Espresso affogato is the perfect combination for any coffee fan who loves a deliciously creamy blend of espresso and ice cream, topped with a drizzle of rich chocolate sauce. Discover everything you need to about it.
Hot summer days can be made better with a refreshing beverage such as an espresso affogato.
However, the name itself is probably new to many of you. So in today’s article, we will be going over what an espresso affogato is and how you can make one yourself using everyday kitchen utensils.
Table of Contents
- What is an espresso affogato?
- How to make an espresso affogato
- How to make an espresso affogato without an espresso machine
- Tips for improving your affogato
- Espresso affogato variations
What Is an Espresso Affogato?
An espresso affogato (affogato al caffe) is a dessert drink that combines hot espresso and sweet vanilla or plain milk-flavored gelato or ice cream. It means drowned in coffee in Italian.
How to Make an Espresso Affogato
The biggest challenge when making an espresso affogato has nothing to do with the preparation itself but the quality of the ice cream used since it will make or break the resulting dessert.
Your ice cream needs to behave in a specific way when it comes in contact with the hot espresso, but more on that later.
- Espresso machine
- Espresso coffee beans
- Coffee grinder
- A medium-sized 3-oz cup
- An ice cream scooping spoon
- Vanilla or milk ice cream or gelato
- Prepare the espresso machine and let it heat up.
- Take a scoop of ice cream and place it into a 3-oz. cup.
- Finely grind your espresso beans.
- Fill the portafilter up to the marker with coffee grounds.
- Tamp the coffee grounds accordingly.
- Lock the portafilter in place.
- Press the button to start brewing your espresso.
- Place the cup with the ice cream scoop under the espresso machine’s nozzle.
- Let your shot of espresso drip on top of the ice cream scoop.
Alternatively, you can brew the espresso in a separate cup and pour it on top of the ice cream afterward – it’s completely up to you.
As you can see, making an espresso affogato is quite simple when you have all of the right kitchen tools at hand.
Some key points to keep in mind are that you should always use high-quality ingredients and the ice cream should be able to hold its shape when mixed with the espresso.
How to Make an Espresso Affogato without an Espresso Machine
One of the drawbacks of an espresso affogato is that you need a shot of espresso to make it work, which can be pretty hard without an espresso machine. But you can still make coffee similar to espresso in several ways:
- French Press
- Moka pot
After brewing your coffee, slowly pour it into a cup on top of a scoop of ice cream or gelato, and you’re done.
Tips for Improving Your Affogato
As mentioned earlier, the backbone of your affogato won’t be the espresso but the ice cream or gelato. It can determine whether your affogato will be a creamy delight or a slushy mess.
- Ice cream or gelato – ice cream is made using a lot more fat (10-25%) than gelato (4-9%). And it’s also aerated before being frozen, giving it a creamier texture. On the other hand, gelatos feel silkier and contain more sugar.
- Milk and water ratio – most ice cream and gelatos contain water and milk. But you’ll want to stick to the milkier one to obtain an excellent affogato, so pay close attention to the ingredients on the label.
- Try to avoid Robusta – the only real tip we can give you related to the espresso is making it without using Robusta beans. While Robusta espresso may pack more caffeine, the extra crema they generate will give your affogato an unpleasant appearance.
- More espressos – all that gelato or ice cream will dilute the taste of coffee. So if you want a dessert that still packs a punch, always pour two or more shots of espresso instead of one.
Espresso Affogato Variations
Depending on where you get an affogato, you will find it listed in the beverage or dessert section on the coffee shop’s menu.
If you’re in Italy, don’t be surprised if the affogato you ordered comes in a very tall glass that gets narrower at the bottom instead of a small espresso cup.
It’s shaped so that, as the ice cream melts, it seeps to the bottom of the glass and mixes with the espresso dripping through, leaving only the espresso-stained scoop of ice cream or gelato at the top.
Other variations of the affogato include adding fruits to the drink, such as coconut and berries. Some coffee shops may even add pieces of honeycomb.
Besides, you’re not limited to using just vanilla gelato or ice cream since you can replace them with any flavor you like, such as chocolate.
Those who want an affogato with a stronger kick may add a bit of fine liquor to the mix, like a shot of amaretto or Baileys Irish Cream.
Discover more helpful information about espresso affogato:
How do you drink espresso affogato?
Since there’s not much hot coffee in a single shot of espresso to make an entire scoop of ice cream melt, you’ll need to eat the solid part with an ice cream spoon and then drink the rest that melted.
Why is it called affogato?
An espresso affogato is called that way because you’re drowning your scoop of ice cream or gelato in a shot of espresso. This causes it to slowly melt away and drown even further down.
How much does an affogato cost?
Different coffee shops have different price tags for their products, depending on where you go.
For example, Starbucks started selling affogatos at one point, and their prices range between $6 and $8.5, depending on what other things you want to add to it.
Can I add a shot of espresso to a frappuccino?
Adding a shot of espresso on top of a frappuccino is not uncommon, especially since the consistency and texture of frappuccinos are very similar to that of ice creams. The resulting drink is usually called an affogato frappuccino.
How much caffeine does an affogato shot have?
The average espresso shot has around 65 mg of caffeine per serving. Since an affogato is made using a single shot of espresso, a serving of affogato will also have 65 mg of caffeine per serving.
Of course, you can change this by adding two or more espresso shots instead of just one.
That’s about it when it comes to espresso affogato. This delicious coffee drink dessert is the perfect way to enjoy both gelato and espresso simultaneously, and it’s pretty easy to make: all you need is a scoop of ice cream or gelato and espresso.
Do you like espresso affogatos? What’s your favorite way to have one? Let us know in the comments below!
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