This rich and creamy drink combines two things that Italy excels at: espresso and gelato.

What is an Affogato?

Notice the extra crema on top from the melted gelato (photo: Brent Petersen)

An Affogato is a very simple, elegant coffee-based drink made by pouring a shot of espresso over a scoop of gelato. The gelato is usually vanilla or fior di latte (flower of the milk) but sometimes you’ll see other flavors like coconut used.

The Affogato in Italy is served in a larger glass than the tiny cups espresso is typically served in. This allows the hot espresso to melt the gelato.

Melting the gelato is important because it creates a creamier Affogato. And, after all, the crema, the light brown creamy top of an espresso, is the best part!

Normally, an Affogato is served at the end of a meal in Italy as a dessert. You would not usually have an Affogato in the morning at your local bar (café).

How to make an Affogato at home

Espresso streaming onto the gelato (photo: Brent Petersen)

The recipe for an Affogato couldn’t be simpler. Just add a shot of espresso to a scoop of gelato. But, I have a couple of tips to make your Affogato extra special and tasty.

First, put the scoop of gelato in the bottom of a glass. Wide mouth juice glasses work well but a coffee cup will also work. If you have a set of teeny little espresso cups from Italy, save them for your morning shot of caffeine, they’re too small.

If you don’t have gelato, a scoop of vanilla ice cream will work, too.

Then, pour a shot of hot espresso over the gelato. You can make your espresso in one of those cute little Moka pots, but I much prefer using my Nespresso machine for this job. That’s because you don’t get any of the nice crema on top of your espresso with the stovetop pot. Nespresso, in my opinion, makes a perfect espresso with crema. So, I put the glass with gelato under the nozzle of the machine and let the hot espresso stream down and start the work of melting the gelato.

If you want to get fancy, add a little biscotti or cookie to your Affogato. Or sprinkle it with Jimmies.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.

Author: Brent