I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer.
Published May 2nd 2017
Coffee and a story
From the outside you are not quite sure what to expect and perhaps that is one of the intriguing features of Casati's Deli and Cafe in Collingwood. The story of Casati's is a fascinating one. It started as a Beer Micro Brewery in 1993 and it is now only over a month since the deli and cafe have opened
Once you step inside the atmosphere is at once fascinating, homely, Italian and welcoming. Three coffee machines await your order depending on your preferences of traditional espresso beans or three other roasts. The machines and the coffee grinder have been built by Peter Casati, the owner, brewer, and industrial designer/mechanic, and are worth having a closer look at.
The staff are extremely friendly and you can see how coming here could develop into a weekly habit to stop for breakfast or lunch – and unlike many Melbourne cafes there is not a smashed avocado in sight. As Peter says, this is how he used to eat weekend lunch with his Italian grandparents and family; simple foods from the markets, shared with loved ones. And this is exactly what it feels like, no pretentiousness, just good quality coffee and food and a warm environment.
The surrounding artefacts, some built by Peter (aka Gonz), come from his workshop, the Gonzlab, others, in the form of old photographs, are reminders of his Italian heritage.
Casati's is more than a cafe and deli; it is a journey into a man's story and passion, his memories of a simpler life and a desire to connect with people through coffee, food and beer. Beer brewing is, after all, what started Peter on this journey and beer will also be brewed at this same address, the vats are on their way to being installed.
So do yourself a favour and pop by Casati's soon, have a chat with Peter and his staff, enjoy great coffee or milk shakes and look closely at the artefacts and photos that tell a story.