I still can't get over the sweet taste of Crema al Caffè while sitting across the beautiful beach in Marina di Pisa. (Photo credit: Christine Cognieux)
I still can’t get over the sweet taste of Crema al Caffè while sitting across the beautiful beach in Marina di Pisa. (Photo Credit: Christine Cognieux)

For the coffee addict that I am, I just found the perfect combination of ice cream and coffee, one that would forever be linked to a hot day in Italy. Its sweet name is Crema al Caffè. A journey in itself, but let’s rewind and I will tell you how I got here.

Last July, I spent two weeks in the beautiful region of Tuscany in Italy. The sun was shining. The food was amazing. So much to see and eat but so little time. I asked an Italian friend of mine what I needed to try besides the usual gelati, Parma ham, chianti or limoncello. He asked me two questions: “Do you like coffee?” and “Do you eat ice cream?” After I said YES to both, then came his answer: “You absolutly have to taste Affogato al Caffè. It is a scoop of creamy vanilla gelato drowned (affogato) in a warm cup of rich aromatic Italian expresso. Unforgettable and so Italian!”

After a few days of visiting stunning and ancient cities, wandering around beautiful landscapes and enjoying the Tuscan foodscene, we found ourselves in Pisa. The view of the famous leaning tower was impressive; the crowd and the heat overwhelming. So after a stroll around the old city and a delicious lunch in a local trattoria, we decided to get away from the tourist crush and headed for the small seaside town of Marina di Pisa. The place was much more peaceful, with the white pebble beach stretching along the turquoise sea. A dip in the water and we were ready for a sweet break.

We quickly found a cafe opposite the beach and this is when we remembered the advice of our Italian friend. We had to try Affogato al Caffè. We asked the waiter and sure enough, they could make one for us. For coffee and ice cream lovers, this drink is such a heavenly combination – so simple yet so impressive, the hot coffee melting the ice cream slowly. We were addicted. Then I noticed a granita machine on the countertop of the cafe, a creamy nutty mixture swirling inside,  a large sticker on it saying ‘Crema al Caffè‘. I asked the man behind the counter what it was. He told me it was a kind of coffee gelato, made with a coffee infusion, obtained by cold extraction. The long process results in a coffee that is not as bitter and contains less caffeine than a hot coffee. The infusion is then whipped with fresh cream and fresh whole milk. Once the process is completed, the mixture is brought to the bar and inserted in the slush, ready to be served. Well, after all these explanations, I couldn’t walk away without tasting this Crema al Caffè. Served in an espresso cup, its creaminess and outstanding taste provides a long-lasting pleasure, one you will not forget. I instantly loved everything about it: its luscious texture, its nutty color, its strong yet delicate coffee flavour, its subtle aroma. Memorable!

After a hot day in Pisa, Affogato al Caffè is heaven and the perfect mid-day treat! (Photo credit: Christine Cognieux)
After a hot day in Pisa, Affogato al Caffè is heaven and the perfect mid-day treat! (Photo Credit: Christine Cognieux)

That is how I became addicted to Crema al Caffè, deliciously sweet, however with such a strong coffee essence, it is perfect for coffee aficionados. Next time you find yourself in Italy, live ‘la dolce vita’ by savouring a Crema al Caffè or an Affogato al Caffè, just like a true Italian!

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About Christine Cognieux

Christine is a life enthusiast, attracted to happiness, creativity and beauty in everything. It is not because she is French that she loves Fashion but she does. Photographing her food is becoming a habit of hers!

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16 Responses to "Food Postcard: Crema al Caffè and Co."

  1. Anne  01/09/2016

    Crema al Caffè, I didn’t know… I have to go back immediately to Toscana and get melting with this sweet poison! Thanks for your share, Christine!

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  16/09/2016

      Thank you Anne. You surely will have to go back! what a shame!

      Reply
  2. Amy  06/09/2016

    For me, nothing beats the culinary delights of Tuscany…but coffee AND ice cream? How did I miss this??

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  16/09/2016

      Hi Amy, I totally agree and thanks to my Italian friend I would missed out on this too. Now you have an extra reason to go back!

      Reply
  3. Tami  16/09/2016

    Oohh I don’t like coffee at all, but I do LOVE gelato and those beautiful views you enjoyed! Pisa is also amazing!

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  17/09/2016

      Thank you Tami. Gelato is so delightful and Italy is truly the place to taste so many great flavors.

      Reply
  4. Davide  16/09/2016

    If you like coffee, Italy is the place to be.
    I’d like to suggest you another special treat from my area of origin (Piedmont, in the Northwest of Italy), and something you can easily try at home: the “bicerìn” (literally, “small glass” in the local dialect). It goes like this: prepare a good espresso, put in a common serving glass, add one part of cream and one of dark chocolate melted under the steam pipe of the espresso machine.
    Mix.
    Enjoy.
    Ideal if you need a burst of energy on a cold winter day 😉

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  17/09/2016

      Oh this sounds so delicious and tempting, Davide! I will have to try. Piedmont area is also so stunning! Thanks for sharing with me!

      Reply
  5. Katrina  16/09/2016

    I’m probably the only person in Italy who doesn’t drink coffee!

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  17/09/2016

      I hope you did enjoy some other delicious treats Italy has to offer, Katrina. What was your favorite?

      Reply
  6. Betsy  17/09/2016

    Oh, my, the coffee and ice cream combination looks heavenly!

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  17/09/2016

      It is Betsy! Beware though, once you taste it, you will be addicted!

      Reply
  7. Amanda Williams  17/09/2016

    Oh wow, this sounds delicious but I’m allergic to coffee (which totally sucks!!). But I love limoncello, so I guess that would have to be my compensation 🙂

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  17/09/2016

      oh what a shame! I guess you have an excuse to drink extra limoncello!!!

      Reply
  8. Emily  17/09/2016

    Noooo! I’ve been to Tuscany twice and have missed this! Sounds amazing!

    Reply
    • Christine Cognieux  18/09/2016

      It is amazing Emily. Now you know what you have to do! Go back and try it for yourself.

      Reply

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