A bit of a retro review for this one, but actually thats what makes it all the more impressive. 65 Degrees was my first coffee love, my Barista crush.....
9 years ago I bumped into this iconic little coffee shop being run by two brothers (now of Gridlock Coffee roasting fame), one a world champion barista, with a big red roaster out the back. Early mornings were filled with the smell of roasting beans and you could go and get involved if you were lucky. I spent every morning at this place and became part of the furniture, clients would know that if they wanted to have a chat they could always join me at 8am for a coffee and reflection.
This is where I would buy my beans, it is where you could have a very deep and detailed coffee conversation, we were very familiar to each other. I remember one late afternoon walking past at closing time, one of the brother leapt out and asked me to test one of his brews. Im not a big straight up espresso drinker but he was very persuasive and so I got the first crack at his 'stone fruit' brew. It was as expected, tasting just like peach it went down sweet before a good coffee punch at the end... I asked how it would go with milk and he replied "like peaches and cream". It was my place, great coffee, great company and a very old school vibe.
Even my kids grew up with them, school holidays were not complete with a trip to work with dad and a visit to 65 Degrees for 'tepid' Hot chocolates with Dads coffee.
Time passed, the boys moved on to bigger things as their roasting became too good and they went into the bean business. The lovely ladies who took over took a little time to settle and I took time to adjust to the change (barista grief) but eventually we both found our feet and my coffee love continued. Most of the staff stayed on so that helped our transition Im sure.
For 4 years this was my haunt, until the day I finished up with the client I was working at close by and the distance from the office was just too great. But it was not and is not the end of my love affair with this place and this coffee and these baristas. My daughters are now at university, exam time location happens to be close by to 65 degrees, so I drive them to exams and swing past for a sneaky coffee. Without fail it is like a return home. Recently I dropped by having not been there for 6 months, still I am greeted by name, still I don't have to repeat my order, it's like putting on that old favorite t-shirt all over again.
Gridlock continues to be the coffee beans of choice, if you are lucky the boys still drop in for a guest appearance. Never go for what is in the machine for the masses, look up against the wall and see what special beans are on offer and try a deluxe single roast, if it is the columbian strap in as your day is about to go in fast forward.
The steak sandwich is a yes from me :)