Affogato Shot: Classic vs Starbucks (+ Recipe)

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by brewthatcoffee

You might be wondering how authentic the affogato shot served at Starbucks is. The answer is that it’s not very authentic. This article will explain both the classic and Starbucks affogato shots. You will also learn to order and make your own affogato shots at home.

Affogato shots are a delightful way to end a meal and get a delicious sweet kick of caffeine,  making it the perfect treat for coffee lovers. While they can be bought at some cafes and restaurants, making an affogato is also easy and inexpensive enough to make one at home.

This article will discuss both the traditional affogato shot and the Starbucks affogato shot, including what is in them, the difference between the two, and a recipe for making an affogato at home.

The Affogato Shot Explained (Classic Version)

In Italy, the affogato is typically referred to as “affogato al caffe.” This translates into English as “drowned in coffee.”

An affogato shot made in the traditional style uses ingredients like semisoft cheese-flavored or vanilla gelato. The gelato is “drowned” in a shot of hot espresso.

For those looking to get a boozy buzz instead of a caffeine kick, a shot of Bicerin, Kahlua, amaretto, or other liqueurs is used.

Sometimes, affogato is dressed up with fresh berries, honeycomb, multiple ice cream flavors, and/or coconut. Yum!

When is it appropriate to order an affogato?

Since these shots tend to be sweet, Italians often choose to enjoy them as desserts. However, many other countries worldwide like to have their affogato as a casual beverage.

If you are planning to make an affogato shot at home, by all means, enjoy it whenever you like. It’s your home after all. And if you have any guests, they’ll be pretty impressed and gladly enjoy some with you.

How to Make an Affogato

Affogato Shot: Classic vs Starbucks (+ Recipe)

Making an affogato is very easy and should take you less than 10 minutes.

Affogato Shot

Affogato Shot

This affogato shot is sure to please! An espresso shot topped with a scoop of gelato creates an indulgent and sweet treat.


  • 2 Scoops Ice Cream
  • 1 Shot Espresso (or 3 tablespoons of Moka Pot Coffee)


    1. Brew one shot of espresso or 3 tablespoons of Moka Pot coffee.
    2. Add 2 scoops of ice cream into a mug.
    3. Pour the shot of espresso over the ice cream.
    4. Garnish as you please.


  • Espresso Maker
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Mug


Optional Garnishes:

  • Fresh Berries
  • Shaved Chocolate
  • Coconut
  • Honeycomb


Spike Your Affogato:

  • Kahlua
  • Amaretto
  • Bicerin
  • Coffee Liqueurs

The Starbucks Version of an Affogato Shot

Although the Starbucks Affogato shot is different from the traditional one, it was inspired by the original.

The two main differences between the Starbucks version and the regular is that Starbucks doesn’t use ice cream. Instead, a shot of espresso is poured over a Frappuccino drink.

So rather than having the actual affogato recipe, Starbucks takes on the style. They call it “affogato-style.” You can think of it as a stronger frappuccino.

How to Order an Affogato-Style Shot From Starbucks

If you would like to try it out, simply order your favorite frappuccino at Starbucks and ask for it affogato-style.

If you like other drinks like lattes, you can also order it an affogato-style. However, Starbucks originally created the affogato style with the frappuccino in mind.

Caffeine: When ordering a frappuccino in “affogato-style”, you add an additional espresso shot. To calculate the total caffeine content, simply add 75 mg to the base caffeine amount in the frappuccino you’re ordering.

How to Pronounce Affogato

If you are unfamiliar with the word affogato, you’re probably unsure how to pronounce it. No worries! We’ve all been there.

To pronounce affogato: ah-foe-ga-toe.

Here is a video to further help you out.

Affogato vs Espresso

Affogato is an Italian dessert that contains a single shot of espresso and gelato. Espresso is simply a shot of espresso by itself.

FAQ About Affogato Shots

Affogato Shot: Classic vs Starbucks (+ Recipe)

You can get an affogato at some Italian restaurants and cafes. If you want an affogato-style drink, you can get one from Starbucks.

There is one shot of espresso in an affogato.

Affogato-style means a shot of espresso is poured over a drink. In Starbucks’ case, a shot is poured over a frappuccino.

Affogato shots are pulled just like a traditional espresso shot.

Yes! Simply order your affogato with decaf espresso or use decaf espresso beans when preparing yours at home.

In Italy, it is traditionally seen as a dessert. However, you can drink your affogato, so it’s also technically a drink if you make it one.

You can choose to drink it, or you can use a spoon.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, an affogato is an Italian dessert with a shot of espresso and gelato. The exact origin of the affogato is unknown, though some claim it was created in 1952 at Cafe Aragosta in Italy.

You can find it at Italian restaurants and cafes when dining for an affogato. If you want an affogato-style drink, you can order one at Starbucks by asking for it “affogato-style.” And if you’d like to make your own affogato shot recipe at home, you only need some ice cream and a shot of espresso!

So there you have it, the basics of an affogato shot. If you have a favorite way to order or prepare your affogato shot, please leave a comment. As always, thanks for reading!


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