182 Jackson St, Petone, Lower Hutt
Opens: 7am weekdays, 8am weekends; closes 3pm
Granola (muesli) – keto, cherry coconut or sugar-free $14; Ripe coffee, t-leaf-T tea
Origin is one of a string of cafes along Petone’s Jackson St. It is an outlet for Ripe Coffee Roasters, who have several other cafes around the region, though only one other sells muesli: Small Batch, near the Hutt River mouth. Origin has a vegan orientation and two interesting mueslis, styled as keto granola and sugar-free granola. Regular readers of this website will be familiar with my campaign against sugar, so I was tempted by the second granola option; but I’m also interested in the low carb concept in general, so went for the keto version in the first instance.*
I’m calling it a muesli because although it was highly toasted, there was little evidence of a sugar-based or oil binder and no clumping of grains. In fact there were no grains, just nuts and seeds, as you would expect from something labelled ‘keto’. The nuts were almond slices, hazelnuts and walnuts. Seeds included sesame, pumpkin and sunflower. Coconut shred was the only other ingredient I spotted, though cacao nibs were also listed on the menu.
The muesli was topped with coconut yoghurt, but you could choose dairy yoghurt instead. And the berries were ‘lemony blueberries’, which I was told were blueberries soaked in lemon something. They were not cooked in a syrup, but seemed as though they were simply unfrozen fresh berries.
I had single origin filter coffee in a good sized mug and it was great. I was even given a free top-up to use up the remainder of the batch. Nice.
The café is quite small, with a Formica dining table at the front on one side of the door with a classic red ‘crushed ice’ pattern (see background for my coffee and muesli photo), and comfortable turquoise padded seating on the other beneath a circular mural. Down the back, opposite the counter are a string of about five two-seater tables, and an alcove with room for four or five people. So the café has a very modest capacity, even counting the two tables outside.
At the back several reproductions of retro paintings by Vladimir Tretchikoff adorn the walls (Balinese girl and Miss Wong in the above image left to right respectively) and there is a children’s play nook.
By 8.45am on a Saturday there were about 15 people present, making the café about 2/3 full. Noise level was fairly subdued and newspapers were available, so I count it a pretty comfortable place to be, especially if you can get the turquoise padded seat by the window.
Great to have a muesli that is low on carbohydrate, including sugar, and high on nuts. I did feel that it was roasted a bit past the point of tastiness though. This made the nuts easier to eat, as they sort of crumbled in the mouth, but I do wonder if nutritional value is damaged in the process.
* A keto diet is low in carbohydrate, high in fats and moderate in protein. It was first developed to control epilepsy in the 1920s but some now believe it offers health benefits by keeping blood sugar and thus insulin levels down and weight-loss by burning body fats. The usual glucose burning process of metabolism is replaced by ketosis in which fats provide energy.
Reviewed November 2020.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.