Affogato-0129 The coffee I am drinking right now tastes like hot burnt water (if one could burn the water).

It’s a standard week day afternoon, I’m writing about silicon nanoclusters (what a lethargic activity, yaaaawn..) while thinking it wouldn’t be that bad to hole up for a couple of months and wake up with a summer breeze over my skin. And a refreshing coffee shake next to me. And its aroma.

As you can imagine, coffee is not only a solution to my sleepy moments. I arm myself with a mediocre source of caffeine probably every-time I am thirsty. Mediocre coffee – or less than mediocre because as great my coffee addiction may be, I hardly drink a good one. Honestly, I quit good coffee since I moved to London.

affogato-coffee-0135Am I showing parochial attitudes toward my origins? Maybe. I admit I  flag wave about a couple of things about my country, one is the pizza, the other one is coffee. But I also complain about ONLY a couple of things from MiddletonLand England, one being the London underground, the other one coffee. There’s no such thing as a good coffee* for an Italian in London. A few exceptions hither and thither don’t help – it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

*black and bold nectar that comes out of made in Italy espresso machines.

coffeeaffogatoLots of people I met abroad shared with me the impression that we Italian expats are too picky when it comes to trying different dishes and things that are not made and conceived in Italy. These people are right and their opinion is grounded in facts. However, there are few exceptions and I believe I am one of those. I am now so accustomed to this-coffee* that I stopped buying the Italian brands I’ve been hooked on since I was born (!) and I do not use my moka machine almost anymore. I am fine with pouring hot water on a coffee powder. Any coffee powder. Now you can judge me. 

*hot burnt water.

Affogato-0152In case you don’t know (but sounds like you might know already because, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, this word entered the English language by 1992), affogato means “drowned” in Italian. It is a coffee-based beverage, a scoop of vanilla gelato topped with a shot of  espresso. Now Ice cream alone is already something amazing, can you imagine how great can be drowning it into coffee? A great experience any coffee lover should go for, once in while. It’s easy, elegant and quick (can be prepared at the last minute without much work). 

Perfect even for picky Italians abroad: they don’t need an Italian espresso for a great affogato. Any type of coffee will do the magic. 

Affogato-caffe-0131My very “meh” cup of coffee is finished and now I go back to my work on silicon nanoclusters (which I would love to drown in coffee too).  May you all have a great weekend!

Affogato al Caffe


  • 200 ml strong espresso coffee
  • 4 scoops good-quality vanilla ice cream


  • Make the espresso coffee, enough for 4 little after-dinner coffee cups.
  • Put the ice cream into 4 dessert glasses or cups.
  • Drown each glass with coffee and serve while warm and melting.
  • To make it even more indulgent add a few pieces of plain chocolate in the hot coffee before pouring over the ice cream. Serve immediately!


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  1. Silicon nanocluster? Oh Daniela who am I to blame you that you need coffee to stay awake 🙂
    Now seriously speaking coffee with ice cream sounds heavenly to me!

  2. Silicon nanocluster? Oh Danela who am I to blame you that you need coffee to stay awake 🙂
    Now seriously speaking coffee with ice cream sounds heavenly to me!

  3. I love coffee shakes or mocha-based frap. It’s one of my favorite vegan Starbuck drinks. How long have you been living in London – was it different than the other UK cities? I’m heading to the UK at the end of the year for awhile and perhaps we can get together? Coffee + ice cream, genius, I want to try that with coconut ice cream here.