Assembly bring their chilled take on specialty coffee to a Collingwood laneway.
Coffee space might be the best way to describe the new Assembly venue in Collingwood.
With a laneway location and an upstairs setting, the moody space feels more like a gallery than a cafe.
The big, open room features a central espresso bar backed by a concrete-slab brew station. Stools at an unglazed window look over the laneway (and into the apartments opposite), and the small communal table is enclosed in a potted-plant atrium.
Retro armchairs sit in a corner for coffee lounging, and there are smaller tables for serious laptoppers.
Mecca Coffee’s seasonal blend features for milk-based espresso, plus a single origin for espresso and filter from small Melbourne roaster Wood & Co – at the moment a Colombia La Estrella. In a V60 it’s dark and sweet with stewed fruit – a tight, tannic and astringent brew.
There is serious tea, too – Assembly’s Chrissie Trabucco and Ollie Mackay set up the new space partly to house their tea importing business. They work with exporters and farmers at origin in Taiwan and China to source specialty teas like a fragrant Taiwan Tung Ting oolong.
On Thursdays they host public tastings at the brew bar – with their own cupping form that’s more user-friendly than the Cup of Excellence standard form. There’s a focus on using your words to describe coffee flavour rather than scoring with numbers, says Chrissie Trabucco, and an emphasis on whether the coffee tastes good.
“We want people to be comfortable and drink nice drinks,” says Ollie Mackay – look out for coffee variations like, yes, their caramel latte with house-made dulce de leche.
Where 6 Robert Street, Collingwood
When Mon–Fri 7am–4pm, Sat 8am–4pm