Swap Espresso With Matcha For An Elevated Affogato

When you picture an affogato, the iconic duo of espresso and ice cream probably comes to mind. The reality is that there's no singular way to craft an affogato. In fact, the treat can be made with any combination of hot liquid and frosty food. The one non-negotiable is that pouring must occur — the word is Italian for "drowned", after all. While you can let your mind run wild with potential pairings, we suggest kicking off the affogato experimentation by trading espresso for matcha for a totally elevated, emerald-hued dessert.

A good affogato is all about contrast. Just as espresso offers a different temperature, texture, and color against ice cream, so too does matcha. Not to mention that the warm green beverage has a distinct flavor profile that stands out against the chilled treat. Vegetal with traces of grassiness, matcha has a slightly savory and bitter edge that makes it ideal for pairing with ingredients like ice cream that boast opposing qualities such as sweetness and fattiness. Ultimately a matter of opposites attracting, matcha and ice cream can strike up the perfect balance in an affogato.

Ready to give the combo a try? Making your own matcha affogato is easy. Simply drizzle a touch of freshly-whisked matcha over a scoop of cold ice cream and enjoy. We'll warn you now that after the first bite, you might never make an affogato any other way.

A guide to customizing matcha affogato

Since a matcha affogato consists of just two components, working with quality ingredients is essential. For the best matcha, we suggest seeking out ultra-fine powder sourced from Japan. As for which ice cream reigns supreme, basic flavors like vanilla or fior di latte can effectively showcase matcha, much like coconut or white chocolate that can even tame some of its bitterness. Alternatively, flavors like red bean or coffee can complement the matcha's earthiness, whereas mildly sweet banana or strawberry ice cream can offset any savoriness. 

With matcha and ice cream pairings picked, the next thing to consider are ratios. If you want matcha to have a prominent gustatory role, scoop less ice cream and pour more matcha. Otherwise, preserve textures and slow melting with extra ice cream. Additionally, play with texture when making matcha. For a velvety mouthfeel and rich intensity, create a thick paste. For a more delicate effect, thin out the matcha. Of course, these aren't the only ways to tailor an affogato to your tastes.

Before being poured over ice cream, stirring in spices like ginger powder or infusing matcha with mint leaves can increase depth. Likewise, complexity can be achieved with unique garnishes — dark chocolate curls amp up decadence, whereas black sesame brittle add texture, and candied citrus peel brighten flavors. With limitless ways to personalize a matcha affogato, you're sure to stumble upon a combination that you'll love!