De Fer Coffee and Tea Shakes Up Cocktails

Steak and eggs. Peanut butter and jelly. Coffee and tea . . . and cocktails? Firmly ensconced within Pittsburgh’s bustling café landscape, De Fer Coffee & Tea stands out as more than just your average purveyor of flat whites and jasmine tea. It is where the robust world of coffee meets the sophisticated realm of cocktails, creating an experience that is both unique and enchanting. With six locations across Pittsburgh, their Strip District spot takes a spirited turn with a carefully curated cocktail menu.

A Little English Influence

The inspiration for De Fer came from the European café business model. In Europe, cafés and pubs are community gathering places for people from all walks of life, from first light to last call. De Fer’s food and drink selection was designed to specifically support that idea.

Co-founder Matt Marietti: “We strive to be a place where anyone could come in—any time of day—and find something to make them happy—be it a snack, meal, coffee, tea, cocktail, beer, or wine. The idea is that if you want to get out of your house or meet a friend, you have somewhere warm and welcoming to go—you can figure out the rest once you get there.”

At De Fer, every cup of coffee and every blend of tea is a product of meticulous sourcing and passionate craftsmanship. In addition, amidst the rustic charm and warm ambience, patrons find a rare gem in the café world: an array of expertly mixed cocktails. From classic concoctions to innovative potions, each drink is a testament to De Fer’s quality and creativity.

Sipping in the Strip District

Their Strip District location features a delightful mix of coffee-inspired cocktails and seasonal offerings. Signature drinks include the Coffee Old Fashioned, featuring Quantum Solera Copper Whiskey and a coffee-infused large ice cube, and the Espresso Martini, blending Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka with coffee liqueur and espresso. Seasonal highlights include the Gingerbread Coquito, a festive rum-based cocktail with coconut and gingerbread spices. Not to mention, these creative sippers complement the café’s European-inspired ambiance, blending the sophistication of evening drinks with the coziness of a daytime coffee shop.

De Fer’s charm lies not just in its beverages but also in its dedication to creating a welcoming space for everyone. True to the European café tradition, their flagship store harmoniously blends the sophistication of alcoholic beverages with a family-friendly environment. From a play kitchen area and a library for the little ones, De Fer ensures a comfortable experience for all guests. “We aim to be a place where you are as comfortable on a first date as you are bringing your family for brunch,” says Matt Marietti.

Beyond the Drinks

Further enriching the De Fer experience is their unique retail offering. The Strip District location also showcases an array of products from small, independent makers, ranging from gourmet chocolates and ceramics to books and cocktail supplies. This commitment to supporting local artisans strengthens community ties.

De Fer’s ethos extends to building meaningful partnerships with their wholesale customers, not just supplying them with coffee, but also assisting them in developing successful coffee programs. This approach reflects a deeper philosophy of collaboration and mutual growth.

“We believe that cafés can (and should) play an important role in enriching the communities in which they exist. As such, we try to offer our business as a platform for as many local artists, musicians, and makers as we can.”

De Fer is a destination where quality drinks, a warm atmosphere, and a commitment to community coalesce. Plus, every visit is a new chapter in a story of a business that is not just about serving great coffee and cocktails but about creating a destination where everyone feels at home.

Story by Julian Salzman

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