Our friend Kelly loves affogatos. When she found out we were moving into the city, she sent me an article on an affogato bar opening up in our neighborhood at Sightglass. We simply had to try it. Affogato means “drowned” in Italian. It consists of a hot espresso shot poured over ice cream.
The bar opened in May 2015 and is located in Sightglass’s two-story warehouse/loft style building headquarters. The space is filled with natural elements. There is wood everywhere and it has a very organic feel to it. There are great bike racks on the wall when you first arrive if you feel like taking a ride over. The ground level is centered on a huge coffee roasting machine, and they serve coffee drinks and pastries.
To get to the affogato bar, head towards the back left, up the stairs to the mezzanine level, and you’ll find it in the back corner.
Order an affogato or a coffee float (10x larger!). You get to build your affogato by choosing a single-origin espresso and ice cream flavor off the menu. The handmade ice cream flavors created by Portland’s Salt & Straw Ice Cream will rotate occasionally. Currently they include 73% Belize Single Origin Chocolate (made with Dick Taylor’s award-winning chocolate), Blood Orange Olive Oil (made by steeping the zest in olive oil from Berkeley Olive Grove), and Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons (which has hand-burnt caramel ribboned into Guatemalan fleur de sel ice cream).
We tried the coffee float with sea salt with caramel and it was delicious! The only thing is that we wished it had a slight bit more cold brewed coffee and a touch less ice cream so it would be easier to drink through the straw. You get two large scoops of ice cream with vanilla cold brew, and a splash of soda.
We loved the idea of the blood orange olive oil, but we weren’t sure about that mixed with coffee. I asked the barista and she said it was her favorite and the most popular. We had to give it a try. We tasted two combinations: sea salt with caramel with Ethiopia espresso, and blood orange olive oil with Guatemala espresso.
We liked them both, but the blood orange olive oil was our favorite. The dense citrusy creaminess paired well with the acidity of the coffee. We’d recommend sitting down at Sightglass so that you can fully enjoy it served in a proper glass rather than a to-go paper cup. Also, if it’s a little too warm on the top floor, just pop down to the first floor where you might find a little more of a breeze.
The place is packed with people working on movable tables. I thought this could be my new place to work, however, there is no internet and no electrical outlets. Make sure you come prepared with a charged battery and, if you need internet, a way to tether through your phone or hotspot. You can also get other espresso and espresso drinks at the affogato bar on the second floor. If you are impressed by espresso equipment, you’ll love all of the La Marzocco machines in use throughout the building. They are amazing!