Hosting a Summer Party: Espresso Edition

by Ben Coleman Updated: June 19, 2024 5 min read
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Summer is nearly here, which means it’s the perfect time to break out the string lights and hot dogs and get ready to host an outdoor party!

Let’s be honest though: every outdoor party from Montreal to Los Angeles is going to have ice tea, charcuterie boards, and fresh flowers as table settings.

How can you make sure your summer party stands out?

By offering fresh-brewed espresso beverages, of course! We know: you hear “espresso beverages” and think of hot lattes and cappuccinos and the like. On ice, however, espresso can be as light and refreshing as anything.

Read on for our recommendations on how to set up the perfect espresso bar for your outdoor party.

Show Off Your Skills

If you’ve got professional-grade barista skills, you might want to show them off to your party guests. That means you’ll want a machine that’s easy to move around but can still handle a party-sized brewing volume. That’s where the Bezzera BZ13 comes in.

Bezzera BZ13 affogato with KINTO CAST cup

Despite being compact and relatively light, the BZ13 is NSF-certified for light commercial work, and, because it’s a heat exchanger, you’ll be able to brew and steam simultaneously for a more efficient workflow when high-volume brewing.

But what drinks should you be slinging? Obviously, preparing an espresso for anyone who wants one will be easy enough, but why not make things a bit more exciting?

While technically not a drink, an affogato is the perfect side dish to offer guests at an outdoor party—it’s cold, refreshing, and incredibly easy to prepare. An affogato is just a shot of espresso poured over vanilla ice cream, but, when done right, this treat is truly greater than the sum of its parts: the hot espresso melts just the exterior layer of ice cream, leaving you with an ice cold island of soft sweetness floating in a sea of decadent espresso and cream.

If you want to offer your party guests this delicious indulgence, there’s a couple considerations you’ll want to make to ensure you get it right:

First, choose your serving cups carefully. You want a shallow cup with a wide mouth so it’s easy to eat with a spoon and sip from—after all, perhaps the greatest part of an affogato is the liquid blend of espresso and melted ice cream you’re left to drink at the end. KINTO’s CAST Coffee Cup is a great option—it’s a 7 oz, wide-mouthed cup perfect for scooping and sipping. It’s also clear, so guests will get to enjoy the visual spectacle of swirling espresso and ice cream as they dig in.

Affogato with KINTO CAST

Serving vessels and espresso brewing skills aside, the type of ice cream you use is the most important factor in the quality of your affogato.


All ice cream has air in it—during churning, air is incorporated into the ice cream mixture, much like what happens when steaming milk for a latte or cappuccino. The increase in volume that occurs when air is added to the ice cream mixture is called “overrun.”

Cheaper, store-brand ice creams are made using high-speed churners that blend huge volumes of ice cream all at once. The result is they often have overruns over 100, which means they’re more than doubling in volume due to air content. Ice creams like this are lighter and fluffier, but they also melt faster, which means they’re not ideal for affogatos—the espresso melts the ice cream much too quickly, and you miss out on the textural experience that defines this treat.

Artisanal ice creams and gelatos tend to have much lower overruns because they’re churned slowly in smaller batches. If you want an affogato that still maintains ice cream texture after the espresso is poured, this is what you’ll want to use. Ideally, an affogato ice cream should have an overrun between 20 and 40.

Self-Serve Caffeination Station

Not everyone’s going to want to sit behind a bar serving guests during their party, though. For those who are more inclined to mingle, setting up an outdoor, self-serve caffeination station is the perfect way to keep your party popping.

As it turns out, “Self-Serve Caffeination Station” would be an appropriate name for JURA’s Giga 10. Not only is this super-auto capable of churning out a truly massive amount of beverages, but its dual hoppers and brewers mean you could allow guests the option to brew using two different varieties of coffee so they could experiment with different flavors.

JURA Z10 with Cool Control and KINTO CAST cups

But what really makes the Giga 10 the perfect outdoor party companion is its ability to make a wide variety of cold beverages, from cold-brew coffee to iced lattes, macchiatos, and more. Rather than watering down hot coffee or espresso, the Giga 10’s Cold Brew Extraction Process pulses cold water through coarsely ground coffee at a slower rate, resulting in a full-flavored cup of actual cold brew that’s as delicious to drink as it is impressive to watch happen.

The Giga 10 also features an enormous 6.7” full-color touchscreen display that makes brewing and customizing beverages so easy that even someone who’s never seen a super-auto before could confidently prepare whatever drink they want with no supervision whatsoever. Paired with a Cool Control (which keeps up to 2.5 L of milk at perfect frothing temperature), the Giga 10 is capable of fueling your outdoor party for hours on end without the need to refill beans, milk, or water.

To round out your self-serve caffeination station, why not add an assortment of KINTO’s CAST cups? They’re available in a variety of sizes, so your guests can choose the cup that’s perfect for the drink they're preparing. Plus the ultra-thin glass makes the Giga 10’s beverage preparation an absolute pleasure to behold.

Curate Your Personal Party

There’s far more espresso equipment available to perfect your outdoor party than we could highlight in a single blog. If you’re looking to explore the vast landscape of options you have to make your party truly memorable, we can help.

Schedule a Coffee Cast for a free, one-on-one consultation with one of our in-house espresso experts. They’ll be able to recommend products, paired accessories, and even recipes to help you put together the perfect party. Did we mention it’s totally free?