Saturday, 18 June 2016

Century General Store Marchmont

100 Marchmont Crs
Coffee: Assembly Coffee & guests
Also: Cakes, homewares, magazines
Coolness: Nicely designed stuff for your home

Century General Store Marchmont (3♥) is a small, niche store with a strong focus on local artisans and that also does good coffee.

Like their sister store in Abbey Hill, they're offering London-based Assembly Coffee as house roast with rotating guests including North Berwick-based Steampunk and Edinburgh-based Williams & Johnson beans.

There's definitely an element of "cool designer" about the shop but it's quickly warmed up by the friendly and welcoming staff. They go out of their way to help customers feel comfortable and are very happy to talk about their coffee and other products. Browsing is actively encouraged.

Many of the shelves are filled with homewares for "tenement life" with a view to being simply functional as well as elegant and long-lasting. You'll find enamel and stoneware mugs, cups, plates, tea/coffee pots, candles, preserving jars, pot plants and carry bags. among many other things. They've also got some clothing and soft furnishings.

There's a little nook at the back where you can peruse carefully curated magazines that you won't find easily anywhere else - the type you don't want to recycle when you've read them because they're more like soft books so should be kept.

Cakes on offer are from Dundas Street's Archipelago bakery and high end chocolates are created by local Ocelot and North Berwick's Ailey Mae.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Find the best coffee in Scotland with our 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.

For 0.79p, you can download our app 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) 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.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Dear Green Cafe Project

The Briggait
Enter off Clyde St
Glasgow G1 5HZ
Open: Friday to Sunday
Espresso, V60, aeropress, cold brew
Coffee: Dear Green
Also: Cakes, beans, pop-up food stalls
Coolness: Coffee flights - the same bean via three brew methods

Dear Green Cafe Project (5♥) is the roaster's pop-up coffee shop, running through the Summer at The Briggait.

Dear Green roast their beans a few blocks away from their cafe and, since opening in 2011, have had a fairly high profile locally in the speciality coffee scene. They supply coffee shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and places in between, so you may feel you know them.

Not so.

In our experience, and we've tried many cups of Dear Green in many places, no-one does it as well as they do. It's definitely worth a visit to experience the complex layers flavour the Dear Green baristas coax out of their beans.

A genuine showcase for their wares, you can try multiple beans and multiple brew methods. Changing regularly, you'll find at least one espresso and two filters on offer - blends and single origins. They source and roast traceable, ethical and high quality beans from a wide range of coffee-producing nations such as Rwanda, Tanzania, Congo, Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia and more.

If you're in the mood for sampling, you could try a coffee 'flight' - which is three brew methods using the same bean, such as an espresso, filter and cold brew.

They supply some food, including cakes, and invite tasty pop-up food stall holders to provide sumptuous snacks and meals. There's also a range of coffee kit such as filters, aeropresses, chemexes and keep cups. And of course you can buy bags of beans to take home.

The location of the cafe is the large, ornate, sandstone Briggait building - Glasgow's fish market for over 100 years - that takes up the block between Bridgegate and Clyde Street. The building was conserved and renovated by WASPS Artists Studios and now houses artists and cultural organisations, as well as Dear Green cafe on the Clyde Street side.

The cafe is spacious, arty, chilled out and distributed over two floors. And definitely one to visit in Glasgow!


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Gannet and Guga

Unit 2, 3 The Arches
Open every day
Filter batch brew
Coffee: Dear Green
Also: Gourmet sandwiches
Coolness: Origami bird filled arched ceiling

Gannet and Guga (3♥) is a gourmet sandwich shop in The Arches, near Waverley Station in Edinburgh's Old Town.

While food is very much the focus of both the owner and the shop, they've applied their discerning tastebuds to their approach to coffee. They've chosen Glasgow-based roaster Dear Green and use a Marco batch brewer to turn out tasty filter coffee.

They're not aiming to compete with shops whose primary focus is coffee but we're big fans of this hearty, smooth filter - both with milk and without and hope to see more of it across Edinburgh. We believe it's ideal to use quality ingredients (i.e. carefully chosen and roasted beans) and a simpler brew method. It's also quick to get served!.

The food is many and varied and cooked onsite in the historic and curved stone 'cave' under the roadway above. You'll be greeted with tantalising smells when you stop in, conjured from several pots simmering behind the counter. Scottish fresh and locally sourced ingredients are showcased in menu items such 'Risk it for a Brisket' - home made traditional salt beef with their own sweet juniper pickled cucumber, cheese and mustard, 'Banh Mi for Life' - super tasty vietnamese inspired sandwiches and 'Jerk's on you' - chargrilled jerk spiced chicken, mango chutney and lime, coriander and red onion slaw, plus soups, cakes, vietnamese rice paper rolls and wide range of healthy drinks and juices.

For visitors who may be unaware, gannets are north sea birds and guga's are their babies. They're the subject of local sayings such as "eating like gannets" meaning eating a lot which makes perfect sense when you smell the food here! The bird theme is carried through the elegant origami flock of paper birds that adorn the arched stone ceiling above the servery.

Gannet and Guga gets the thumbs up from us!


Tuesday, 7 June 2016


13 Thistle St
AB10 1XZ
Espresso, v60, chemex
Coffee: Steampunk & Dear Green
Also: Meals, beans, coffee kit
Coolness: Loads of choices of tasty vegetarian food

Foodstory (3♥) is big cafe in the city centre of Aberdeen that majors on whole and healthy food - particularly vegetarian options.

Sourcing ingredients that are sustainable and generally good for the planet are at the heart of Foodstory's approach. They've chosen to stock and therefore support Scottish specialty coffee roasters Steampunk (North Berwick) and Dear Green (Glasgow) who source their beans along similar lines. You'll enjoy a good espresso-based coffee as well as v60 and chemex brews.

Foodstory is definitely doing their bit to push forward the awareness and understanding of specialty coffee in Aberdeen - and they're a relatively lone voice. They sell beans to take home, including guest beans from other roasters and have a stock of home brew equipment including aeropresses, drippers, chemexes, hand grinders, filters, scales and kettles among other things. Local specialty coffee lovers must be thrilled to now have Foodstory!

Food is, as you'd expect, their main gig. They've structured their menu to include a list of standard dishes such as hot pot, salad bowl, chilli and sharing platter and then vary many of their ingredients based on seasonality. Their blackboard outlines the day's choices, which are many and varied, and include lots of vegetarian options.

To order, customers queue at their counter where you can peruse some of your options before paying and taking a table. The staff are happy to chat you through the ingredients in each dish and maintain an atmosphere of gentle and friendly community-mindedness. As a result the customers who like to eat at Foodstory are as varied as their ingredients - a live and let live feel.

The cafe itself is spacious, with loads of wooden tables and chairs of different shapes and styles. The main servery is built using chunky slabs of undressed timber akin to railway sleepers and one of the walls is lined with similarly rustic timber palings. Charcoal floor tiles and lots of small pendant lights add to the earthy, warm feel.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

The Counter on the canal

Union Canal footway
near Gilmore Park
Around 7.30am-3pm weekdays
Later hours on weekends
Coffee: Mr Eion
Also: Cakes
Coolness: Cracking coffee from a duck-egg blue canal boat

The Counter on the canal (4♥) is a coffee shop fashioned from a lovingly restored canal boat on Edinburgh's Union Canal.

Owners Sally and Ali use their bespoke blend from local roaster Mr Eion that is primarily Sumatran and Brazilian.  They and their team turn out a mighty fine espresso-based coffee of a choclatey, hazelnutty nature - served in eco-friendly take-away cups.

They bake their cakes, cookies, brownies and traybakes in the boat's kitchen, supplying their three police box coffee shops located in Morningside, Tollcross and Usher Hall, as well their boat.

The boat itself is very picturesque and the service friendly and attentive. It's permanently moored against the canal edge very near the early 1900s Leamington Lift Bridge, which also has a footway so you can cross from one side of the canal to the other, joining Gilmore Park and Leamington Road.

Take-away coffees are actively encouraged for those on their way to work or play, and a few chairs and tables are available for those who have time to linger. You can also slump into a canvas deck chair if you're in an even more laid back mood.

Most people don't think of canal boats when they think of Edinburgh because they didn't play a big role in the city's history. The Union Canal was opened in 1822 to provide easy and efficient transport of coal and other minerals from Lanarkshire. As luck would have it, the railway evolved quickly and within 20 years had eclipsed the usefulness of the canal, which then fell into disuse and complete disrepair over many years, closing in the 1960s. Thankfully the Union was fully restored then re-opened in 2001. It was reconnected to the Forth & Clyde Canal by the innovative Falkirk Wheel in 2002.

The Counter on the canal is a perfect addition to the canal, making a lovely and historic spot, even lovelier!


Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Papercup High Street

274 High St
G4 0QT
Open every day
Espresso, aeropress, V60, cold brew
Coffee: Papercup Coffee
Also: Meals, beans, brewing kit
Coolness: Great specialty coffee without any angst - chilled & understated

Papercup Coffee High Street (5♥)  is nestled in amongst the University of Strathclyde in central Glasgow and does great coffee. This isn't at all surprising given owner Graeme Crawford has been serving up great coffee for some years from their established shop on Great Western Road.

Papercup is also one of Scotland's finest roasters so you'll be served their small batch roasted and seasonally changing coffee. They offer different roasts and beans to suit different brew methods which include espresso, V60, aeropress and cold brew. You can also pick up a bag or two of beans to take home for your preferred home brew method.

The Papercup food menu is based on their ethical and clean approach and is all cooked in-house, so they can control the quality and use great local suppliers. From a bacon, runny egg and tomato chutney morning roll, to eggs with smashed pumpkin, charred leeks, alfalfa & seeds, to salads of kale, feta and hummus or a tuna mayo, pickled zucchini and cheddar sandwich, your options are creative, healthy and tasty. You can also grab a smoothie or choose from a range of cakes, some of which are gluten-free and vegan.

While the High Street shop has it's own identity, it also shares the down-to-earth, no fuss feel with its sister shop in Great Western Road. Simple white walls and old school utilitarian tables and chairs are pepped up by the colourful tiled servery. There's also a small selection of home brew equipment on sale including drippers, aeropresses and filters.