Affogato Coffee | (A Delicious Cafe Dessert!)

Indulgent and decadent, Affogato coffee is the perfect combination of two Italian favorites: espresso and gelato.

Affogato coffee has become increasingly popular in coffee shops and restaurants around the World and for a good reason.

Affogato Coffee

In this article, I will dive deep into the history, ingredients, recipe, and variations of affogato coffee, along with some tips on how to serve it. So let’s get started!

What is an Affogato?

The word “affogato,” means “to drown” in Italian, it refers to a classic Italian dessert made by “drowning” ice cream in a hot espresso shot. It is a perfect blend of hot and cold, bitter and sweet flavors that create a unique taste experience.

The simplicity of Affogato coffee is what makes it so appealing. With just two ingredients, you can create a delicious dessert that looks and tastes like a work of art.

Affogato’s origin dates back to Italy in the early 20th century. It was a simple dessert made by pouring coffee over a scoop of vanilla gelato.

It is believed to have originated in Milan, Italy, and was originally served as a refreshing dessert after the meal.

The word “affogato” refers to the process of drowning the ice cream in hot espresso. Affogato coffee has since become a popular dessert worldwide, with variations of the recipe being served in cafes and restaurants across the globe.

preparing affogato

Read a guide on 30 types of Espresso drinks

How to Make Affogato Coffee


There are only two simple main ingredients of Italian Affogato Coffee: espresso and ice cream.

1. Ice Cream

Traditionally, vanilla gelato is used in Affogato, but you can use any ice cream flavor of your choice.

It is recommended to use high-quality dairy ice cream to achieve the best flavor.

2. Espresso

The espresso used in an affogato should be strong and full-bodied, as it is the star of the show. You can use any espresso roast, but it is best to use a dark roast to balance the sweetness of the ice cream.

3. Optional Ingredients

Some people like to add additional ingredients to their affogato to give it a unique twist. These may include alcohols such as amaretto, Frangelico, or Kahlua, which can be added to the espresso before pouring it over the ice cream.

Other toppings like whipped cream, nuts, or chocolate shavings can also be added to give the affogato extra flavor and texture.


Here are simple step-by-step instructions to make Affogato Coffee at home

1- Scoop 2 rounded scoops of rich vanilla gelato or ice cream into a small glass or bowl.

Glass serving ware is preferred for presentation.

2- Prepare one or two shots of espresso in your Espresso machine using dark-roasted coffee beans.

3- Slowly pour the hot espresso over the top of the ice cream so it gradually melts around the espresso.

4- Serve immediately with a spoon while the espresso is hot and the gelato is starting to melt, creating a delightful blend of hot and cold.

5- You can sprinkle chopped nuts or cocoa powder for added presentation.

Affogato Recipe

How to Serve an Affogato?

Typically, an affogato coffee is served in a clear glass or bowl immediately after it is made to keep the ice cream from melting.

In some cafes, affogato coffee is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato and a separate shot of espresso allowing customers to pour the espresso over the ice cream themselves.

Topping Ideas for Affogato Coffee

When it comes to serving affogato coffee, you can get creative and add your personal touch.

One popular way to serve it is by adding some toppings, such as whipped cream, cocoa powder, or nuts, to enhance the flavor and presentation.

You can also serve it with a biscotti or a small cookie on the side to complement the coffee and ice cream.

Affogato coffee toppings

What Does Affogato Coffee Taste Like?

Affogato coffee has a unique taste that combines the bitterness of espresso and the sweetness of ice cream. The hot espresso melts the ice cream, creating a creamy and decadent dessert that is rich and satisfying.

In my personal experience, the first spoonful of Affogato coffee is an explosion of flavors in my mouth. The strong flavors of the espresso are perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the ice cream, creating a harmonious taste that leaves me craving more.

It’s not just the taste, but also the texture of affogato coffee that makes it so enjoyable. The contrast between the hot espresso and the cold ice cream creates a perfect blend of smooth and creamy textures that feel like a treat for your taste buds.

The Variations of Affogato Coffee

While vanilla gelato is the best ice cream flavor used in affogato, you can use any ice cream flavor you like. Here are some variations of affogato coffee:

  • Chocolate Affogato: Use chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla for a chocolatey twist.
  • Affogato al Caffe Shakerato: This is a cold variation of affogato, where cold espresso is shaken with ice cubes and poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.
  • Affogato with Flavored Ice Cream: Instead of vanilla, you can use other flavors of ice cream or gelato to create a unique and personalized affogato. Some popular flavors include chocolate, hazelnut, caramel, or fruit flavors like strawberry or raspberry.
  • Affogato Corretto: Corretto means corrected in Italian and that essentially means Affogato Dessert is corrected with a small amount of Liquor. Add a shot of Amaretto, Grappa, Brandy, or your favorite Liquor to the espresso before pouring it over the ice cream.

Also Read about Espresso Corretto

These are just a few variations of affogato, but the possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and combinations to create your perfect affogato.

Final Thoughts

Affogato coffee is a delicious dessert that is simple to make and perfect for coffee lovers. Its unique combination of hot and cold flavors creates a decadent taste experience that is sure to impress.

Whether you prefer the traditional vanilla flavor or want to experiment with different ice cream flavors, affogato coffee is a dessert that you won’t regret trying.

Hit me up in the comments if you have any pro affogato tips or twists to share.

You’ll love to read about similar Espresso based drinks:


Should you drink or eat Affogato?

You have to do a bit of both, first, you eat the gelato with a spoon, and after that, you drink the remaining espresso left in the bowl or glass.

Can you make Affogato without an Espresso machine?

Yes, you can make an affogato without an espresso machine.
You can use a stovetop espresso maker or a French press to make the espresso like a strong shot of coffee.

can you make affogato with instant coffee?

You can make affogato with instant coffee, but it will not have quite the same flavor quality as using freshly brewed espresso. Instant coffee tends to have a flatter, less nuanced taste compared to espresso.
Here’s how you can make almost espresso with instant coffee

Does Starbucks serve affogato?

Yes, Starbucks does serve affogato but that is a little different from traditional Italian Affogato.
Starbucks features three Frappuccino blended beverages made in an Affogato style: Vanilla Bean, Caramel, and Mocha. For these Affogato-style options, a barista pours a freshly made shot of Espresso over a finished Frappuccino. The hot espresso mingles with the icy cold Frappuccino drink to create an affogato effect.

Affogato Coffee Recipe

Making affogato coffee is a simple process that involves just a few steps
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • 1 Espresso shot
  • 1 or 2 Scoops Vanilla Gelato


  • To begin, place a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream in a serving bowl.
    You can use other ice cream flavors too, but it's best to choose one that is rich and complements the flavors of coffee like Chocolate, hazelnut, or caramel.
  • Next, pull a shot of espresso in an Espresso machine using dark-roasted coffee beans
  • Once you have your shot of espresso, pour it over the vanilla ice cream in the serving bowl or glass. The hot espresso will begin to melt the ice cream, creating a delicious blend of flavors and textures. Be sure to serve the affogato immediately while the ice cream is still cold and the espresso is hot.
    You can cool the coffee first if you don't want ice cream to melt quickly

Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.