Affogato is it a drink or a desert?

Affogato: Dessert, Drink or Both?

If there are two things in the culinary field that you could say many people would not be able to live without, you could definitely say coffee and ice cream. After all, what’s better than waking up to a piping hot cup of coffee in the morning to shock you out of your groggy state?

Or what’s better than a nice bowl of ice cream on a hot day to cool you off? Due to their nearly universal acclaim, people have always tried to find a great middle ground between them, such as coffee-flavored ice cream, but affogato takes this a step further.

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What is Affogato?

You may be wondering what exactly affogato is. In concept, it is really quite simple. An affogato dessert is an Italian cross between a dessert and a coffee, a coffee dessert, if you will.

Affogato Desert/Drink

It is made, in the most traditional way, by putting a scoop of vanilla gelato in a coffee cup, and then pouring a shot of hot espresso over it, more specifically this is known as an espresso affogato. This results in a mix between these two delicious substances which is quite frankly one of the best, most delicious ways you can enjoy coffee and ice cream.

Affogato Definition

The definition of the word affogato in Italian means “drowned”. This refers to the way that the ice cream is quite literally drowned in a shot of coffee. This is where the term shot ice cream comes from, which you may hear affogato being referred to as in areas outside of Italy. As the coffee melts away at the ice cream, it “drowns” progressively more as they mix and form a delicious, sweet form of coffee.

Ice Cream Drowning in Coffee

Affogato Origin

Affogato is thought to have originated from the Italian city of Florence. A city known for its wonderful history, and its many tourist attractions, such as Brunelleschi’s famous dome, Il Duomo, Michelangelo's masterpiece, David, and the Uffizi Gallery, which is world renowned for the beautiful works of art which it contains, such as Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”.

The affogato was created as a way of enjoying a hot coffee during the stifling summer heat in Venice, rendering it more refreshing with a scoop of gelato.


Unlike coffee-flavored ice cream, affogato style shots maintain the distinct taste of both the coffee and the shot ice cream. The beauty of the affogato is the way the taste of the dessert transforms while you are eating it.

Coffee pour on icecream

As the ice cream melts more and more, it progressively sweetens the coffee which is surrounding it, leading to a transforming taste and texture throughout your meal. This is superior to other ice cream and coffee recipes, which usually just diminish the coffee to a light flavoring on the ice cream or have the coffee served separately.

Coffee Used

In this Italian twist on coffee with ice cream, the most common form of coffee that one would use when making an affogato would be espresso. A shot of espresso is the more traditional option due to how it contrasts with the flavor of the ice cream. While the vanilla gelato is sweet, the espresso which is poured over it counters it with a poignant tang.


This results in a delicious mix of flavors and an ever-shifting range on your palate. However, there are other ways to make affogato besides the traditional espresso-style, you can also make it with a frappe, cappuccino, and many other types of coffee.

Options For Coffee

50 Jones Brothers Nespresso Compatible Coffee Capsules

These Jones Brothers Nespresso capsules are an excellent investment if you are looking into an option for your Nespresso machine that doesn’t cost quite as much as most of the competition. These capsules are much more affordable and accessible than other options, but they do sacrifice a little bit in terms of taste and potency.

50 Jones Brothers Nespresso Compatible Coffee Capsules

The brew is about as effective as you can reasonably expect from espresso, but it will not shock you or be necessarily impressive if you are an avid coffee drinker. The taste is not bad, but it does not feature any unique qualities, it simply seems as if it is basic espresso with no characteristic touches in terms of taste or effect.

While veteran coffee drinkers may find this product wanting, if you are looking for an affordable option in terms of coffee capsules, look no further, because these 50 capsules can keep you supplied for a while.

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Nespresso OriginalLine: Ristretto, 50 Count

While this package of 50 Nespresso OriginalLine Ristretto capsules may be a little more pricey than the competition, you can rest assured that you are getting top quality Nespresso-brand capsules for your machine, and the coffee is just as good.

The best part about Nespresso’s Ristretto capsules is that, unlike some of their other offering in the espresso field, the ristretto has the same kick and power to wake you up with none of the bitterness that some of the other stronger blends have. If you find yourself preferring a more mild taste to your espresso, then this is the ideal option for you.

Nespresso OriginalLine: Ristretto, 50 Count

Do not mistake the lack of bitterness in these capsules for lack of richness or depth though, the flavor is multi-layered and the blend used is evidently of high quality. If you don’t mind paying a bit more than other brands and you don’t want your espresso to have a bitter touch to the flavor, you can’t find any better than Nespresso’s OriginalLine Ristretto capsules.

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We certainly hope that this article has enlightened you in regards to the Italian delicacy which is affogato, if you are an admirer of ice cream, coffee, or both, then you will feel right at home making your affogato. It is a simple recipe and not very costly either, and it can really make those long summer days refreshing.