Column: Duino Coffee Review
About Duino Coffee:
With a name inspired by a small seaside town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, Duino Coffee is a North Texas based franchise with locations in McKinney, Denton and Allen. The coffee shop prides itself on their locally roasted beans, fresh food made from real ingredients and community connections. The shop’s attention to “celebrating our diversity, commonality and culture” allows them to achieve their goal towards creating a great cup of coffee and a positive community.
Duino Coffee interacts and enhances the community in different ways. All three of their locations feature art pieces created by local artists. They also host community events regularly such as “Cars & Coffee,” “Bikes & Coffee,” “Spring Fest,” “Fall Fest” and “Small Business Saturdays.” In addition, they sell merchandise including apparel, stickers and mugs at all three locations. These items can also be bought online for pickup, where you are also able to order drinks and food from their menu.
As you enter the coffee shop, you are welcomed with a modern aesthetic consisting of distinctive light fixtures that are colorful spheres of various heights and creative art pieces. The silver and yellow tone accents displayed on the walls along with the blinded windows create a dim yet cozy atmosphere. The creative pictures covering the walls and eccentric decor establish the lively ambiance that many desire from coffee shops. There is also a variety of seating including benches, tables and sofas in circular arrangements for groups. They also offer high chairs for kids.
Although the cafe was nicely decorated, it was hard to pinpoint a specific theme as there is wooden furniture paired with silver decor and leather sofas. However, the shop is nicely spaced, allowing for privacy. The cafe was also considerate for those coming to work and study as they placed outlets at almost every table and had quiet music playing in the background, although it was barely heard due to the loud crowd.
In addition to the spacious interior, Duino also offers outdoor seating. The gated patio area attached to the side of the shop creates a relaxing place to chit chat during the summertime. Although small, this area is dog friendly and can seat up to about 15 people. It consists of a variety of seating ranging from picnic tables to patio tables with chairs. There are also patio tables positioned at the entrance of the cafe for those who want a quieter place to sit outside. Both the inside and outside of the shop are maintained neatly, which makes for a relaxing hang-out spot.
As we take time off from schoolwork, we want to share our opinions on some of Duino’s seasonal and original drinks this year.
Iced Caramel Macchiato:
There is nothing quite like the original Iced Caramel Macchiato for those who love the sweetness of caramelized flavor. As you take your first sip, the drink has a light consistency. Towards the end, the drink starts to get a bit liquidy due to the amount of ice. It is not as strong as others, so we recommended it for people who only love the sweetness of a coffee.
Our rating: 4/10
Coco Loco Cold Brew:
With a unique name, Coco Loco Cold Brew, is a coffee like no other. The savory cinnamon on the top and bottom of the drink coats your whole mouth, leaving a chocolate tang in the aftertaste. We suppose that this drink is a signature drink, and you may not be able to get it anywhere else. However, it is a bit too watery in our opinion, and there seems to be little to no caffeine in it. It’s simply too rare to miss out on trying this cold brew!
Our rating: 7/10
Strawberry Cupcake Latte:
With its strawberry aroma and taste, this coffee takes on the characteristics of strawberry shortcake. In accordance with its name, the taste of strawberries in this latte has a delicate, tangy flavor. It has the ideal mix of caffeine, sweetness and thickness. On the top, pink sprinkles and foam further adds to the drink’s aesthetic. The best part about this drink is its long-lasting aftertaste.
Our rating: 9/10
King Cake Latte:
Sipping the first drop of this cinnamon-flavored King Cake Latte is a delicious experience. As far as taste goes, it resembles a rich nutmeg drink. The coffee was supposed to be served only during Mardi Gras, but ended up being served for many weeks thereafter. The sprinkles on top add to the name of the drink as well. It has a spicy cinnamon roll aftertaste that makes it very festive.
Our rating: 9/10
For the duration of the time we were there, we saw lots of people coming in and out of the shop. Having patio seats on the side of the building really helped the business in terms of not overcrowding inside.
Our only complaint is how the drinks on the side bar are called out. We found it confusing trying to find our drinks, and trying not to get them mixed up with other customers’. The baristas were busy making the other coffees there, or helping other customers order their drinks. In spite of this, the wait time was minimal as it was only 10 minutes.
The hotter coffees were served in white mugs, and the iced ones were in different cylinder cups depending on what you ordered. There was no loss of temperature in the warm drinks while we were there. Upon serving them, the drinks were aesthetically pleasing and it looked as though the baristas took great care in making them stand out.
The drinks were very calming as they don’t give you lots of energy due to the small amount of caffeine they have. The drinks are not overly sweet, but for someone who likes strong caffeine they should consider an extra shot.
Aside from the coffee, their menu has a lot of varieties to offer ranging from pastries to sandwiches, including toasts, Paninos, chips, smoothies and cookies. There are also fridges at the side of the cafe with teas and juices.
Compared to the other shops we tried, all of the drinks here were very calming. Although it might not have been a perfect fit for our tastes, be sure to visit Duino Coffee for a chance to try out these soothing and unique beverages.