. As cafes diversify their menu, you may notice something called breve. We're giving a comparison between latte vs breve, so you'll know how to make them using Kona beans.

Latte vs Breve: General Overview

Aside from being a mainstay in cafes, a latte is one of the simplest ways to make coffee at home. An almost similar beverage is also making the rounds, which is in the form of a breve.

Whether you're a hardcore latte lover or want to expand your choices, knowing the composition of latte and breve can offer you flavorful coffee options.

Man pouring milk in a cup of coffee


Latte originated in Italy shortly after the invention of espresso. However, it only gained more popularity in the 1950s when tourists struggled with bitter flavors of espresso. Locals added warm milk to make espresso more palatable and sweeter, giving birth to the modern-day latte.

Latte basically consists of 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, often with a small layer of froth on top. It lets you create a variety of flavors.

For instance, it retains the caramelly sweetness of medium roast 100% Kona coffee without being overpowering due to the milk. You can still add syrups and sweeteners, depending on your preference.


Breve is an Americanized, creamier version of cappuccino and latte. It's also an espresso-based coffee yet uses half steamed milk and half frothed cream. This creates a decadent taste and a creamier texture.

Originating from the Italian word breve, this kind of coffee means short or little, much like how breve should be. It's also sometimes called café breve or breve latte.

Depending on how strong you want your coffee to be, you can put 1 or 2 shots of Kona espresso. It's already sweet due to the milk, so adding more syrups or other sweeteners is optional. Either way, it may diminish some of the coffee's undernotes.

Latte vs Breve

There are various espresso-based drinks that you can try, especially using Kona coffee. However, they can be confusing to prepare at times, considering they differ in ingredients, composition, and flavor.


The global specialty coffee market size expects to reach over $117 billion by 2028, partly due to the expanding American specialty preferences. With the similarities between breve and latte, you can see how these drinks can be your next specialty coffee.Breve and latte coffee in four different cups and glasses

Main Ingredients

Breve and latte share the same main ingredients. In a nutshell, you can use any coffee bean for the espresso.

  • Espresso: About 40% of Americans drink espresso-based gourmet coffee beverages every day. Gourmet coffee typically comes from premium Arabica beans, much like 100% pure Kona coffee. 
  • Milk: They also both use milk, although the kind can depend on your preference. Ideally, use steamed milk to create a sweet, flavorful foam for a latte. Meanwhile, it's best to use whole milk and half cream for breve's richness and creaminess.

It's better to serve breve and latte hot as the temperature causes fat to expand and create fluffy foam. Moreover, the stabilized air bubble and lactose can enhance the natural sweetness.

Use of Syrups and Flavors

One of the good things about preparing coffee is that you can customize its flavor further. While breve and latte are naturally sweet due to milk, you can still add syrups to create unique tastes. However, be cautious in experimenting as some syrups, sweeteners, and flavorings may contradict the coffee's creaminess.

Milk-based coffees are famous for their versatility when it comes to flavors. You can put hazelnut, vanilla, cinnamon, peppermint, or caramel syrups for a twist.

Popular variations include mocha latte, which adds cocoa powder or melted chocolate. Another way is to combine a regular latte with spiced tea, forming a chai latte. Likewise, you can try making pumpkin-spiced hazelnut breve.


More than half of all coffee consumption in America consists of specialty beverages like lattes. As more people become open to trying other kinds of coffees, it would help to differentiate latte and breve so you can better appreciate what makes them unique.

Use of Milk or Cream

Both latte and breve can use milk foam, although they differ in the amount. For instance, when making a Kona latte, you need to focus the steamed whole milk in the middle. Then, finish it off with light milk foam on top.

Three cups with different kinds of latte flavors

When it comes to breve, keep the foam inside the steaming pitcher as you pour over the half and half into the cup. Then, use a spoon to push the foam out of the pitcher and onto the top of the breve. 

With this, you should see half whole milk and half thick cream in the middle. You can use milk cream, cooking cream, or thick cream.

Flavor Profile

Latte and breve may have almost the same flavor profile, particularly if you use light Kona coffee as the espresso. However, they still have distinct differences since the other ingredients and preparation create different tastes.

  • Coffee flavor: Latte has a more pungent espresso taste, especially if you only put a thin layer of foam. In contrast, breve may have more caramel undernotes due to the combination of cream and milk.
  • Acidity and bitterness: Lattes make an excellent introductory coffee because milk cuts down the bitterness and acidity of coffee. However, breve has a lesser to no acidic taste since it has more milk and froth.
  • Sweetness: Breve may typically include thick cream aside from milk, making it significantly sweeter and more decadent than a regular latte. In addition, the steaming may burn some sugars in the milk, giving breve a subtle touch of caramel.

Espresso to Milk Ratio

The ratio or composition is another significant difference between latte and breve. Latte usually includes 1/3 to 1 shot of espresso and 2/3 to 3/4 steamed milk, topped with a thin layer of milk froth.

On the other hand, breve normally consists of 1/4 or a shot of espresso, 1/2 steamed milk, and 1/4 frothed cream.

Appearance and Smoothness

While the classic latte has a relatively smooth texture, breve has a smoother texture and appearance. Since breve uses half milk and half cream, it produces a thicker consistency, and consequently, a softer mouthfeel. The thick cream also mellows out the espresso's roughness. 

Furthermore, it's easier to recognize breve because the thickness of the half and half create delectable layers. You can spot the separation between the espresso and cream.

Meanwhile, a latte is homogenous, which means the milk mixes with the espresso. You would only see a thin foam layer on top. Additionally, it has a darker color than the breve.

Breve with pastry on the side

Calories and Nutritional Value

Latte and breve can increase the calorie count and cholesterol levels if not consumed in moderation. Much of the total carbohydrates come from steamed whole milk or frothed cream.

  • Espresso is fairly low in calories, usually ranging from 3 to 5.4 calories per cup.
  • While the exact calories depend on how you prepare a latte, a 12-ounce latte may contain 150 to 260 calories and 7.7 grams of fat. In contrast, a 12-ounce breve has about 426 calories and 37 grams of fat. This is 1-2 times more calories than a traditional latte.
  • Heavy cream can level up the taste, although it can also significantly add more calories to your drink. A half-cup of milk has 52 calories, whereas 1/2 cup of cream contains over 200 calories.

Major Distinguishing Factor

A latte requires espresso, steamed milk, and a small amount of milk foam, retaining more of the coffee's original taste. Meanwhile, breve is an espresso with additional half milk and half cream, creating a creamier taste and fluffier appearance. Breve is also sweeter and has a lighter color than a latte.

You can make foam art on both of them, although you can form more layers in breve than a latte. Latte has a homogeneous mixture, so you'll see more separation in the espresso and cream in a breve.

When to Use Latte?

It's best to make a latte if you want to control calorie intake yet are looking forward to enjoying Kona coffee with a small amount of milk foam. This is also more suitable if you like to preserve more of Kona coffee's original flavors.

Go for a latte if you prefer something straightforward yet not entirely black coffee.

When to Use Breve?

Opt for breve if you want a smooth-tasting Kona coffee with lots of frothed cream or milk. This is perfect if you like a sweeter version of a latte.

Since it's high in calories, it's best to save breve for special occasions or on days when you want to reward yourself with something more special.

The Verdict

Latte and breve both consist of coffee and milk, although latte retains most of the coffee's flavors. Breve is sweeter and has higher calories due to the addition of cream and thick forth. Regardless, you can use 100% pure Kona coffee for the espresso and create a variety of tasty beverages.