Affogato vs Ristretto

Have you ever wondered what distinguishes an affogato from a ristretto? If you answered yes, I’m certain there is a big chance you might not have tried either. As someone naturally curious and keen to learn, I have a similar interest in coffee drinks, which is why I decided to write this article.

Affogato vs Ristretto

Affogato is a combination of ice cream and espresso, while ristretto is a stronger tasting espresso.

And while affogato is primarily a dessert and ristretto is a drink, both beverages are worth sampling at least once in one’s life. If you can’t find an affogato in your area, the simplest way to enjoy the dessert is to make it yourself.

You can even pull a shot of ristretto over ice-cream, top it with sauce, and you’d have made yourself a full-bodied, flavorful version of Affogato.

ColourDark brownBrown
TasteBitter and intenseBittersweet
Hot water  
Gelato, or Ice cream
Prep time5 minutes5 minutes
Caffeine contentModerateModerate
How to serveHotCold or Hot
Affogato vs ristretto Key Differences

Affogato Explained

“Drowned” is the best English translation of the Italian word for “affogato”. And although it originated in Italy, the Affogato has now made its way worldwide.

That said, only a few people know precisely where the Affogato came from, despite its well-known name. In the eyes of some, it’s a dessert; in the eyes of others, it’s just another beverage or drink.

The affogato is served hot or cold in some coffee shops, but you might stumble upon it on the dessert menu at restaurants.

But then again, who cares? Ice cream and Espresso is literally the perfect combination.

Is Affogato High in Caffeine?

Adding Espresso or brewed coffee to an affogato does not add any additional caffeine to the drink. Caffeine content is therefore comparable to that of an espresso. Caffeine content can range from 65 to 85 milligrams per dessert, depending on the type of coffee.

Also, decaffeinated coffee or Espresso can be used as a substitute.

Another substitute can be none other than the ristretto itself.

Affogato Variations

Due to the one-of-a-kind nature of the affogato, it is simple to alter the flavor of any of its primary components to create a new taste, or to alter the texture by adding toppings. The unique flavors of affogato can be traced back to these various additions.

Blended affogato

This particular variation is referred to as a Frappe, and it is not considered an affogato. In making it, you will use a blender to combine the cream of your choosing and espresso in order to make a smooth frappe.

Affogato Corretto

Affogato corretto is an alcoholic version of the traditional affogato drink. Grappa is used in the preparation of the traditional version of this drink.

You can experiment with various brands of alcohol until you find the one that best suits your needs if you want your drink to have an alcoholic flavor. You are free to use other kinds of alcoholic beverages, such as Kahlua or Bailey

Other variations include:

  • Serving Affogato with mocha or strawberry ice cream
  • Use a double ristretto instead of an espresso shot for a more robust flavor.
  • Fruit ice cream for a unique flavor
  • Syrups
  • Oilseeds

How to make affogato vs ristretto

How to prepare Affogato:


  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream or gelato
  • 1 shot espresso or 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee


  • Use an ice cream or a cookie scoop to put a few small scoops of vanilla ice cream or gelato in a chilled glass, bowl, or mug.
  • Pour a freshly brewed shot of Espresso or strong brewed coffee over and serve immediately.
  • Garnish with nuts or shaved chocolate, if desired.


  • Chill the dessert glass or mug.
  • Make sure the gelato or ice cream is icy.
  • Brew the Espresso just before serving.
  • Either pour the Espresso over the ice cream and serve immediately, or serve the Espresso on the side and let your guests pour it on themselves.
  • Cool the coffee first if you don’t want your dessert to melt too quickly.
  • Garnish is optional, but try sliced almonds or other nuts, chocolate curls, or a shot of liqueur such as Frangelico, Amaretto, or other coffee liqueur. See the blog post for more garnish ideas.

What’s a ristretto

A ristretto is a single shot of Espresso made with finely ground beans and much less water than a long shot would require. What could be the point of ordering less coffee, you ask? Isn’t it always better to order more coffee?

Although this is true in most cases, the focus of ristretto is on quality rather than quantity. The flavor of the coffee is amplified when less hot water is pumped through the finely ground beans.

Due to the apparent shortened extraction time, the coffee is sweeter and less bitter. Ristretto, in the most basic sense, means “restricted.” If you request a ristretto shot, the barista will serve an updosed shot made in  8 to 10 seconds less than a normal shot.

How to make a ristretto shot

Got your espresso maker and your coffee beans? Let’s make a ristretto! Here’s what to do:

Grind the coffee: Use Espresso roast coffee, about 9 grams for a single ristretto shot and 18 grams for a double shot. Grind the coffee until it’s excellent ground. Different roasts and brands of beans will require a different grind for your machine. You may need to do a few test runs to get it dialed in the right.

Pack and tamp the coffee grounds: Add the coffee grounds to the espresso basket (portafilter) until slightly heaping over the top.

Place the portafilter on a folded towel before tamping, or better yet a knock box for tamping and discarding used grounds.

Use the tamper to distribute then press the grounds evenly into the portafilter, pressing very firmly until fully compressed.

The coffee grounds need to be as even and as straight as possible to get the best ristretto shot.

Pull the shot: Place the portafilter in the espresso machine and press the button to pull the shot using Manual mode. Make sure it lasts 15 to 20 seconds, resulting in 1 ½ ounce of coffee for a double ristretto with a caramel-colored crema (compared to 25 to 30 seconds for a standard Espresso double shot).

And that’s it! Enjoy your beautifully rich, aromatic ristretto shot. Let us know how you got on in the comments below!

What is an affogato-style shot?

An affogato-style shot is an espresso shot that is added to an already finished beverage. It is offered for the majority of frozen blended drinks.

You could, for instance, order your go-to frappuccino with a affogato-style shot. Your barista will prepare a shot of espresso and pour it hot over the beverage that you’ve ordered.

Starbucks ristretto and how to order

If you order a ristretto shot at Starbucks, the barista will shorten the shot, resulting in less water used in the espresso machine. Sweeter and syrupier is the usual outcome.
Requesting a ristretto shot does not incur any additional costs. Ristretto can be substituted for any espresso beverage.

If you prefer ristretto to Espresso, you can get an Iced Caramel Macchiato instead.

Starbucks affogato and how to order

At Starbucks, an affogato means something else entirely. In place of Espresso being poured over gelato, an affogato is an espresso shot poured over any beverage, most commonly a Frappuccino.
Ask for an affogato-style espresso shot if you want a drink with an espresso shot on top but not blended in.
A shot of Espresso will be poured on top after the drink has been prepared.

In addition to the Frappuccinos listed above, you can order them on any Frappuccino.

Some pros and cons of taking the affogato


  • It contains a high concentration of beneficial nutrients.
  • Will leave your guests impressed and contented with your hospitality.
  • An energizing desert that can invigorate you after an exhausting day of work.
  • Consuming coffee regularly strengthens your immune system.
  • One of the advantages of drinking coffee is that it may lower the likelihood of developing cancer.
  • Consuming coffee also has the benefit of enhancing one’s cardiovascular health.


  • Not suitable for diabetic patients. Instead try some sugar-free ice cream.
  • Not appropriate for individuals who are attempting to reduce their body fat percentage. Instead make it your cheat meal for the day.
  • Using poor quality ingredients can put one at risk for developing health problems.

Is the ristretto good for you?

Ristretto is generally a better choice for your health than regular coffee, but only if you don’t drink too much of it. Because you need less actual coffee to get the same amount of caffeine, you don’t take in as many of the acids and other substances found in each cup of coffee.

Although the difference may not appear to be very significant at first glance, it has the potential to become quite significant quite rapidly.

Although some individuals shift to Ristretto, particularly for its benefits, if caffeine has been giving you difficulties, a better place to start would be to think about effectively eliminating it from your diet.


The two drinks aren’t the same, even though they both contain coffee and come from the same country (Italy). You pressurize hot water through finely-ground coffee beans to extract the flavor when you make a ristretto.

On the other hand, Affogato is a dessert made by combining ice cream and Espresso, often topped with a sauce and served in a cup.

Source: Acouplebooks

Source: Flavour and Savor

Similar Posts