If you're looking to try a new coffee beverage to kickstart your morning or serve as an afternoon pick-me-up, you might take a glance at your favorite coffee chain's menu. Two drinks, at first glance, might look pretty similar: lattes and breves. Both start with a base of espresso shots, and both need steamed and frothed milk to add a little creaminess to the drink.
The major difference between the two drinks is what the espresso is mixed with. A latte can use any kind of milk — whole, oat, soy, 2% — so long as it can be steamed before it's added to those espresso shots. Then, the drink is topped with frothed milk foam.
A breve, on the other hand, requires a specific kind of mix-in. The drink uses half-and-half. Which, as the name suggests, is an even blend of two things: cream and milk. That added cream can alter the texture of the drink, making for a slightly different taste from a latte.
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Why Is Half-And-Half Thicker Than Milk?
The process is nearly the same to create both beverages. The half-and-half is first steamed before being added to the espresso shots in the coffee mug. Then, foamed half-and-half tops off the finished beverage. But the added cream content gives the drink a little extra texture, making it taste slightly richer than a latte made with milk alone.
According to Food Network, half-and-half always contains between 10.5% to 18% fat. Comparatively, whole milk is only 3.25%. This is because heavy cream — which makes up half the mix of half-and-half — is required to be at least 36% milkfat by the USDA. That milkfat transfers over to the coffee once a breve is made.
The higher fat content can make your breve feel creamier than your standard latte. Both milk and half-and-half can be steamed and frothed to make standard drinks. However, the resulting differing textures could change how the top of your cup looks.
Breves May Be Better To Make Foam Art
Ambitious baristas may make latte art out of the milk foam to enhance the look of the coffee drink as it's served — and some milk works better than others for foam art. Regardless of what kind of milk is used to make a latte, the milk may melt into the coffee if temperatures are too high, which can ultimately ruin the design.
Breves, on the other hand, may be better for making more impressive designs. The extra fat content in half-and-half will allow the foam to stay on top for a little longer. And, because of the thickness of the cream, it will layer on top of itself better than milk foam would — meaning you could even attempt to create 3-D foam designs.
If you're craving a drink that's a little more indulgent, you may want to grab a breve instead of a latte. The added cream from the half-and-half will make each sip a little richer.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.