Saturday, 9 August 2014

peter's yard - quartermile

peter's yard - quartermile at 27 simpson loan is part of the quarter mile development and specialises in 'artisan' breads, eat in or take home. they've got lots to choose from including sticky buns, cakes, tortes, crisp breads and very yummy looking pizza among others.

you order and pay at the counter with friendly staff who then bring your food and drink to you.

lots of light streams into the modern space and you can sit up to benches looking outside or a mix of communal and smaller tables.

their coffee is excellent.

we've sampled both the flat white and cappuccino and both are seriously cracking. rich and robust with creamy soft milk. the flat white in the traditional smaller cup, perfectly formed.

among the best coffee in edinburgh, without a doubt!

- coffee: artisan roast
- coolness: a stone's throw from the meadows
- website:

Friday, 8 August 2014

artisan roast - bruntsfield

artisan roast, 138 bruntsfield place, is their second shop opened more recently after the long-established broughton street shop.

as per the broughton street shop review, these people are at the very tippy top of the best edinburgh's coffee scene has to offer.

although artisan roast supply the same janszoon beans to lots of other coffee shops in edinburgh, you really need to go to one of their shops to experience it the artisan roast way.

the flat white pictured was perfect. as per the artisan roast website, this is what you can look forward to:
- acidity: low with a slight tang

- body: heavy and syrupy
- sweetness: golden syrup
- characteristics: sumatran teak with figs and dark chocolate

at their bruntsfield shop you can also try V60 and chemex and buy beans (including their own decaf beans) ground to your specifications.

get yourself along for some seriously a-grade coffee.

- coffee: their own roast
- coolness: deluxe coffee plus beans to take home

Saturday, 26 July 2014


ronde, at 66 hamilton place stockbridge, is mostly a funky bicycle shop with slick, smart and intelligently designed bicycles and bicycle gear. but it's also a cafe and art gallery.

ronde occupies two shop fronts with the cafe in the front of what was previously a butchers, complete with lovely old tiling. you can take a seat at one of handful of cute vintage 50s-ish tables and have coffee and sweet, cake type things.

the space has been furnished and designed thoughtfully and contains lots of really nice goods that you'd like to take home.

the coffee is well made by friendly people. soft milk, not too hot, rounded flavour. trusty partner very much enjoyed the espresso. my flat white was great. One to drop in on regularly.

- coffee: guests
- coolness: beautiful bicycles
- website:
- dog-friendly

Saturday, 12 July 2014

brew lab

brew lab artisan coffee bar, 6-8 south college street, is a big, stone and light industrial-vibed coffee house in the middle of the edinburgh university area on the south of the old town

they're at the forefront of coffee seriousness: choices of brew methods, each with their own appropriate bean and grind types. you can also enjoy locally sourced top notch tea, hot chocolate, cakes and light meals such as baguettes and soups.

it's guaranteed that brew lab will continuously change (as in week to week) the coffees they serve -and the food - so expect to experience something different each time. think of how chefs change their menu all the time based on their whim and what's fresh or seasonal.

the main brew methods available when we've been are chemex, clever and espresso but we're sure they'll play other methods too as they go

  • chemex - a style of drip filter that uses very fine filter paper resulting in the coffee and water staying in contact with each other longer, imparting a better flavour than an electric drip filter. the water is heated separately and added by hand which means the barista has full control over all the elements. when we went they were using an ethiopian bean
  • clever - also a drip filter that can be sealed between the filter mechanism and the cup. this means the water doesn't go through as fast as the coffee will allow, instead it steeps in the hot water resulting in a stronger, richer coffee. when we went they were using a nicaraguan bean
  • espresso - brew lab has a very fancy seattle-built espresso machine (you can read all about it on their website) and they use their own 'brew lab' beans created by 'has bean'. we found this to be different to anything we'd tasted before. light, with a bit of smokiness up front moving rapidly to a sour acidity. the picture above is of a flat white

as we said, this is a place that seriously loves their coffee in all its shapes and forms. they're keen to share their enthusiasm and want you to ask questions or seek advice about what to try. we look forward to going with them on a coffee joy ride.

- coffee: their own beans created by 'has bean' plus lots of guest single origins
- coolness: new beans every time you go
- website:

Thursday, 3 July 2014

fortitude coffee

fortitude coffee, 3c york place, is nestled between the national portrait gallery and the stand comedy club in edinburgh's new town.

york place is the eastern end of queen street toward the top of broughton street, complying with old edinburgh's 'three block rule': you can't have the same street name for more than three blocks, even if it is in fact the same street! (this isn't a real rule. we made it up and it seems to be mostly true)

up a short staircase to the front door, you immediately know that fortitude love their coffee. they sell v60 and aeropress gadgets as well as bags of beans, ground or whole. workshop coffee is their primary coffee with monmouth also available when we visited. espresso-based and filter coffees are lovingly prepared by the owner and barista (shown below)

our flat whites were delectable - perfectly prepared using london-based workshop 'cult of done' beans and the service friendly and helpful

soup and pastries are available along with a selection of loose leaf teas, hot chocolate and gourmet cold drinks

the decor is open, light and simple and their branding very nice indeed. mr fortitude's partner did the branding despite not working as a designer and we loved it

- coffee: workshop and monmouth
- coolness: the branding, looks great
- dog-friendly

Sunday, 15 June 2014

filament coffee

filament coffee, 5 india building, victoria street edinburgh, offers outstanding coffee in the heart of the beautiful old town. this shop is definitely on the elite coffee list by both edinburgh and UK standards with uber expert robbie calvert behind the machine

occupying the lower levels of a grand old building, the minimalist decor amplifies the ethos of the shop - an unwavering focus on excellent coffee and helping customers to understand and enjoy it

the owners have played to the strengths of the large space, high ceilings and huge windows and have made the feel uncluttered and relaxed. plenty of pre-loved tables and chairs and plenty of open polished concrete floor space

apart from bringing the best out of their coffee by using extremely high-end equipment that is well beyond my coffee geek level, they use a constant stream of guest single farm beans. that means you're getting rare coffee to an exactingly high standard and can try different beans from all around the world. when we visited filament were using square mile and has bean single farm beans. a previous post talks a bit more about coffee origins and fairness for growers

this is a new business that is evolving so we can expect to see their offering expand, especially during the busy festival season. right now you can get a range of cakes, pastries and biscuits to have with your delectable coffee - all sourced locally and ethically. you can also have gourmet cold drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), again locally sourced, supporting excellent local providers

we'll be back often, that's for sure

- coffee: small batch guests
- coolness: unique single farm beans
- dog-friendly

View edinburgh coffee shop map in a larger map

Sunday, 18 May 2014

machina espresso

machina espresso, 2 brougham place tollcross, is one of edinburgh's best on all coffee fronts. coffee to drink, coffee beans to buy and coffee making equipment in a variety of shapes and forms

located just past tollcross as you head out of town and very near the meadows, machina espresso is friendly and passionate

when we visited they served steampunk coffee and had nude coffee as a guest. you can choose your preferred brewing method and beans with a handy blackboard that explains it all from steeping through pour over and on to pressure/vacuum. the baristas are very happy to explain things to you and genuinely want you to enjoy coffee which is great for two reasons:

1 - you'll get a great coffee while you're there. you might like to try something new (brew method or bean variety) or an old favourite but it'll be great coffee

2 - you can get everything you need for home brewing in all shapes, sizes and budgets. these guys are coffee equipment suppliers for private and commercial use so offer a wide variety of machines, some of which are very shiny and expensive but plenty that are more affordable

machina espresso is definitely among edinburgh's finest coffee shops and well worth the visit

- coffee: steampunk and guests
- coolness: lovely coffee equipment
- website:
- dog-friendly

View the edinburgh coffee shop map in a larger map