Black Tap Coffee sweetens up a classic coffee drink 

Affogato Afternoons

Coffee and ice cream make for a sweet Friday treat

Olivia Rae James

Coffee and ice cream make for a sweet Friday treat

When Black Tap Coffee opened on Beaufain Street in February, it was clear that the shop was serious about coffee. Offering a list of exotic, intense blends from across the globe, housemade flavored syrups, and a specialty cold-press coffee machine, owners Jayme Scott and Ross Jett have transformed this little corner of Harleston Village into a coffee-lover's destination.

But they're not coffee snobs. That's obvious as soon as you walk through the doors of the lilac building and take in the bright, welcoming space filled with reclaimed wood furniture. And if you go on a Friday afternoon, it might feel more like an ice cream parlor than a coffee shop. That's when Black Tap hosts Affogato Afternoons, an increasingly buzzworthy neighborhood event that features small scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with two shots of strong espresso and Jett's homemade toffee.

"The response to Affogato Afternoons has been very positive so far," Jett says. "People love to tell their friends that they're eating fancy ice cream. It's the adult version of an elementary school ice cream party."

Available only on Friday afternoons, the treat is meant to help customers transition into the weekend with something "innocent, fun, and delicious," Jett says. "We wanted to offer a beverage that highlighted a feel-good time of the week."

Affogatos are an Italian dessert — the word means "drowned" — that's traditionally made with ice cream or gelato. The English toffee is Black Tap's own spin on the dish. "The flavors work really well together with the vanilla ice cream and espresso," Jett says. "Plus, I wanted an excuse to let people try my toffee, which I usually only get to make for family and friends."

Jett says they plan to continue offering creative coffee-based drinks and desserts. "We have our set menu which is fairly consistent day to day, but since coffee is like any other agricultural product with distinct flavors and growing seasons associated with specific regions of the world, there's some latitude for us to design drinks that highlight the noteworthy attributes of a particular crop," Jett says. Follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/blacktapcoffee) or Twitter (@blacktapcoffee) to find out about these specials.

Stop by Fridays between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to have a taste of the affogato. At $3 a pop, you might even want to have a few.


English Toffee

Supplies
• silicone baking mat
• candy thermometer
• heat-resistant spatula

Ingredients
• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 6 oz. almonds (chopped)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 6 oz. semisweet chocolate

Directions
In a pot over low heat, blend together butter, sugar, and salt, along with a dash of water to ensure that the sugar heats evenly. Low heat is important to prevent separation at later stages of the recipe.

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Once everything is melted together, turn heat up to medium-high and stir constantly. The mixture will increase in size until all the water boils off and then will deflate and start to turn brown. Bring the mixture to 300 degrees. If you're not precise, you will end up with something wildly different than toffee.

When you've reached 300 degrees, quickly stir in vanilla extract and almonds.

Remove from heat and pour onto the baking mat.

While it's still hot, sprinkle with the semisweet chocolate, let sit for a minute, then spread the melted chocolate like an icing.

Let stand for at least 20 minutes, then transfer to the freezer to cool completely. Once cooled completely, you can chop everything into bite-sized pieces.


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