Drowning in an Italian espresso that is. Affogato is the Italian word for “drowning” and in this case affogato refers to a coffee-based dessert made with a scoop of vanilla gelato drowning in a rich, dark sea of hot espresso. The espresso is poured over the gelato to create a simple yet sublime ending to another memorable Italian meal. I had my first affogato at my cousin Lidia’s apartment in Milan and was hooked on it ever since.
Italians prefer espresso from a stove top espresso maker called a Moka pot. This classic eight-sided household coffeepot was invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti. Making espresso in a Moka is the most common way of making espresso style coffee in Europe. Just fill the lower chamber with water and the filter with an espresso ROAST coffee (don’t use espresso GRIND as it is too fine and may clog the filter). Place the pot on the stove and heat until the water boils. As it does, the liquid espresso moves to the upper chamber of the pot, ready to be poured.
A true “espresso” requires more pressure to extract the flavors and oils from the beans than my Moka is capable of. So if you want a true “espresso” walk down to the corner bar and order un caffe’, per favore. If you live in the US I guess that would be Starbucks but then again would that be a “true espresso”.
I recently overheard my hometown friends complaining about the price of a cup of coffee. Although the price of a cup of joe in the US isn’t what it used to be, it isn’t anything near as expensive as a cup of coffee in the Soviet Union. According to a cost of living survey of 143 cities across 6 continents, the US consulting firm Mercer reports that the average cost of a cup of coffee in Moscow is $10.19. I bet it’s not as good as my 1EU espresso in Portogruaro.