Saturday, 6 February 2016


4 Palmerston Pl
EH12 5AA
Open every day
Coffee: Horsham Coffee & many guests
Also: Cake, pastries, soup, sandwiches
Coolness: Revolving single origins in an elegantly modernised Georgian space

Noir (5♥) provides high quality, single origin coffee in Edinburgh's West End, a couple of blocks past Shandwick Place as you head out of the city.

You can choose from regularly changing single origin guest beans - with attributes happily explained by the barista - and their house bean, which is the distinguished West Sussex-based Horsham Coffee.

The owner is looking to get the balance right between offering coffee that's genuinely different and pushes the boundaries a bit, while also providing some familiar favourites for customers. As you'd expect with this vision, not only are the beans top notch, so too is the technical capability of the baristas making your coffee.

While Noir currently does espresso-based coffee, they're looking to introduce pour-over and siphon over time - we'll keep you updated.

Given it's fantastic Georgian exterior and inviting chunky stone stair and balustrade, it seems appropriate to mention that Edinburgh has a habit of changing the name of the same street multiple times in quick succession (which is very confusing for visitors). So according to the street sign on the front of the building it's simultaneously on Coates Place and Atholl Place. Palmerston Place runs down the other flank of the shop toward the towering St Mary's.

The focus on quality also resonates through the food, with soups from Souped Up and cheese from established local cheese-monger Mellis. You can buy sandwich-panini type delights and they're aiming to do charcuterie platters in the near future. A wide range of pastries and cakes are also available, of course.

The decor is elegant, with enough austerity not to detract from the grandness of the Georgian high ceilings, decoration and massive windows. The black and white floor tiles and quasi Japanese dark wood framing the servery area add to the wow-factor (while tying in with the shop name) in this large space that provides a good number of comfortably-spaced tables and chairs.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Find the best coffee in Edinburgh with our App

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Our App will help you find the best independent coffee shops in beautiful Edinburgh - quickly and easily, whether you're online or offline.

Your location will show up on our city map alongside the the best coffee shops. 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!

Why an App?
We're passionate about our city'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 our best coffee shops.

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 in Edinburgh - as your App will be updated regularly.

We'll continue to refine our App as our local coffee scene evolves.

Saturday, 30 January 2016


22 Deanhaugh St
Open every day
Coffee: Guests
Also: Meals, cakes, beans
Coolness: Tempting cakes for healthy or gluten/dairy/sugar free types

Grounds (4♥) is on the high side of Stockbridge's main street, at the top of a short flight of stairs. This area has a large number of coffee shops and Grounds is definitely one of the best for a nice brew.

They make a fine espresso-based coffee, using a rotating series of high quality, specialty guest beans. You won't necessary know what's on offer until you go, but it'll be good quality, well made coffee that could be local or from further afield.

On the food front they set themselves apart with a range of gluten, dairy and/or sugar free cakes made by local specialist baker Grams, as well as wheat-packed more traditional sponges, scones, pastries and sticky cakes.

You can also tuck into sandwiches, melts, soups and salads among other things, (& they have gluten-free bread), all made with interesting ingredients that a cut above the everyday fare. You can also easily pick up take away food and cold drinks if you're passing by.

Grounds is a tightly packed space that is essentially one room with three  tables toward the rear and higher seating looking out the front window.

Their decor is lifted by the artwork of local artists and they also have some local homeware and gifts on sale, and some Keepcups. Very nice indeed.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Lowdown Coffee

40 George St
Open every day 8am-6pm
Espresso, Kalita Wave, Torch Mountain Dripper, Clover
Coffee: Koppi
Also: Pastries, cakes, soups
Coolness: Passionate about flavour and precision

Lowdown Coffee (5♥) is on the lower ground floor of a multi-story, grandly proportioned Georgian town house in appropriately named George Street. The coffee served is excellent and brew methods varied.

Owner Paul Anderson has a close relationship with renowned Swedish roasting house Koppi, bringing yet more variety to our city's high end coffee scene.

Koppi were set up by Swedish barista champions Anne Lunell and Charles Nystrand and only roast high quality coffee they've sourced themselves and know to be sustainable.

Lowdown offer a several options in the Koppi coffee range - matching beans to brew methods across espresso, Kalita Wave, Torch Mountain Dripper and Clover. The latter two brew methods are in relative low supply in Edinburgh, as are shops that serve Koppi, so Lowdown definitely provides something unique.

The shop is wider than it is deep, accessed via stairs from street level. In sunnier months there'll be six or so tables in the outside space, plus the six or so that are inside. Running along part of the back wall is a smart, smooth work bench on which rests their prized Slayer, Mahlkonig EKK43 grinder and Clover. The decor is clean-lined and minimalist, softened with natural timber and fibre furnishings.

Tea drinkers are far from neglected. They can sip London's Postcard Teas, sourced from small farms (less than 15 acres) so it tastes good, as well as does good, for small producers and communities.

On the food side you can enjoy pastries, cakes and soups. Lowdown is also carrying the spectacularly packaged Compart├ęs Gourmet Chocolate Bars.

All in all, a shop not to miss on the Edinburgh coffee trail.


Monday, 18 January 2016

Century General Store Abbeyhill

1-7 Montrose Terrace
Open every day
Coffee: Assembly Coffee & guests
Also: Pastries, beans & general merchandise
Coolness: The charming fairy tale building exterior

This coffee shop (5♥) is one of two Century General Stores in Edinburgh, and occupies the ground floor of a very quaint wedge-shaped building in Abbeyhill, just East of central Edinburgh.

The coffee is excellent, offering a choice of London's high quality Assembly Coffee and a changing guest roaster, made with great skill and care. Tea drinkers can sip local supplier Pekoe Tea and there's a selection of cakes and pastries, including gluten free.

The shop is triangular with the coffee machine and serving area running along the shorter side. It has a simple decor with timber flooring, six or so black tables with chairs and white walls. It also has a high bench against the front rounded window where you can perch and watch the world go by.

The General Store section relates mostly to a wall of shelving that stocks plates, coffee and tea pots, candles, drinking glasses and other useful household items. They also stock some gourmet chocolate and greetings cards and other stylish bits and bobs.

All in all, this is an uber chilled zone with tip top coffee and locals are indeed lucky to have Century General Store in their neighbourhood !


Saturday, 9 January 2016


16 Grassmarket
Open every day
Espresso, pour-over
Coffee: Obadiah
Also: Pastries, beans
Coolness: Constantly changing own-roasted beans

Obadiah (5♥) is a pop-up coffee shop in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh's Old Town that provides excellent coffee.

They serve, and sell to take home, their own light to medium roasted, single origin coffee and change it daily.

They use beans from their roastery in Sofia Bulgaria and are focused absolutely on their coffee. But if you're feeling peckish, you can have something sweet to eat on the side by way of brownies or pastries.

The shop is a light and open room with a big window facing the Grassmarket and another that looks on to the entry-way to Edinburgh's Dancebase next door. It has tall ceilings, white walls, a couch and a big table with chairs and their excellent coffee is served in paper cups.

Obadiah support a range of local community initiatives for disadvantaged people near to their roastery in Bulgaria and social responsibility plays a key role in their approach to business.

The team at Obadiah have set themselves up in the Grassmarket on a short-term basis while they hunt down a perfect, more permanent home for their coffee shop.

They also sell wholesale beans to other coffee shops in Edinburgh, so we can expect to see more opportunities to sample their coffee cropping up soon.

More: Youtube video about Obadiah

Monday, 4 January 2016

The Milkman

7 Cockburn St
Open every day
Coffee: Dear Green
Also: Cakes and light meals
Coolness: Cosy & beautifully restored stone shop

The Milkman (3♥) is located at the bottom of Cockburn Street in the Old Town, near Waverley Station.

It's a small and cosy coffee shop that offers well-made Dear Green coffee and friendly service.

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.