Cultivar Is Now Serving Deconstructed Cappuccinos So You Can Have A More-Educated Coffee Experience.
Welcome to Unfiltered, our weekly feature that explores the Dallas coffee scene — and how it often manages to thrive in the most unusual places. Given that we live in a time when Starbucks locations are about as prevalent as the golden McDonald's arches, when new coffee shops seem to open every other week and when almost everyone uses a ChemEx to brew their coffee, we're here to show you some alternatives — for when your coffee shop routine becomes monotonous or when you're just looking for something different in your caffeine endeavors.
Among the usual suspects at almost any coffee haunt in town is the cappuccino — a drink just as common as the misinterpretations of what it is.
Any true coffee snob can probably drone on about milk-to-foam ratios for as long as you'll let them, sure. But the joyous complexities of well-crafted espresso-and-milk combo can be lost on the average coffee drinker, who may be a bit less familiar with the ritualistic experience.
With more and more area coffee shops trying to emphasize coffee education, a simple inquiry to your friendly neighborhood barista can go a long way toward helping to broaden one's understanding of the science behind the coffee standard. But Cultivar has decided to take the experience a step further at both its Dallas and Denton locations.
Here, your barista will provide happily provide you with a deconstructed cappuccino, creating a tangible component to the spiel that most baristas can recite in their sleep.
Inspiration for this new addition to the shop's offerings comes courtesy of owner Jonathan Meadows and his travels to our country's own coffee Mecca (read: Seattle). As the name implies, the drink is broken down into three components — espresso, milk and a finished cappuccino — and served in three snifter glasses as opposed to the standard glassware or to-go cup. The idea is to consume it in steps, starting with the espresso and milk, in order to better understand how the two are supposed to taste separately. Then you finish the drink off with the completed cup so you can taste what happens once the two parts are mixed.
The process is similar to the training baristas receive before making cappuccinos — but way less extensive and, to be sure, far more enjoyable on the consumer end.
In separating the steps, the flavors of both the espresso and milk are able to shine on their own before coming together in the magic that is a cappuccino. The snifter — complete with its own aromatic properties — highlights the nutty and bright essence of the espresso and sweetness of the milk in a slightly more upfront manner than a regular cup.
Although the appearance of three glasses gives off the illusion that you're getting some obscene amount of espresso, the drink only uses a doppio (double) shot. Splitting it up just allows for prolonged gratification.
Since it's served in multiple parts, the drink is best suited for those with the spare time to expand their coffee knowledge. But as coffee drinkers are starting to slow down and take more interest in how their coffee is made, it's a step towards explaining how something so simple can be so damn good.
All photos by Kathy Tran.