Saturday, 15 April 2017

Kaf Coffee

5 Hyndland St
G11 5QE
Open every day
Espresso, pour over
Coffee: Guests
Also: Meals, cakes, beans
Coolness: Lovely food cooked on premises

Kaf Coffee (5♥) is a small and perfectly formed coffee bar and bakery in Glasgow's West End area.

Specialty coffee reigns supreme here and visitors can expect to enjoy a constantly changing menu of pedigree roasters. Week to week choices will vary, but some of these names will give you an indication of the treats you're in for: Fortitude, Workshop, James Gourmet, Union and many more to come.

Kaf offers high quality pour over and espresso based coffees - made to exacting standards. You can also pick up coffee merch such as Colonna coffee capsules (Nespresso compatible compostable coffee pods), Keep Cups, pourover and aeropress kit and filters as well as some smart, Scandi-inspired cups and what nots.

While this is a wee shop that seats 9-10 people inside and a couple more out front, owner Leo is managing to produce some stand out food on site. In many cases for a shop of this size, the coffee would be the primary focus but Leo's managing to produce food to an equally high standard.

Meals will vary and include all day breakfast until 4pm of Scandi plates (e.g.boiled egg, bacon, cheese, new potato, hummus, sourdough, fruit and granola with yoghurt), breakfast rolls, porridge and grilled cheese sandwiches. And additional lunch options include a wide range of whole food sandwiches (e.g. ingredients include felafel, tuna nicoise, hazelnut pesto, pastrami). And the cakes, custard tarts, brownies, biscuits, puff pastry tarts and more that are on display are pretty much eye poppers.

Owner Leo brings to Kaf the skills and knowledge she's gathered through considerable time in some of Edinburgh and Glasgow's best specialty coffee houses. And has now set up her own offering that is a unique combination of food and coffee that's all her own.

And we love the 'KAF Coffee Glasgow' branding and tote bags - bravo.


Friday, 17 March 2017

Scotland Coffee Lovers App

 Download from the App Store

Download from the Playstore

Our App will help you find the best independent specialty coffee shops in Scotland - quickly and easily, whether you're online or offline.

Your location will show up on our map alongside the best coffee shops - all visited and rated by us. You can choose the coffee shop that suits your style and mood based on the rating, review and photo.

download our app free from the App Store or Playstore and never have a bad coffee again!

Want to be on our app?
We're always looking to add Scottish high quality, independently owned, specialty coffee shops to our app. We review them all ourselves, an no-one pays to be listed. If you fit the bill, we'd love to hear from you, just drop us an email (scotlandcoffeelovers(at) or direct message us on Twitter or Facebook.

Why an app?
We're passionate about Scotland's independent coffee shops and want to support them by driving customers through their doors. With location services, our App makes it easy for you to find your way to the best coffee shops Scotland has to offer.

We've been reviewing indy coffee shops in Edinburgh since 2008 and have recently been inspired to expand to the whole of Scotland. Over coming weeks and months we'll load up more shops and we're working to improve how the App functions.

Our App works offline so visitors who don't have a UK phone can download it while they're on WiFi and still use it when they're offline.

You'll also stay up to date with the best coffee shops as they open across Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow - as your App will be updated regularly.

We'll continue to refine our App as our coffee scene evolves.

Saturday, 4 March 2017


4 Palmerston Pl
EH12 5AA
Open every day
Coffee: Horsham Coffee & many guests
Also: Cake, pastries, soup, sandwiches
Coolness: Revolving single origins in an elegantly modernised Georgian space

Noir (4♥) provides high quality, single origin coffee in Edinburgh's West End, a couple of blocks past Shandwick Place as you head out of the city.

You can choose from regularly changing single origin guest beans - with attributes happily explained by the barista - and their house bean, which is the distinguished West Sussex-based Horsham Coffee.

The owner is looking to get the balance right between offering coffee that's genuinely different and pushes the boundaries a bit, while also providing some familiar favourites for customers. As you'd expect with this vision, not only are the beans top notch, so too is the technical capability of the baristas making your coffee.

Given it's fantastic Georgian exterior and inviting chunky stone stair and balustrade, it seems appropriate to mention that Edinburgh has a habit of changing the name of the same street multiple times in quick succession (which is very confusing for visitors). So according to the street sign on the front of the building it's simultaneously on Coates Place and Atholl Place. Palmerston Place runs down the other flank of the shop toward the towering St Mary's.

The focus on quality also resonates through the food, with soups from Souped Up, sandwich-panini type delights and delux charcuterie platters. A wide range of pastries and cakes are also available, of course.

The decor is elegant, with enough austerity not to detract from the grandness of the Georgian high ceilings, decoration and massive windows. The black and white floor tiles and quasi Japanese dark wood framing the servery area add to the wow-factor (while tying in with the shop name) in this large space that provides a good number of comfortably-spaced tables and chairs.


Friday, 24 February 2017

Smith & Gertrude - Bearded Barista

26 Hamilton Pl
Pop up every Sunday
Coffee: Steampunk
Also: Pastries, meals
Coolness: Wine and cheese bar cool meets sunlight

Smith & Gertrude (5♥) is a wine bar in Stockbridge that hosts the Bearded Barista's pop up coffee cart every Sunday. (Keep an eye on his twitter feed for detail)

It's not hard to see why a relaxed and friendly wine bar - who clearly have a very keen palate and commitment to fine fare - are fostering this symbiotic relationship.

Lewis, aka the Bearded Barista, wheels his cart into the corner of the light and bright wine bar around 10am every Sunday, breathing early morning life into a great location - and the locals are all the better for it. Lewis pops up in other spots around town, including the Leith Market, and has been serving lovely coffee for many years around Edinburgh.

He uses Steampunk Coffee Roasters - from North Berwick - changing his beans regularly. Steampunk also continuously change their range based on seasonality and cuppings - working with green bean suppliers Nordic Approach and Falcon Speciality.

Smith & Gertrude is a friendly wine bar that is pretty much the opposite of the stereotypical dark and seedy establishment. It's large front windows welcome in sunlight and the decor is warm timbers and clean lines. Alongside quality wines of many shapes and sizes their menu includes charcuterie, cheese boards, some seriously mouth watering combinations (warm and cold) and flights of wines with matching cheeses.

All a bit too tempting really - and great coffee too!
More again:

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bearded Baker

46 Rodney St
Open every day
Coffee: Williams & Johnson
Also: Meals, beans, local food products
Coolness: The hint is in the title - bagel & doughnut happyland

The Bearded Baker (3♥) is a small and stylish bakery coffee shop on the North side of Edinburgh - heading toward Cannon Mills and Inverleith.

To complement their locally famous bakery items, owners Rowan and Julia have chosen Edinburgh coffee roaster Williams & Johnson. You can expect their juicy, high altitude coffee profile, changing regularly as they source coffees from around the world.

The shop is light-filled and elegantly styled in a way that feels effortless, but is actually hard to achieve, making the most of their small space. You can sit down to a couple of light wooden tables with wooden chairs and stools - or the high bench across the front window facing the street.

Alongside good coffee, bagels (boiled then baked) and filled doughnuts are their main gig. Rowan and his crew often bake batches multiple times a day to satisfy hungry customers, so you can be sure they're super fresh. 

Being a bakery, you can load up your shopping bags or sit in and enjoy your bagels with avocado, bacon or smoked salmon. They also do a cracking sour dough bread and offer gluten-free alternatives. Big fluffy doughnuts are filled with a jam and cream option on any given day - changing flavours to keep things both interesting and mouthwatering.

The menu also includes a regularly changing vegan and gluten free soup, salad and cake every day, alongside a range of other cakes for the diary and wheat oriented.

The Bearded Baker is a pedigreed supplier of bagels and doughnuts to some of our other favourite Edinburgh high quality coffee shops including Filament, Fortitude, Williams & Johnson at Custom Lane and Lowdown among many others. 

At their shop they also use and sell the produce of other local, independent artisans such as Dollop & Scoff (jams & chutneys), Blondilox (porridge blend bags), Pekoe Tea, Coco hot chocolates and Harry's treats (dog treats).

They're open seven days - generally early until 5pm on week days and 9am-4pm on weekends. Definitely one to put on your regular visit list.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Roundsquare Coffee House

132 Morningside Rd
EH10 4AH 
Open every day
Espresso, filter
Coffee: Roundsquare
Also: Beans, cakes, sandwiches 
Coolness: Super slick coffee gear abounds

Roundsquare Coffee House (4♥), have set up their coffee shop in busy Morningside Road near the locally famous Dominion Cinema. Their roastery is in Ayr - on Scotland's West coast - although owners have plans to roast from Edinburgh in the near future.

At their coffee shop you can expect to be served their house blend (Brazil-El Salvador) for espresso-based drinks as well as seasonal single estate beans for pour-over. They're using v60 for their filter coffee which they load up with the right dose of ground coffee and park it under one of their two Marco single serve precision brewers which installed in their serving bench. The precision brewer manages temperature, brewing time and water volume to deliver an accurate brew, while the barista juggles other orders.

These folks are pretty comprehensively involved in the coffee business. They supply San Remo espresso machines and Mahlkonig grinders to shops and hotels across Scotland, roast and supply their beans to other coffee shops and will soon be hosting Speciality Coffee Association of Europe training from this coffee shop. The end of the shop is set up with two espresso machines for this purpose, alongside other related coffee brewing equipment ready for eager baristas to polish their skills.

The decor is slick but warm. The back wall is covered with matt black tiles, which contrast smartly with the chrome coffee gear and the other white walls. And the smooth wooden benches, tables and stools are welcoming without crowding the space.

Food on offer includes made focaccia and sourdough toasted sandwiches and cakes & brownies from local artisans Au Gourmand and Grace and Co. Tea drinkers can choose from a wide range of Jenier Teas and you can, as you'd expect, buy bags of Roundsquare beans to take home.

All in all a friendly and welcome addition to the local coffee scene and we can expect to see things evolve from here!


Friday, 3 February 2017

Century General Store Abbeyhill

1-7 Montrose Terrace
Open every day
Coffee: Assembly Coffee & guests
Also: Meals, beans & general merchandise
Coolness: The charming fairy tale building exterior

Century General Stores (5♥) occupies the ground floor of a very quaint wedge-shaped building in Abbeyhill, just East of central Edinburgh.

The coffee is excellent, offering a choice of London's high quality Assembly Coffee and a changing guest roaster, made with great skill and care. Tea drinkers can sip local supplier Pekoe Tea and there's a selection of meals, cakes and pastries, including gluten free.

The shop is triangular with the coffee machine and serving area running along the shorter side. It has a simple decor with timber flooring, six or so black tables with chairs and white walls. It also has a high bench against the front rounded window where you can perch and watch the world go by.

Breakfast choices include croissants, granola & yoghurt, toasted banana bread and other buns and pastries. Lunches from midday include sourdough sandwiches with a tasty selection of toppings such as hot smoked salmon, avocado, mixed leaves and wasabi mayo, goats cheese, chilli jam and rocket salad and roast veggies with olive tapenade. Every day they also put on a vegetarian soup and stew of the day.

The General Store section relates mostly to a wall of shelving that stocks plates, coffee and tea pots, candles, drinking glasses and other useful household items. They also stock some gourmet chocolate and greetings cards and other stylish bits and bobs.

All in all, this is an uber chilled zone with tip top coffee and locals are indeed lucky to have Century General Store in their neighbourhood!