Thursday, 26 March 2015

Cobolt Coffee

Cobolt Coffee (5♥), in the Police Box in Marchmont Crescent sits on a pedestrianised little junction that has a village feel.

Dan and Harriet run Cobolt Coffee with a huge focus on the coffee while offering pastries and other sweet accompaniments along with Union of Genius soup and rolls. They're also super-friendly and very happy to chat you through the coffee they serve.

They use Falkirk-based Roast Central beans and do them proud. The flat white I had was delightful and they also offer pour-over. They intend to scroll through a steady stream of season and small batch beans from their trusted bean provider, offering variety with a change every month or so.

Big thumbs up to Cobolt. Worth the trip to try it and if it's your local you're very lucky. Not too far from The Meadows either if you're heading there for a picnic or to walk the dog you can slide on by the Police Box for a brew on the go.

Coffee: Roast Central
Coolness: The Police Box is pretty cute

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Maxime Patissier

Maxime Patissier (2♥), 6 Queensferry Street, is a cafe and patissier in Edinburgh's West End.

There's no missing the opulent French pastries, meringues, cakes and macarons in the large front window that bring many a customer through the door.

The interior of this large open cafe is a modern mix of white, black and orange decor softened with potted plants. There are plenty of tables and chairs with some high tables and stools toward the front of the shop.

The coffee you can have with your preferred pastry is Artisan Roast, pictured above is a flat white.

- Coffee: Artisan Roast
- Coolness: Amazing cakes of all types

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Artisan Roast Stockbridge

Artisan Roast Stockbridge (5♥), is their third coffee shop in Edinburgh, with the others being Brougton Street and Bruntsfield.

As explained on the reviews for the other shops, Artisan Roast is one of Edinburgh's longest standing roasters. It also operates in Glasgow and supplies many a coffee shop with top notch wholesale beans.

They're a passionate bunch and are active in the local coffee community with tastings, education events and have 'sharing of the coffee love' core to their being.

The Stockbridge shop is a lovely combination of florist and coffee shop, teaming up with the Edinburgh flower company. The fully glass-fronted shop is warmly light industrial mixing wooden floors and counters with grey walls and a black and chrome theme. Customers have a choice of high stools and tables at the front or a softer lounge feel toward the back. A bank of beautiful flowers are housed in a large fit-for-purpose florist fridge at one side of the shop with the florist's bench tucked away next to it.

The coffee itself is exceptionally made and they offer espresso-based, v60, aeropress and chemex coffees using their own bean selection for the brew method accordingly. Shoppers can buy beans to take home from their range (pictured below) and also buy from a small selection of coffee making kit.

- Coffee: Their own roasts
- Coolness: Pick up beautiful flowers while you're there
- Also sells: beans to take home and some coffee kit

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Caffeine Drip

The Caffeine Drip South African Cafe and Bakery (3♥), at 10 Melville Place in the West End, is deceptively large behind its narrow and distinctive frontage.

The owners have taken the building's quirky layout and used every inch of it to good effect. as soon as you're enter the front door you can choose to go upstairs to the 'upper lounge' for hot drinks, light meals and cakes or downstairs to a full service basement cafe that also serves hot food. 

You'll see some of the South African influence in the menu such as their boerewors (sausage) rolls and biltong (dried beef) alongside and extensive array of soups, rolls, wraps, cakes and other baked items that are made in-house.

Offering take-away, eat in and catering services, there's a pleasant, busy and bustling feel to the place, intensified by the low ceilings downstairs making it very cosy.

The Caffeine Drip uses Glaswegian Matthew Algie 'Darwin' beans and makes good coffee. It also provides a kick start to plenty of folks' mornings as they drop in for a take-away coffee on their way to work in town.

Coolness: Quirky layout and South African specialities
Also sells: Darwin beans to take home - whole or ground

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Stag Espresso Warburton Gallery

Stag Espresso at Warburton Gallery (5♥) is Richard Conway's second cafe, The first being at Dovecot Studios.

The cafe, which is open every day, is on the entry level of a fantastic building in Edinburgh's Old Town: the India Buildings, 1 Victoria Street. the Gallery is open Wednesday to Sundays, is not-for-profit and was "founded with the aim of fostering the imagination, facilitating the creation of new art of the highest quality and enabling artists to experiment and take risks in their artistic practice, moving creative ideas to the fore" according to the Gallery website. if this type of contemporary art is your cuppa, so to speak, look no further.

Managed by friendly staff who serve up soups and a lovely array of cakes and other sweet, sticky edibles, it's also the perfect place to drop in for lunch or coffee.

As you can see from the pictures, the cafe is  a large, high ceilinged and wood panelled room with huge windows and a decorative ceiling. this Grade A listed building has been beautifully restored and has the wow factor for visitors and residents alike. those 1860s-Scots-Baronial-and-Jacobean-office-block-designers really new what they were doing.

The coffee also has the wow factor and is lovingly prepared using J Atkinson & Co Archetype beans. (the Atkinson & Co description is: "deep aroma, full body and balanced sweetness with flavours of roasted nut, dark chocolate, caramel and a melon"). Pictured above are two perfect flat whites that tasted as good as they look - temperature, micro-bubbles, balance, sheen and flavour.

This one's on the high rotation list!

Coffee: J Atkinson & Co - Archetype
Coolness: building wow-factor
Also sells: archetype beans and keepcups

Hula Juice Bar & Gallery

Hula Juice Bar & Gallery (4♥), Grassmarket, is one of the few places that does great coffee in Edinburgh's Old Town. 

The location is also special given the buildings and surrounds date from the 1600s and before.

Hula Juice Bar & Gallery offers a great choice of healthy food, smoothies and juices for breakfasts and lunches. options include soups, wraps, bagels, salads and cakes. and they feature the work of different artists, changing regularly.

The staff are friendly and do their jobs well. you can sit outside when the sun is shining but there's plenty of space inside as well, a stone's throw from Edinburgh Castle.

The coffee is great and expertly prepared. rich, robust. good acid, soft luscious milk. combined with the beautifully historic old part of town, what more can you ask!

- Coffee: Artisan Roast
- Coolness: right in amongst the Old Town
- Also sells: bags of artisan roast beans and some home coffee kit

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Stag Espresso Dovecot Studios

Stag Espresso at Dovecot Studios (5♥), 10 Infirmary Street, is a light and airy cafe on the entry level of Dovecot Studios. it's run by Richard Conway who also runs the Stag Espresso at Warburton Gallery.

The cafe building is the result of  a thorough refurbishment of Edinburgh’s oldest public baths and now includes workshop and gallery spaces as well as the cafe. It's a 100 year old tapestry studio and home of the Dovecot Foundation which supports the work of the studios and a programme of tapestry and non-tapestry related exhibitions and events.

It's a top spot that has very tasty and creative soups, breads, sandwiches, all sorts of indulgent baked goods and serves J Atkinson & Co  'Archetype' coffee. (the J Atkinson & Co description is: "deep aroma, full body and balanced sweetness with flavours of roasted nut, dark chocolate, caramel and a melon")

It's open everyday except Sundays and the coffee is as excellent as it is at the Warburton Gallery, ticking all the boxes on temperature, micro-bubbles, balance, sheen and flavour.

Run by very friendly staff who are clearly passionate about food and coffee, and situated in a lovely space amongst contemporary art and design, what more could you want?

This is a gem.

- Coffee: J. Atkinson & Co
- Coolness: located in Dovecot Studios
- Also sells: J Atkinson & Co beans