Judging Java: Caffe D’Amore

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Coffee Columnist

4.5 Globes out of 5


The song Holland, 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel played as I entered Caffe D’Amore. A rustic wood panel finish lines the coffee bar, which has had glass panels erected above it to stop, or at the very least minimize, the spread of COVID-19. Paper-craft animal heads decorate the far wall, and I was particularly fond of the paper-craft elephant. If you’re a fan of paper-craft and want to buy one of these heads to make yourself, you’re in luck, because Caffe D’Amore sells them. Adjacent to them is the currently closed seating area. Luckily it was a nice enough day that I was able to enjoy my coffee outside at an outdoor table.

The actual coffee was delightful. While it was initially served at a temperature I found to be a little too hot for my own personal tastes, it quickly cooled down to what I can only describe as “hot, but not too hot.” Kind of like David Schwimmer.

This was one of the more bitter cups of coffee I’ve reviewed, but it still had its pops of sweet flavor hidden behind its bitter forefront. This was one of the more complex flavor profiles I’ve seen since starting this column, and it’s certainly one of the best cups that I’ve reviewed.

Another thing about the cup: the actual cup. Caffe D’Amore’s coffee comes served in an eco-friendly, compostable cup. This was very nice to see, as many cups are made of cheap material that sometimes cannot be recycled in Pittsburgh. Biodegradability aside, the cup was also very sturdy, and did not leak at all while I drank from it. This was also nice to see, as I have noticed that some cups have a tendency to leak on my hand while I try and review them, which in turn leads to a mild but frustrating pain. So props to Caffe D’Amore for having a quality cup.

Caffe D’Amore also has for sale some grocery essentials and baking supplies, such as multiple types of milk, eggs, butter, flour and canned goods. This is important in an area like Lawrenceville where grocery stores are incredibly scarce.

One issue with Caffe D’Amore: sitting outside puts you directly on Butler Street, which is incredibly loud. This is not the fault of the cafe, rather the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it is still incredibly frustrating how loud cars, buses and construction equipment are when you are, for example trying to get work done while enjoying your coffee, or say, writing a column where you review coffee. This is not an issue on Caffe D’Amore’s part, so I cannot fault them.

That being said, assuming you live on or near campus, getting there might be a hassle. It’s a bit of a ways away, so keep in mind if you do decide to go there, you’re going to have to probably sit outside. But, if you are willing to make the journey out to Lawrenceville, Caffe D’Amore should absolutely be on your list of places to stop. And if you live in Lawrenceville, then it should be on your daily to-do list.