CibboDivino's Coffee And Desserts Offer An Authentic Multicultural 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.
1868 Sylvan Thirty Ave.
It's pretty safe to say that no one knows espresso like the Italians — y'know, because they invented the stuff. In the midst of Oak Cliff's bustling craft coffee scene, the coffee program at CiboDivino teaches us, above all, that simplicity is key, especially with dessert.
“Being Italian, it's obvious that coffee is a big part of our tradition,” says owner Daniele Puleo. “Just to understand a little bit, I have about four to five espressos a day to keep myself going. The coffee side [of the business] is something that we really, really wanted to push. It showed up right away in the business plan.”
Much like other grocery stores/cafes/bodegas that we've seen in the Metroplex, the coffee at CiboDivino is a small part of the business overall, but an important, nostalgic element for Puleo. In keeping with traditional Italian espresso, the coffee menu is constrained to the standards — single and double shots, lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, Café Americanos (an important distinction in Italy, as to not be confused with the cocktail) and regular drip — all made with the popular espresso brand, LaVazza.
“LaVazza is probably the most famous of the Italian coffees,” Puleo says. “It's a coffee that I'm attached to because I grew up with it. My mother used to drink LaVazza when I was a kid, so it is the most natural thing for me to use.”
If you want a flavor, your options are limited to just three, but those inclined to a bolder coffee taste will be content with the rich, chocolate undertones of the dark Italian roast. The simplicity of each drink makes for a great pairing with any of the Italian desserts, not-so-coincidentally making after dinner the prime coffee consumption time at Cibo, especially with items like fresh coffee-dusted tiramisu, or the newly-added cannolis made with imported Sicilian ingredients.
“At night, every time people have a dessert, they ask for a latte or cappuccino,” Puleo says. “I recommend cappuccinos more at night because it has less milk, and more foam.”
Few coffee experiences in town can provide you with the feeling of an authentic European cafe, though the mentality at CiboDivino is that simply good coffee is a multicultural experience.
“Seventy-five percent of Americans today drink more European-style coffee than they do American coffee,” Puleo says. “Unless they have families, and they don't drink coffee out, they make coffee at home, then they go for more traditional brands of American coffee. Otherwise, a big chunk of Americans today drink European coffee.”