Collective Espresso is a standout cafe in Melbourne let alone the eastern suburbs with its uber cool vibe, engaging staff and sublime coffee and cuisine. It's a popular choice for locals but also worth travelling across town for.
In fact Collective Espresso is just across from the Camberwell railway station - so I took the opportunity to dive off the train one morning, engage with Collective Espresso, then dive back on. These tables outside are a desirable place to enjoy your morning coffee and are often full by 8am. It's amazing how many school students frequent the cafes of Camberwell - obviously they've done their homework the night before...
The breakfasts are a cut above most other cafes with a plethora of interesting choices delivered with flair. I enjoyed the Ham Hock breakfast sensation. Not politically correct but hit the spot. The pork was wonderful and poached eggs superb. The rosti and fresh peas gave the extra zing.
You can choose off the menu from great selections such as Avocado feta mash with eggs, Ricotta and blueberry dumplings, Sake, orange and miso cured salmon with herb abd zucchini pancake and eggs, or go the architect route and build your own from the free range egg base. Another popular choice is the "Collective Sigh of Relief" big gourmet breakfast.
The fit out is awesome with a long communal table that takes communal tables to another level. I noticed a corporate gathering metting for breakfast around this table. I couldn't quite glean their company secrets. (Unlike the other day where I overheard some high profile property dealings in another cafe). Imagine having high security in your office, internet security, confidentiality agreements etc - only to be overheard by a blogger in the local cafe... In fact due to my corporate background I am tempted to weigh in and give advice - but better stick to the food blog David...
Natural light flows through large windows where you can sit at the counter on a stool and enjoy eclectic Camberwell. The light fitting in the middle of the room is striking.
The house blend coffee is 5 Senses. This is a serious coffee destination with all the coffee options abnd a large Synesso. My espresso was superb with me instantly recognising the 5 Senses blend flavours.
The barista was a character telling a customer about a golf day and his trouble on a par 3 with 15 strokes. Definitely the coffee not the golf collective here.
Baristas/staff are engaging and chatty to all who enter. It's a warm friendly but chic vibe. Funky music playing over the speakers as you settle at the communal table. I only had my Iphone on me at the time and tried to discreetly take some photos - but was spotted by the dude above. I was a little embarrassed when I checked the shot to see him waving. Sprung! Usually I introduce myself and ask if its ok to take a couple of photos (yes there is a blogger etiquette).
The next day I returned and took the first two shots in this post with my trusty Canon. The same dude spotted me through the window. I'm sure he was thinking it's a case of the blogger on the grassy knoll...
Collective joy from my experience at Collective Espresso. Highly recommended.