Affogato is an Italian type of coffee. An affogato in its purest sense is just two ingredients – ice cream and coffee. Affogato is prepared by pouring a shot of freshly brewed hot espresso over a scoop of vanilla gelato (ice cream). Some common variations of this recipe are to add flavored liqueurs as well such as amaretto or bicerin. Affogato can also be prepared using filter coffee instead of espresso.
The word affogato means “drowned” in Italian. The name refers to the ice cream being drowned by the coffee.
The combination of cold and hot temperatures in this drink preparation yields an interesting texture of delicious, semi melted ice cream.
Affogato also has contrast in the taste profile as it contains very sweet notes from the ice cream combined with the strong, bold tastes of the espresso.
A cup of Affogato is typically consumed as a desert or sweet snack in Italy. Outside of Italy, some restaurants and corporations refer to Affogato as a beverage rather than a dessert.
Italian Affogato is likely the inspiration behind sweet iced coffees that are sold by Italian style U.S coffee chains such as Starbucks and Gloria Jeans. These iced coffees are generally made with ice cream or cream and are very decadent. The most famous example is probably the Frappuccino from Starbucks.