When Rebecca Tapia de la Torre and her husband, Enrique, returned to Colorado after living in Italy for six months, they wanted to bring back some of the Italian culture they'd grown to love. Little did they know they'd soon be running a cafe inside a furniture upholstery shop. Friends of the Tapia de la Torres owned Rico's Upholstery in Wheat Ridge and wanted the couple to open a coffee shop inside their showroom at 5455 West 38th Avenue. And so Tazza di Caffe was born. The concept, which opened in early January, includes furniture from Rico's on which customers can relax while enjoying a cup of coffee.
Founded in 1986, the family-owned Rico's provides a chic backdrop for a cup of coffee because the rotating set of furniture and fabric samples showcases Rico's services: unique coverings, custom-made furniture and furniture repair.
Within this homey backdrop, the de la Torres channeled their experiences in Italy. "We wanted to do it the way the Italians had it," says Rebecca. "Coffee was about socialization and relaxation, not about hitting a drive-through on the way to somewhere."
Tazza di Caffe's espresso is made with Lavazza beans, an Italian staple served in coffee bars throughout Italy. The menu is loaded with a variety of pastries chosen for European flair, including Nutella croissants from Dolce Sicilia, Danish-style kringles from Knead the Bakery, and vegan and gluten-free options from Beet Box. Drip coffee from Copper Door and a rotating roaster (currently Pablo's) round out the shop's caffeinated options.
Tazza di Caffe provides online ordering and free delivery within a three-mile radius in the 80212 zip code. "Years ago I worked in sales, and we would do 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' to see who would leave the office to get coffee," recalls Rebecca. Now, customers can order java directly through the cafe's website.
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Rebecca describes the location in Wheat Ridge as "familiar familial," and likens the neighborhood feel to when kids would play in the streets and nosy neighbors would gossip on the sidelines. "It's a family run business. The other couple has a family, we have a family, and that's how we like to keep it. Kids are welcome, families are welcome," she says.
As for the name, Tazza di Caffe translates to, "A cup of coffee" which was chosen as homage to their idyllic time on the Adriatic coast. "It's simple — it's a cup of coffee. That's how we felt the Italians built it, never anything super-fancy named. It was just simple, you have a cup of coffee," Rebecca says. "It was a simple life. And now we have a coffee shop that reminds us of what we had in Italy and the friends we met through coffee."
While delivery is convenient, if you want to relax on the homey furniture and meet your neighbors, pop into the shop and try out a comfy couch from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Call 720-524-3460 or visit tazzadicaffe.shop for more details.