Meet Dino Crivelli of Coffee Max in Camberwell
Article posted: August 21, 2017
For a cafe that draws on history and tradition, look no further than Coffee Max in Camberwell.
Owner Dino Crivelli said the cafe was established in 2000 and the reason for opening the store was to continue a family tradition of roasting coffee, which spans three generations.
His grandfather started Coffex Coffee in 1959, which was taken over by his father and Crivelli later opened his own cafe in Camberwell.
Crivelli learnt how to roast coffee from his father and grandfather but said he’s had to reinvent himself in recent years as coffee has evolved and changed.
“There’s a lot more varieties of coffee now than there ever was. I’ve got the history and the tradition behind me but I’m also progressive in today’s current coffee scene.”
Mr Crivelli said continuing the tradition of coffee roasting was important to him and his family.
“I don’t think there are many coffee brands today that have got the tradition, the history and the background that I have, so I’m quite proud of that. I think it adds a credibility and trust in the brand.”
Embracing Melbourne’s coffee culture
Despite coming from a line of Italian coffee lovers, Mr Crivelli said the standard of coffee in Melbourne was excellent.
“Melbourne’s coffee culture is one of the best in the world. It’s hard to find a bad coffee in Melbourne,” he said.
Mr Crivelli said people could walk into almost any cafe in Melbourne and expect a certain standard of coffee.
He believes this has stemmed from baristas having more training and a better knowledge of coffee, as well as the coffee industry being more transparent about their product.
“Most cafes know where they should be buying the best coffee beans from and they have that understanding of what makes a bean good or bad. Overall, that has improved the standard of coffee in Melbourne,” Mr Crivelli said.
“A lot of coffee suppliers are also doing a lot more training with their baristas in making the coffee – from extraction times through to temperature of the milk and presentation, whereas years ago there wasn’t as much of a focus on these things.
“There’s a stronger relationship between coffee grower, roaster and cafe operator so they’re all inter-connected now.”
A focus on quality
Despite facing more competition now compared to when the Coffee Max opened in 2000, the cafe has evolved to offer a better standard and consistency of coffee.
“I think it comes down to trust and credibility. Our regulars keep coming back which is good,” Mr Crivelli said.
Mr Crivelli said today’s coffee consumer was more savvy compared to 10 or 20 years ago.
“They’re very particular about what they want,” he said.
“They’re also very curious about the types of coffee we serve on a daily basis and they ask questions like ‘what’s in it?’ and ‘where are the beans from?’”
Mr Crivelli said his customers were also interested in the different styles of coffee available other than standard espresso, including filter, cold drip and siphon coffees.
As an experienced roaster, Coffee Max rotates their coffee beans daily to offer customers different blends and flavours.
While most of the cafe’s coffee beans have chocolate and hazelnut based flavours with a smooth quality, Coffee Max also offers beans with more of a citrus and acidic profile.
“The different flavour profiles are a good thing because it gives our customers variety,” Mr Crivelli said.
The business won an award at the Australian International Coffee Awards conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) for their Maximus blend. It combines a mix of beans from Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru and Kenya and has notes of hazelnut, caramel, chocolate and cherry.
With coffee roasting being their unique point of difference, Coffee Max plans to grow its wholesale side of the business.
“Being a roaster, we have the ability to supply other cafes with coffee beans. We also do contract roasting which means we can roast a cafe’s own brand of beans,” Mr Crivelli said.
“Being a locally-based, smaller coffee roaster means we can offer quality and consistency in the product.”
Visit the cafe
742 Burke Rd, Camberwell
Phone: (03) 9813 0111.