How to Make Affogato and Ways To Order An Affogato At Starbucks

5 min read APR 05, 2023

Affogato is an Italian coffee dessert that will delight any sweet tooth and is a perfect after-dinner indulgence. It consists of just two ingredients – hot espresso and a scoop of gelato or ice cream – making it easy to prepare at home. In general, the espresso is poured over the frozen treat, providing a contrast in temperature that makes for a truly unique experience.

Affogatos have a long history and are becoming even more popular at cafes and restaurants. The name "affogato al caffe" translates from Italian as "drowned," referring to the fact that the gelato is “drowned” in espresso.

To make the perfect affogato, strong espresso is essential, though this can be achieved with either an espresso machine or Nespresso. If you don't have those tools at your disposal, you can also use strongly brewed coffee instead. Once prepared, affogato should be enjoyed quickly while the gelato melts in the hot espresso – perfect for sipping or eating with a spoon.

Starbucks is one coffee chain which has been popularizing this after-dinner treat more and more. And, while it is easy to order at a Starbucks, we’re going to teach you how to make this coffee drink at home where you can use your own favorite coffee (like Lifeboost’s Espresso) and enjoy it whenever you’d like.

Affogato At Starbucks

The affogato from Starbucks is a unique treat that combines two beloved caffeinated beverages - espresso and any Frappuccino. This delicious combination is achieved by ordering an affogato-style shot, which entails having espresso poured on top of the desired Frappuccino drink instead of blending in. The espresso shot is usually added after the Frappuccino has been made and can be enjoyed on any Starbucks Frappuccino beverage such as Vanilla Bean, Caramel, or Mocha.

The espresso shot often goes above or under the whipped cream topping of the Frappuccino. To ensure your drink is prepared to your preference, make sure to let the barista know when you place your order. Enjoying an affogato at Starbucks is a great way to add a delightful flavor twist and extra caffeine kick to all your favorite Frappuccinos.

Ingredient Required

When it comes to making an affogato, espresso is a key component. Espresso can be made using either an espresso machine or a Nespresso machine, and any type of roast can be used.

The traditional version of the affogato tends to have for di latte (which translates to "flower of milk" and has a lightly sweetened milk flavor) or vanilla gelato. However, vanilla ice cream is a suitable substitute if you don't have access to a fior di latte. Gelato is typically preferred since it has a richer flavor than regular ice cream while still offering the same sweetness. When served as a dessert, the espresso helps to contrast the sweetness of the ice cream and create an even more enjoyable experience for guests.

Step-by-step Instructions

  • To make an affogato, scoop a single-serve scoop of gelato or ice cream into a small cup or mug.
  • Then, top off freshly pulled espresso shots from a Nespresso machine. For added decadence, shave some chocolate on top of the ice cream.
  • Finally, enjoy the affogato by spooning the melted gelato and espresso for an indulgent treat.

When making an affogato at home, use the right size cup or mug to ensure enough room for the espresso to mix with the ice cream.

You can also play around with different gelato or ice cream types like fior di latte or any other flavors you love.

If you don't have access to freshly pulled espresso shots, you can substitute with double-strength hot coffee or instant coffee.


Nutritionally speaking, one serving of traditional affogato contains 139 calories with 16g carbohydrates and 7g fat (5g saturated fat), as well as 29mg cholesterol and 57mg sodium per serving. It also provides 166mg of potassium, 1g of fiber, 14g of sugar, 278 IU of vitamin A, 1mg of vitamin C, and 85mg of calcium per portion.

Serving Suggestions

It's typically served in a small glass cup or mug, as the espresso needs to be able to mix with the ice cream.

To make this dessert special and decadent, you can shave some chocolate on top of the ice cream before adding it to the glass. Then fill the cup or mug up two-thirds full with espresso and place a scoop of gelato overtop. As you eat, spoon both ingredients together, allowing them to mingle and melt together in your mouth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is an affogato meant to be a drink or a dessert?

It's a combination of both, but I'd lean more towards calling it a dessert because it serves as the finale of a meal and is ideal for consumption with a spoon.

What distinguishes gelato from ice cream?

The Italian term for ice cream, gelato is crafted with less cream and whipped slower than traditional American-style ice creams. This results in an indulgent treat containing fewer air bubbles and an unmatched creamy texture.

Is it possible to Consume affogato by drinking instead of using a spoon?

It can be consumed by drinking it from a cup or mug or using a spoon to eat the gelato and espresso together. Drinking it from the cup or mug is an easier method to experience the different flavors in each sip, but eating it with a spoon allows for more control since you can get both gelato and espresso in each bite.

Can I make an affogato using an espresso machine?

Yes, you can. An affogato can be made using either an espresso machine or a Nespresso machine, and any type of roast can be used in either case. Just use freshly pulled shots from the espresso machine to pour over the single-serve gelato or ice cream scoop. Enjoy your delicious creation.

What is the ideal ratio of gelato to espresso for an affogato?

It really depends on personal preference, but a general rule of thumb is one scoop of gelato or ice cream to 2 shots of espresso. Adjust the number of scoops and shots according to your taste preferences. Enjoy experimenting with different ratios to find your favorite.

Can I make variations of affogato?

Yes absolutely. You can add different flavors, such as chocolate sauce, caramel, or whipped cream, to customize it according to your taste. You can also top it off with some crunchy nuts or chocolate shavings for added texture. It's all up to you – have fun creating new versions and combinations.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Espresso.


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