Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Cult of Coffee

28 Esslemont Ave
 AB25 1SN
Open every day
Espresso, filter
Coffee: Artisan Roast
Also: Cake, beans
Coolness: The quirky decor is a shrine to cultishness

The Cult of Coffee (3♥) serves Artisan Roast coffee and delicious slices of cake.

Positioning specialty coffee at the centre of its being, Cult of Coffee offer Janzoon for espresso-based coffees and two, seasonal single origins for filter brews - as well as tea and hot chocolate. Locals can also pick up bags of said beans to take home - a beautiful thing for those in the area where specialty coffee shops are relatively rare.

Situated on the corner of Esslemont Avenue and Leadside Road in the Rosemount area of Aberdeen, shop owners have reconfigured the Freemason's square and compass symbol into their logo and broadened out their cultishness by including other eye-catching symbols on the tiles that line their servery.

Big windows let in lots of light, while comfy booths line the right wall – perfect for whiling away an afternoon playing one of the many board games laid out for customers. The cult theme is softened by warm wooden floor boards and tables and balanced with a sense of humour - such as offering a table on which customers are encouraged, nay beseeched, to draw.

By way of a whole different type of cult, the bathrooms are decorated with Beano, Dandy and the Broons comics – which might spark a nostalgia trip for a certain vintage of visitor.

For those with a sweet tooth, they have a large, ever changing assortment of cake, as well as house-baked scones. The cakes are truly fantastic and pair well with the coffee.

Cult of Coffee is one to keep an all-seeing eye on - as it were!

Review led by coffee pal Fionn Pooler of thepourover.co.uk

More: facebook.com/thecultofcoffee

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Rialto Coffee Co

33 High St
TD14 5EY
Espresso & Chemex
Coffee: Clifton & Union
Also: Sandwiches, cakes
Coolness: Big city specialty coffee in charming seaside Eyemouth

Rialto Coffee (5♥) is in the heart of Eyemouth - near the border with England on the East coast of Scotland.

Co-owner Michael is as obsessed and passionate about specialty coffee as you'll find anywhere, working closely with Clifton Coffee and Union for espresso and Chemex respectively. Although from time to time other tasty roasts make their way into their Mahlkonig EK43 grinder. For espresso you can expect some of the best choclatey profile beans around, and on the filter side, Michael changes regularly, exploring beans and origins and taking his customers to new places.

While there's been a cafe on Rialto soil since 1905, Michael's parents bought the shop in 2002 and ran a traditional cafe offering hot coffees and big breakfasts until 2012, when Michael and his partner Eilyn moved to Eyemouth and took it on. In 2014 they refurbished the shop and made the switch to specialty coffee - thereby becoming Eyemouth's first (and still only) specialty coffee shop.

Michael and Eilyn's ethos is one of respect and enjoyment. While their big board in the shop shows the coffee farmer and origin to help customers connect - "just like when you buy a box of eggs you know who the farmer is" - the team are also very attentive to customers' preferences. Some have taken the journey from large, hot sugary cups to specialty coffee proportions, but others just want what they want, and that's what they get! "It's nice to be nice" is the way Rialto rolls.

The food on the menu is pretty big, so you're bound to find something you like. Rialto's menu uses high quality ingredients, changes seasonally, features local premium suppliers and is made on premises. To give you a sense, you may find yourself tucking into home made sausage rolls, soups, sandwiches, ciabatta and panini with ingredients such as slow roasted pork shoulder, fresh mozzarella, roasted butternut squash, feta and beetroot hummus. Plus options such as chick pea tagine, Argentinian empanadas (think pasty) and Greek spanakopita (think filo, feta and spinach). Oh and there are the cakes! - made by Eilyn. On display at the counter you'll find a wide range of sticky, fruity, chocolatey cakey goodness to choose from. We also grabbed a couple of bottles of locally produced Left Field Kombucha tea - and there were other craft producers on offer.

The shop frontage is deceptive - looking like a small traditional store from the street, but there's plenty of space inside, with tables and chairs in both the front and out the back past the servery.

Being just one street back from the sea front, Rialto is an absolute joy to swing by after a wander along the beach, around the active Eyemouth dock or along the many walking routes in the area.

And the icing on the cake for those considering a visit is the resident seals in Eyemouth harbour. For a pound or two you can buy fish from a van, clip them on to fishing lines and lower them down to the seals as they loll about in the water with an air of expectation.

More: facebook.com/rialtocoffeeco/

Friday, 30 June 2017

Chapter One

Cnr Dalry Rd & Orwell Pl
EH11 2DR
Open every day
Coffee: Dear Green & Matthew Algie
Also: Meals and cake
10% off for take away in your Frank Green cup
Coolness: Good coffee meets no attitude

Chapter One Coffee Shop (3♥) is a welcoming, low key cafe in Dalry Road, on the corner with Orwell Place.

It's fair to say that you're never very far from a square meal in this part of Dalry Road, with a wide range of restaurants and cuisines on offer. But until now specialty coffee hasn't been among the area's strong points. Chapter One is definitely looking to change that.

They do a very nice coffee and you can choose from Scottish roasters Matthew Algie and Dear Green. We've experienced velvety, structured milk and well-extracted espresso. This is early days for Chapter One and the area, in terms of specialty coffee, so we can expect to see some evolution in their offering.

On the food front you can have soups, filled rolls and good range of bakery items including croissants, brownies and cakes. If you're a fan of breakfast rolls, you'll also find happiness with choices of bacon, sausage and egg. Porridge and granola are also available.

In keeping with the coffee quality, you can also enjoy Eteaket teas and Chocolate Tree hot chocolate.

All in all, well worth a visit and we hope locals will continue to support Chapter One. We'll certainly back because we think they'll go from strength to strength.

More: ChapterOne.Coffee

Friday, 23 June 2017

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, 3 June 2017

Honeycomb & Co

1 Merchiston Pl
EH10 4NP
Open: Every day
Coffee: Artisan Roast
Also: Meals, cakes
Coolness: Streamlined, day-time opulence - for decor & menu alike

Honeycomb & Co. (3♥) is a cafe style restaurant (modern eatery) in bustling Bruntsfield on the corner of Merchiston Place and Montpelier Park.

They're friendly, service-oriented and use local roaster Artisan Roast, offering well-made espresso-based coffees.

You can eat and drink inside, or out the front on the spacious pavement area flanked by potted greenery. The decor and design is smart, warm and shiny. With honey as their theme, they've incorporated gold into their ochre soft furnishings, brass counter edges and feature wall, and the large windows, linear styling and plenty of height and white keep it chirpy.

The food is wholesome, varied and tasty - in a sort of Scottish-produce-meets-Ottolenghi way. The breakfast options should satisfy most with baked items (including their signature honey bun), porridge, fried breakfast, shashuka and avocado on toast among others. And the snacks and lunches tempt you with tasty, sharing and individual plates of fusion flavoured and inventive, chunky veggies, salads, grains and meat choices. From za'atar, to vinaigrette, skewered chicken to rainbow trout.

And then there's the cake display - which is equally eye popping

All up Honeycomb & Co. is a winner!

More: facebook.com/honeycombandcocafe

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Milkman

7 Cockburn St
Open every day
Espresso & batch brew
Coffee: Guests
Also: Cakes and light meals
Coolness: Beautifully restored stone shop in the Old Town

The Milkman (4♥) is located at the bottom of Cockburn Street in the Old Town, near Waverley Station.

On the coffee front, head barista Jaro chooses new guest coffees every three or so months. He has a keen eye (and palette) for high quality roasters from across the UK and Europe, that you won't find in other coffee shops in Edinburgh.

The owners have lovingly renovated and restored the site that was previously a sweet shop. It has window benches looking on to the street as well as some internal seating. The interior is largely comprised of stone, softened by a charming trimmings. You feel a bit like you're stepping back in time, or perhaps into a fairy tale - but with better coffee!

This is a great spot to drop into when you're acquainting yourself with the nooks and crannies of the Old Town or on the way to the station. A real gem.

More: facebook.com/The-Milkman...

It All Started Here

75 Deanston Dr
G41 3AQ
Saturdays & Sundays
Espresso & batch brew
Coffee: Guests

Coolness: Some of the best guest roasters around

It All Started Here (5♥) is William Heenan's specialty coffee shop - a welcome evolution from his much loved coffee pop-up stall that has been doing the rounds at Glasgow outdoor markets and events for several years.

This shop that seats around a dozen folk is all about high end specialty coffee. Will's constantly on the look out for top notch guest roasters as well as featuring their long time favourites Sheffield based Foundry Coffee Roasters and London's Workshop and Caravan. You can expect "lots of naturals, lots of African coffee, lots of fun, interesting tasting notes and (hopefully) sweet, juicy, fruity brews."

Located in Shawlands just near Queen's Park, Will also serves Edinburgh's Pekoe Tea, hot chocolate and cakes such as banana bread, financiers, lemon drizzle and brownies.

More: http://facebook.com/allstartedhere

Written in partnership with our coffee buddy Leanne Graham
- - Instagram @glw.coffee.snob & peaceandjam1