A Journey to the Centre of Northcote

The suburb of Northcote has recently fallen  for the steampunk trend, a culture which pays homage to makeshift industrial looking trinkets. They were decorated throughout the two month old café on High St, named, Penny Farthing.

A penny-farthing is a high wheeled bicycle, where the front wheel is substantially larger than the rear, it is right out of something you would read in a Jules Verne novel and the very name describes the café to a tee.

Owners and brothers, Trevor and Steve, also allocate the dress code. Their coffee making skills are best displayed when the suspenders and checked newsboy hats are on. They smile when you enter the large, high ceilinged cafe and are passionate about their weekly single origin special.

I sat in the courtyard, a tiny space which goes in this part of Melbourne with my water and raw sugar slowly collecting the leaves from the hanging tree. A short black was the only thing to compliment my order, the Smash,  feta, avocado, chilli and oil on crusty bread, it sounded like the perfect afternoon indulgence.

One of the brothers brought the caffeine and a birth certificate to explain its origin and flavour characteristics. It was what the guide said, an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, peachy with a hint of lemon myrtle, it pulled off my snack.

They house 5 Senses beans, a proper ally to their coffee professionalism. When I went to pay I saw the octopus-like barista and all his ambidexterity move through the steam wand and pouring shot to place an empty cup in the sink. There should be a bachelor’s degree in multi-tasking.

I left feeling refreshed, not too full and wired of course. It was lovely to transport back to London circa 1800, where coffee was a drug and all the men dressed to impressed. Roll on Penny Farthing.


206 High St
Northcote VIC 3070

1 Response to “A Journey to the Centre of Northcote”

  1. 1 vettiliveinnorthcote May 1, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Enjoying your blog – and the single origin FTO Honduran long mac I had at Penny Farthing today…

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