Sunday, 4 October 2015

Wild Wood

146 Marchmont Rd
Open every day 9.30-3pm
Every evening except Mondays 5-10pm
Coffee: Mr Eion bespoke blend
Also: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Coolness: Bustling neighbourhood feel that makes you want to drop in and hang out

Wild Wood (3♥) cafe  is much used by locals inside and out for all meals of the day and coffees, teas and chilling out in between.

Owners have teamed up with Stockbridge Roaster Mr Eion to create their own bespoke blend and do a pretty good job with the coffee they serve.

We tasted a hearty brew with good milk texture that stands up well to Wild Wood's signature big breakfasts and cakey treats. Their bespoke coffee is a blend of Sumatran, Brazilian and Costa Rican.

The cafe is fairly small and pretty jammed with blonde wooden tables, white chairs and some bench seated tables at the large front windows. The bustle of busy eaters and equally busy conversation is becalmed somewhat by a cool grey-blue & white decor and self-titled woodland idyll mural in one corner.

Food options are broad and tasty and will no doubt evolve with time. By way of an indication, apart from more usual favourites, the day menu includes sweetcorn fritters, pancetta and haloumi, smoked mackerel pate with beetroot and apple salsa sandwiches and smoked salmon, fennel and radish salad.

After a short close at 3pm, Wild Wood re-opens at 5pm for evening meals including sharing plates of antipasto or thyme baked camembert and the full starter-main-dessert routine such as thai-marinated prawns, smoked haddock risotto and banoffee sundae.

This is a nice spot and we're a bit jealous that it's not in my neighbourhood!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Edinburgh Coffee Hot Shots

We're delighted to share our 16 Hot Shot photographic portraits, created with talented friend and photographer Jess Shurte, for the Edinburgh's first Coffee Festival on 3 October 2015.

You can see our full gallery here.

See the Edinburgh Coffee Hot Shot Gallery
See the Edinburgh Coffee Hot Shot Gallery
‘Edinburgh’s Coffee Hot Shots’ aims to put coffee lovers in touch with some of our quiet achievers who have helped make Edinburgh a top coffee destination and strengthen the relationship between customers and local independent coffee shops.

Our Hot Shots have been quietly working away behind the scenes, or their coffee machines, making thousands of high quality coffees every day for a number of years. Now that locals and visitors are starting to recognise our great coffee, we believe it is time to introduce some of our baristas, consultants and owners to new and existing coffee lovers.

See the Edinburgh Coffee Hot Shot Gallery
Our portraits aim to build a relationship between our friendly coffee experts and customers so they can feel more comfortable trying specialty coffee and talking to their barista. Apart from highlighting where to go for truly excellent coffee, our portraits also underline the diversity that locally owned independent coffee shops bring to our community compared to multinational coffee shop chains.

Edinburgh’s independent coffee scene is at an exciting point because we’ve got more and more high quality coffee shops opening up, offering customers more and more choice. While appreciation of specialist coffee is growing, a lot of people are just starting to discover it. Some people are unsure about what to ask for, and others think there’s a bit of ‘coffee snobbery’ going on. This is something we want to address by introducing the friendly people behind our independent coffee scene.”

All the Hot Shot coffee shops can be found on this blog and using our iPhone App.

>> See the Hot Shots Scotsman article

Friday, 2 October 2015

Find the best coffee in Edinburgh with our App

 Download on the App Store
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.

If you have an iPhone you can download the App from the App Store or you can find out more from iTunes.

Why an App?
We're passionate about our city's independent coffee shops. We want to support our great coffee shops by driving customers through their doors, and we want consumers to experience Edinburgh's great coffee scene. With location services, the App makes it easy for you to find your chosen coffee shop.

For £0.79p you'll stay up to date with the best coffee shops in Edinburgh - your App will be updated regularly.

We'll continue to refine our iPhone App and are now working on developing our App for Android.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Leo's Beanery

23A Howe St
Open every day
Coffee: Hands-On Coffee
Also: Meals, cakes and beans
Coolness: New Town nooks and crannies meets great food

Leo's Beanery (4♥) is in the beautiful Georgian New Town and a lovely spot.

Out front you'll find some inviting tables and chairs before stepping into the deceptively large interior. Leo's has a friendly, elegant but cosy feel and are very customer-focused. 

We've sampled Leo's coffee for years and they continue to be a joy. They're currently using Cornwall-based Hands-On Coffee Roasters, which is excellent. Hands-On coffee is micro-roasted by hand in small batches at their roastery in Wadebridge on the Cornish Atlantic coast using a hot-air roaster.

Leo's coffee is made with care and served at the perfect temperature, warm but not scalding which allows the rounded milk texture to support great flavour.

As well as their coffee, they take their food seriously with lots of yummy, locally sourced fresh options - small or big breakfasts as well as a good choice of lunches, snacks and cakes. There really is something for everyone.

This one's a charmer and one to put on the regular visiting list.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Cult Espresso

104 Buccleuch St
Open every day
Espresso, Kalita wave
Coffee: Round Hill & guests
Also: Light meals, cakes
Coolness: Exposed brink industrial vibe with warmth

Cult Espresso (5♥) is on the South Side of the Old Town, near Edinburgh University.

The friendly Cult folk feature guest coffees alongside seasonal Round Hill Roastery beans and choose the right bean for your brew method.

Cult offers espresso-based coffee (from a very special looking machine) and Kalita Wave pour over coffee. For those less familiar with Kalita Wave, its a drip-filter coffee gizmo that has a flat bottom that contributes to a more even, fuller brew.

The space itself is long and narrow. The street frontage is quite small but the shop drops down about half-way through offering ample seating on two levels. The fit-out and decor is warm while having an industrial feel to it.

Hearty and inventive Union of Genius soups are on offer alongside sandwiches, salads, pastries and cakes.

Highly recommended!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Counter - Usher Hall

Outside Usher Hall
Open Mon-Fri approx 7.30am to 3pm
Coffee: Mr Eion bespoke blend
Also: Cookies, brownies
Coolness: Friendly service outside iconic Usher Hall

This is one of three The Counter (4♥) Police boxes whose sole purpose is to provide lovely coffee. Others are at the Tollcross intersection, on Lauriston Place (just up the road) and in Morningside (their first shop front).

Usher Hall is a beautiful and historic building that has recently undergone a complete renovation and is one of Edinburgh's finest performing arts spaces. It's set back from Lothian Road on a large open square, and The Counter sits quietly but tastefully on the side of this square.

Like their other Police boxes, owners Sally and Ali  use their own bespoke coffee blend by roaster Mr Eion. 'The Counter' blend is primarily comprised of Sumatran and Brazilian and is a nutty, choclatey brew that works well with milk.

The Counter also make their own brownies and salt caramel cookies among other delicacies and also offer Edinburgh's Eteaket teas.

More: The Counter on Facebook

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Hula Juice Bar & Gallery

Open every day
Coffee: Artisan Roast
Also: Meals, beans, some coffee kit
Coolness: The Grassmarket is an iconic piece of the Old Town

Hula Juice Bar & Gallery (4♥) is one of the few places that does great coffee in Edinburgh's Old Town. The location is also special given the building and surrounds date from the 1600s and before.

Hula Juice Bar & Gallery offers a great choice of healthy food, smoothies and juices for breakfasts and lunches. Options include soups, wraps, bagels, salads and cakes. They are also very happy to provide a take-away service for all items on their menu.

The art on the walls changes regularly as they showcase a different visual artist every few months.

The staff are friendly and do their jobs well. You can sit outside when the sun is shining but there's plenty of space inside as well, a stone's throw from Edinburgh Castle.

The coffee is great and expertly prepared. rich, robust. good acid, soft luscious milk. Combined with the beautifully historic old part of town, what more can you ask!