The Caffe Breve is a drink that confuses people who aren’t familiar with it. That’s because it’s a cappuccino that has an extremely foamy top but has a distinct sweetness to it that differentiates it from a cafe latte. That’s why we decided to take a few moments out of our day and not only discuss what a breve is but also where it came from. We’re also going to be delving into the process of making a proper cafe breve, so if that’s something that interests you, then you might want to stick around.
What Exactly Is A Caffe Breve?
A cafe breve, often known as simply a breve, is a straightforward coffee drink. It’s one part espresso, and 1 part steamed half and half. It’s the half milk and half cream that makes a more pronounced foam than lattes that are made with just milk.
The Origins Of The Breve
We doubt that anyone truly knows when the Caffe breve was invented, but if we were to offer a guess, we would probably say that it was invented sometime during the mid-19th century. William Dean Howell published a book in 1867 known as Italian Journeys, and in that book, he mentions a latte drink enjoyed by American tourists in Italy known as a Caffe Breve. Now, we’re unsure if that drink is the same one that’s enjoyed by coffee connoisseurs nowadays, but it is where the name of the drink comes from.
Making A Caffe Breve
Now that we know what exactly a breve is and sort of where it came from, it’s time to turn our attention to making the best Caffe Breve that we can make. Although you could conceivably make the espresso part of this drink using an Espresso Machine, a Moka Pot, or a French Press, we’re going to give directions for making it with an Aeropress. For making a Caffe Breve at home, we feel that this is the simplest and most cost-effective device to use. Of course, if you already own an espresso machine with a steam wand, then feel free to use that to make your coffee.
- High-Quality Espresso Coffee Beans
- Coffee Grinder
- Coffee Filter
- 6-Ounces Of Hot Water
- 10-Ounces Of Half-And Half (Half-Milk; Half-Cream)
- Microwave Safe Cup
- Small Cup
- Coffee Mug
- Handheld Milk Frother
Step One: Prepare The Half-And-Half
Measure out 10-ounces of half-and-half in a cup and place it in the microwave. Microwave it for approximately 60-90 seconds, or until the half-and-half has reached a temperature of approximately 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit. When the half-and-half is the right temperature, use a handheld milk foamer to create a foam. A handheld milk foamer is an immersion blender that will create foam in about 10-20 seconds. If you don’t have a milk frother, you can still make foam for the Caffe Breve, but you’re going to have to use a whisk, and it’s going to take about a minute to achieve the desired foam.
Step Two: Grind The Beans & Measure Out The Grounds
The next step involves grinding your beans and measuring it our for the chamber in the Aeropress. It’s important to use espresso coffee beans and to grind them finely. This brewing method puts the hot water in contact with the water for a short period, so the grounds must be fine enough for it to interact properly with it. When the beans are ground, place a paper filter in the espresso chamber and scoop in approximately 2-scoops of coffee grounds in it.
Step Three: Boil & Pour The Water
The next step is to boil the 6-ounces of water needed for the espresso. Take filtered water, bring it to a boil, and then allow it to rest for 30-seconds. This will bring the temperature down to the 200-degrees Fahrenheit that’s necessary for the brewing process. Take this hot water and pour it onto the coffee, making sure to stir it for approximately 10-12 seconds. Wet the Aeropress plunger’s seal and position it properly according to the presses’ instructions. When that’s done, press the plunger down slowly. Press down until it is fully depressed.
Step Four: Put It All Together
Now it’s time to make the Caffe Breve. With the espresso in a wide-mouthed coffee mug, slowly begin to add the frothed milk to it. Make sure to take your time with this part of the process to ensure the two are thoroughly mixed. Congratulations, you have now created a Caffe Breve that can rival any of the ones made in any coffee shop in the world.