Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Coffee Stories - Louise from Tasty Buns Bakery

In the lead up to this year's Edinburgh Coffee Festival on 14 October, we're going to publish regular stories about some of the people that are involved, and make our specialty coffee scene great. They're a passionate and varied bunch!

Our first 'Coffee Story' features Louise Campbell, owner, barista and baker extraordinaire of Tasty Buns Bakery - 67 Bread Street, Edinburgh.

Intro: We are a small coffee shop using a blend roasted by Mr Eion and we do all our own baking onsite.

When did you switch on to specialty coffee? Personally, probably when I moved to Edinburgh in 2011. I was never a huge coffee drinker myself until I hit University and the choice of great little spots in Edinburgh opens up your mind to a whole new side of coffee - or at least that's what I found!? Maybe I just matured with age! When we got the keys for our shop on Bread Street, the first thing we did was a tasting with Mr Eion - I was up for using someone local and passionate and he fitted the bill!

What attracted you to opening a coffee shop? I originally moved to Edinburgh to study for a Masters in Forensic Anthropology - which I was enjoying - but that was when I started baking and using it as a *slight* distraction from essays and coursework. When I figured I was pretty good at it, and that people actually really liked eating it, I finished my course early and started working in some cafes around Edinburgh whilst looking for the right space for us to start in. I had always wanted to work with food but my mother was a Chef and she always said 'No - it's rubbish hours and not great pay. Do something with your Science!'

What do you like most about it now? I love it. But the best bit has to be our customers. We have only been open just over a year now but we already have a wonderful bunch of regulars (even ones who have helped us carry a big new mixer that arrived for us from sitting outside the shop to our kitchen downstairs). I also love getting out and doing events such as the Edinburgh Coffee Festival. It's a nice change of scenery and pace and it gives us the opportunity to talk about what we love most - baked goodies!

What tips would you give people considering a career in coffee and cake? I would say that without a doubt opening Tasty Buns Bakery is the best and the hardest thing I have ever done. There is always going to be comparisons to other coffee shops and cafes so I think the most important thing is to have faith - believe in the product you make and sell. Keep experimenting - that's what keeps the love for what you do alive. And...... I would say always keep an eye on what's going on with the Coffee and Food scene in Edinburgh - it is always changing and evolving and that is a WONDERFUL thing!

Any other pearls of wisdom? Get an Aeropress. Best thing I ever bought. Delicious coffee at home, but also anywhere else your heart desires!? It's genius. And always *slightly* under-bake your Brownies and then leave them overnight to set before cutting them!

Louise and Tasty Buns Bakery will be taking a stand at the Edinburgh Coffee Festival on 14 October.

Photos: Louise Campbell

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Castello Coffee - Bruntsfield

7-8 Barclay Terrace
EH10 4HP
Open every day
Coffee: Allpress
Also: Breakfasts, salads, cakes
Coolness: Different spaces to hang out in, overlooking the green 

Castello Coffee Bruntsfield (5♥) is just off the main road through Bruntsfield and overlooks the edge of the large green fields of Bruntsfield Links.

Owner Sandro's original shop is in Castle Street - hence the name Castello. And he's using the same coffee from his long-time London pals Allpress on his shiny La Marzocco Strada. The Redchurch blend of Brazilian, Colombian, Guatemalan and Sumatran delivers big caramel and chocolate flavours, with a little citrus to add some cut through. Sandro aims to make batch brew available in time, and will feature other coffees.

The cafe building used to be two shops and the spaces are divided accordingly. There's a mezzanine floor on the left side with quite a bit of bench and chair seating under a low-ish ceiling which gives it a cozy feel. On the right, the ceilings are full height and the seating space tapers in as you go further to the back of the shop, again with plenty of tables and chairs.

The menu will include cooked and lighter breakfasts, salads and sweet things from local cakers & bakers Leo's Beanery. Vegetarians will find plenty of choice and there's a skew toward healthy foods. This cafe has only just opened though, so it'll take a few weeks to get all the food options up and running.

The decor feels relaxed, warm and light. The pale teal, white and timber colour scheme maximises the light that comes in through the front and rear windows, but the soft seating and exposed brick combines to create a calming environment in tune with the greenery out front.

All in all a lovely spot and a great addition to the local community!


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Filament Coffee - Trinity

44A East Trinity Rd
Open every day
Espresso, Batch brew, V60
Coffee: Filament
Also: Sandwiches, cake, beans
Coolness: Bright and airy cafe with a roaster parked in the corner

Filament (5♥) has two coffee shops in Edinburgh, this one is also their roastery and is in Trinity, North of the city centre.

The coffee menu is divided between black, white and filter. Black is espresso or long black/americano. White is "anything with milk in it". And filter is V60 pour over. They also offer batch brew, and use their own roasted specialty coffee. It's early days for Filament as a roasting house, but they've been one Edinburgh's best coffee shops for some time. So they'll be looking to turn out beans that meet the high quality and consistency standards they've always sought from suppliers! We're going to catch up with them to find out more about their roasting ambitions and will update this post with more soon.

On the food front you can enjoy cakes that change on a daily basis as well as flavoured shortbread biscuits and peanut butter & salted caramel cups. And sandwiches using bread from local bakers Twelve Triangles. Vegans are catered for (e.g. hummus, rocket, spinach, avocado),  also vegetarians (add feta, cream cheese to the mix) and carnivores (e.g smoked salmon or serano ham).

The decor is white, timber and a soft teal - with hard edges and furnished minimally. Being a roaster, they need enough space to haul in big bags of green coffee and physically manage the process of roasting kilos (and kilos) of coffee. That said there are plenty of tables - high long tables with stools on the ground floor as well as tables near the large front windows. And upstairs there are tables and chairs on a mezzanine floor, built into the original attic space.

This is the only specialty coffee shop in the area - with the closest choices being in Leith or near Canonmills. Even more reason to make it a popular spot!


Thursday, 3 August 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) 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.

Sunday, 30 July 2017


155 West Port
Open every day
Coffee: Steampunk & guests
Also: Cakes and tarts to order
Coolness: Amazing array of cakes in a relaxed bohemian setting

Lovecrumbs (4♥) is a relaxed and spacious cafe located just up the hill from the Grassmarket as you head toward Lothian Road.

They have a long established relationship with North Berwick's Steampunk coffee who provide high quality, seasonally changing roasts. Steampunk buy in small quantities of fully traceable green beans from Nordic Approach and Falcon Specialty and roast, bag and ship them weekly to shops and customers directly. At Lovecrumbs you'll enjoy a frequently changing single origin menu of well made espresso based coffees.

Lovecrumbs is famous for their cakes and tarts - check out hellolovecrumbs on Instagram to see some of their beautiful creations. They also have little a Century General Store pop up in situ - showcasing a selection of carefully curated homewares and stylish must-haves such as crockery, stationery, Frank Green cups and enamelware.

The cafe is a large light room filled with eclectic wooden furniture some of which has been repurposed - for example an upright piano that is now a coffee bench. The floor is painted dark grey, the poles and ceilings distressed and 'antiqued' and decorative cornices crisp white. Those so inclined you can sit in the display window to enjoy their refreshments, others may wish to sit up to one of the many tables or on a couch.

The clientèle is equally mixed and all are welcomed by friendly staff.


Pumpkin Brown

16 Grassmarket
Open every day
Coffee: Machina
Also: Salads, cakes
Coolness: A vegan safe house in the burger-loving Old Town

Pumpkin Brown (3♥) is in the Grassmarket - one of the Old Town's most tourist-frequented sites. And rightly so given the large open space has been operating as a market place since the 1400s and the historic surrounds, overshadowed by Edinburgh Castle, are pretty eye-popping.

Pumpkin Brown uses local roaster Machina and has specifically chosen a zingy, punchy coffee profile to ensure it works with all of their range of non-milks  - oat, soya and coconut - as well as black of course. Lovers of cow milk should expect something quite different from their usual latte or flat white. That said, the coffee's fruitiness still comes through.

Food is a major part of their vibe - offering a complete contrast to their fish & chip, burgers and pizza-touting neighbours (not that there's anything wrong with that). Everything on the menu is gluten free, dairy free and free from refined sugars.

Sourcing from a load of local suppliers, you'll find creative boxed up salads, each with a mix of vegan, gluten-free ingredients such as quinoa, rice, lentils, jerk jackfruit, fruity salsas and slaws to name but a few - as well as soup, quiche and a hot dish of the day on rice. The breakfast menu has multi-grain porridge with a bunch of toppings from compotes, to nut butter, maple syrup to pumpkin seeds, acai bowls, granola, chia pots and bircher.

Cakes are all raw - made from mixed seeds, nuts, oats and cashew cream - as well as the essential ingredients to make them look and taste like millionaire's shortbread, chocolate & orange cheesecake, apple crumble slice, lime & matcha slice etc. The cold drinks selection is also wide and varied including kombucha teas and other sparkling soft drinks. Check out Pumpkin Brown's instagram feed and you'll see how much of a whole food treat you're in for.

While this shop looks small from the outside, there's a fair amount of space inside with high benches and stools for dining in. All the food is packaged and ready to go, however, so you can take-away and sit out in the Grassmarket and soak up the atmos.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Tasty Buns Bakery

67 Bread St
Open Monday-Saturday
Coffee: Mr Eion
Also: Cakes
Coolness: Deceptively large and charming - complete with interior street light

Tasty Buns Bakery (3♥) is a cafe that serves home-baked cakes, muffins and traybakes on aptly name Bread Street, near the Old Town.

Owner Louise opened the cafe recently and is continuing to develop her menu, with independent coffee a key ingredient.

Edinburgh's Mr Eion provides a bespoke Brazilian Sumatran blend and the resulting coffee packs a traditional and flavoursome punch. A good match for the sweet baked items available.

The shopfront is narrow but the cafe itself is deep and surprisingly spacious. There are plenty of chairs and tables inviting you stay a while and the decor is one of stripped back opulence, enhanced by the high ornate ceiling and rich colour scheme. The old-fashioned street lamp in amongst the timber furniture adds to the charm.

Tasty Buns is definitely a nice hide-away in an up-and-coming area that's gradually edging away from it's bottom-of-the-barrel strip-joint history. Albeit the name of this establishment may tip it's hat in that general direction!