365ink #396 November 24–December 8, 2021 - Page 30



Devour Cafe

By Bryce Parks
We ’ ve been meaning to try Devour Cafe for some time , but like many Dubuquers , we pass by the unique spot located right at the curve on Central Avenue in the main level of what was once the Rafoth Sheet Metal building at 1798 Central . After taking in a few samples of the eats and , of course , the coffee , I ’ m sorry I didn ’ t get here sooner .
Though he took over the space in 2018 , demolition , renovations , and costs with renovations meant it was not until January of 2020 before owner Ryan Dies officially opened with regular hours and a strong philosophy driving a killer coffee menu and a unique and delicious dining attitude .
Moving from his original Galena location of the same name , Devour is open for breakfast and lunch hours , but obviously welcomes people to just come in for coffee . After all , coffee is Ryan ’ s life , or at least it ’ s always been a thread in the story of his life .
“ I ’ ve been into coffee since I was a kid ,” Ryan begins . “ It is a part of my world . It ’ s what shaped me as an artist and a craftsman and everything I ’ ve got going on . Coffee has been right there next to me , and I have a passion for it .”
He ’ s not shy in backing up his skills in the coffee world .
“ I have a lot of experience and skill in preparing coffee ,” he continues , and you can be sure he roasts his own . “ There are far more drinks on my menu that come from all over the world than most places have ever seen . I ’ ve done international seminars on coffee , the history , the industry . It ’ s the second-largest-traded commodity in the world next to oil [ it ’ s true ; 2.2 billion cups a day … we looked it up !]. It ’ s pretty vital and important
to the world . I ’ m a tiny part of that . No drive-thru or anything like that . Just a boutique cafe where crafting great food and coffee takes skill and care .”
I , on the other hand , am a bit of a coffee simpleton . I like an iced caramel latte , and I don ’ t apologize for it . And mine was great . Nutty and flavorful and just what I was looking for . The cappuccino looked like it was smooth as silk . Much of the coffee menu was way out of my league . I don ’ t know a Redeye from a Blackeye and the Guzzo , a cold brew with espresso , is new to me . I don ’ t know what a Mayan , Breve , Palazzo , Affogatto or Cortato is , but if you do , then I ’ ll bet you ’ re pretty excited to read this right now . I ’ ll try to get a photo of the brewed menu in with the story . Kelli Kerrigan , who met us there , had a richly red / pink / purple hibiscus tea that looked luxurious , and she thought it had a stellar deep flavor . Kristina also really liked her Chai .
It ’ s not just the flavor of a fantastic cup of coffee that drives Ryan
Dies , but the entire path that coffee takes from the soil to the cup .
“ I care a lot about the agricultural coffee industry ,” he says . “ The farmers that supply me . I respect the way they sustainably farm with cyclic farming , utilizing every inch of the land where this coffee grows . I source only grade-one coffee . It has a lot of labor costs and care that are involved with that . That ’ s the way it should be . My philosophy should not just be practiced here at Devour , but all along the chain that my products take to get here . The highest quality in artistry and humanity , with great practices involved at every level .”
He even carried that philosophy to the handling of waste and doing the dishes . “ I don ’ t use phosphates in my dish cleaning ,” he says . “ I hand wash everything and put them through a hightemperature sanitizer . That ’ s the only way I can prevent putting phosphates in the river and polluting the world .”
Like the coffee , care and creativity carry through to his food . Though
30 365INK MAGAZINE November 24 – December 8 , 2021 Issue # 396 DUBUQUE365 . COM