Saturday, 25 April 2015

Area C Coffeehouse

239 Leith Walk, EH6 8 NY
See on a map
Open: Every day
Brew: Espresso
Coffee: Glen Lyon
Meals: Yes
Wifi: Yes
Coolness: Their own falafel and hummus which they make themselves daily

Area C Coffeehouse (4♥) is a large space with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating, situated on bustling Leith Walk.

Its a cafe by day that offers breakfast and lunch (and coffee & cakes) and operates quite often as a venue in the evenings. Alongside cakes and traybakes they've got panini, rolls, an extensive collection of teas, nahcos, soup and falafel and hummus platters and pittas. 

The majority of their evening events support social change and community involvement and/or arts events such as poetry reading or performance. Their facebook page gives you a good overview of what they've got coming up.

One thing to note is that they don't take cards, only cash, but there's a cash machine nearby if you need it.

Area C use Glen Lyon beans, an ethical small batch roaster in Aberfeldy. Glen Lyon can trace their coffee back to the individual farmer who grew it and pay their growers the premium prices that growers of high quality beans deserve.

Further info: www.facebook.com/AreaCCoffeehouse





Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Hideout Cafe


40 Queen Charlotte Street, EH6 6AX
See on a map
Open: Every day
Brew: Espresso
Coffee: Artisan Roast
Dog-friendly
Coolness: Two walls of lovely arched windows let in loads of light

The Hideout Cafe (3♥) feels nice as soon as you walk in. The staff are very friendly and the locals are clearly very fond of their cafe.

On the corner with Constitution Street, both exterior walls are made up of delicate arched windows that run nearly floor to ceiling. The furnishing is warm and simple using bentwood chairs and round wooden tables.

There's plenty of choice on the menu for breakfast and lunch including pastries, porridge, bacon & eggs, soup, panini, wraps and sandwiches. A selection of cakes is always available and they offer kid-friendly sizes on items including soup, scrambled eggs and a babyccino or hot chocolate, both with marshmallows.

They do a nice coffee using Scotland's Artisan Roast - nice temperature that brings out the big choclatey, fruity flavours of their Janzsoon blend (Sumatra/Brazil).

Further info: thehideoutcafe.co.uk





Sunday, 19 April 2015

Pact Coffee - Offer for Edinburgh Coffee Lovers


Like many bloggers, I get regular requests to try coffee-related products and services of all kinds. I always check them out, although most aren't quite in line the objectives of this blog so I politely decline.

Ed from Pact Coffee contacted me recently to let me know about his company and to see if I'd be up for trying out their service. In short (more detail below), Pact deliver freshly roasted coffee to your home, whole bean or ground, at a time frame that suits you - you can specify how many days between deliveries depending on how fast you consume your coffee. 

I'm now on to my fourth bag of beans and would like to share an offer from Pact Coffee with all our Edinburgh Coffee Loving folks.

The offer: If you'd like to try Pact Coffee's service and have a UK address, you'll receive your first bag for £1 (including postage & packaging). Just jump on to www.pactcoffee.com and use 'edinburghcoffee' as the offer code. This offer is available for first time customers only.

Now a bit more about my experience with Pact Coffee:
  • Pact buy their green beans directly from growers they've selected and are committed to ethical sourcing. They then roast the beans in small batches in the UK and ship them to their customers within the optimal time frame so they're fresh and yummy.
  • Being 'small batch' their beans change regularly so you get plenty of variety and they're very keen to give you background on the coffee you're receiving so you can gain knowledge and understanding about all things coffee
  • The customer experience is nothing short of delightful. Pact have put some serious investment into their whole operation and certainly haven't scrimped on making it as easy and useful as possible for their customers.
  • If you sign up to try out Pact Coffee you'll effortlessly glide through a series of questions about your coffee preferences - brew method and frequency being key
  • Coffee delivered can be whole bean or ground for your preferred brew method including stove top, cafetiere, espresso, drip and aeropress
  • You do have to sign up to an ongoing service but can adjust the frequency of deliveries, or cease using the service, at any time. This means you need to enter your banking details as you would for any direct debit subscription service
  • The packaging is letter-box friendly (why didn't I think of that) which makes delivery hassle-free - the first picture below shows the outer packaging and the second photo the inner, resealable bag
  • You can continually adjust your coffee delivery frequency via their website or their app - pause, reschedule or cancel
  • They drop you an email whenever your coffee 'has left the building' and is winging its way to you and are very keen to have an ongoing relationship with you to keep you happy
I swithered....I have to admit I gave this considerable thought before writing this article. I'm fiercely committed to independent coffee businesses and am protective of Edinburgh's local coffee community who, while going from strength to strength, are still in their early days in many cases.

I love that I can visit our own roasters Mr Eion and Artisan to buy my beans. I also love that so many of our better coffee shops now also sell bags of beans giving us easy access to Monmouth, Workshop, Allpress, Dear Green, Green Lyon, Steampunk, Northern Edge, Roast Central and many more. And some of our best, Machina Espresso springs to mind, sell small batches of beans that change nearly every week. I want these businesses to continue to succeed and I want to continue to buy from them.

Pact Coffee provides me, as a consumer, a convenient option to supplement my local purchasing. Because I travel often and don't work close to any roasters, I don't always get to buy my beans locally every weekend so coming home to have my coffee waiting for me has great appeal. This coupled with high quality beans and being able to effortlessly adjust my delivery schedule is what led me to give Pact Coffee the thumbs up. 

Heaps of further info on www.pactcoffee.com




Saturday, 18 April 2015

No.33 Cafe


33 Deanhaugh Street, EH4 1LR
See on a map
Open: Every day
Brew: Espresso
Coffee: Matthew Algie
Coolness: Exposed brick décor meets Portuguese tarts

No.33 Cafe (3♥) is in the heart of bustling Stockbridge and offers some of the better coffee in the area.

Friendly staff welcome you into a long and narrow space with a food counter on the left and seating on the right. Timber and light steel tables and chairs are arranged along the right wall with higher stools sitting up to a bench facing out the front window. A great spot for people-watching.

The menu includes continental breakfast options (bagels, croissants and porridge), hot wraps, toasties, baguettes and panini with fresh selections from falafel & hummus to prosciutto & mozzarella to goats cheese & aubergine.

No.33 makes a nice cup of coffee using Matthew Algie beans. The baristi deliver good milk texture and temperature, served with a smile.




Printworks Coffee

42 Constitution Street, EH6 6RS
See on a map
Open: Every day
Brew: Espresso
Coffee: Monmouth
Meals: Yes
Also: Monmouth beans
Coolness: Edinburgh by the seaside meets great coffee

Printworks Coffee (4♥), 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!

Further info: www.facebook.com/PrintworksCoffee 





Monday, 13 April 2015

Lovecrumbs


155 West Port, EH3 9DP
See on a map
Open: Every day
Brew: Espresso
Coffee: Artisan Roast Janszoon blend
Also: Cakes and tarts to order
Coolness: Amazing array of cakes in a relaxed bohemian setting

Lovecrumbs (3♥) is famous for their cakes and tarts - check out @hellolovecrumbs on Instagram to see some of their beautiful creations. They also offer their own brand speciality teas, jams and salts.

The cafe is a large light room filled with eclectic wooden furniture some of which has been repurposed - for example an upright piano that is now a coffee bench. The floor is painted dark grey, the poles and ceilings distressed and 'antiqued' and decorative cornices crisp white. Those so inclined you can sit in the display window to enjoy their refreshments, others may wish to sit up to one of the many tables or on a couch.

The clientèle is equally mixed and all are welcomed by friendly staff.

They use Artisan Roast Janszoon blend coffee and offer the usual suite of espresso-based options.

Further info: www.lovecrumbs.co.uk





Sunday, 12 April 2015

Pep & Fodder


11 Waterloo Place, EH3 9DP
See on a map
Open: Every day
Brew: Espresso
Coffee: Dear Green
Coolness: Grab a coffee on your way to the amazing Calton Hill

Pep & Fodder (3♥) is a cafe that's open all day, serving breakfasts, snacks and lunches.

By way of a side promotion, Pep & Fodder has the same owners as the lovely Bon Vivant restaurants in Thistle Street and Stockbridge as well as Devil's Advocate in Advocate's Close. Though the restaurants are not renown for their coffee they are great for evening meals and drinks.

Pep & Fodder is centrally located for visitors and locals on Waterloo Place is a continuation of Princes Street at the East End, near the St James shopping centre.

On offer is all-day-breakfasts, pastries, cakes, soups, salads, sandwiches and pannini. The set up has low and high timber tables and a few tables outside on the pavement in good weather.

Further info: pepandfodder.com