63 Degrees – Highton

 

Having visited 63 Degrees in Pakington Street about six weeks ago, I kind of expected it to be a bit of a carbon copy. The Highton version is in a row of shops without the same amount of outdoor dining area – in fact, at Highton, only a few small tables can be located on the footpath out the front. The interior of the Highton version seems to be a little more spacious that the Pako one which gives a bit more of a feeling of space around you.

The menu looks to be identical and, whilst you can order at the counter, table service is also available. This is handy when you feel inclined to target a full lunch or breakfast with several people in your party.

My long black was presented in a tulip cup (I hope that yesterday’s proprietors take note) and was served with a rich crema. Given the name of the cafe, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that the temperature was also pretty much spot on.

If I wanted to be a bit critical, I thought that my coffee was a touch stronger than I would prefer – certainly very good but leaning towards the stronger end of the flavour intensity spectrum. If you are the sort of person who sometimes asks for a slightly weaker version of coffee, you might do well to let the folks know before placing your order at 63 Degrees.

All that said, a very pleasant cup of coffee in very pleasant surroundings – well worth a visit if you’re out Highton way.

 

Address: 87a Barrabool Road
Suburb: Highton 3216
Web Site: www.63degrees.com.au
Telephone: 5241 6833
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.50
Coffee Suppliers: Roastcraft
Headline: Very similar to the 63 Degrees on Pako but totally different! More “inside-focused” than the Pako version. Food offerings look good. Coffee very good too.
Coffee Rating: Four stars

Darriwill Farm

 

Darriwill Farm is more than a cafe – it is also a retail store that stocks a wide range of their own brand gourmet foods, wines, gifts and kitchen equipment. The cafe is housed in a separate adjacent shop, with internal access between the shops. In keeping with its gourmet selection, the cafe also provides an interesting menu boasting what they describe as “wholesome food with a fancy twist”.

The warning bells started to ring when I placed my coffee order – I was asked whether I wanted that in a mug or a up (never a good sign for a long black). After requesting a cup, my coffee was presented in a cup that was neither tulip nor cappuccino. The shape was more along the lines of a traditional tea cup with a large diameter top narrowing down to being a quite small circumference at the bottom. As a result, with the top surface being so big, the crema was thin and the coffee cooled quickly.

That said, though, the taste was actually pretty good. I have had some bad experiences with Gravity-branded coffee but this one tasted all right. Certainly not “wow material but certainly good enough to be considered as a regular local cafe if you are in the Highton area.

Not a bad spot to go if you need to buy a gift and a coffee in the same trip!

 

Address: Shop 10-11, 65-71 Barrabool Road
Suburb: Highton 3216
Web Site: www.darriwillfarm.com.au
Telephone: 5241 2933
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.90
Coffee Suppliers: Gravity
Headline: Good coffee without being great. Good spot to have a regular local cafe.
Coffee Rating: Three and a half stars

Two Sugars – Highton

 

I went to Two Sugars with a little apprehension this morning – I had been to their Pakington Street location for dinner during last week and was a bit under-whelmed by both the environment and the customer service. But being Mothers Day today, with plenty of families out in cafes, it was, to some extent, a case of getting a seat anywhere I could find one.

The cafe is located on the corner of Highton’s main intersection and so gets a fair amount of passing traffic. Under normal circumstances, there would be people sitting outside on that corner enjoying their coffee and food, but not this morning – a day when Geelong has received a significant downpour of rain. As a result, the corner looks a bit empty and the cafe, inside, is quite full.

With the number of people in the cafe, I was expecting a lack of attention and a long wait for coffee. In fact, it was the opposite – I was directed to a seat at a bench, looking out the window and my coffee arrived within a few minutes. The coffee, made from one of Melbourne’s more popular generalist coffee brands – Vittoria – was surprising good. Unfortunately, many of Melbourne’s “get ’em in and get ’em out” coffee venues use these generalist brands and as a result, we have learned to associate the brand with average coffee. Not so this morning!

My major criticism of the experience? The seats that were provided for the bench were standard height rather than traditional bar stool height. As a result, the person sitting next to me was almost reaching above eye level to eat his meal. In the end, it was more comfortable for me to stand and drink my coffee. Maybe they were short of seats because of Mothers Day – certainly the seats were short of stature!

 

Address: 7/65-71 Barrabool Road
Suburb: Highton 3216
Web Site: www.twosugarscafe.com
Telephone: 03 5244 5711
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.90
Coffee Suppliers: Vittoria
Headline: Very good coffee. Good vibe. Short stools. A good place for Sunday breakfast, particularly if you are tall!
Coffee Rating: Four stars