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

Saturday, 10 May 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

Monday, 5 May 2014

cairngorm coffee

cairngorm coffee, 41a frederick street, is a coffee shop in the heart of the georgian new town, just below street level

a short set of stone stairs take you from street level past a table & chairs and into the open fronted shop. we very much liked the decor of simple chunky wood with equally chunky old metal machinery holding up various chairs, tables etc. to the right side of the door way is a deceptively large seating area that will be very cosy in the warmer months

cairngorm stock lots of yummy food and drink options such as cold drinks, chocolates and other snacks from a range of gourmet suppliers. they also do light lunches, soups and pastries.

we had a short chat with the barista and learned they're currently using local roaster mr eion beans which we very much enjoyed in our flat whites. they're taking their coffee very seriously and have some other business ideas in plan which we'll look forward to hearing more about.

we'll definitely be back often!

- coffee: mr eion
- coolness: retro industrial decor meets rustic

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

printworks coffee

printworks coffee, 42 constitution street leith, is totally committed to high quality ingredients - locally sourced where it makes good sense.

the space is light-filled with simple low-fuss furnishing resulting in an open uncluttered feeling. the staff are attentive while remaining equally low-fuss :)

printworks is open seven days and provide incredible looking cakes and other goods from local bakers extraordinaire (dough re mi and love pure cakes), creative and hearty soups (from union of genius) and chocolate (from coco).

they use monmouth coffee, an ethically sound and independent outfit from london, with great skill. we had a delightful couple of flat whites. rich, robust, caramely flavours without a hint of bitterness. lovely textured milk, jam-packed with micro bubbles - positively luxuriant.

if we lived closer, we'd be in here every day. until then we'll just have to settle for weekends!

- coffee: monmouth
- coolness: locally sourced delectable cakes and soups

Monday, 7 April 2014

castello coffee

castello coffee is at 7a castle street, just off princes street.

friendly service, lunch options of soups, sandwiches, baguettes, snacks and great coffee.

even in rainy weather you can sit outside under umbrellas and watch the world go by.there are also tables and chairs inside for chilly times.

castello use the fabulous allpress espresso, a new zealand outfit that also trades out of london and sydney. they buy direct from small estates and co-ops so the actual beans change regularly and are seasonal. castello's baristas will always give you a lovely coffee, and you get variety - perfect.

it's also excellently placed to grab a coffee and picnic and then pop across the road to the princes street gardens under the looming edinburgh castle.

a great addition to edinburgh's coffee scene!

- coffee: allpress espresso
- coolness: castle views from their outdoor seating
- dog-friendly

Saturday, 5 April 2014

french press

french press is at 25a dundas street, about half way down the hill on the north side of the new town.

it's a wee place with a few tables and chairs inside and, on sunnier days, a few outside.

the friendly folk will provide you the coffee of your liking.

we tried the flat white, shown, and it was strong, balanced, had a good crema and soft milk texture at a good temperature.

they also offer aeropress, V60 and french press/cafetiere/plunger. they're clearly passionate about their coffee in the way they take the time and care to make it.

- coolness: coffee any way you like it