Monday, 7 November 2016

Loft Cafe & Bakery

Peffers Place
Haddington
EH41 3DR
»Map«
Mon-Sat
Espresso
Coffee: Artisan Roast
Also: Meals, cakes, beans
Coolness: The charming stone building belies the bakery indulgences within! 

The Loft Cafe & Bakery (4♥) is in a large, listed stone building, tucked away from Haddington's High Street in amongst East Lothian Council's buildings and behind the The Plough Tavern.  The locals are certainly enjoying The Loft, so if you have any trouble finding it, just ask someone to point you in the right direction.

The Loft's lead barista Jake does a cracking job at the espresso machine with Edinburgh's Artisan Roast Janszoon beans, their signature Sumatran/Brazilian blend. It's great to see his passion and focus being appreciated by his regulars and visitors alike with well-extracted (and regularly calibrated) shots brought together with expertly stretched milk. At this stage the Loft is one of Scotland's 'coffee oases' - in that you'll need to go a long way in any direction before you'll find coffee as good as The Loft's!

Coffee lovers can also buy take-home bags of Artisan Roast beans and aeropress machines. Jake has hopes to be able to offer more brewing equipment soon, as well as potentially offering filter coffee. Pekoe Teas are on the menu and a range of Coco, Ailey Mae and Chocolate Tree hot chocolates, which we were impressed with.

The food is equally enjoyable with a variety of gourmand preserves, oils, smoked fish, free range eggs and more. Breakfasts on the menu - available until 11.30am - include bacon and egg rolls, scrambled eggs, pancakes and granola. Lunches are wide and varied including mezze plates, toasties, sausage rolls, quiches, ploughman's, pulled pork rolls, smoked fish pate with soda bread, home-made soups and inventive salads.

The hint's in the name of this establishment that breads and cakes are a major feature. They source their ingredients locally including bread from Dunbar Bakery (who use no artificial ingredients) and Khleb Bakery in Pencaitland for stone-baked sourdough breads.  All their own baking and cooking uses Mungoswells flour which is made entirely from wheat grown on their farm in East Lothian. All manner of sweet treats also await you such as brownies, tartlets, traybakes and cake, laid out on the front bench for you to choose from.

As well as the large and spacious upstairs dining area, spread over an L-shaped space and furnished with light timber tables, chairs and the occasional sofa, The Loft also has a sheltered courtyard with outdoor seating. Due to their popularity, owners Charlotte and Anita, have also installed a take-away shop downstairs for coffee, cold drinks, sandwiches and other goodies for those on the move.

More: facebook.com/loftcafebakery/

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Red Kite Cafe

7-8 Cadzow Pl
EH7 5SN
»Map«
Open every day
Espresso
Coffee: Artisan Roast
Also: Meals, cakes
Coolness: Brunches fit for your favourite current or previous monarch!

Red Kite Cafe (3♥) is a big open cafe on busy Cadzow Place, otherwise known as London Road, near Abbeyhill.

They're serving up Artisan Roast espresso-based coffees, in tune with their ethos of using great quality ingredients. You'll pick up all your coffee favourites plus hot chocolate and a range of Anteaques teas.

Red Kite is definitely a foodie haven. They take sourcing seriously, prioritising and naming the local producers who supply their ingredients. Brunch is a major highlight with plenty to choose from. They may include home made granola with yoghurt and compote, big breakfasts (for meat-lovers and vegetarians), shakshuka (eggs baked in tomato and peppers with lime yoghurt) and sausage rolls with onion marmalade.

There are also hearty lunches, soups, salads, tortillas, and the front counter is covered with an array of sweet sticky cakes and pastries.

There's plenty of tables and chairs and attentive friendly table service. The atmosphere is relaxed and everyone is made to feel welcome - with high chairs for little people and a bench with stools across the wide glass frontage if you're in the mood for watching the world go by.

More: facebook.com/redkiteedinburgh/

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Life Story

53 London St
EH3 6LX
»Map«
Open every day except Tues & Wed
Espresso
Coffee: Guests
Also: Homewares, jewellery, and lots more
Coolness: Wide array of must-haves for your home and person

Life Story (4♥) is a Scandi-inspired homewares store, completely at home on Edinburgh's creative Broughton Street. (The address is London Street but the shop faces Broughton Street)

While spending time pouring over all manner of lovely goods is already an enjoyable experience, it is of course enhanced by having a nice coffee - either sit-in or in a take-away cup while you wander about the store.

The Life Story folks are using guests including Edinburgh's Artisan Roast beans (one of their coffee shops is a one minute walk up Broughton Street), The Roasting Shed and Johan & Nystrom and doing a fine job with them. If you'd like to sit down to enjoy your espresso-based coffee, and perhaps a little bit of accompanying gluten free and/or vegan cake from Grams near Haymarket, there's a spot made just for you at the rear of the store near the window that looks on to a leafy patch of green. You'll feel very serene - surrounded by lovely designer furnishings.

The main act is definitely the large range of goodies that you didn't realise you really need until you see them. It's worth taking your time to have a good poke around in Life Story because the more you look the more you find. Greeting cards, note pads, clips, stationery, shelving, crockery, cutlery, books, cushions, furniture, artworks, lighting, candles, jewellery, waste paper baskets and the list goes on. All of a complimentary clean lines, meets clever design, meets practically useful kind of styling.

More: facebook.com/lifestoryshop

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

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)yahoo.co.uk) 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, 15 October 2016

Twelve Triangles Portobello

300 Portobello High St
EH15 2AS
»Map«
Open every day
Espresso
Coffee: Steampunk
Also: Bakery items
Coolness: Amazing filled doughnuts, pies, cake, breads

Twelve Triangles Portobello (4♥) is a bakery cafe on Portobello High Street near the corner of Bellfield Street.

Consistent with their sister shop in Leith, they do a great job with North Berwick-based Steampunk coffee. Available in take-away cups, their coffee is jam-packed with the layers of gutsy flavours we've grown to love from Steampunk.

Twelve Triangles have a justly deserved reputation for turning out high quality and creative bakery items. They started off being most famous for their filled doughnuts - before anyone else was really doing them in Edinburgh - with fillings such as maple pecan custard, chocolate peanut butter and apple and cinnamon.

They've gone on to expand their fame for creative, crusty breads (that subscribe to the Real Bread Campaign's 'no artificial additives' ethos), pies ('hand pies' with fillings such as lentil and feta, potato and cheese), focaccia with savoury herbs and toppings and a wide range of pastries, brioches, scones and buns.

This is primarily a shop where you pick up your delectable breads and coffee and wander out again clutching as much as you can carry. There's no sit-down seating provided.

Go visit. If you don't live in the area you'll wish it was your local bakery and coffee shop!

More: facebook.com/twelvetrianglesporty/

Friday, 14 October 2016

Spitfire Espresso

127 Candleriggs
G1 1NP
Glasgow
»Map«
Open every day
Espresso
Coffee: Avenue bespoke blend
Also: Meals, cakes, beans, dog-friendly
Coolness: 1950s retro decor and brand

Spitfire Espresso (5♥) is located in Glasgow's busy Merchant City area and sits on the corner of Candleriggs and Ingram Street, with big windows facing both.

Owner Danny is originally from New Zealand but has very much set himself up in Glasgow as 'home', opening up Spitfire in 2015. On offer is local roaster Avenue's coffee - a bespoke blend of Colombian and Brazilian - made with great relish and focus.

The food is of equally high quality and includes wholesome big breakfasts, soups, sandwiches and a wide array of mouth-watering cakes.

Spitfire has a great atmosphere, created in no small part by the super-friendly and high energy host and team. They're very keen for you to have a good time and will check in regularly to make sure you're happy. The other part of what makes Spitfire a great place to visit is the decor. The 1950s war-time nostalgia theme is unique and chirpy. Combine that with a bit of sunshine through those big windows and you won't want to leave.

There's plenty of seating with tables and chairs inside and out, and bench seating along both big windows that face the street.

You can also pick up a Spitfire cap (we do love a bit of coffee merch) and Frank Lloyd cups.

Spitfire Espresso definitely offers some of the best coffee Glasgow has to offer.

More: Spitfire facebook

Friday, 7 October 2016

Fieldwork

105 Fountainbridge
EH3 9QE
Edinburgh
»Map«
Every day
Espresso
Coffee: Steampunk
Also: Cakes, biscuits
Coolness: Many choices of indulgent sweet treats

Fieldwork (3♥) is charming and cosy cafe on Fountainbridge that offers a wide range of home-made baked cakey things.

They're serving North-Berwick based Steampunk coffee, Anteaques loose leaf teas and Roots' sodas in a calming and elegant space that blends exposed stone with natural wood and soft lighting. The decor has a hipster feel and features a light smattering of artwork on the walls.

While Fieldwork essentially offers "drinks and cakes", the cakes are wide-ranging and impressive. Some of the difficult choices you'll need to make may include sour cherry and walnut brownies, cinnamon buns, gluten free individual carrot cakes, wholemeal apple cake, red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate icing, rose pistachio and white chocolate cake, vegan chocolate and coffee cakes and salted chocolate gluten free cookies. And there's more...

You may need more than one coffee as you'll find it hard to resist trying multiple cakes!

More: facebook.com/fieldworkcafe/