Welcome to another guest post by The Husband.  This topic is dear to my heart, so I hope you enjoy it!

How I Found Bliss

My story begins on the caffeinated streets of downtown Portland.  It was a bright spring morning and I was walking past the food carts along Alder street.  There, on the corner of 9th, I came upon a small white cart called Spella Caffé.  I had heard good reviews of this place, so I decided to stop and give it a try.  A friendly Italian man warmly greeted me as I approached the window.  His name was Andrea Spella and I found it impossible not to like him.  On top of that, he was serving his own softer Italian style roasts and pulling his shots by hand-lever!

An Italian word on the menu caught my eye: affogato.  Andrea explained that it means “drowned” in Italian, short for affogato al cafe (“drowned in coffee”).  The basic recipe is to pour straight espresso over a scoop or two of gelato.

Needless to say, I ordered an affogato — that day and nearly every other day I was able to stop at Spella Caffé.  The sweet creaminess of the gelato blends so perfectly with the crisp flavors of the espresso… mmmm…


The Moment of Bliss, Spella Caffé

Affogato from Spella

Bliss in a cup

Where To Find It Yourself

Some of you know what I’m talking about.  It’s good stuff.  As for the rest of you… well, you’re in for a treat.

Although gelato makes such a nice complement to espresso, most coffee shops don’t have the space or interest to store a freezer bin with gelato at their locations.  Or maybe I’m one of the only sweet-toothed people who keep ordering affogato’s.  This means that you’ll probably be stuck with second-rate espresso.  Honestly though, you’re probably not going to be able to tell the difference behind all that gelato!  Here’s a few places to try it.

Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle gets to be in a category of its own.  I haven’t tried their affogatos yet, but I’m already a huge fan of Blue Bottle.  But you can only find affogato’s at select locations: Mint Plaza, Ferry Building, and SFMOMA.  I also expect that it’s a seasonal offering.  Price: $5.50.

High-End Grocery Stores

You can go to the cafe’s at Berkeley Bowl or Whole Foods and find both gelato and espresso.  There’s also usually a good selection of gelatos to choose from.  Today at Whole Foods I paid $4.50 and had enough for two servings!  (Note: some assembly required.)

Concocting Your Own

Concocting Your Own

Gelato Shops

Well, they definitely have gelato.  Not all of them have espresso machines though, let alone a someone who knows how to work them.  Still, it might be worth a try. Lush Gelato has one on the menu for under $5.

Italian Caffe’s

Italian places like Caffe Trieste will probably have it on the menu, though I’m not sure why Caffe Trieste spells it “afogato”.  Adesso also has it on their menu, but it’s intended in this case as a dessert (price: $8).

Affogato from Italian Caffe

Restaurant Style

Home Style

If you really want to impress people, you can serve up your own affogatos at your next BBQ or dinner party.  (With a little extra room for some liqueur, if you so prefer.)  Here’s a fun guide on the Proud Italian Cook blog.

Honorable Mentions

Cafe Tribu’s serves what they call a cafe glace, which uses ice cream instead of gelato.


If you’re looking for a sweet treat this summer, please do yourself a favor and try an affogato.  You won’t regret it!