Saturday, 27 May 2017

Unorthodox Roasters

129 High St
Kinross KY13 8AQ
»Map«
Open Wed-Sun
Pour over
Coffee: Unorthodox Roasters
Also: Beans, light meals
Coolness: Big open windows on to historic Kinross town

Unorthodox Roasters in the town of Kinross - about a 50 minute drive North of Edinburgh - is a roastery and cafe.

We dropped in moments after it opened and owners Neil Buchan and Chris Bode were yet to plumb in their 6kg Giesen roaster - which has since been accomplished - and were installing their humidity controlled green bean storage area out the back. Prior to this they were roasting their selection of neatly branded beans on a 1kg roaster and selling them at the Kinross FarmersMarket and online.

So while we back soon to update this post, we were keen to get Unorthodox on the map as it were, and hopefully support this roaster and cafe in its early days.

They offer V60 pour over and the staff are keen to ensure customers are getting what they want. They're aiming to demystify specialty coffee by fully explaining the taste profiles of their range and encouraging customers to try new things, as well as catering to those who tend toward a more traditional taste profile.

It's worth visiting their website to get the gist of their unorthodox ethos, and you can order beans to be delivered by mail if Kinross is not in your neighbourhood. Their range currently includes:
  • Wee Stoater - Chocolate, Hazelnut, Caramel - Brazil/Nicaragua
  • Fire Bird - Chestnut, Apricot, Chocolate - Rwanda/Brazil
  • Politik - Make. Coffee. Great. Again. - Rwanda
  • Clockword Ninja - Brazil nut, Apple, Cocao - Colombia
  • Jackpot - Blood orange zest - D.R. Congo
The food menu is evolving and includes avocado on sourdough, smoked salmon bagels and banana loaf. And the cafe is quite roomy with lots of light, a rustic-meets-make-do-hipster decor and plenty of room to sit down and chill out.

Neil and Chris were inspired by a major trip they took through Central and South America - much of which was spent building their appreciation and knowledge of specialty coffee. Prior to this epiphany, neither had a background in coffee but have since been engrossed and have now realised their dream to both roast coffee, and open their coffee shop.

And to finish - this is one of the few places in Kinross and surrounds that's open on a Sunday - for all the walkers, runners and cyclists out there!

More: facebook.com/unorthodoxroasters/

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

CounterRoast

Devonbanks Cottage
Pitgober, Dollar
FK14 7PQ
»Map«
Open: Mon - Fri 09:30-15:30
(But get in touch if you're travelling from far to pop in!)
Coffee: Own roasted beans from a variety of sources
Coolness: Imagine if TV's George 'Amazing Spaces' Clarke designed a coffee roasting shed. Counter Roast is tucked down a single country lane in the grounds of a gorgeous cottage

Located just outside Dollar, CounterRoast is a warm and friendly artisan micro-roaster run by Stewart Maclean, a former financial bean counter turned bean roaster.

On weekdays, Stewart serves walk-in and online retail customers with whole or ground beans that have been freshly hand-roasted. He also supplies wholesale beans to coffee shops, delicatessens and restaurants. Although he doesn't serve coffee to drink, you can taste it back along the road in the village's Bridge Street Kitchen or Dollar's Delicatessen.

The shop is essentially one small roasting room, ‘Roast HQ’.  Everything in it is dedicated to the coffee that Stewart roasts on site.  He has a pile sacks of unroasted coffee, all responsibly sourced, and a small quantity of freshly roasted beans and ground coffee.

He deliberately doesn’t keep a huge stock as he prefers to roast close to order where possible.  As such, Stewart is often roasting during daytime shop hours on his red off-axis Gene Café 1kg hot air roaster.

Retail customers generally have five choices that are a mix of single origin beans and his own signature blends including the Réveillez and Kiss Blends as well as a decaf blend too.

He sticks to his core offerings but rotates the underlying beans so that there is something different to taste every month or so. Stewart's a really friendly guy and is happy to help you choose and to give you any advice you need with your brew method.

More: counterroast.co.uk/contact-us

Post written by David McIntosh

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Buchta

72 Victoria Rd
Glasgow G427AA
»Map«
Open every day except Monday
Espresso & V60
Coffee: Avenue & guests
Also: Meals, beans
Coolness: Czech-inspired bakery items in a neat, friendly package

Buchta is a cosy, friendly coffee shop in Glasgow's South, inspired by its Czech namesake.

According to owners Tomas and Katerina, Buchta has two meanings. Tomas explains: "Generally, you can call all cakes Buchta in the Czech language but it's also the name of one particular cake called Honzikova buchta (John´s Buchta). This is a traditional Czech cake or bun that our grandmas bake for Sunday afternoons. We eat it with nice cup of coffee or tea, or for breakfast with hot cocoa next morning." And this little coffee joint is as warm and welcoming as that description!

They're offering locally roasted Avenue Coffee as espresso and do V60 filter using guest roasters from the Czech Republic. You can also enjoy a selection of loose leaf teas from Chaiovna or hot chocolates from Coco Chocolatier.

Katerina and Tomas make their own cakes, sweet toasts and caraway bread for sandwiches and toasties and offer home made chocolate spread plus the usual jam and peanut butter. Their fillings change constantly and range from central European sausage, sauerkraut and apple-horseradish chutney through to cheddar and onion or mozarella, tomato and pesto.

In terms of seating arrangements, you can expect to be pretty snug with your fellow coffee and cake lovers. High and wide pale timber tables are flanked by benches that you share with your neighbours - in tune with grandma's buchta vibe.

More: facebook.com/buchtacoffeeuk

Saturday, 20 May 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.

It All Started Here

75 Deanston Dr
G41 3AQ
Glasgow
»Map«
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.

It All Started Here is all about high end specialty coffee while also being friendly and inviting. They'll be hunting around for the best constantly changing guest roasters alongside their long time favourites Sheffield based Foundry Coffee Roasters and London's Workshop and Caravan. You can expect "lots of naturals, lots of Arfican coffee, lots of fun, interesting tasting notes and (hopefully) sweet, juicy, fruity brews."

They're also serving Edinburgh's Pekoe Tea and aiming to get food on the menu soon.

Located in Shawlands just near Queen's Park, it's very early days so we'll be back with more soon - but wanted to get It All Started Here listed asap, now that Will has his new permanent home!

More: http://facebook.com/allstartedhere

Monday, 8 May 2017

Curated Brew - An interview


I caught up with Ian Kissick, founder of Curated Brew, to find out what’s unique about his specialty coffee subscription service.

The number of small batch coffee roasters has been on the dramatic increase over the last few years (mixed in with older traditional roasters reinventing themselves) and new coffee subscription services have also been popping up regularly.

I was intrigued by the name - and the concept of ‘machine learning’ - so had a good long chat with Ian.

What's the deal?

Ian started Curated Brew, leaving a corporate IT role behind, at the end of 2016. Despite only taking up coffee in 2012, Ian’s making up for lost time and has definitely joined the ranks of the obsessed. He wanted combine his background in technology (coding) with his new-found love of specialty coffee.

He’s particularly drawn to juicy, bright, interesting flavours at the upper end of the specialty coffee market – and variety. The problem is shipping costs - which quickly make sourcing these coffees from all over Europe un-affordable, even for the seriously dedicated.

So, in a nutshell, Ian does a wholesale deal with a single, carefully selected roaster each month, and ships you delightful coffee that would otherwise cost nearly twice as much if you ordered a bag directly from the roaster due to shipping costs.

You’ll get a tip top bag of beans delivered to your address for a maximum price of around £12 a 250g bag (slightly less if you buy more than one bag) and some helpful accompanying notes about the coffee to read while you sip.

To get your taste buds yearning and as an indicator of quality, last month’s roaster was Norway’s Talor and Jorgen, and May’s is Sweden’s Koppi. Yup.

So what’s the deal with ‘machine learning’?

Ian is creating a database, based on customer ratings of the sensory aspects of the coffee they’ve tried. He’ll feed that into a machine learning model based on thousands (and 10s of thousands) o customers’ feedback to understand the underlying factors that people are enjoying.

In 2 years, Ian’s planning to offer 2-3 roasters over 10 origins, with different characteristics, and he’ll know the likelihood of who will like which coffees and recommend them accordingly - based on previous feedback.

He’s also aiming to tie in with a university to research how peoples’ coffee palette changes over time, to offset unintentionally getting stuck in a flavour profile rut slash vortex ongoing.

How do you choose the roasters you feature?

When Ian set out in January 2017, he looked at all the speciality roasters in UK and Europe that he was interested in and emailed them. He asked for samples, cupped them and made a list of 10 he wanted to work with immediately. Some were start-ups others were more established companies. Going forward Ian will ask for samples from roasters and then cup and choose them together – as well as bringing others in to help choose as well.

Ian said “I like trying different coffees. It’s a comfort and a pleasure, but it’s also intriguing whenever you try a coffee with a different sensory profile. The people who are signing up so far are generally looking for something different. Because of the price point, we’ll rarely feature highly expensive coffees, but we’ll always feature interesting coffees at high quality - generally a light roast.”

Ian’s trying to meet with as many roasters as possible to taste their coffees with them. He wants to get their take on the coffees they have on offer, chat them through and make decisions together about what suits his customers.

We were lucky enough to try the Talor & Jorgen, fully washed Rwandan Musasa (pictured in super lovely artwork) and will be back to try another soon - alongside supporting our local roasters heartily of course (in fact I passed a few names of our fine Scottish roasters to Ian for consideration!).

Monday, 1 May 2017

Kelvin Pocket

72 S Woodside Rd
G4 9HG
Glasgow
»Map«
Open every day
Espresso
Coffee: Climpson & Sons
Also: Meals, cakes, beans, fresh juice
Coolness: Spacious and laid back on the River Kelvin

The Kelvin Pocket (4♥) provides breakfast, lunch and cakes and is situated at the bottom of the Kelvinbridge stairs, adjacent the Kelvinbridge Underground.

These folks ply coffee from the well-established and highly regarded East London company Climpson & Sons - available to sit in, takeaway or take home with various beans to choose from.

As the name describes, the cafe is tucked in a little pocket, a little sun trap in the afternoon with outdoor seating. There's plenty of seating inside and outside the cafe with a lovely laid back spacious feel and nothing is ever to much for the fantastic staff.

Inside the counter displays an amazing array of ever-changing cakes with some popular ones making a reappearance from time to time. The food menu changes daily, keeps in season and is sourced locally. This ranges from soaked oats and berries, smoked salmon bagels, various filled fresh sandwiches, soups and salads all made on site.

More: facebook.com/kelvinpocket/

Post written by Leanne Graham
- Instagram @glw.coffee.snob & peaceandjam1