Local Profile: Colectivo Coffee

Published on January 11th, 2017
By Jennifer Oppriecht

Our local profile is a welcome addition to the Madison scene – Colectivo Coffee. Read our interview with Ramie Camarena for more details on this delicious cafe.

Colectivo Coffee

Q: Tell us about Colectivo Coffee.

Since 1993, we’ve been sourcing coffees from origin and roasting every batch by hand. By developing farmer and co-op partnerships, we can be involved in every step of creating a great coffee experience.

Our name was inspired by the artful and funky buses used for public transportation across Latin America, “colectivos” (co-lec-TEE-vo), and the iconic part of everyday life they represent. We are independently owned and roast our award-winning coffees on a pair of vintage Probats in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.

Our first Madison cafe was opened on the Capitol Square in the historic Tenney Building in 2013.

Capitol Square Colectivo

Q: What are some of Colectivo Coffee’s special menu items?

We’re proud to offer our Session Roasted™ coffees as well as Letterbox Fine Tea, and Colectivo Keg Company beers – available by the glass or growler at our cafes on the Square and Monroe St.

Colectivo interior

We also offer Troubadour Bakery artisan breads, bagels, pastries, and scones. Our bread is a return to the old world ways, patiently made by hand using simple ingredients, natural leavening, and long fermentation – we call it “Slow-Made.”

We work with local farmers and producers to source the freshest ingredients for all of our made-from-scratch food, including soups, sandwiches, smoothies and more. Some of our local partners include Sassy Cow Creamery, Yuppie Hill eggs, and Usinger’s Famous Sausage.

(You can check out our cafe food and drink menus here and here.)

Q: Tell us about your seasonal Peru Chrinos coffee.

When the season is right, we feature Peru Chrinos coffee, a seasonal offering available for a limited time.  Check out this video of one of Colectivo Coffee’s sourcing trips to Peru.

Colectivo Featured Farms – La Prosperidad de Chirinos from Colectivo Coffee on Vimeo.

Plus our coffee department just returned from a sourcing trip to Colombia, so keep an eye out for some excellent coffees from Antioquia and beyond later this year.

Q: What do your customers like most about Colectivo Coffee?

Colectivo has loyal customers.

Because of the nature of our business, we’re lucky to develop relationships with many of our customers. We try hard to do our best work every day, and we think they see and appreciate that. Plus we’ve had quite a few loyal customers come work with us over the years, which is pretty cool!

Q: What does Colectivo Coffee love about Madison?

Madison has been welcoming to Colectivo.

We’re thrilled that Madison has been so welcoming. With cafes near campus, on the square, and tucked into the wonderful Monroe St. neighborhood, we love the sort of distinctly different mix of customers we get to see each day. It’s great to see how curious and interested Madisonians are about coffee, food, and food quality.


Click here to learn more about Colectivo Coffee.

All photos courtesy of Colectivo Coffee

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