To be honest, nobody at the Coffeine team has much of a sweet tooth. But a lot of our friends and customers do.

So over time, we’ve had to dabble outside of our comfort zones and try sweeter concoctions so we can be better with our recommendations and roasts.

One awesome discovery we’ve had the pleasure to enjoy in 2022 was the Affogato. A velvety, rich and sweetly caffeinated dessert from Italy that you can make with 2 ingredients and a glass.

What is an affogato?

An espresso brewed directly over a glass of ice cream.

What is Affogato? Why it’s a heavenly Italian concoction that seamlessly meshes two beloved food items. Which ones? Why coffee and ice cream obviously! Picture this, a scoop of creamy, luscious vanilla ice cream melting in a pool of freshly brewed, piping-hot espresso. It’s not just a dessert; it’s an experience. A chaotic contrast of temperatures and textures that dances on your palate and changes with every bite.

Too far? Ok, you get that we like this.

What does Affogato mean?

Affogato al caffè literally translates to “drowned in coffee” in Italian. In culinary terms, it refers to an espresso poured over a cup of gelato (drowning the ice cream) and served as dessert.

Of course, there’s proper technique to any Italian culinary creation. It traditionally consists of a scoop of vanilla gelato topped or “drowned” with a shot of hot espresso. The hot espresso slowly melts the gelato which creates a delicious and creamy blend of flavors. Nowadays, the gelato is often substituted with ice cream outside of Italy. This is an especially good way to eat ice cream if your teeth are more sensitive to cold.

How do I make an affogato?

Scoop a vanilla ice cream into a cup and pour a freshly brewed cup of espresso over it. We like the Midnight Brew for this one, the intense flavors are balanced out by the sweetness of the ice cream. That’s it!

For the base, you can use gelato or ice cream though ice cream is better for this in our opinion (sorry Italians). Salted caramel is also a great ice cream choice here. Sometimes, a liqueur like amaretto or Kahlúa is added for extra flavor.

By the way, drip coffee works too, but it’s not the same and you risk disappointing an Italian even worse so don’t tell anyone if you do. 🤫

As for garnishing, crunchy nuts or dried fruits make great toppings though it’s not traditional or required.

Closing thoughts

A head on picture of an espresso poured onto a mound of ice cream in a clear glass.
It ain’t that fancy but boy does it taste like it is.

If you didn’t know before, now you have an incredibly simple dessert to make in your back pocket you can serve on your next date or gathering which will blow the socks off of anything they’re used to having.

On top of that, it’s a great way to class up your ice cream. You’re taking something scooped and pre-made to a fancy schmancy delectable summer treat.

So the next time you wanna have a nice digestive but it’s too hot for a coffee, you know a good option.


What is affogato at Starbucks?

Though not every Starbucks serves it, many do and those that do serve it, do it with a small twist. Espresso over a whipped cream topped Frappuccino is the norm in most countries. Some also serve traditional affogato but it’s something you should ask and not risk.

How do Italians eat affogato?

Like everyone else. Wait, how do you eat it? Italians have their affogato after their meal with a spoon and sip the melted gelato remains. No seriously, how did you eat it before?

What is affogato made of?

Traditional affogato is made of espresso over vanilla gelato. Variations can include switching gelato for ice cream, adding liqueurs, or garnishing with fruits to add different dimensions of flavor and texture.

Are you supposed to drink an affogato?

You’re supposed to eat it with a spoon until you reach the melted part and then sip it. Though if nobody’s watching, you should have it however you enjoy it.