Collective Espresso opened recently in Camberwell, Melbourne. It’s the perfect combination of stellar coffee, hip fit-out and a savvy crowd. Owners Mark and Gerrick put everything together perfectly, and Mark’s enthusiasm for his craft really gives your espresso experience an extra buzz.

After putting in the hard yards working hospitality for ten years, both in New Zealand and at Las Chicas in St Kilda East, duo Mark Jacobson and Gerrick Numan say it was a natural progression to doing it themselves. Armed with plenty of experience, a passion for coffee and a dash of business know-how, the boys found themselves hunting for their own site.

They chose the shop in Cookson Road for its beautiful layout, brass window frames, wooden floors and, putting their business skills to use, its proximity to a busy train station. After getting the café up and running with Mark, Gerrick moved on to his next business venture, Willim in Malvern, leaving Mark to take charge.

Mark thought it was high time the good people of Camberwell got their hands on some first rate coffee, and fitted out Collective with all the right stuff — a 3 group Synesso and separate grinders for their house blend, decaf and rotating Single Origin offering.

It’s pretty unusual for cafés to share their custom house blends, but in keeping with the community spirit, the guys at Cup of Truth happily agreed to share with Collective. Collective also features a rotating selection of Single Origins for espresso, hand picked by the guys at the roastery. This is a real treat for Mark’s discerning customers, and he works hard to build their knowledge and appreciation of the nuances of different beans.

Mark is second to none when it comes to fuelling passion for the bean. In addition to making the time to talk to his enthusiastic customers about the Single Origin coffees he features, their flavour profiles and differing characteristics, he invites them behind the bar to watch him pull a perfect shot. Mark enthuses about interacting with his customers. He strongly believes that it helps to create a community of coffee lovers who feel that they’re part of the Collective. The custom made six metre communal table running down the length of the café doesn’t hurt the community vibe either.

Duncan McCance has jumped on board as Mark’s new business partner, and heads up the kitchen. He has plenty of experience under his belt, having worked as chef at Las Chicas for several years. The kitchen works are under way and Duncan will be ready to fire up in the kitchen in early January.

While it’s true that, for most of us, the primary reason behind our choice of café is the quality of the coffee it serves, it’s impossible to ignore the bunch of other factors that contribute to your experience. Collective Espresso not only gets the coffee right, but the rest of the formula is spot on too.

Collective Espresso
3 Cookson Street
Camberwell Vic 3124

Opening hours
Monday — Friday 7.00am — 5.00pm
Saturday 8.00am — 4.00pm

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