One of the things that has happened to me on this maternity leave is that I’ve developed a taste for fancy/hipster coffee. I call it hipster coffee, because so many people seriously into coffee are also young hipstery men with the beards and the undercuts and the skinny jeans and the rhinestones on the shoes, and who seem to treat knowing about coffee similarly to knowing about music, as a competitive sport/marker of coolness. (Absolutely no judgement on that or the silly dressing by the way. I used to be the same when I was young, it’s just the styles were different and no coffee was involved). It’s not a perfect correlation though, I’ve been to some places that tick all the kinfolk hipster boxes and still have pretty average coffee (century general store, cough cough).
I think I mentioned that for a while I was off the cake/sweet stuff, so saving a bit of money on our coffeeandcake trips, so I started having take away coffees instead in my wanders with Ellis. These are my favourite places (for the quality of the coffee, not necessarily to sit down in – some of them are very much not buggy friendly), all Southside cos that’s where we are:
- Machina coffee, 2 Brougham Place, Tollcross. This is my favourite! We always get coffee from there if we’re at the Tollcross playpark, and I sometimes get one on the way to baby cinema in the cameo, even though you actually get (not very nice) coffee with that anyway. They always have a choice of two beans, and I’ve yet to have one I didn’t like. This is definitely towards the coffee geek end of hipster, they sell coffee machines as well and do barista training.
- Filament, Clerk Street, Newington. This is where I would go if I ever needed to work on my laptop, its that kind of place (no comfy seats, quite narrow, though I like the white walls and simple furniture interiors). Wins the prize for most hipstery looking staff. Turns into a pop up cocktail place during the festival
- Cult Espresso, Buccleuch Street, Newington. This is where we get our coffees from if we’re at the big Meadows playpark. They are for some reason super slow at making the coffees, but I don’t care cos they are so tasty. I think they might be affiliated with Filament in some way, but the coffee tastes different (don’t ask me to describe how, but it does).
- August_21, Causewayside, the Grange. Our new local coffeeandcake place, opened just in time as our previous one, Earthy’s has gone downhill at breakneck speed. We go there at least once a week with Milo and Ellis. The coffee isn’t quite as special/different tasting as in the other places (although it is Dave’s favourite, so maybe it’s just me), but it makes up for it by having comfy seats, enough space for the buggies, lovely interiors, fancy magazines (monocle and kinfolk), super nice staff and the best cake. Less full of people on their laptops than the other places too. It’s been massively successful, and I hope it inspires more coffee shops to open in that area. It’s always been a mystery why such a wealthy area is so underserved by cafes when Bruntsfield/Morningside which is otherwise similar in character is full of them, but that’s maybe a topic for another time.
So there you go, our top four places!
The other thing I wanted to mention is that since we got into coffee, we’ve started ordering our beans from hasbean. We’re currently in the process of shopping our way through it, but this one is definitely our favourite. There’s lots and lots of information on the growers, which is reassuring, and while the descriptions are a bit pretentious sometimes, they are generally really accurate. We’ve got one at the moment that says it tastes of blueberries and it really does, weird as that sounds! Although I could really do without the constant references to mouthfeel, it’s such a disgusting sounding word, plus I have no idea what it actually means! I assumed it meant texture, but my friend thinks it’s just a fancy word for taste. But yeah, i recommend it, and it’s one of the few online coffee sellers that lets you just buy stuff when you need it without a subscription.
photo is clickable for source