Thursday, 19 April 2018

Top 5: Edinburgh Coffee Stops

Edinburgh best coffee shops Machina Espresso for #CoffeeWeek

Top 5 coffee shops in Edinburgh Cafe Noir
I've been meaning to share my favourite Edinburgh coffee stops since I mentioned them in my foodie interview with Talor Gilchrist last year. Although I have had this in the works for a while, Ive just realised that it's #UKCoffeeWeek, so that works out nicely! I spend a lot of time in coffee shops, as my boyfriend is obsessed with finding the best one (I'm not exaggerating- we visited 4 in one day while on holiday in Brighton). There was just one problem- he didn't agree with my picks! So, I have enlisted his help to offer you both the best coffees and atmosphere you'll find in Edinburgh (in no particular order):
Top 5 coffee shops in Edinburgh for #UKCoffeeWeek The Pastry Section, Cairngorm Coffee, Castello and co, Brew Lab

1.) Brew Lab
Ian's fave pick, I'd describe this as a hipster's haven. It's got the exposed brickwork, mismatched furniture, filled doughnuts and pour over coffees made at the brew bar. They put a lot of care and attention into the roast selection and equipment- they even offer coffee courses so that you can up your home brews with latte art and the like! Ian feels it was one of the earlier third wave coffee shops in Edinburgh (est 2012) and has the full coffee house aesthetic. For a while they featured Ian's favourite cappuccino (until he stopped rating his cappuccinos and started rating flat whites instead. He's odd.) It is always busy, so sometimes difficult to get a seat.

2.) Cafe Noir
A really lovely coffee shop that both of us enjoy. Me for the aesthetics, which is all brass, parquet flooring and plants, and Ian for the actual drinks. It describes itself as a patisserie and the cakes are delicious (not GF though). The staff are always well-informed about the coffee being served. It's more laid back than the other coffee shops, based in the West End near Haymarket, and has a quieter vibe. It's also less student-y than some of the others.

3.) Machina Espresso
This is our latest find. We recently visited the Tollcross one (its sister cafe is on Nicolson Street). I found the coffee quite strong, which is usually a sign that Ian will like it. As well as selling drinks, they sell coffee machines and beans to help set you up at home. We last went on Easter Sunday, when it was quite chilled and quiet but Ian tells me the Nicolson one can be busy.

4.) Castello Coffee
We often visit the tiny one on Castle Street. It's a cosy and relaxed stop if you're tired of shopping on Princes Street with friendly staff and good coffee (but could do with a toilet FYI). If you are nipping in for a takeaway I would definitely choose this one over others. The new one on Bruntsfield Links is much more spacious.

5.) Cairngorm
Cairngorm Coffee has two shops, each with a different aesthetic. The first one (on Frederick Street) has a more industrial feel, while the Queensferry Street one has a cleaner look with science lab stools and beakers. I'm personally offended by their tea served in glass beakers but everything else really works. Ian is especially fond of their club sandwich and normally buys his coffee beans here so we pop in regularly.

Best coffee shop in Edinburgh Cairngorm Coffee Queensferry Street

Special shout out to The Pastry Section and LOW DOWN for their cakes and friendly staff, because I couldn't squeeze them into my five but we visit both frequently.
Best coffee in Edinburgh latte art
I'm sure caffeine addicts will  have a lot of opinions about these choices- let us know your favourite Edinburgh coffee shops over on Twitter @WardrobeConvos! Ian and I are always on the look out for new spots.

With thanks to Ian Finlayson for his photos and coffee shop knowledge. If you like puns and photos of food and coffee, follow him on Instagram!


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