“Like all magnificent things, it's very simple.”
―Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
An affogato is nothing more than a shot of espresso over ice cream, yet the delight that comes from the two intermingling ingredients is anything but straightforward. No bite is the same, no moment static.
In Italy, the affogato's country of origin, this treat, whose decadence falls between a latte and coffee ice cream, is enjoyed any time of day. Sicilians are even known to start a sultry summer morning with gelato, or coffee granita, and an espresso on the side.
In the United States, we tend to relegate ice cream to dessert. But with our measured approach—just a couple scoops of a local creamery’s best—we’re willing to reconsider.
Discovering that affogato literally means “drowned,” you might be a little unsettled—until you remember that the twisted pasta shape, strozzapreti, translates to "priest stranglers," or that the expression for meringue, brutti ma buoni, means "ugly but good." Its name may be a touch macabre, but the affogato itself is ingeniously simple and incontestably delicious.
Visit our cafes in each region to sample different ice creams drowned in Hayes Valley Espresso (or our decaf blend, Night Light). Every region features the ice cream of a local creamery, and everywhere serves vanilla, except, that is, for the Bay Area, where Humphry Slobombe's Brown Butter reigns supreme.
If a simple affogato isn't enough to sate your appetite, we recommend you try our own spin-off, a secret item not listed on the menu, but fulfilled upon request: the Wafelgato.
Find a Blue Bottle cafe near you.