In icon-happy Adelaide, local business is the ultimate in consumer chic. Does Adelaide plus coffee equal Cibo? With a chain-a-week modus operandi, the CBD Cibology caused MMC some head scratching. Which store, and when? Days of deliberation led to a diabolical solution - the final morning Cibo Marathon. Gouger, Frome, King William/Grenfell and Pirie were duly visited. The Order: one caffè (sized) cafe latte, takeaway. The Price: a consistent $3.20.
Phase one: North Adelaide ristorante. Phase two: Rundle St espresso bar. Phase three: world domination. Cibo Espresso is one of those small-town success stories that we love to love. It's a household name, and its takeaway cups are household recycling. Brandwise, it's a default that straddles utility and integrity. Shops are white and red all over, with that stainless steel modernity. 'A Little Italy' reads newish marketing, and Italian pastries and coffee styles are massive menu coos.
As much as MMC loves the macchiatone/half latte, we're not doing things by halves today. 7.30 am. Gouger Street: The One Across From the Markets. By night, this Cibo glitters with gelati goers. By morning? The Greeting: a sleepy grunt from someone school-aged. The Service: waity. We wait. The Pour: a classic Cibo swirl, good lookin'. The Flavour: hmm, malty. Not quite that morning kick, but MMC is able to sip it over market breakfast without sighing.
8:00 am. Rundle Street: The One With the Mall Rats. With fountain view tables, it's arguably an atmospheric option. The Greeting: uncheery, but efficient. The Service: ditto, and quick. The Pour: dream creamy, swirl. Flavour: pleasant, but still no jump start. Friend of MMC finishes it smilingly on the mall stretch.
8.15 am. T&G: The One on the Corner of King William and Grenfell. Shopspace: nil, but killer commuter locale. The Service: an award for Team Work 2009 mocks us from a spilled-milk counter - it's snail's-pace, but crawling with staff. The Pour: an artless cup of bubble. The Strength: absent. The Flavour: it's the ghost of Cibos past - somewhere in my memory, nowhere on my tongue. It's what incendiary Advertiser blogger Michael Harry called 'cookie cutter bland'. MMC makes it drain fodder.
8.30am. Pirie Street: The New One. Pirie has a plateful of coffee-craving corporati, and Cibo's largest brags popularity with a displayed accolade. The Service: there's spark - good flirty hospitality. The Pour: silk milk, but no presentation points. We've ordered two, and the single swirl on one is proved accidental by the other's baldness. The Strength: we can tell from looking that it's lacking legs. In the mouth, it's 'meh' - a dubiously caffeinated take-it-or-leave-it. Sadly, it's our last cup, so we take it.
The Next Day. Prospect Road - The Funky One. Driving North for the weekend, a closed Cafe Komodo pushes a curious MMC to one final Cibo. The story here is that three-ish brunettes threw in the schoolteaching towel, and started polishing latte glasses. The store is mosaic-y and the coffee is clean and crisp. After a day of dishwater, a gutsy multi-shotter dazzles with unfair advantage. The Pour: it's sleek, and we heart the heart. The place has spirit - if MMC may, they've put the 'chi' into 'franchise'.
The Lesson: CBD Cibo is marketing right-on, but quality lite-on. In the 'burb, we found personalised service, and professional product. If the rest of the Cibo children tune in, they can return their city ops to a rightful ready-steady-drink status.
The latte word: for the Cibo CBD (sans Frome/Rundle) - an average under 3.
|Rundle Mall||3.5 beans out of 5|
|Gouger St||3 beans out of 5|
|T&G and Pirie St||2 beans out of 5|
|Prospect||4 beans out of 5|
Start the drumroll - MMC is working on a big blog wrap-up. Thank you for sharing 35 cups of My Morning Coffee.
Link: How to lose friends and irritate cafes - Michael Harry's controversial Cibo blogpost