When Tony was on the hunt for the perfect spot for his new Cibo store 19 years ago, he couldn’t believe his luck when he walked past the old Glenelg Post Office at the exact moment the agent was putting up a For Lease sign. The heritage-listed building has been his second home since he serves up 6,000 coffees a week to his loyal customers.
Tony really loves good coffee and enjoys at least 10 shots of espresso a day! So, it’s no surprise that he had his La Marzocco coffee machine custom-made for him in Italy, “I ordered it especially for Glenelg, there are only two machines like mine in the world. I have extra handles to keep up with demand and the handles slide in rather than twist. Being a barista can be tiring work so I wanted a machine that could help with the demands of the job, people want to work here just because of this amazing machine.”
Cibo Espresso was originally created to bring a slice of Italy to South Australia. It started with four partners in 2000, a chef, pastry chef, coffee maker, and restaurateur. Tony opened his Cibo Espresso in Glenelg on December 20th, 2004, “We were one of the original Cibo stores that opened. I thought Glenelg needed a piece of the Italian culture, it’s a place where you feel you're on holiday, you can enjoy beach walks, shop, and watch the beautiful sunsets.” And, Tony's Italian heritage is celebrated in-store. His father is from the countryside near Positano which is what inspired the floor-to-ceiling mural,” It reminds me of spots we have travelled to and gives me motivation to work hard so I can travel, I want to go there!”
Q & A with Tony
what makes a good coffee?
It’s the unique blend of beans, you need to have a clean machine, and the barista needs to make sure everything is running correctly. For taste, it should have sweet caramel and dark chocolate profile. A good coffee shop needs to provide the experience of being able to consistently serve up great coffee, which is why our regulars keep coming back after all these years.
Most quirky customer coffee orders?
- Half decaf and half espresso shot, ¾ hot water with soy or oat milk.
- Black magic, which is a double ristretto shot with a dash of hot milk. A ristretto is a shot of coffee where we stop at 20ml extraction, which makes the coffee stronger.
- Large flat white with no froth, half strength boiled to 75 degrees. The normal temperature is 60 – 65 degrees. We don’t usually recommend burning the milk, that takes the flavours out of the coffee.
New drinks to try?
- Ciboccino. A cappuccino with hazelnut paste made in SA, stirred into a shot of coffee, then add chocolate. It’s unbelievable, if you like hazelnut it’s a must-try.
- Chocolato Italiano. A thick Italian hot chocolate drink, like custard, served with whipped cream.
- Dirty Chai. Chia powder with an espresso shot, add milk.