Everything You Need to Know About Affogato Coffee, a Florence Must-Try!

The affogato, a popular Italian dessert in Florence, combines espresso and gelato. Originating from Italy's love for coffee-infused desserts, it's enjoyed post-meal for its delightful mix of hot espresso and cold gelato. Starbucks offers its version, while traditionally, it differs from espresso, which is just a strong coffee shot.

By Cookist

In the heart of Florence, where the air buzzes with the legacy of the Renaissance and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, there's a delightful dessert beverage that captivates both locals and tourists alike: the affogato. Pronounced "ah-foh-GAH-toh" in English, this Italian treat is a simple yet sublime combination of espresso and gelato, offering a refreshing respite from the bustling city life.

What is an Affogato and How Was it Born?

The affogato is a classic Italian dessert that beautifully marries two of Italy's culinary treasures: espresso and gelato. Typically, a standard affogato consists of a scoop of velvety vanilla gelato or ice cream, drowned in a hot shot of espresso. The result is a creamy, caffeinated delight that straddles the line between a drink and a dessert.

While the exact origins of the affogato are somewhat murky, it is widely believed to have been born out of the Italian tradition of adding coffee to desserts. Over time, this practice evolved, and the affogato emerged as a beloved fixture in Italian cafés and restaurants. Its simplicity and the widespread affection for coffee and gelato in Italy helped propel the affogato to popularity not just in Italy, but around the world.


How do You Eat Affogato? Do you Drink it?

Eating an affogato is an experience in itself. As the hot espresso meets the cold gelato, it creates a delightful contrast of temperatures and textures. The ideal way to enjoy an affogato is to eat it with a spoon, savoring the melting gelato mixed with the warm, aromatic espresso. Some prefer to let the gelato melt completely into the espresso and drink it as a creamy coffee beverage, offering another layer of enjoyment.

In Italy, the affogato is typically enjoyed as a post-meal treat, rather than as a part of the main dessert course. Italians often appreciate the affogato for its energizing properties, thanks to the espresso. It's commonly enjoyed in the afternoon or after dinner, providing a perfect balance of sweetness from the gelato and the robust flavors of the espresso.

Does Starbucks Have an Affogato?

Recognizing the global appeal of the affogato, Starbucks has occasionally included it in their menu offerings. The Starbucks version of the affogato involves shots of espresso poured over their in-house ice cream or a similar frozen treat, depending on the availability and regional menu variations. This adaptation brings a taste of Italian tradition to the mainstream coffee audience worldwide.


Affogato Vs. Espresso: What are The Differences?

While both affogato and espresso are staples in Italian coffee culture, they serve very different purposes. Espresso is a strong, concentrated coffee served in small amounts, known for its bold flavor and high caffeine content. It is typically enjoyed as a quick drink to boost energy. On the other hand, an affogato combines the intense flavors of espresso with the creamy sweetness of gelato, making it a dessert rather than a simple beverage. The main difference lies in their consumption: espresso is a drink, while affogato is a dessert to be savored slowly.

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